Back in Gotland, Sweden, Good Man declared, “When a local tells you to go somewhere, you go.”
We were very glad to follow that advice Friday.
Friday we were supposed to head north toward Terra Nova National Park, but we headed south first to go to Frenchmen’s Cove Provincial Park. Along the way, I pulled off at an “interprative point” on the road (210: The Heritage Run).
Good Man looked at me, “Why do we always stop?”
“I want to take a picture.”
The Burin Peninsula (or at least the area we drove through) is a lot of rolling hills and mostly barren land littered with large rocks and what appeared to be kettle ponds. Very much a “glaciers were here” feeling. Since this was a fishing area (until it was overfished), most of the villages were on the coasts. The road down the center of the peninsula seemed rather deserted.
With Good Man
We made it down to Frenchmen’s Cove and found something to eat—at a golf course of all places. (The only vegetables on the menu? Deep fried!) It appeared to be the local hangout for the ~200 residents.
We went to Frenchmen’s Cove Park, where I waited for a good 10 minutes for the woman in front of me to get a camping pass. She wanted to stay near her sister, her son in the car wanted to stay where there was an electrical hookup. The park employees would tell the woman something. She’d yell it to the car. The son would yell at her, she’d repeat it to the employee.
Then she and the employee got going about their relationship through cousins or something.
Oh. My. God. I have a park pass. I just want a map.
The park was smaller than the other ones we’d visited. It’s hiking trail was rather short and it was pretty foggy (but not in that very early morning misty-fog way) so I was a bit disappointed. However, I did get some nice shots of the flowers found in the park.
Driving down toward Frenchmen’s Cove, I saw an oil rig in the bay. On the return trip I pulled off at a viewpoint to take photos.
Oil Rig Near Marystown, Newfoundland
A gentlemen stopped as well and we started to chat. He was born and raised in Newfoundland, worked in Labrador for 35 years, had bought a house nearby and was retired.
Then he said he’d just found a local spot that no tourists knew about and that few locals knew about. He told me to go there.
He pointed up the road and said, “Go to the second hill, take the exit. When the road splits, don’t go up toward the houses, go down toward the water. Turn right at the cemetery onto the dirt road, follow the road, you’ll pass a little farm. Might see cows. Don’t drive off the edge of the hill because it gets steep and your car won’t make it back up. You can park there and walk down to the most beautiful beach! It’s low tide, so the sand is soft!”
Good Man and I watch a lot of crime shows. And that just sounded like directions to a body dumping site. But Good Man has his rule. I promised the man—Clyde—that we’d go. I got back into the car and woke Good Man up. “A local told us to go somewhere.”
Off we went. I trusted that we’d eventually get to this beach and when we got to the top?
What Clyde didn’t mention is that there was also a little stream, a pond, and some bluffs. And very, very few people. While we were walking down the hill, a family of three was walking up it. A woman walked up the beach and left. And then we were entirely alone.
Walking Up the Bluff
View From the Top
We climbed to the top of the bluff and the view was incredible. I just laughed and laughed. “This is gorgeous!”
Off in the distance you could see little fingers of land, reaching into the water. Tiny little towns tucked into each cove.
We climbed down the bluff and explored this arch area. Since it was low-tide we could see all of the fresh seaweed.
Enjoying the Breeze
As we were leaving (after about an hour), who should pull up but Clyde? “I went and got my wife,” he said. He’d also fetched his sister and her husband. We greeted him again and thanked him multiple times for telling us about the beach. “Yep, see you again!” he called out cheerfully.