Baycation 2013, Part I: New World Island
We left St. John’s on the morning of August 5, early enough to get ahead of the rain travelling northward. It was quite chilly, I had the liners in my pants and jacket, a thin fleece sweater and warm gloves, and I almost wished I had put on my electric vest. That being said, there was absolutely no wind, making for a comfortable highway ride. We droned westward on the TCH, running into road construction only once, just this side of Gander. We were stopped for only a few minutes, and continued on to Gander for lunch and a break. We had lunch at Subway then a coffee at Tim Horton’s, which would turn out to be the last time we partook of chain restaurants for our entire vacation. We generally try to stick to “mom & pop” restaurants when we travel, and have had amazing food at most places we’ve visited.
When we felt warm enough to get back on the bikes we headed north on Route 330 to Gander Bay and across the causeway on Route 331. From there we took Route 340 which took us over three more causeways before we reached New World Island in Notre Dame Bay. The geography of this area is very different from what I’m used to on the Avalon. I guess it would be called an archipelago because the ocean is absolutely peppered with islands. The bigger, populated islands are connected by causeway, and contain many small communities that are all quite historic and beautiful.
We were still trying to outrun the rain, so we motored on to Dildo Run Provincial Park, just outside Virgin Arm. If you’re not from Newfoundland you may think that this is quite hilarious…actually even if you ARE from Newfoundland you may get a chuckle out of it. The fact is that the word “dildo” referred to a part of a dory before it meant anything else. Seriously. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
We arrived at our lodging graciously provided by Mark’s parents about a half hour before it started to rain. It poured the entire night but ended in the morning, allowing us to do some exploring. Dildo Run is a very nice park. It has clean washrooms and showers, wireless internet, a hiking trail and access to the very sheltered salt water, great for kayaking and canoeing. I was surprised by the number of campers from the mainland and the US, and we even spotted a couple of bikers from Quebec staying in tents. And here I thought we were roughing it in a fifth-wheel trailer.
The afternoon brought severe thunder storms, actually the worst I’ve experienced in many years. I managed to pass the time drinking coffee and catching up on some reading. Sometimes I actually enjoy a rainy day, even on vacation. It’s like Mother Nature says “You know what? You need to just relax today”. The thunder storms moved off in a few hours and it was a beautiful evening for riding, so we took in the sights in the neighbouring communities of Moreton’s Harbour, Bridgeport, Vally Pond and Tizzard’s Harbour. What an amazing area for motorcycling! Twisty roads, hills, valleys, spectacular views and dirt roads if you want to get adventurous.
After two nights on New World Island it was time to continue our trek…stay tuned for Part II: Fogo Island.