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Old 07-23-2015, 02:21 PM   #21
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Brian,

The satellites report that temperatures have been decreasing for 21 years now, yet USA government land based records show the hottest year ever. Probably trying to create hoopla for the Paris Global warming meeting. Who do we believe?

Here in NH we are having a very cool year, another day in the low 70s, very unusual for late July. The North Atlantic is very cold this year. Hopefully it will not be the case in 2016.

We've gone to Newfoundland in the spring 6 times, always arriving in May. We each bring a pair or two of shorts with us, figuring we'll wear them on the way home in July. We have never needed them in the spring. Generally we only wear jeans in Newfoundland along with a long sleeve jersey and a jacket. When we travel north we always bring a heavy sweater as well. Really good if it's a cold windy day, you're never far from North Atlantic waters or for a boat ride out to see the icebergs.

As part of our always in the tow vehicle kit we have watch caps and scarfs. Ginny knitted me an Angora, really soft watch cap, kind of feminine feeling, which means it feels really good on my head. Our kit is designed to provide warmth and a little food when out in some of the 'out' places.

Though we've had a few cool days nothing in the shivering sense.

My phone has 2 Newfoundland locations for me to look at every day. One is Cappahayden (in the 60s this week) where I'm trying to get Ginny to buy an ocean front lot with a Trillium on it and the other is Fogo Island (52).

I received two tours from the NL Tourist Bureau today, a lot of good material for extended or day trips for people. I feeling a little down because I'm wishing I were there.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:57 AM   #22
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2015 Newfoundland Guide Book

I just received my 416 page Newfoundland Guide book and Newfoundland Map.

The title of this year's book is Lost and Found. Is it possible to feel Lost and Found at the same moment?

Losing the hustle and bustle and finding peace. A young woman alone on a cliff in a light breeze, overlooking a for miles empty beach, a clear, true blue sky and a quiet sea. It's amazing how much you can be just with your self in Newfoundland.

In an earlier post I mentioned the book and where to get it.. If you haven't gotten, one you should, It's free and even if you don't go to Newfoundland this book will pull you there... as well it always comes with a very nice book mark.

Now the planning really begins.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:48 PM   #23
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Every day..

I posted this in another thread but it's from the NL Traveller's Guide:

The traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he comes to see.
G.K. Chesterson.

Something new everyday. Now I need a Chesterson book.

When you look thru the Traveller's Guide you see these wonderful pictures, honestly they are every where. Turn down any road and wonder awaits.

One of our first days in Newfoundland we drove from Port aux Basque east on route 470 towards Rose Blanche, probably just to go to the end of the road, probably less than a 20 mile ride out. For us 20 miles can turn into 100.

Route 470 reminds of us of our hikes around Inish Bofin (Island of the White Cow) that Ginny's family came from. A rocky land with rolling landscape dotted with bogs.

We turn down each of the roads off route 470 to the little communities.

One community we drove by a cemetery and stopped and walked the stones, quite different from New England stones. In Ise aux Morts we walked the Harvey trail which progressively describes the story of a sea rescues. Further along we came upon a small 2 vehicle parking lot, a boardwalk leading out to a distant waterfall dropping down from the flat lands above.

Ginny and I have taken the walk to the falls twice, I don't recall ever seeing another couple.

At the end of the road was the Rose Blanche stone lighthouse that had been a ruin. Local people took a course in stone cutting and quarried rocks from the beach to recreate the lighthouse.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:43 AM   #24
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Early Sunday morning, the sun is up, Norm's up and checking FRV. We've added another traveler to the NL Caravan List.

We have Bolers(3), Casita(1), Scamps(8), Bigfoots(2) and Trillium(1).
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:27 AM   #25
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NL Ferry

Over the next few months I'll write a few paragraphs on information we've gained from our trips to Newfoundland. I will also post them on the Forum under NL Caravan 2016 for others who might want to make the trip in the future. It is also my intention for those who are interested to send you information on people from your area that plan to go with their and your permission.

