This morning we woke up to fog and cool temperatures which was not surprising, but at least not the rainfall we were told to expect. We took off early this morning for the Baccalieu Trail, which covers the peninsula between Conception Bay and Trinity Bay. It’s a 230km drive, so we set out with the intention of seeing quite a bit of pavement. Our first stop after winding through several small coves was at Brigus. This spot is typical of most of the towns we saw. The streets are narrow and windy, with most of the houses situated right at the water’s edge. The water was very calm in the bay, and we walked around the waterfront for a while. In the 1860’s this tunnel was blasted through for easy access to the harbour. It must have been quite the work party to get this done in 4 months.
Next stop was at Cupid’s and we thought we’d just do a quick drive through after seeing the sights. As we were driving down the waterfront street we noticed a number of signs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Cupids last year. We ended up stopping right in front of the Cupids Legacy Centre which was built for last year’s anniversary, and decided to see what was inside. It turns out that Cupids was the sight of several firsts in British North America.
Sir John Guy arrived with a small party in 1610, and as the sign says, set up the first settlement. It proved to be quite successful, and stayed a viable community until 1697 when the French attacked and burnt the place to the ground. There were few people there for the next 100 years, but eventually the town prospered again. In 1995 an archaeologist from St. John’s decided to search for the original site, and found the foundations of John Guy’s dwelling underneath a local’s potato garden. They have spent the last 16 years uncovering the various foundations and have catalogued over 156,000 artifacts so far. Some are almost complete plates and cups, and some are just little shards of pottery. While we were visiting the site, one of the workers uncovered a small piece of pottery, one of several pieces found every day. We had a great time at the dig and were guided through the site by a local interpreter who was very enthusiastic about the site and all the secrets they’ve been able to uncover.
The structure on the left is a shell of the original Guy home built full size to show how large a structure a big wig required, the spot on the right is the recently uncovered graveyard.
After spending almost 3 hours in Cupids we didn’t have time to finish the trail, but did see some more quaint towns nestled in pretty little coves, including Heart’s Content, Heart’s Desire and Heart’s Delight on Trinity Bay.
This last shot is of Shag’s Rock near Dildo at the base of Trinity Bay with the Bonavista Peninsula in the background. There are just so many great places to see here.
This evening the winds picked up quite a bit and the rain came with it. This storm is the remnants of the system that caused the tornado in Goderich on the weekend. We were in Goderich in July, and it’s sad to see how much destruction has happened to such an interesting place.