Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

St. Anne’s Parish at Fortune Harbour, NL.

Fisherman’s dock (that may not last much longer) in Fortune Harbour.

The village of Fortune Harbour from across the bay.

(Ron Writing) This morning we continued east on TCH a short distance to Bishop’s Falls. We tried to find a WiFi connection at the city library but it was closed for some holiday and we could not get a signal in the parking lot. It seems that every city library in Newfoundland has free WiFi and once we registered for a free account we sign-in to that same account at any library – well, so far it’s worked at three libraries across the province.

We drove north from Bishop’s Falls on Routes 350 and then 352. This took us along the west side of Bay of Exploits and to Fortune Harbour at the end of the road. This was a long slow drive since much of the road was in very poor condition. It was also very narrow, had almost no shoulder, and there were very few places to pull off the road to stop. There was some very nice scenery but hard to enjoy it when driving is difficult and there’s nowhere to stop.

Newfoundland has many of these roads that lead off of the TCH to small towns along the coast. Most of the time the only option is to drive back to TCH along the same route which is what we did. After returning to Bishop’s Falls we continued east on TCH to Gander. We found the library and used the WiFi for awhile before heading over to Wal*Mart where we are parked for the night.

It was cloudy much of the day with a few periods of sunshine and a couple showers. It was in the mid 70’s most of the day.

We were listening to a local talk radio program while driving. It was interesting to hear them discuss the biggest issues in this area which seem to be:

a) The moose problem and the many accidents that result in injury or death. Today I had a visit with a man I met where we pulled off the road to eat lunch. I asked him why they don't issue hunting permits to thin the moose population. He said they do have a hunting season but the government isn't issuing enough permits. He had many "issues" with government policy. Pretty much like almost everyone I know in the US!

b) The drought and the water shortage especially on the east side of the island in the St. John’s area. It's hard to believe there could be a water shortage on this island where it seems that the entire island is dotted with lakes and wetlands. The talk show host said it was simply that people waste too much water when there is a dry year. Then the water treatment plants and reservoirs don't have the required capacity.

c) The Newfoundland economy which seems to be improving more rapidly than most places. It was reported that RV sales are very robust this year, the population is growing quite rapidly, and there is a construction boom on the east side. The tourism industry has grown rapidly in Newfoundland since 2001 when so many airplanes were diverted here on 9-11 and many passengers spent 3 days here as guests of local residents.

d) Squatters. Newfoundland has a problem with people who park a mobile home on government land, install an improvised septic system, and live out in the back country without permission. The gentleman I spoke with yesterday expanded on how much of a problem this is because it is polluting the land and fresh water. Both he and several callers to the talk show expressed a great deal of frustration with the government for not enforcing the laws that prohibit squatting on public land.

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