A trip to Newfoundland requires a ferry crossing from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port aux Basque, Newfoundland. This is the normal Ďshort ferry route. Like many words Ďshortí is relative, this is a 6 hour crossing. The ships are huge and well appointed.

In the summer there is also a long ferry, that crosses to St Johnís, NL from North Sydney. This ferry is a true sea crossing and takes 14 hours. Some people take the short ferry, drive across NL to St Johnís and return on the long ferry. We have never done this. We have three reasons, first the drive from St. Johnís is 9.5 hours and we like the drive. Second the long ferry is really in the big ocean and crossings have taken as many as 48 hours, Third, the long ferry is proportionally more expensive.

On the short ferry you park your vehicle on the ship directed by a very competent crew. SInce this ship opens at both ends, you drive your rig off at Port aux Basque. There are two ferries, one at about noon docking around 6 PM; the second at midnight arriving at 6 AM. Over the years weíve made 14 crossings taking both,

Besides making a reservation for your vehicle and itís passengers, you can reserve a room if you want to sleep. We never have. You are not allowed to spend the crossing in your rig nor to go down to rig during the crossing. Of course you must shutoff your propane tank, however the hold of the ship is cool and things in your fridge will stay cool. Pets are allowed to stay in your vehicle however they do have an on board kennel. There is ample information about pets in the link.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pets | Marine Atlantic

The ship has excellent seating, better than an airliner and we generally use those. We begin the trip by getting on the Internet or reading a book, eventually falling asleep in our chairs. We typically take a blanket from the Scamp and sometime a pillow.

The ship has a cafeteria and since we typically take the overnight ferry, we have breakfast on the ship shortly before docking in Port aux Basque.

The ferry terminals allow you to enter just after the previous ferry leaves, as much as 12 hours before your departure. One thing I learned about Ginny in our travels is she likes to watch the loading of ships so we typically get their early so she can watch. I typically read or nap in the trailer. You can also leave the ferry yard on foot and walk the town for dinner or lunch.

You must make a reservation to cross to NL on line. When making the reservation you need to know the length of your trailer and tow vehicle combination, for example our Honda CRV and Scamp 16 (with rear bumper box) was 30 feet long. You can make the return reservation days before you decide to leave. We have never had a problem getting a reservation.

Marine Atlantic | Home

As an aside, Ginny took seasickness medication on our first trip. It makes her shockingly unfriendly once we land. She gave it up and has been fine in every crossing. All of our crossings have been fine in the ocean liner style ships.

If you have any questions or general information you'd like me to write about drop me a line.

Norm and Ginny
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:27 PM   #26
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NL Time

Newfoundland Time.

Time Zones are a part of North American life.

Most of Canada’s Atlantic provinces are on Atlantic time. When it is 7:00 in Maine, eastern time, it is 8:00, Atlantic time, in PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Newfoundland has it’s own time zone, when it is 8:00 in NB and NS it is 8:30 in Newfoundland. It’s the only Ĺ hour time zone I’ve visited.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:30 AM   #27
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Newfoundland Phone and Internet

Newfoundland Phones and Internet.

Cell phones work fine in Newfoundland, typically data plans are expensive. Our approach is to call Verizon and get Canadian service added to our phones. It cost about $12 a month and basically gives us unlimited calls to the States and 1000 minutes a month within Canada. When we return we drop it and return to our regular service.

Since data plans are expensive we use wireless Internet in Newfoundland. All provincial parks have wireless around the check in station, ask for the pass word. You generally find us parked there first thing in the morning and in the evening.

Many private parks have free wireless internet, mention it at check in and they often give better wireless site.

Most communities in Newfoundland have a CAP center, Community Access Program. CAP centers are wireless hotspots. Generally you can park in front of the buildings and get on the Internet, only one has ever had a password. Buildings that serve as CAP centers Are usually marked with a CAP sign. Most often they are schools but also libraries and in smaller towns, town halls.

