Newfoundland Hospitality

Another way to pick up scrapbook material and photos as well as local maps and be able to get a feel of where things are in a new area is to stop at the Visitors’ Centers. There are brochures and booklets, coupons and attendants at courtesy desks. We usually do this and it was a good thing we did when we were heading to Newfoundland. I decided to ask one of the attendants to check on our ferry ride to Newfoundland the next day leaving at 8 a.m. from North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She informed me that we had already left THAT morning.

The confirmation slip we had printed out from home showed us leaving the next morning. Luckily, the woman could schedule our van, trailer, and seven people on a ferry leaving at 1:30 p.m. the next day. However, what we forgot about was the time needed to cross the mouth of the Saint Lawrence Seaway–about six and a half hours–and the time zone change–another half-hour later.

Once docked in Channel-Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland, we journeyed on the only road available, Route 1 heading north, and passed one town before we reached the Deer Lake campground, the only camp around, at about 10:30 p.m. Newfoundland time. The only vehicles traveling on the road had been logging trucks. We didn’t see any gas stations, stores, or hotels. Consequently, when seven weary travelers appeared at the camp store, which was closing, and the woman said the campground was full, I felt like Mary and Joseph when there was no room at the inn. Although I wasn’t pregnant, I did have five whinny children and an exhausted husband.

After hearing of our tedious tour, the mix-up at the ferry, and then realizing that our reservation at their campground was never placed on the books, “Saint” Roy [the owner of the campground] proceeded to find level ground for us to set up camp. By 11 p.m. our fellow camp neighbors had rigged up bright lights and were hooking up water and electricity to our little camper while the children dozed in the van.

Bless them all; they assisted seven exhausted travelers set up camp near Deer Lake and adjacent to the new rest rooms. There are Saints here on earth, and one of them welcomed strangers to his town and gave them two nights stay free for all their troubles.

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