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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Less than 24 hours….

When you see this photo of a place in Canada, what comes to mind?

Well if you guessed a Province in Atlantic Canada, then you would be on the right track.

So I have to give you some back story on where we are for a few days….

Richard was away working in July while I was at home trying to figure out what to get him for his 64th birthday, which was coming up in August. I had just come home from golfing at our club, Bridgewater Country Club in Fort Erie, where I had picked up a copy of the latest SCORE Golf magazine. I started flipping through the magazine and I saw that there was a golf course that was rated #28 in Canada, which was in a Province that Richard had never visited before. I definitely had to investigate this destination further!

The first thing I had to investigate was the weather. The plan was to be away for 5 days at the beginning of October, so of course, weather for golfing was going to be of prime importance!!! When I investigated the weather, it looked ok for the beginning of October. Warm enough to golf anyway, so I texted Richard and said “How would you like to go to a Province you’ve never been to before?” Being the adventurous, wanderlust type, of course Richard said “YES, BOOK IT!”

I checked into flights and found that there was a direct flight on West jet from Pearson airport in Toronto to our destination! Wow..with everything coming together so wonderfully, I also had to check on accommodations for a 1 bedroom condo, and within minutes I was able to book our lodging too! I asked Richard to book the golf for us and within a short period of time, our trip in October over Thanksgiving had come together!

“Come Home 2022” is the marketing campaign for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to entice locals to come back and visit the Province which had lacked tourism during the last two years during Covid 19.

Some quick facts about Newfoundland for anyone who has never been here before:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador has an area of 405,720 square kilometres. It is more than three times the total area of the other Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick) and would rank fourth in size behind Alaska, Texas and California, if it were a State in the United States! It took us 3 days to drive through Texas last December in our RV, Newman, so we know exactly how big Texas is!

  • Newfoundland and Labrador is almost 1.75 times the size of Great Britain.

  • The coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador encompass 29,000 kilometres

  • The population of Newfoundland and Labrador is ~530,376

  • The heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador is English, Irish, French and Indigenous peoples.

  • In this province there is a special time zone called Newfoundland Time, which is a full 1.5 hours later than Eastern Standard Time.

  • The best time to come and see icebergs in Newfoundland and Labrador is in Spring and Early Summer. Whale watching is best done between May and September.

So since we missed Iceberg and whale watching season in Newfoundland and Labrador, I guess it’s a good thing we are here for golf and sightseeing!!

Humber Valley Golf Resort was ranked #28 in Score Golf Magazine’s Top 100 courses in Canada for 2022, and the golf course did not disappoint when we playEd it today!

From the very first hole at Humber Valley, the vistas were absolutely stunning!

1st tee Humber Valley Golf Resort, par 5.

3rd hole Humber Valley Golf Resort.

The par 3, 5th hole I chipped in for birdie as I was just short of the green.

The 10th hole at Humber Valley Golf Resort how stunning is that hole?

10th hole on the right and 18th on the left.

The 17th, a par 3 severely downhill I played a 9 iron to this 93 yard hole today and missed the birdie putt.

The 18th hole at Humber Valley Golf Resort. A par 5, downhill, dogleg right, with water right and a very undulating green with a bowl in the front side of it. Our condo is right behind the 18th hole.

We played our round today in 3.5 hours. We flew around this huge golf course and played as a two some. We had to take 8 switchbacks going back up the hill from the 18th green to the clubhouse. What a crazy drive back up hill after our round! Thank goodness it was not the other way around and we weren’t heading downhill after our round which would have been like driving downhill into Osoyoos, B.C. in Newman our RV!

The stunning clubhouse at Humber Valley Golf Resort taken from the 17th tee box.

After golf we made a quick pit stop back at our condo in Humber Valley Resort, to grab a quick bite of lunch before heading out for some exploring, hiking and photography.