Other more traditional free Internet like fast food hot spots are a lot rarer in Newfoundland. You can find them in the cities, but cities are few and far between. Half the population of the island lives in greater St. Johnís. The largest city on the west coast of Newfoundland is Cornerbrook, about 30,000. No other West coast community has 10,000 people. Port aux Basque has 4700 but does have a large grocery store, and a Tim Hortons.

Iím considering switching one of my Verizon phones to Straight Talk and using their International Plan when in Canada. This would give me free calls to the states and it may give me a 5 gigabyte data plan. In the states using my former Verizon phone I would still be on the Verizon network. The International plan when you bring your own phone is $60 a month. Iím about to try it on my phone.

Though Internet and phone access is available on the ferry crossing it can be spotty. All seating provides multiple TV access. Your own headphones or buds are required to hear a particular station, selectable at your seat.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:49 AM   #28
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NL Water

NL Water.

I primarily mention this because it bothers Ginny. Many campgrounds have a spring boil water order, even the provincial parks that have deep water wells. Iíve asked the park rangers and they smile a little and say they drink the water and have never experienced a problem. Itís a precaution. Weíve been in some private campgrounds who have a permanent boil water sign and never bother to take it down.

We always use the water when cooking or making coffee. We also always carry a case of bottled water with us in the tow vehicle. We got into the habit driving desert back roads. When hiking Ginny has a small back pack she wears that can carry two water bottles. Bottled water is available in NL.

Except for Fogo and the Change Islands, the water looks fine. On these islands the water looks decidedly yellow. The local people tell me they use it for everything except tea. We have poured the yellow water into our tanks with no long term problems.

No provincial parks have water at their sites. Your tank can be filled on the way in
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:03 PM   #29
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I just received some feedback from ScouterDave.

Here are a few bits of information....
There are only three incorporated cities on the island, St. John's, Mt. Pearl and Corner Brook. (Mt Pearl is near St. John's.)

There is no WIFI on the ferries. It was not available in April when I returned and it has not been reinstated. There are four computers that passengers can use but they are not the best. I usually do my emails at Tim's (Hortons) in Baddeck and Port aux Basques before and after the crossing. There's also a Tim Horton's right beside the ferry terminal in North Sydney.)

In case anyone is looking for information on Port aux Basques the actual name is Channel-Port aux Basques for weather and some other internet contacts

The other ferry runs to Argentia (not far from St. John's) and takes about 18 hours - 520KM/325Mi.

They are only running two ferries per day to Port aux Basques, 1145 and 2345. Check in time is at least two(2) hours before sailing. If anyone has problems but does not have a wheel chair sticker Handicap sticker) they can ask to be put "near the elevator" and it will happen. (There is an elevator from the trailer/tow vehicle area to the crossing deck.)

As for reservations, with only two crossing I would suggest that as soon as a date is set for the muster at Cheeseman that everyone make their reservations as soon as the system will accept them. They usually change the system over at the end of February for the following 10 months. Number for Marine Atlantic is 1 - 800 - 341 - 7981 1 - 800 - 341 - 7981

As well as information from Dave, Ginny was giving me information to transfer. Her major message is Newfoundland is different from the USA and probably the more cosmopolitan parts of Canada. She had a bunch of detail statements I'll add in as I go along.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:22 PM   #30
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NL Caravan - Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Canadian Money.

This is written from the perspective of a Bank of America customer.

Before we leave on a trip we call Bank of America and tell them our general travel plans.

Canada appears to be ahead of the USA in the use of Credit Card chip readers. On our last trip we encountered them for the first time though they also had strip readers for the one credit card we had without a chip reader.

We use our credit card to make most of our purchases in Canada. However when we cross the border we stop at the first Scotia Bank and using our Debit card we typically get $400 in Canadian money. We take all of our American money and transfer it to a 3rd wallet and put it away for the rest of the trip. Since we go to Canada regularly we do not cash it in on return.

Our history is not to generally use Debit cards for purchases. I know it’s old fashioned.

