Our visit with Newfoundland's significant other was limited to the length of road that stretched from the Quebec
border to the tiny town of Red Bay. Getting off the ferry we crossed into Labrador to find ourselves standing in a large snow
patch still melting in the warmth of July. The scenery in this small portion of Labrador was spectacular! Rivers trickled
between moss-covered hills, the tundra gently easing into long stretches of sandy shore. Spellbound, we admired the remnants
of Canada's Laurentian Shield and the small communities that suddenly appeared amid the spruce trees and shrubby bogs.
the way we found the tiny, but popular Pinware River Provincial Park (whose friendly wardens are by far my favorite). As rustic
as this park was, we spent little time at our site, favoring the scenic drives over an inevitable black fly invasion. We pitched
our tent in a flurry of bug repellent and rain tarps, and continued along our route. Unfortunately, we literally ran out of
road just beyond Red Bay, so we reluctantly turned The Beast and headed back to the flies that hovered over our camp in anticipation
of fresh blood. We were forced to spend most of the night in our tent nearly driven insane by the buzz of anxious insects.
Despite the swarms, I have full intentions of returning to Labrador and it's unexplored wilderness.
Waiting for our
latest ferry, we spent the next afternoon on the Internet and wrestling with our mounds of laundry. After exploring the Quebec
border-towns, and drinking enough chocolate milk to feed an army, we left The Beast with the ferry's crew to be placed in
a cargo container and hoisted onto the deck. We continued our wait at the docks restaurant/pub (or local hang-out if you wish).
We munched on greasy food, played crib, and listened to Clarence,a one-man band, grind out country tunes his drunken audience
requested. We struck up a conversation with the table next to us and before you knew it we were talking fish, sucking back
free booze, and demanding our own western favorites. At midnight we stumbled onto the ferry, collapsing into our seats and
tried to forget the rocking ship!
The Nordic Express is a weekly ferry service that supplies villages of the Upper
Cote-Nord territory with all the essentials: from food to four-wheelers. It also carries commuting locals and a handful of
We left Blanc-Sablon that night, making 2 early morning stops and a third at Tete-a-la-Baleine around
lunch. With a chance to stretch our legs we decided to eat our K-D on the nearby rocks and to explore the mossy
fields that surrounded the dock.
Our next stop, just before dusk, was the unique fishing village of Harrington Harbour,
where the Oscar-nominated film "Le Grand Séduction" was filmed. The entire community is connected via a network of rain-washed
boardwalks, down to every last colorful house. Everyone walks, bikes, or drives their Hondas along these wooden paths. Harrington
Harbour is as picturesque as you would expect; a village of less than 500 people, tucked away among the inlets and tiny islands
surrounding the rugged northern St. Laurence coastline of Quebec.
Finally at 9 am the next day, after a 33-hour voyage,
we arrived at Natashquan. They unloaded The Beast and we continued by road along this sparsely populated although densely
forested region of La Belle Province.