Thursday, September 24, 2015

part two: twillingate and trinity

friday 17 july – saturday 18 july

reveling in the morning boat tour and scarfing down farmstand strawberries, we drove to our next destination: twillingate. technically we were staying in lewisporte, and after three nights of camping it was time to treat ourselves and splurge a little on our accommodations. we upgraded to an apartment-style room overlooking the water with TWO queen beds (one each!) and a huge bathroom (i’m almost positive the bathroom was the size of my living room...). we were pretty pleased with ourselves.
since we had driven for most of the day and subsisted on car snacks, we grabbed an early dinner at chelsea’s fish & chips where we had a lobster sandwich and fried cod tongues. we followed that up with a sunset drink (or digestif) on the dock behind our hotel and called it an early night.
we were scheduled for a morning iceberg boat tour in twillingate, but as it seems to be the way with us, the tour was cancelled due to rain ::sigh:: so, again, instead of taking a scenic boat tour we filled our day with eating, drinking, naturing, and more eating and drinking. we started with a leisurely brunch at the crow’s nest café: a latte for sean, green tea for me, and a seafood chowder with cheesy soda bread for both. so warm and comforting, especially on a damp and cold day. after properly warming up, we tested our temperatures by exploring a bit of the area (crow head).
we stopped at a blustery lookout next to the long point lighthouse and hiked down to sleepy cove and out to nanny’s hole O.O the rain let up, so at least all we had to contend with was the cold and wind—i guess that’s something... i distracted myself from the cold by making a colorful wildflower mini bouquet.

then it was off to try some berry wines at the auk island winery. we took a quick guided tour of the winery (finally a tour that wasn’t cancelled) before tasting any and all the wines we wanted. coincidentally, our tour guide was a montreal-er and a little kooky so the three of us bonded, heh. it was hard to keep track of all the wines we tried (sean and i picked different ones and out of order), but we made sure to try each of the iceberg wines (different berries all using iceberg water). because all the wines were made from berries (all newfoundland-grown of course) they were more on the light and sweet side making them VERY drinkable.
the most unique one was the bakeapple iceberg wine which is made from bakeapples (duh), also known as cloudberries. the berries, which seem to be unique to newfoundland, look kind of like blackberries but golden in color and taste tart but also creamy—like yogurt maybe? it’s a subtle yet distinct flavor. i had some homemade bakeapple jam on ice cream after the winery, and even then it was still hard to describe the flavor. i think i like it though :P

there wasn’t really much left to do in twillingate—the iceberg tour was a major attraction—except DINNER. we really wanted seafood and fortunately there was a fairly popular spot (according to tripadvisor), doyle sansome and sons lobster pool. the restaurant was right on the water, and the lobster pools were in the next building (we took a peek after dinner).
the food was simply prepared and exactly what we were looking for. we feasted on the lobster and snow crab dinners and TWO desserts  of partridgeberry cake with honey syrup and cheesecake with a blueberry topping. we left full and happy.
to complete our day of eating and drinking, we enjoyed a bottle of the bakeapple wine in our apartment and mellowed out and planned the next couple days of our trip.

sunday 19 july - monday 20 july

we left our lewisporte apartment and headed southeast to trinity, four hours away. our first order of business was a late lunch (more like breakfast since we tend to skip proper morning meals) at trinity mercantile: ham and cheese sandwich, seafood chowder, and two coffees. it was still too early to check into the b&b so we wandered around a bit. the town felt sleepy and quiet but visually colorful and the definition of quaint.
i was in love with all the flower gardens and wildflowers growing everywhere. i got a little photo-happy with the lupins~
naturally, i assembled another signature wildflower bouquet; it made a nice addition to our tiny room.
we had a little time before dinner (we had reservations at the bonavista social club) so we stopped in ellison to check out the puffins. PUFFINS!!!
i was beyond excited, and sean kept trying to temper my excitement in case we didn’t actually see any. well, that was completely unecessary; as we made our way along the path toward the cliffs we saw the little island dotted with dozens of puffins. eeeeee! i was mesmerized. we stayed there for maybe half an hour before i was ready to leave (it was getting cold anyway...).
on our way to the bonavista we spotted a tiny iceberg! we didn’t realize how special this was until we chatted with some people the next day whose goal was to see an iceberg and were using the iceberg tracker website to follow them. team hapa wins again! haha. 
when i was researching things to do in trinity, the bonavista social club kept coming up as a must-eat. the restaurant is part of a farm where most of their produce comes from—locally grown cuisine. there were some neighboring sheep that i also paid a visit to, and i'm happy to report that i can speak newfie sheep.
we tried a little bit of everything on the menu: moose burger with partridgeberry ketchup and garlic aioli, hand extruded cavatelli with lamb, beet greens, and veggies, and cheese pizza. we didn’t realize the place was byo, but at least they had a sparkling rhubarb lemonade which was really nice (i always like bubbles~). we finished with chocolate eclairs and a plate-sized chocolate chip cookie.
we started our second day with a morning walking tour led by kevin toope, who was born and raised in trinity. he guided us on an extensively informative and interesting walk, where he talked about the town’s history and transition from a shipping/fishing hub to what is now a very small tourist-driven town. (fun fact: ‘the shipping news’ was filmed here.)
after the tour sean and i needed some fuel before we trekked the skerwink trail on the bonavista peninsula. we had a light lunch at the two whales café (corn chowder and the plowman’s sandwich & salad), which was just up the road from the trailhead. we were hoping the weather would clear up a bit but no such luck. on the bright side, it kept things cool so i wasn’t as much of a sweaty mess :D
we took the coastal loop, hiking along the cliffs looking down on the sea stacks, sea caves, and beaches. the views were amazing; the plant life was super diverse and ever-changing; AND, to top it off, we saw humpback whales!!! definite highlight. the sun even came out towards the end of our hike as we made our way back to trinity.
after a fairly full day of walking and hiking, we had a slow, casual dinner at the dock marina where we loaded up on more seafood and some boozy drinks, then called it an early night so we’d be well-rested for our day trip TO FRANCE(!).