Like in the states you can also get money at Walmarts with a Debit card. On the western side of the country I believe there are only 2 Walmarts, one in Cornerbrook and one in Stephenville. To my knowledge neither are a SuperCenters, though there are very good grocery stores near both Walmarts. We on occasion do that withdraw cash at Walmarts when traveling since there are no transaction fees. However when we use our Debit Card to withdraw money from Scotia Bank there is a 3% currency conversion fee though no ATM fee. BoA says I can avoid the fee by withdrawing Canadian money from my local bank before leaving.

Many banks have agreements with banks outside the USA, BoA’s relationship is with Scotia Bank. Every Scotia Bank I’ve been to has an ATM.

Canada has a value added tax on many purchases, I recall the order of 15%, virtually a sales tax.. This tax is refundable when you leave the country by stopping as you re-cross the border. We have never done it. You do need to save your receipts.

Thinking about money sparked thoughts about where we spend most of our money, ferry fees, gas, campgrounds and food. Except for roadside food stops credit cards work for them all. We have never had a problem in terms of credit card information theft in Newfoundland.

I’ve said it before, NL has the lowest crime rate in North America by a wide margin. The only time I feel unsafe is the occasional time I’m driving at night, those moose are huge. I’ve sort of drive with a split vision, each eye looking at a side of the road. It’s sort of a game to who sees the moose first. Traffic is generally light on all roads.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:20 PM   #31
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Park Passes and Plants

The following is a message on plants from David. It's a good point for those that travel with plants.

You are not allowed to take soil or anything in soil or that has been in soil off the island - Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, radishes etc.
Pickled beets, carrots etc. and other produce in Mason jars that you may buy when you are on the island usually get through as does bottled moose and trout.

This ban also includes potted plants, even if you bring them with you. I know from the Algonac rally that some travellers have plants with them .If you normally carry Aunt Martha's sixty(60) year old African Violet or any other old family favourites with you I would suggest that you find them a temporary home for the duration of the trek. They will not cut you any slack on this issue.

As well we're considering the wisdom of purchasing Canadian National Park Passes. The Senior pass is good for one year in all National Parks. The Canadians on the list may already have them. Those driving thru NB and NS could have ample chances to use them. Just a thought for now .

The following is a list of the places they can be used. A number are on Newfoundland's west coast.

Parks Canada - Shop and Reserve - Participating Locations

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Old 08-05-2015, 09:52 AM   #32
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If you paint or sketch there's all kinds of opportunities. Check out the attached picture file.

Change Islands are on the ferry ride back from Fogo Island (there's a map in the attached picture file). There's no charge to stop so we spent a couple of days.

If you want to get the flavor of Newfoundland, the flavor of the end of the road towns, this is it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Newf...20Bully%20Boat

Most of the beginning pictures are of the Change Islands. SOme of the later ones are Fogo Island, particularly the large hotel.
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:32 PM   #33
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Number 16

We've just added our 16th member to the 'Loose' NL Caravan. We'll probably stop taking members at 20 because I expect people will drop out. Life sometimes gets in the way of plans. (Ginny says "Life is what happens while you're making plans, just enjoy it all. Just enjoy where you are.) Actually 18 signed up and 2 have already dropped out, totally understandable.

The first time we went to the Tales, Trails and Tunes Festival Dave suggested that FRV people could meet up for at the Festival Dave, Ginny and I did. We had a wonderful time and Dave, Ginny and I came back the following year.

I've been distracted a little. There's a little cabin on an island about 10 minutes off the coast of NL for sale, 2 bedrooms, bath, living room/kitchen, wood stove, 1350 watt generator, dock, shed...$2500......



This year we've been more proactive and started earlier.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:08 PM   #34
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Travel Guides

Since members of the NL Caravan will be driving through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and near PEI I thought you might like the links to the tourist books from the other provinces. They are all free and excellent publications.

PEI will be a little off your route but a fun place to visit. As well you will be returning through these areas and may want to stop. We will provide some suggestions.