We headed towards Corner brook, population 19,806, which is a quick 20 km drive from our condo at Humber Valley. We thought we would stop and pick up some wine and vodka for the condo as well as some water and lemonade. We made a quick pit stop at Dominion in Corner brook and headed into the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corp store, within a store. As soon as we turned the corner in the store I heard Richard say “Look who I just found!” We don’t know anyone in Corner brook so what are the chances we would bump into someone we knew in a liquor store in Corner brook? It turns out that the lady sitting next to us on our flight yesterday, who actually lives in Thunder Bay, and who had come home to visit her aging parents, was in the liquor store at the same time as we were! Now isn‘t that a coincidence?????

Richard with Laurie, from Thunder Bay in the Corner brook liquor store!

We knew that the road we were going to be travelling on to reach our destination would be 2 lanes, very winding and would take some time to traverse. We didn’t want to be driving in the dark on our return trip, so with late afternoon approaching we headed North West from Corner brook for the coast.

Fishing boats in Frenchman’s Cove Beach. I love how each boat is painted a different colour to stand out in this cute cove.

Newfoundland is known for its bright colourful houses and even though this is just a boathouse, you can see they have painted the boathouse a couple of colours to really stand out.

When we finally reached the small town of Lark Harbour we made a quick left and found the parking for our destination.

The boardwalk for the trail to take us to the Bottle Cove lookout. Bottle Cove! Bottle Cove is believed to have been used as a French Fishing station from the early 16th century. A fishing station was always seasonal, with fishermen setting up a temporary base, and then returning to their home country at the end of the season. Given the proximity of Bottle Cove to Port-aux-Basques which was a fishing station for Basque fisherman, it is highly likely that the cove was frequented by Basque fisherman before French fisherfolk laid claim to it. The name of the cove is an Anglicisation of “bateau” which is French for “boat”. “Bottle” fits the cove well, though, due to its almost perfect circular shape and narrowly separated headlands opening to the Gulf of the St Lawrence.

A stunning view when we reached the trail head for Bottle Cove.

A cairn on the northern headland of Bottle Cove is dedicated to Captain James Cook who charted the area in 1776. Cook referred to the area of Bottle Cove as “Trail’s End”, the farthest branch of the Humber Arm mapped by Cook. Locals tell how the detailed maps created by Cook are still in Maritime use.

Bottle Cove is known for its geological richness. The cliffs surrounding the cove are part of the Appalachian Mountains. If you look closely in the middle of the picture you can see a cave on the south side of the cove, that has been carved by the sea.

We saw there was another trail near Bottle Cove, that took us through a pine forest and we wanted to explore this beautiful area a bit further, so we ventured down the trail to see what we could find. We did not see another person exploring this beautiful spot today in our travels.

Island Cove overlooking the Gulf of the St Lawrence.

Such a beautiful desolated place.

A great spot to sit and view the scenery in Island Cove.

As we walked back to our car after visiting Bottle Cove and Island Cove, the light was changing and the sun was about to set.

A mother and son were playing on the beach in Bottle Cove and I always love to capture people in photos to give some perspective to the magnitude of the surroundings. Stunning! My favourite shot today!

We really enjoyed our time at Bottle Cove and Island Cove but wished we had made our trip a bit earlier in the day so we could have stayed for a proper fish and chips dinner at Myrtles in Lark Harbour. Unfortunately with the two lane, winding road, the safest thing to do was to go back to Corner brook and grab some takeout fish and chips and eat in our condo. We were pretty tired after our long day of fresh air, so a meal at home was just what we needed from Newfoundland Comfort Food in Corner brook.

I guess you could say Fish and Chips is Newfoundland comfort food!

Cod and chips. Delicious!!

So in less than 24 hours we have golfed, met someone we knew in Newfoundland, driven to the coast, hiked, got some great photo opportunities and had some Newfoundland comfort food! I wonder what we can get up to tomorrow after golf? The weather is supposed to turn on Saturday so we moved our golf from Saturday to tomorrow. I have already played 5 rounds this week at 5 different golf courses, so I hope my body holds up for round 6 tomorrow at Humber Valley Golf Resort! I’m not sure how much more golf we will do in Canada with the cooler weather, but we are definitely making the most of our trip to Newfoundland to truly celebrate Richard’s 64th birthday!!

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Oct 07, 2022

Great pictures and beautiful scenery Ruth. I can't believe your good luck missing the east coast storms. Enjoy your holiday!

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