Saturday, June 24, 2023

Notre Dame PP to Cow Head NL, and on to Port au Choix


King's Point harbour, with no ice this time

Friday was a travel day, moving from our overnight stay at Notre Dame Provincial Park on to the west coast north of Gros Morne National Park. 

Notre Dame was as usual a nice PP. All NL PPs though, have "Boil Water Before Drinking" advisories, not a comforting sign. Apparently a few parks have had water quality issues when the water was tested (and any source of drinking water is tested regularly, at all parks). 

The NL government has mandated these signs at any campground that has no water sterilization system, even if the park has always tested ok. One park we stayed at is actually connected to the nearby town water supply, and is still forced to display the Boil Water signs. This means you can't be sure the water is really ok, in a given camp.

I'd guess the officials are afraid of being sued if tourists get sick because the parks do not have chlorination or other sterilization procedures. Every park but one that we have stayed at has assured us, with explanations, that their water was actually ok as shown by regular testing, and why that was.

Notre Dame PP seems to be an exception we found. Most of the water taps in that park are shut down, with notices "Do Not Use for drinking", which is worse than a Boil Water advisory. They said tests have not come back yet on those parts of their system. 

I'd assume from that, that tests had shown problems here, and it's the re-tests that haven't come back yet. We like the NL parks, and have stayed in various ones with no ill effects. We didn't use much of the Notre Dame water though, for anything. We certainly didn't replenish our water tanks there. 

Enough of that. We do have a few pictures from the drive Friday:

Still some snow in hills as we moved closer to Gros Morne

Some haze too. Apparently humidity, plus some smoke reaching here from Quebec

A nice picnic area with a view in a highway rest area in Gros Morne

Cathie taking it easy at a boat launch ramp / rest area

The seafood shop in Rocky Harbour that we just had to stop at (scallops and halibut)

It's called Rocky Harbour for a reason

For Friday night we're camped at a private park in Cow Head, a little town we liked on our trip here 10 years ago.


Friday's Drive:

Saturday we had a lovely drive further northward. Only about 130 km total, lots of stops and an early camp in Oceanside RV park, a Lions Club park in Port au Choix.

Before we left Cow Head though...

This board fence was not likely to blow over, with all this bracing. I've never seen a more sturdy fence like this, which was behind the row of campsites:

Here I am, trying to cook our scallops on our outdoor stove. We had to bring them inside, as it was so windy and cool the stove would not heat up enough to finish off the scallops. They were yummy in the end though, part for supper and the rest for a scallop roll lunch the next day:

We also enjoyed some diver ducks teaching offspring how to dive, right in front of our site. The little ones dove ok, but then would pop back up like corks. It's a little video clip you'll likely have to play full screen to see the little guys:


Cathie organized our first stop in the morning, just down the road from our campsite. It's a local yarn shop called Skivvers she read about. A very talented young woman dyes wool for some of her yarn herself. The wool for that yarn comes from local Newfoundland Heritage sheep. Of course Cathie had to help support the local economy:


A few stops along the way, several were in Daniel's Harbour, a pretty little town:

Some of today's haze was Quebec smoke

Moose are common in Nfld, and hunting them is also common:

Later we heard some kind of strange bleating call, I thought an animal was in trouble:

It was a young lad learning how to use a moose call, sounds like a cow in heat apparently, which draws the bulls in closer when hunting for racks (moose antlers) like in the previous picture.

When we were having our scallop-roll lunch in the van, this gull made it clear it deserved some too. Sorry Charlie:


Oceanside RV park isn't really much to look at as a campground. It is right on the water though, with full hookups. Even WiFi, until a truck camper with an aluminum-clad body parked between us and the WiFi antenna:

It's really cool and breezy here now, as our truck camper neighbour shows, parka and all:

After checking in we went for a little tour of the town. Apparently caribou and moose often wander parts of the town and surrounding area. We didn't expect to see much mid-afternoon, but out behind the nearby Visitor's Centre we found these caribou:

I'm pretty sure he was giving her an earful...

There is also an operating lighthouse near there called a "pepperpot" lighthouse, built in 1892:

We're going to try to cook our halibut steak tonight, preferably outside. From the sound of the wind though....?

Saturday's drive:



  1. Ruth - the Newfoundland landscape is so very beautiful. Rugged is my favorite. Seafood is great too.

  2. Those little ducks popping back up were so cute! Lovely scenery again. Can you smell the smoke from the fires or just see the haze?

  3. How are you Cathie, doing? Do you have any news on Cathie finger?
    Wishing you both safe travel !!
    Allen & Penny

  4. Great pictures,,,and fun facts,
    LOVE THE PINK yarn shop.!!

  5. Really appreciate the pics as showing a lot more of the Province than during our visit.Afraid that the weather you are experiencing is not my RVng ask- once in July in PEI we woke to snow flurries- returned to Ontario rather promptly,lol.For our drinking water we carried bottled & used the tank water for everything else.All the best-trust that Cathie’s finger is healing well.

    1. We've used a Berkey filter for drinking water since we've had our van. We used to have the odd problem in earlier camping years, but have had no problems since using the Berkey.