Thursday, June 15, 2023

Frenchman's Cove PP NL to a boondock at Gooseberry Cove PP NL


Somebody's summer cabin

We decided to leave the Burin Peninsula today. We did get a phone call from the surgeon's office about Cathie's finger problem, so we'll need to be in St John's Tuesday the 20th. Unfortunately it's for the usual consulting meeting, no surgery date yet. We're trying to position for next week and further, so decided to focus on the Avalon area for the next few days. 

Eventually we got to Argentia, where the longer NL ferry from Nova Scotia docks. The Argentia ferry is supposed to start operating this Saturday the 17th. We did look at taking it back to Cape Breton when the time comes, as it might save some driving. However the cost would be more than 4 times as high as the Port Aux Basques ferry that brought us here, and we still want to see some of the NL west coast again before we leave.

We intended to stay for a couple of days at a nice-sounding campground in Argentia. However when we got there it turned out to have mostly long-term big rigs there, apparently oil workers etc. The tourist info place in Argentia is one of the province-wide info centres though, and we got lots of info there. Some info centres are just for the local area.

Some Visitor Centre artwork


We had heard that the nearby Castle Rock tour is interesting. It's a National Historic site, so our Discovery Pass got us in for free. An included option we took was the loan of a set of headphones with a tiny audio player that gave kind of a guided tour of the site. Numbers on the player display corresponded to numbers on posts, so you get a better sense of what you're seeing.

The Castle Rock ruins overlook the town of Placentia (or Plaisance in French). Here are a few pics from our 45 minute tour:

That's Placentia/Plaisance down there

The Visitor Centre entrance

Some of the partially-reconstructed walls

Looking down on the Visitor Centre

And lots of steps again

Well worth a tour if you're in the area.
The town of Placentia also has a kilometer-long boardwalk on top of the seawall that protects the town from storms. We had a look at it, just a short part of it:

Looking one way...

...and the other

Carrying on, we reached the high point of our day, a boondock spot at another Provincial Park, this time really just a day park called Gooseberry Cove. Other than a couple of visiting cars, we were the only ones there, certainly the only campers:


A couple of seagulls had a loud argument over a snack:

The prize was that black wriggling thing

Aw heck, I'll find something else

A bit later we saw a spout from a hunting whale:

Unfortunately we were both using binoculars a few minutes later, so missed the picture of a large whale rolling half out of the water just off that little point! 

We had another visitor periodically, right in front of the van. This seal seemed really curious about the van:

We had some pretty good surf rolling in too:


The little cove has a number of what look like summer cottages, well protected from the surf and storms. Only one seemed occupied tonight, but what a great spot for a cottage:

Some toddler lost their shoes and socks, neatly parked here

 A lovely quiet night, with the sound of waves washing in.



  1. What a lovely camping spot right at the water. Too bad you didn’t get a photo of the whale! Neat for you to see it, though. What an interesting visitor’s centre all nestled into the ground and trees like that.

  2. Such a beautiful area. Can't decide if I prefer the really colourful place or the ones that blend into the landscape —good thing I don't have to choose! [Heather]

  3. Glad ur getting lots of travels in still,,,,,and great spots,,,,
    Remember those mitts ,,,Cathie,,,,Take care,,,!!!
    Elaine 💖

    1. Elaine, I have a pr. of handwarmers along from that Newfie pattern for mitts you gave me. 😘