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Free bread on the French Ancestors Route - even if you are not French!

July 2022




One day we decided to follow the French Ancestors Route around a cape a bit north so it was a full day adventure. It started out grey and drizzly. As we entered the neck to the area I saw the sign for “Gravels Rest Stop/Danny’s Trail” mentioned in my tourism book. We stopped and found a beach full of various rocks on the other side of the barrier. Jim and the dogs walked a fair ways. I retreated to the car as the rain came down. Unfortunately for Jim the dogs managed to find the stinky thing to roll in so he ended up in the water looking like he was baptizing them.


We rolled along through little communities clinging to the cliffs. We had been looking for a certain church and gift shop - advertised as the largest wooden one- yet did not see it. We decided it must have burnt down only to see an event that night advertised there. So we looked again later on the way out. Nope. It’s perhaps like Brigadoon? We did see a large mining operation though.


We stopped at Cap du Boutte and I walked and photographed some amazing scenery and birds. So many wildflowers in bloom - we really timed it right!

I did not go all the way to the viewing of the large Kittiwake colony but I did peek over at the small one and saw several. It was another area we had to keep a tight leash on the dogs because of the very steep drop. On our way back to the entrance we stopped at the communal French bread oven still in use where at noon free bread is handed out. Some very nice young adults were manning the booth and some ladies and I got the last pieces slathered with butter. The scenery there was even better with views through the wildflowers to shore and cliff as illustrated by the head photograph.


As the peninsula fronted onto the Gulf of St. Lawrence we drove through the little French fishing towns. In Mainland (Grand Terre) we pulled off on a frontage road and while Jim and dogs walked again on a rocky beach, this one even better by Jim’s lights, I painted a quick study. I managed to catch a dory passing by and get the fleeting light effects but I’ll have to wait and add detail in the studio as we still had miles to go.



Last on the list was a stop at Secret Cove Brewing, recommended by the Grand Codroy folks. It did not disappoint. I had a small cream ale and Jim also had an excellent beer and was able to chat with one of the brewers. From the small food menu we selected two winners - fish tacos for Jim and Asian fusion fries (yet another variation of poutine) for me. Delicious. Of course we had to leave with a tee shirt for me and cans of beer for Jim.



On the way out we passed through Stephenville again. It is the site of a former US base and they make a tourism out of it with events surrounding the “Friendly Invasion” held in the former officers mess and a mural of a fifties style family-dad in uniform, mom in apron and smiling kid. Made me feel, as a military spouse, like an escaped museum piece!



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