Monday, October 12, 2015

Post - Newfoundland trip thoughts and comments

There are several things that I did not post that I wanted to mention and some thoughts about Newfoundland that I had during or after my trip there. 

First off, they have an interesting time zone.  They have their own time zone and it is 1.5 hours ahead of eastern time.  Yep, that is one hour and 30 minutes ahead. 

I went in June and had been warned that might be too early as it could be very cold.  As it turned out June and July were cold.  In many areas it was one of the coldest Julys on record.  I would probably go in June again as I really enjoyed the icebergs and I would rather be cold than hot.  There are icebergs around in July, but not as abundant. 

One of my favorites --

nl_twil_icebergman_16nl_twil_icebergman_17

Did you know there are Polar Bears in Newfoundland?  Not many, but enough to cause some places to put warning signs up.  The year before I was there one was spotted several times around the campground I stayed at in St. Anthony.  The Polar Bears come in on floating ice in the winter.  There are not many, but this is one bear you do not want to  run into while hiking!!

I have mentioned the roads are really bad in Newfoundland, but the people there go much faster than the speed limit regardless of the roads.  I try to drive around the limit, but the people here seem to ignore the limit.   If you visit plan on going much slower on some of the roads to avoid damage to your vehicle and just ignore those who fly around you. 

As far as RV parks and camping – In Newfoundland there are many places where you can just pull over and camp.  I had read about gravel pit camping while researching Newfoundland, but did not do it.  I typically prefer parks.  I only stayed at one provincial park and might stay at others when I go back.  I also visited the campgrounds in 2 national parks and both would work for me on a return visit.    In researching NL, others had commented about the high prices of private campgrounds.  I did not find this to be the case.  Of course the great exchange rate while I was there did not hurt.  For most of my visit I was getting CA$1.00 for US$0.75.  That’s like a 25% discount everywhere.  But keep in mind they have a high sales tax on most things (not groceries), around 13%. 

I did make reservations at most places.  Sometimes months in advance and in a few cases just days in advance.  From what I saw, reservations probably were not needed in June.  But several of the RV parks I stayed at in July and August were full for all or part of my stay so I would think reservations should be made during those months. 

If you go to NL, be aware that in many places they have a boil water advisory.  In some places locals say they don’t worry about it and use the water without boiling.  While in others the locals said they boiled their water.   Since I use bottled water anyway, drinking the water was not a problem.  If I knew they had a water advisory, I did not put the water in my RV.  There are some RV parks that use well water and has been tested good.  In those cases, I filled my water tank up.  I learned to ask about the status of their water as they didn’t always tell you about it.  There were typically signs posted somewhere. 

For a long time it has bothered me when seeing a “right lane ends” sign after having just passed a sign that says “stay right, except to pass”.  This is quite common in the US, especially on a hill with a passing lane.    To me “stay right, except to pass”  means the right lane is the main lane, but then there is a sign that says the right lane ends.  WHAT!!  Why doesn’t the lane that they want you to be in continue and the temporary passing lane end.  Well, Newfoundland does it right !!!   

 

nl_signExcept in rare cases they have signs that say the left lane ends and must yield to the right lane. Finally!!!  Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine that I wanted to share since Newfoundland does it right, in my opinion!

Sherry asked about RV size.  While my RV is 27 feet long, I saw many large class A’s in Newfoundland.  As long as you have a tow car I think any size would work.  As in the U.S the larger RV’s may not fit in provincial or national parks, but in the provincial park I stayed at (Lockston Path Provincial Park) there were larger class A’s and many of the spots would fit a larger RV. 

I also wanted to mention that propane is not as available to get as in the U.S.  I had heard about that before going to NL, so I planned ahead and found out that there was a place in Grand Falls/Windsor.  So on my second time passing through I got propane there.   (last 2 paragraphs were added 10-25-2015)

I really enjoyed NL, the scenery, the friendly people, the birds and the whales!!!!  What a great trip that I would recommend to anyone.  But keep in mind this is a huge province.  While some people go to NL for a week or two and claim they have seen everything, you really need at least a month or more to see most of it.  When I go again I will stay 2 – 3 months like I did on this trip.

From Newfoundland, I made some short stops in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick before heading back to the US.  I will try to post these soon as I attempt to catch up with my blogs. 

2 comments:

  1. This has been such a wonderful series of posts on Newfoundland. I am almost glad we had to cancel our trip to go there since I now know so much more about how to do it. I don't remember your saying whether you thought a 35' RV would be too big to go all around the island. Thank you so much for all this information and beautiful pictures.

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  2. Enjoyed following your trip to NL, something we'd like to do one of these years!

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