We left St. Johns just as it started to drizzle. By the time we turned off of HWY 1 onto the road to Fortune, the drizzle had turn to light rain and the wind had picked up to a gale force. We bravely headed straight into the wind, knowing that Fortune lay before us.
We found our campsite at Horse Brook Trailer Park. As its name implied, it was meant for big trailers and RV’s. We were lucky enough to be given a tent spot a little bit away from the line of RV’s. When we woke up in the morning for our 7:30 AM ferry ride to St. Pierre, the sun was shining, promising a great trip and greater day.
The ocean was gentle and the ferry left on time. We were told that the ferry the day before didn’t leave until 11:30 due to high winds and bad seas.
One hour and forty-five minutes later, we arrived in France. We immediately went to the nearest pâtisserie to grab some coffee and croissants for breakfast. Janice claimed that they were the best croissants she had ever had (including her time in Paris) and immediately bought another one and ate it. I have to agree, they were very good.
We wandered around the village for a little while, enjoying the french flair in a typical fishing town before heading toward the hill marking the highest spot on the island. We wandered up hill for a while before the trees got too thick to navigate through, forcing us to go back to town and find lunch.
Did you know that the entire village of St. Pierre shuts down from 12:00 to 2:00? We didn’t. Luckily we were able to find a hotel that was serving lunch. We had yummy ham, cheese and egg galettes. Spectacular. We followed up with soft serve ice-cream on the harbour before heading back to the wharf for our 2:30 pm ferry home.
As we approached Newfoundland, the skies got greyer and the wind started up again. By the time we were in camp it was getting cold and windy. That night we suffered through the worst weather we have encountered yet. The wind was blowing the rain sideways so hard that we got water inside the van from a tiny hole where the pop-up tent meets the metal. Not fun!
Things had calmed down again by morning and we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading to lovely Grand Falls on our way to Gros Morne National Park.
We did manage to see our first moose on the side of the highway. A young adolescent moose. Like every mammalian teenager it looked like it did not want to be there!
From here, we go to Gros Morne with Mel and Janice to enjoy a few weeks there, offline and off the beaten path.