All Around the Circle, part 1 (Moreton’s Harbour and Twillingate)

Hip-yer-partner Sally Thibault
Hip-yer-partner Sally Brown
Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton’s Harbour,
All around the circle

I’ve wanted to go “all around the circle” for years and years, but have never made the time. Each year we drive up to Cottlesville (north of Gander, south of Twillingate), take the boat across to Exploits Islands and after a stay, turn around and boat/drive back. After a time without flush toilets, electricity and really clean clothes, we typically want to make a beeline for civilization.

This year, we resolved to tack two days onto our vacation and do Fogo, Twillingate, and Moreton’s Harbour on our way home. After getting off the boat in Cottlesville, we turned north instead of south.

Twillingate was easy. Moreton’s Harbour was easier. Moreton’s Harbour is en route to Twillingate and quite picturesque:

Morten's Harbour
Old shed in Moreton's Harbour

Twillingate was a cause for some concern, as there was a festival on the go and we had no idea of where to camp. We wisely opted to pitch our tent in nearby Virgin Arm, at Dildo Run Provincial Park. The campsite was fabulous and the hot showers and laundry services more than welcome to a family fresh off a rustic island. Using this as our “base camp”, we headed 35k into Twillingate along reasonable roads that twisted and turned like there was no tomorrow.

View from near the lighthouse

The further we drove, the less tree cover we found. It felt like we were driving into the middle of nowhere (the fog helped with this image!).

Twillingate Lighthouse - not currently open to the public, but from peeking through the windows, it appears to be currently under restoration with an intention to open as a museum.
The crew
Some of the trails we hiked

We went to the lighthouse, enthusiastically ate fresh fudge, hiked a coastal trail or two and found a few geocaches. Then we headed into “downtown Twillingate” for some groceries. On our way back to camp, we detoured to Durrell (next to Twillingate) the Auk Island Winery and had a marvellous tour (and picked up a bottle of Black Crow wine for post-kid-bedtime adult celebration).

Katherine enjoyed camping and we were able to poke around in Twillingate again the next day. Things we found out about Twillingate:

  • the fog situation at the lighthouse may not reflect the fog situation in the town
  • there are many cool places to see. Park and walk.
  • they have a ScotiaBank bank machine, a pharmacy, two supermarkets and a myriad of places to eat.
  • there are quite a few places that serve good coffee
  • there is a really good Dollar Store – useful for things like matches
  • Notre Dame Agencies sells camp stove fuel
  • those coastal trails are well worth your time
  • the closest veterinarian is down the Gander Bay Road, almost to Gander.
  • you can pitch a tent in Sleepy Cove and no one minds. Sleepy Cove is beautiful!
Old Copper Mining Equipment in Sleepy Cove
The View from Sleepy Cove
  • Prime Berth looks a little hokey from the outside, but is pretty darned cool once you meander through. Ignore the mannequins with scary Halloween masks. If you’re not from Newfoundland, it’ll show you a lot about out traditional way of life. If you are from Newfoundland, you’ll have fun saying, “Hey! Grandma had one of those! I always wondered what it was….”
Prime Berth
Spinning Equipment at Prime Berth
Katherine's whale, Acre, caught by a Sei Skeleton
Oh Sei Can You See
Cast Net at Prime Berth
Salting Fish
Baleen at Prime Berth

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