Friday, July 17, 2009

Our visit "Back Home" to Ontario -- Part one

As many of you know, we moved two years ago from Ontario to live in Newfoundland. We had not been back since leaving, so thought a visit back was long overdue. We love travelling, driving, seeing the beautiful country and were excited to be visiting family, friends and our 'old stomping grounds' again.

With the van loaded up, we headed out in the early morning hours. First stop was for breakfast....a tradition that was started by my Dad and step-mom when we lived in Ontario and would leave for holidays. They'd take us out for a full breakfast before heading out. It wasn't quite the same being just us....but it was breakfast just the same.

Jake decided he would keep a journal of this trip and here is his first entry that sums up our leaving:

"It's 6:38 a.m. and we are leaving our drivway to go to McDonild's for brekfist then off to Ontario. It's now 7:49 a.m. and we just finished brekfist 20 minutes ago. So far we are having an exilent time." *grin*

It's about 900 kms across the island of Newfoundland. We live on the east coast..the ferry comes to the west it was a full day of driving. As far as landscape goes, our province is so varied. Here are some pics I took along the way. They're not very good quality as I took them through the windshield, while we were moving....but it still gives an idea of the landscape.

It always amazes us at the lack of traffic going across. A beautiful highway, lots of beautiful, natural scenery and hardly any traffic to get in the way. It doesn't get much better than that!

Lot of beautiful lakes (although here in Newfoundland, they're referred to as Ponds). Many of them have no inhabitants or it appears so anyway as the sandy beach goes all the way around and not a dock or a house in sight.

This is in central Newfoundland....notice the patches of snow still on the mountains.

Finally we arrived at Port Aux Basques (where the ferry comes in). These are taken at the Shark Cove Suites. It's actually apartments....this unit had 3 bedrooms, a living room, eating area and kitchen. We always stay here on our trip across.

(Here is Jake's journal entry for the end of the day:

We've been on the road for 12 hours and we can't believe it. We are approaching Porto-Bask (ummm that's actually spelled Port Aux Basques but he spelled it as it sounds lol) and that's where Shark Cove Hotel is. Thank Goodness. It's 8:55 p.m and we are going to bed." )

The next day, in line waiting for the Ferry.

On the ferry...making the trip across the Cabot Strait. This is the 'short' ferry crossing....which takes between 5-7 hours..depending on the weather conditions, the size of the ferry etc. The short crossing is not to be confused with the 'long' crossing....which takes around 14 - 17 hours (but comes in closer to the east side of Newfoundland)

Down below on the car deck, waiting to disembark from the ferry. Sorry for the poor quality...It was dark and dingy down there and I should have removed the napkins from the dash board first.

(I'll post more about our trip in the coming days.)


Renee said...

Oh my goodness, this is great fun for me...I had to get out my atlas and look up New Foundland and where you were and where you are going. It is a long long way to Ontario! I look forward to more photos and sharing of your trip. I did not realize, being a southerner just how remote it is where you live. I am so curious how you decided to live at the "ends of the earth"? Its beauty? isolation? just the adventure of it? I have always wanted to do the same but to Alaska or Africa...
Thanks for sharing this...I am enjoying it.

Twisted Cinderella said...

How fun. I have made this trip many many times, it is fun to see your trip in pictures.

At Home on the Rock... said...

I am having a hard time with blogger today. Many of your blogs that I regularly visit...I cannot. Then when I do get there...I cannot leave a frustrating but wanted you all to know I am reading even though I can't comment. Then...I had a long response typed out for you Renee....and it would not post. Grrr....

Kayla...I saw your comment, 'published' it...but I see it is not there and I'm not sure what happened to it. Thanks for the warm welcome back though!

I will try once again...but in separate posts this time.

At Home on the Rock... said...

Renee....Yes we are quite a long way away. Newfoundland is about 3000 kms or 1800 miles away from our part of Ontario. It seems longer though because we are and island (well our part anyway...Labrador is also part of our province but it is attached to the mainland) and we must either take a ferry or fly to get off of it. The ferry ride makes it seem longer and adds about a day of travelling to the trip (even though it's only about 90 kms across to the mainland). One must be at the ferry terminal 1.5 hours ahead, then waiting in line, boarding, the actual trip, the time to get off all adds up. If one timed it right, the trip could be made in 3 days which would entail spending one night on the ferry (it's a huge ship and has cabins if one wants) and one night in a hotel. We usually take 4 days to make the trip and a bit longer when we stop to visit people along the way.

We moved here for all the reasons you've mentioned...the beauty of it all, the ocean and all it's happenings (from the icebergs to the whales etc.), the pace of life (it's much slower here. Dh worked in Toronto so it was very high stress there), the weather (warmer winters/less snow than where we were in Ontario and cooler summers (still warm and sunny but no humidity), the housing costs .... they are much lower...or at least were when we moved. Things have been booming here and housing prices have taken a huge jump. Property taxes are still relatively low. Also we're not getting any younger (well, dh isn't...I, on the other hand am holding steady at 29 ;) lol )and thought we'd like the adventure of it all. We do miss our family and friends in Ontario though but with the internet and good long distance helps a lot.

One other thing about Newfoundland (the island portion)...we have our own time zone. No other place has it. We're 1.5 hours ahead of the eastern time zone.

I'm glad you're enjoying hearing about our trip. :)

At Home on the Rock... said...

Hi Twisted Cinderella. Thanks for your comments. I've been checking out your blog too. :) Just wondering...are you from Ontario too? (you mentioned you've made the same trip and just curious for the reasons.) Thanks for stopping by!

At Home on the Rock... said...

Kayla...your comment seems to be gone for good. Sorry about that.

Becky said...

So that is where you have been! I love the unspoiled "pond". Looks like you had a good trip. I have rode on a ferry in Kentucky. It went across the river maybe 200 Your ferry looks like a parking deck to us. Glad you are back!
Sent you an email before I read this post. Now I know where you were....

Shannon said...

Wow! I'm looking forward to seeing more photos and hearing more about your trip. Love Jake's journal!