Halifog...and a Change of Plans

Saturday, June 05, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 36:  Halifax, NS.  This morning we woke to a cloudless blue sky, first we've seen in Halifax. It looked like a perfect day to visit some of the "Great Photo Spots" mentioned in a provincial travel publication. But first we had some planning to do.

Our intention to keep this trip spontaneous with a completely flexible itinerary would not work in Newfoundland, we've been told.  Except for two cities of significant size, hotels and other accommodations are quite literally few and far between.  And often these lodgings have a limited number of rooms.

This morning's research revealed that our putting Newfoundland—and, optimistically, Labrador—on our list of places to visit on this trip was not very realistic. We also discovered that we were ignorant regarding the size of this province.  Newfoundland and Labrador together are about the size of California but with fewer miles of paved roads than Connecticut.  Because of the limited number of roads, distances between towns are not what they seem.

Port-aux-Basques in southwest Newfoundland is the only city with ferry service from Nova Scotia until late June.  As the crow flies, it is about 300 miles from the ferry terminal to St. Johns, Labrador's capital and tourism center.  By the TransCanada Highway, the only paved road traversing the province, the distance is almost doubled with a trip time of nearly 12 hours.

Obviously a driving trip across Newfoundland would not be something we could accomplish without thorough planning and several weeks of travel time.  The summer season is beginning there and some hotels are already fully booked.  When we tried to reserve passage on the six-hour ferry trip to the island, we found the dates we wanted to travel sold out.

Finally after several hours of research, we sadly realized that our visit to Newfoundland and Labrador would have to be postponed until another time.  That decided, we had no more work to do on reservations and planning, so we could go back to winging it.  And we could go take those photos.
Oops! Too late. We're still in Halifog, after all. Tomorrow we'll head out to Sydney on Nova Scotia's east coast and from there to the scenic Cape Breton Highlands National Park.