Order a Guide| Travel Guide |Tourism New Brunswick Canada

Order Travel Guide | Tourism Nova Scotia

Thank You for Ordering a Guide: Prince Edward Island: Visitors Guide

I don't know where the Maritime Vintage Fiberglass rally will be in 2016 but we have previously attended it and well worth a stop id=f you're going by. The year we went it was in PEI however it moves thru the maritimes.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:59 PM   #35
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NL Caravan 2016 - Projected COst

One of the members asked me what this trip will cost, a fair question. I'm attempting an estimate to provide a rough idea.

I will include projected fuel costs, campgrounds, round trip ferry and park passes, festival attendance. Ferry fees are dependent on tow vehicle/rig length plus a per person charge. My prices are based on our last trip.

I will not include food, personal expenses and other items of choice.

I will assume today's exchange rate and today's cost of fuel. Of course both will change between now and then. This year is a particularly good year for US citizens to go to NL because of the exchange rate. No promises for next year.

As to food, Ginny and I normally eat breakfast in our trailer, we often eat out during the day and sometimes at night. Everyone will have their own style. We're not too big on souvenirs but always buy a case of partridge berry jam at the festival to take home. We usually carry a case of honey from FL to give as gifts to people we meet.

The spreadsheet will be in Excel. Values can be changed for your specific situation.

My assumption is that you will be in NL 4 weeks and cover the entire west coast from Port aux Basque through Gros Morne, L'Anse aux Meadows to (hopefully) the icebergs at St. Anthony's. Some will split off for side trips, some may stay longer or shorter, but I want to provide a rough idea. I know I'll make mistakes and will try to refine it.

My first estimate is $1200 Cnd or $900 Usd for a month in NL, again for ferry, camping, fuel, park passes and festival events.

I'll publish the sheet tomorrow. Notice the different blues
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:20 PM   #36
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NL Caravan 2016 - Icebergs

One of the members sent me these video of NL icebergs. Be sure to look at all of the videos. Just amazing.

'Get off the beach': Newfoundland iceberg breaks, stirs up huge waves - Newfoundland & Labrador - CBC News

Be sure to view full screen . B3 sure to notice the different bkues in the berg as well the size of the boat compared to the berg.

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Old 08-07-2015, 06:25 AM   #37
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NL Caravan - Projected Cost

The projected cost of the Newfoundland Trip. Does not include food and personal expenses. Drop me a line if you have questions or suggestions.

When we finish the trip I will post my actual numbers.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...qg8/edit#gid=0
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:02 AM   #38
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I've updated the spreadsheet in the previous post. I had left out ferry costs. As well some one commented that National Park passes are more expensive for non-seniors. I'm so old i thought you were all seniors...foolish me. I never asked anyone's age.

Ginny always tells me that it's not appropriate to ask a women her age and since I'm a non-sexist (sic) I didn't ask the men either. Dave is looking into campground fees for the private campgrounds to see if he can get us a tour group rate. We are, at least now, tour group size.

Personally I'm so excited I can't wait to leave for NL. I looked at the video of icebergs and refreshed my memory of our last trip.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:48 PM   #39
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Growing

Another person signed up today. We now have 17 rigs signed up for the 'Loose' Newfoundland Caravan.

I think the 'Loose' part is important, attempting to make the trip so people can come and go, take trips of personal interest and rejoin, go off alone or in groups, seeking their own interests and yet have the friendship and support of the group.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:17 AM   #40
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Why Newfoundland?

I'm often asked Why Newfoundland? Part of it is what I don't know and haven't seen.

One day Ginny and I were driving to the end of the road and came upon the Rattling Brook waterfall, one of NL's little hikes to the top of the falls. We decided to get a little snack before beginning so drove a little further down the road and came to Joshua Tom's general store and went inside, a rather unique place and owner as you'll see.

Dulcie's in the Store - Land and Sea - CBC Player

Before we left we had to sign Delcie's book, where she keeps your name and number in case "she feels like calling".

I love this world of natural humanity.
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