June 20, 2007:
What a paradise! We woke this morning to a blanket of eerie fog surrounding us on all sides. We know somewhere nearby in the bay is a large iceberg but it's currently shrouded in fog. The intermittent clearing of the fog just adds to the mystique of the place!
We are situated on a point at the Pinware River Provincial Park in Labrador, with the Strait of Belle Isle on one side and the Pinware River on the other. Although there is a campground at the provincial park we were granted permission to spend the night in the day use area (also used for overflow camping).
We spent the morning checking emails then took a walk together along the sandy beach and around the point. Along the way many forms would appear on the water as the fog cleared briefly, revealing the tops of icebergs or rocks before returning to smother the land and water again. Eventually the fog receded to the middle of the Strait, so that we had a full view of the iceberg dotted coastline and bay.
After collecting shells from the beach and creating a few art forms in the sand we headed back to the camper, picked up the anchors and began the journey further north. We stopped briefly on a stretch of highway 510 which afforded a stupendous view of the Provincial Park and the Pinware River as it emptied into the Strait of Belle Isle. Further along the road we stopped to view the powerful Pinware River from a bridge as it squeezes through a rocky gorge and cascades down the rapids on its journey towards the sea.
Passing through the countryside between Pinware and Red Bay reveals a diverse rocky landscape sculpted most recently by glaciation. The area is dotted with lakes against a backdrop of multi-layered hills.
After arriving in Red Bay we visited the Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada - Interpretation Centre. The centre houses a number of original artifacts and displays which depict the story of the Basque whalers of France and Spain who plied the waters of the Strait of Belle Isle in search of the valuable Bowhead and Right Whales.
Right next door is the Whaler's Restaurant and Gift Store, so after collecting a grilled sandwich as a late lunch we browsed through the gift store and purchased a couple of much needed woolly hats - our souvenirs of Labrador. Back on the main road we back-tracked a little to the start of the Tracey Hill and Boney Shore Trails situated across the harbour from the main centre of Red Bay. The Tracey Hill trail consists of 689 steps to the top of Tracey Hill and offers rewarding views of the Red Bay Harbour and town - there's also a coin operated telescope at the top to spy even closer. We took the Boney Shore Trail where numerous old whale bones are strewn along the rocky beach, a reminder of the area's whaling past. We hung around for some sunset shots of Red Bay then hit the road towards Mary's Harbour.
En-route, and as the sun began to sink below the horizon, we stopped to capture the beautiful vivid colours as they reflected on the small lakes and silhouetted large boulders near the shoreline.
We pulled in late that night into a clearing close to Mary's Harbour. Tomorrow we take a step back in time!
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