Saturday, July 18, 2015

Of light and laughter

Friday, July 17, 2015 [Posted a day late.]

 Dildo Run Provincial Park, NL – Today was the day to switch from our non-electrified campsite to one with power. While we waited for the occupants of our new site to leave, we took a short jaunt around the western portion of New World Island (NWI) where our camp-ground is located.

Anyone who knows the song “I’se the B’ye” will remember the chorus, “Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton’s Harbour, all around the circle”. I had looked for what I thought was Morton’s Harbour on the Newfoundland map without success – until I found an inset map that enlarged the area around Twillingate, and there it was – spelled Moreton’s!
That’s where we went this morning, driving along curving roads, up, down and around, and dodging potholes all the way, as vistas of little fishing towns came into view – including Moreton’s Harbour, a lovely village in a sheltered harbour that led out to Notre Dame Bay and on to the great Atlantic Ocean.
Back we came to Dildo Run as check-out time approached. Our new site was just a couple of spots down the road from the old one, so I strolled by to check on the occupants. They looked decidedly settled. We were all set to go with slides in and hatches battened down, so we made and ate our lunch to help pass the time. Finally we saw the folks pull out, and we made our move.

Setting up was quick, giving us the remainder of the day to see more of Twillingate, and to stop at the visitor centre to see what other attractions we might enjoy in the area. Armed with literature, and after a great old chat with the two ladies at the centre, we headed in to Twillingate and on to the Long Point Lighthouse at the end of the road.
A stiff, chilly wind whipped at our clothes and hair as we stepped out of the car. We were at quite a height of land, with rocky cliffs that dropped steeply to the water below and offered a view far out to sea. The red and white lighthouse was built in 1876 and has operated ever since then, although with fewer personnel today now that automation has taken over.

Our ticket entitled us to a guided tour of the lighthouse tower. Suzie, our guide, led us up the spiraling staircase until we found ourselves inside the glass windowed light chamber itself at the very top. There at the centre was the revolving light, and out the windows we could see for miles. Suzie pointed out the narrow catwalk outside where the keeper would have to crawl out and paint the exterior from time to time, with a strong grip on the handrail all around. It was a fascinating visit to a place I never thought I’d see.
We also enjoyed the exhibit inside the former keeper’s residence, describing the art of wooden boat building before the arrival of fibreglas. There were also panels about how to make a birch bark canoe, and explanations of the different types of boats – dories, shallops, schooners and more.

After a rest at the camp-ground, it was time to head back for the Twillingate/NWI dinner theatre show. We’d managed to reserve tickets at the visitor centre earlier in the day, and selected lobster and mussels from the menu choices. The meal was delicious, and we had two couples from Newfoundland at our table, so the conversation was very interesting.
The dinner show left us clapping, tapping our feet, singing along and laughing as the troupe of musicians and performers entertained us with Newfoundland songs and silly skits. Professional performers they were not, but they more than made up for it with the humour, enthusiasm and charm that leaves anyone who “comes from away” completely smitten.

No comments: