Baycation 2013, Part V: Bonavista

Since it’s almost November I probably should clue up my report on our vacation back in August! I think the older you get, the faster time passes by. This post has more words than pictures, probably because my memory of the trip has faded slightly so I can’t go really in-depth about the places we visited. Note to self: Make more notes next year!

We left Eastport on August 13 and headed for Bonavista, where we had booked a bed & breakfast for the night. We exited the TCH onto Route 233 which goes through Port Blandford and Musgravetown (not to be confused with Musgrave Harbour), then took a left on Route 230. This highway isn’t what  and you would call “inspiring” for motorcycling. But it’s well maintained and the traffic volume was low, so it was an enjoyable ride. We motored on until we saw the turn-off for the community of Trinity, Trinity Bay (not to be confused with Trinity, Bonavista Bay).

I had heard about Trinity, and had been wanting to visit the place for quite awhile. To put it mildly, Trinity is an absolute gem of a town. The heritage and history of the town has been preserved so beautifully it’s almost surreal.

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This heritage building houses a modern pharmacy

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It’s amazing that so much old architecture has been preserved

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The building on the far right is now owned by Rising Tide Theatre, and performances are put off regularly

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Great little restaurant on the water’s edge

We parked the bikes and walked around “downtown” Trinity before we went to the Dock Marina for lunch. We were sat at the table when I realized that I was so mesmerized with the place that I entirely forgot to take pictures of anything! So all of the above pictures are courtesy of Mark.

The service was fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed my feed of cod tongues, a famous Newfoundand delicacy. I was most impressed that the chef honored my request that they be fried in olive oil, not the traditional pork fat. As difficult as it is at times, I do try to eat somewhat healthily when we’re on the road.

After lunch we bid Trinity a reluctant farewell, but it is definitely on my radar for a weekend early next summer. There is just too much to see and do in the area to fit it into a day!

Bonavista is just over 50km from Trinity, and quite historic in its own right. Back in 1497, Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (aka John Cabot) first made landfall here, and is credited with “discovering” North America even though the Vikings were here in 1000 AD.

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Myself and Mr. Caboto

Bonavista is home to the replica of John Cabot’s ship, the Matthew. Though it’s floating, it’s kept indoors out of the elements. That made it very hard to get a decent picture, I couldn’t back away far enough to get the entire ship in the shot.

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The deck of the Matthew

Of course you can’t visit Bonavista without going to see the lighthouse. Built in 1843, it overlooks some spectacular cliffs!

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The lighthouse at Cape Bonavista

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It’s a loooooong way down. I actually threw rocks and waited to hear the splash. It took a while.

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Lots of puffins out this way. I love these little guys!

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I’ve never seen so many inukshuks ever. I think this is their breeding ground.

Bonavista is different from many small towns in Newfoundland in that it has a dense “downtown” core. I’m very happy that we chose to stay in the Puffin’s Landing B&B, not only because of the beautiful accommodations and very hospitable owners, but also because its location enabled us to explore the historic part of the town on foot.

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I think Mark got distracted by the bike…

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Old church and cemetery in Bonavista

All that walking around makes one hungry, and we had many choices to choose from as to where to go for supper. We finally settled on Mifflin’s Tea Room, a tiny little restaurant that serves much more than tea. Their menu had many traditional meals, and I decided on fish cakes. To my amazement they were just as good as homemade, and very reasonably priced.

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I highly recommend this great little restaurant!

We headed to bed that night knowing that our spell of great weather was over, and that the next day would be a soaker. We left Bonavista in the morning and managed to avoid the rain until the skies opened up just as we hit Clarenville. That convinced us to NOT spend the night in Clarenville as we had planned and instead head back to the city, effectively ending our 2013 Baycation.

It’s one thing to ride a motorcycle in a climate as fickle and extreme as ours. It’s entirely another thing to book two weeks vacation in the spring, and spend the next four months hoping and praying for minimal rain, drizzle, fog and wind during your chosen vacation time. We really lucked out, and had an awesome trip in this amazing part of the world that we are fortunate enough to call “home”.

I’m already starting to plan a trip for next year!

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Posted on October 31, 2013, in Roads of Newfoundland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Great write-up Krista! Has been many years since I toured the Bonavista Peninsula area, so enjoyed very much seeing your photos. Too bad the Matthew replica is kept inside … I was an honorary “crewman” at her official christening on June 24th, 1998 … a fine little ship, best appreciated outside!

    • Thanks Perry! It’s too bad that they have to keep the Matthew inside, I think it’s because she’s deteriorating. Even so, I started getting a little nauseated from the very slight ocean movement while we were on the deck…a sailor I am not…lol.

  2. It’s very true, the older you get the faster time passes – no joke there; so save all your photos and mark what they are, because if you turn out anything like me – you will not remember! Excellent post – really enjoyed it.

  3. Loved this post – one of your best so far! Keep them coming Krista!

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