Thursday, September 28, 2017

September 3, 2017 Viking Villages, Otters, Burnt Cape, Thrombolites, a Lighthouse, Caribou and an Incredible Sunset

We headed out early this morning on our way to L'Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site. We drove about five minutes before stopping at White Cape Harbour in Saint Lunaire-Griquet.

The sun was just breaking through the clouds across the harbour so I quickly changed plans."Let's take a few pictures and move on."

About 40 minutes later, we were in the car heading north as planned.

Five minutes later we are out of the car on Southwest Bay taking pictures while walking along Dark Tickle Road.

We finally make it to the site where the Vikings first landed in North America over 1000 years ago.

This is where the human migration met and completed the circle around the world. I'm not sure what the Neanderthal in the middle has to do with any of that. 

We walked out across the excavation sites where they found evidence that the Vikings were definitely here and so were the Natives of this area. Our tour guide was a local who pointed out his house to us on the tour. He played on the mounds here as a child, then in the 1960's two Norwegian archaeologists discovered this area is where the Vikings set up a small village. Since all that is left is raised mounds around indentations where the sod houses once stood...
Parks Canada has meticulously constructed a small village as they believe the original might have looked... 

...and you can go inside and play as a Viking.

There are also people there as Vikings to explain how life here was 1000 years ago.

Being a history geek, this was a pretty cool place to visit.

They encourage you to pick up anything in the buildings and to try on the clothing. 

We spent way more time here than I thought we would so I only had a few minutes to hike along the shoreline.

While I took these pictures hiking along Islands Bay...

...Christy took these pictures of the wildlife in Islands Bay.

Seeing this reminded me I was hungry for a seafood lunch myself.

This artwork represents the first known meeting of the humans that migrated east and the humans that migrated west.

Can you spot the one in this group that is not a Norseman?

After lunch we drove out to the arctic barrens known as Burnt Cape. Along the way Chrissy spotted this Bald Eagle. 

The wind was very strong out here especially at the head of the cape.

There was a big difference in vegetation out of the wind and near water sources. 

This is the southern edge of where arctic plants grow and the northern edge of where sub arctic plants grow.

Although dry today, these pools ringed by plant growth clearly retain water when it rains.

Chrissy trying to stand and take pictures in a gale force wind.

Burnt Cape isn't the most scenic place to visit but it is so ecologically diverse that this area is now protected as an Ecological Reserve. 

A couple of photos taken in Raleigh along HaHa Bay.

We spent a couple of hours driving south to Flower's Cove. We stopped here to stretch our legs. Actually there are so many signs about these walking trails is why we really stopped. The real reason is because I am a sucker for any roadside attractions on trips like this one. 

This was a good start for a roadside attraction.

Apparently Newfoundland doesn't have much limestone...

...because that is what this trail is all about. Since we live next store to one of the world's biggest limestone quarries, we were a bit less excited than Newfoundlanders about this trail.

This is more like it. Thrombolites are ancient forms of microbial communities that photosynthesize according to Wikipedia. They are only found in a few places in the world and I am now at one of them...

...I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw this cheesy sign over the bridge begging me to turn off the highway.

Now I am seriously thinking this has the possibility to be very cool to see...

...and it was pretty damn cool to walk along the shore of Flower's Cove and see these ancient thrombolites.

Definitely worth stopping to check these out.

A tasty dinner with the Captain at Anchor Cafe in Port Au Choix...

No moose burger for Chrissy but she did order steamed mussels for the fifth day in a row. I'm not complaining because I love them and after spending most of her life avoiding them...she now loves them too.

After dinner we drove out to Port Ritchie Lighthouse to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. While Chrissy chased after a herd of caribou, I hiked down to the shoreline... relax on the rocks and enjoy the setting sun.

 I love relaxing on the water's edge. We had an amazing day and this was the perfect ending for me.

Nothing more relaxing than drinking in the surf, solitude, salt water and sunset.

While I was enjoying life below the lighthouse...

Chrissy was enjoying the caribou grazing on the highlands...

...and the setting sun too.

Thank you Newfoundland for another day in island paradise.