Woody Point and the Best Meal on the Trip
20.8.16, 22:10, Gros Morne KOA
Fish and Cherries
The moon is announcing its upcoming rise on the mountain yonder, dispersing the stars that already accumulated in the sky. What a magical place.
Today was a wonderful day. Following yesterday’s debacle with the time zone, I now made sure I took the boat on time, local time. The 9:00 a.m. taxi boat from Norris Point to Woody Point lasted 15-minutes.
The boat owner was fun and easy to compliment all the women on board, including myself. On the way back his charming wife was sitting by his side with baby – a gorgeous redhead two-weeks old, draped in a cloth body carrier close close to mommy. The proud father warned any guys who might be interested in her in 20 years time…
Woody Point is one of the first settlements in the Gros Morne area.
As usual, I start by walking along the shore. A boy was standing next to his father, holding a large fish. With difficulty – they were both shy – I started a conversation, trying to learn about fishing in the area – the limits on the number of fish allowed per person (5), arts and crafts done during the winters, the boat patrols. Some women I met later corroborated that info about the quotas. They were sailing a boat that cost them $30 and were allowed to fish 15 fish a boat.
Local people are quiet, do not talk easily.
I walked along the beach searching for whales. Whales did not show up, but on the path I bounced upon a couple of young cuties who were sleeping in a tent right on the trail, not expecting an intrusion. No camping, no showers, no payment.
Beets and Graves
I continued up the path, that started ascending uphill, in search of “The Discovery Center”. By mistake I walked into somebody’s veggie garden, where potatoes, turnips, chard, carrots and beets gloriously grew. A “Community Trail” wound through an Anglican cemetery, similar to the Catholic ones I saw in Ireland, if a bit less dramatic. I never found the Discovery Center.
From the hilltop I could get a clear view of the fabled Tablelands. On the way down towards town, I met an older man walking his dog.
He was a bit slow to conversation as well, but I tried to animate him. He had a lot to complain about. They were originally from Ontario, but here it is less cold and he liked more winter. Every day he makes that round, but it is annoying that the city does not clean the gravel that collects after the rains.
My companion had no favorite restaurants, they never eat out. Remembering the recommendation of the lady I met at North Sidney , I headed on to The Old Loft!
The Old Loft
The town was full of people. There was a a writer’s festival. A lady I talked to showed surprise I wasn’t a part of the festival, but I did not even hear of it.
On the first floor of the “Loft” they were selling hand-knit mittens and quilts. The restaurant was on the second floor, overlooking the bay. If whales decided to show up, this would be a good view spot, but… not today.
It was unquestionably the best food I had since the beginning of the trip – cod fish slightly fried, leaf salad with strawberries and mandarins, and local partridge-berry juice, as red as red wine and sweet and sour.
Back at the campground, it was a crazy Saturday night. The pastoral, pristine scene transformed – candles in paper bags flew in the air creating magic, smells of bonfires, children with glowing rings on their heads and necks.
So there are parties here as well…
Yesterday, at the Rocky Harbor Hotel, the lady was nice enough to allow me to use the computer. A very bad forecast for the next two weeks. I have exactly two more decent days. Have to take desciions quickly! I’ll go to the Tablelands tomorrow. For today, I’ll go back to the coastal road, this time to the Lobster Cove Lighthouse.
The thin black line traces my walk with a low degree of accuracy, but more or less…Point #21 is the undisputable highlight: The Old Loft Restaurant.