A little bit about ourselfs:

Two crazy Swiss Immigrants living in Canada since 1996 traveling the Country in a 5th wheel together with their two cats ....
Let's introduce ourselves:

There is the lovely and multi-talented Sue: A Sagittarius that likes travel, cats & dogs, reading good books and rather swings a hammer then using a sawing-needle. She dislikes rude people and getting up early

The other part of the team is André: Born in the sign of Aquarius always looking for something new and exciting to explore. Let's go around this corner - there may be something we haven't seen yet! Likes traveling, cooking and making new friends. Dislikes are changing - they may become acceptable

Please follow us on our journey - and don't be shy, we'll love to hear from you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Labrador – the big land

Hi everyone

These last few days we have traveled quiet a distance coming from Québec and going all the way to the South of Labrador. What started as Québec Highway 389, continued as Labrador Highway 500 and finally 510 from Goose Bay to Red Bay – roughly 1800 km of dirt and gravel roads!
Labrador is called «the big land» and rightfully so. Kilometer after kilometer of forests are interrupted by open land strewn with lakes and criss-crossed by rivers and streams. Bushes resist the harsh climate and big rocks lay in the middle of nowhere. It is so easy to imagine how this land so long ago was covered by a thick layer of ice. When the glaciers receded they left those rocks and formed the landscape. It’s almost overwhelming and we were happy to finally reach the south coast and the lovely village of Red Bay. It was like coming home when we spotted first the sea and then the houses. This is what I always expected Newfoundland and Labrador to be: well maintained, bright houses spread along the shore, colourful little fishing boats rocking on the calm waters of the bay and a people so friendly and welcoming.
While driving through this province I imagined what it must be like to be there during a big thunderstorm or snowstorm in the winter. The wind hauling, visibility near zero – nature unleashing its fury. It must be impressive and very scary at the same time, even if one would experience this in the comfort of one of those friendly little houses. Sitting by the window with a cup of coffee and a book, knowing that the wood fire burning in the fireplace will keep you warm and taking comfort in the thought that, once the storm lets up, your neighbours will come out of their own houses to make sure everyone in the village is ok. People depend on each other and you will never be without a helping hand when you need one.
It must be a hard life but people here are taking it in stride. And no matter the harshness of the environment, or maybe because of it, it’s endless hospitality you will find among these lands.
Red Bay is one of those villages you can see on postcards or the TV ads the province placed to further tourism. But Red Bay is much more than that. It has a rich history which one can explore by visiting the local museum and the Parks Canada exhibition. Hundreds of years ago basque whalers sailed across the Atlantic ocean and spent months on end in the waters off the village. They would hunt for whales and then cut them up and render the blubber for oil which they brought back to Europe where the oil was used for all kinds of things. The whalers established camp where Red Bay is located today and on Saddle Island only a couple hundred meters off shore. Rich archeological finds were discovered at both locations. They include all kinds of artifacts from pots and dishes to the sunken wreck of a whaling boat. The remains found of the housing, the places where the basques would render the whale blubber, the whale skeletons and even the cemetery did allow historians to gain an insight of where those whalers had come from, when they were here (long before the new world was discovered) and how they worked and lived. It’s rich history and Red Bay is under consideration to become a world heritage site.
Today's village of course is very different but the sea still plays a huge role in peoples lifes. There still is some fishery going on and if you ever come to Red Bay you just have to go eat at the «Whalers Restaurant». You simply must not miss their home-cooked meals prepared with the catch of the day, desserts made with fresh wild berries and a chat with the locals.

André and Sue
Somewhere on the road in Canada

PS: Don't forget to read our other blogs (listed on the side) and to follow us on facebook and our Google Map. You can also check our web site for new pictures.

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