Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Beaches and History on the Northern Peninsula

by Keith and Heather Nicol     

On Monday July 15 we were again blessed with good weather as we awoke to another day of sunshine in St. Anthony. Our plan was to drive south along Viking Trail (highway 430) to Portland Creek where we were planning to stay at the comfortable Entente Cordiale Inn. On our way north we had seen signs for the Thrombolite Trail in Flowers Cove and so we stopped there first. This short 1.4 km (1 way) trail is well marked and perfectly level so is ideal for all ages. The site will appeal to those with a geological bent since thrombolites are very old life forms that lived in a shallow ocean hundreds of millions of years ago. Thrombolites are very rare and are also found in Shark Bay, Western Australia. 
The Thrombolites are very early life forms
From Flowers Cove we headed south to the community of Port au Choix where we visited the Parks Canada historic site which interprets some of the early native peoples who settled this shore. This must have been a rich site for hunter-gatherer societies since there is a whole sequence of various groups that lived here starting 5500 years ago. The earliest peoples were Maritime Archaic Indians and they were followed by the Groswater and Dorset paleoeskimos. Next were more recent Indians followed by the French and now the English settlement of Port au Choix. We also dropped into Ben Ploughman’s folk art studio where he has created interesting “one of kind”  Newfoundland scenes out of the slats from old lobster pots! Lastly we walked around the impressive Point Riche lighthouse before heading south to Portland Creek. 
The Port au Choix National Historic Site is a fascinating insight into the native people's that lived here

Entente Cordiale is located right on the ocean
Entente Cordiale (http://www.ententecordiale.com/) must have one of the nicest settings of any bed and
breakfast in the province with a water front setting overlooking a broad sandy beach. Owner Paul Wylezol is busy adding a large new section to the bed and breakfast which will enlarge the dining and common area. In the evening we watched the sun slide into the Gulf of St. Lawrence to end another fine day on the Northern Peninsula.

Heather throwing a stick on the fine sand beach at the Entente Cordiale Inn

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