The weather did indeed get better - much better except for the omni-present wind. I head north, on my way to some campsite near Gander, but first I have to take the obligatory "Entering Province" shot:
Then I decide to stop in at one of the many Travel Information Centers Nfld has. Now, EVERYONE I talked to back home told me I had to go to Gros Morne National Park, but I had thought it was out of my way and not in the area I wanted to see. However the Info Person ALSO told me I had to go, and I finally caved in (partly because the weather forecast for Gander was not looking that good).
So, off to Gros Morne I go. The scrub bushes around Port Aux Basques slowly change to trees and the scenery starts to look like Northern Ontario. But once I get more into the park, it turns to more like the West Coast: "mountains" (hills actually ;) ) everywhere, lakes and inlets from the ocean.
I get to a small town inside the park called Rocky Harbour, for good reason:
The Info Person said there was a band playing in the local pub Mon, Wed and Fri that shouldn't be missed, but apparently tickets were sold out days before. So I made myself comfortable in a nice campsite virtually in the town. The fact that it was the LAST campsite available on a Fri should have warned me...
I did a quick tour of the town, looking for a grocery store, and found my first Official East-Coast lighthouse:
Next day, I set out at a leisurely pace since I had only 300 km or so to travel. The weather forecast was good for the next couple of days, then predicted showers. So the New Plan was to do some camping and exploring while the sun shone, only getting to St. John's and a motel when the weather turned bad.
I met a nice couple at one of the viewpoints. The woman was from St. John's and she told me lots of places to see once I was there, including a park right in the city that you can camp in.
I made a side-trip to Pasedena (NL, not CA!) to get a gift for my Lady. I will add more after I return home and find out if she likes it. HINT: it's something from Newfoundland/Labrador that I can fit in my pack (so it's not a moose).
I stopped at another Info Center and the Info Person said the Provincial Park was just up the road, and Lewisporte was just up the other road, where I could get something to eat. We also looked at "Fogo, Twillingate, Morton's Harbour" but we couldn't find Morton's Harbour. I'd like to go there, but it was too far out of my way.
I decide to go to Lewisporte first to get something to cook, then decide if I'm going there anyway, might as well stay at the campsite there instead of coming back to the Prov. one. BUT... the campsite was full-up completely! Disappointed, I started back to the highway for the Prov. Park. But if that campsite was full, would the Prov. Park have any? I decide to stop in to an Inn right in Lewisporte and at least see if they have a room and how much it would cost.
Yes, and $99 plus taxes. I decide on the bird in the hand, take the room and have a delicious prime-rib steak at the restaurant.