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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Newfoundland to Nova Scotia…The Ferry

Wednesday, July 31
The decision was made not to travel all the way back through the entire Newfoundland Island. We would take the ferry back from Argenia to North Sydney. I figured that if we subtracted the gas cost from the ferry cost, it would be cost effective. The ferry would take 16 hours. Leaving at 5 pm and arriving around 9 am (Atlantic Time). They didn’t have any cabins left when we did the booking, but the move theatre was warm, dark and fairly quiet. The chairs reclined and were extra wide with arm rest.
With the Atlantic Ferry only leaving a 5 pm we had plenty of time to explore the local area. A Canadian Park sign caught our eye as we passed Placentia. It read “Castle Hill Historical Site.” I turned the truck up the hill and headed to the top of the mountain. Another truck camper was parked there along with a few cars. It was a paid admission, but only $3.40 apiece. The attendant said, “Hello, bonjour.” I answered in French, “Bonjour.” He than proceeded to say, “Parley vous francais? I replied, “yes.” He than said there is a French tour just getting ready to leave. We left with them. The tour guide was a sparky older lady named Rachelle. She gave a four star rated tour. She was also very opinionated. She was very pro French and very anti British. 
No messing around with this young lady!

The explanation of why Placentia was so important in the colonial times was thoroughly explained. The Cod fishing here actually feed a good portion of Europe. The French and English fought back and forth. There were several forts built in this area. One of reasons that the Placentia region was so good for the cod fishing was its stone beach. The fishermen would dry their cod on the rocks. She went on to explain that there were three kinds of way to preserve the fish. On was at sea where they would clean and salt the cod. The second method was called the dry method. The cod would be sent ashore cleaned and laid on the beach. The third method involved a mother ship that would bring in to the shore and the salt would be removed and finished drying on the beach.
As a foot note on the rocks; I being a connoisseur of fine looking rocks, just happen to collect a few specimens. These rocks have a maroon color with white rings embedded into them.
Rachelle... telling it like it is!
Rachelle then took us out to visit the fort and pointed to all of it’s functions and buildings. The cannons were marked with interesting royal markings indicating either French or English. The tour ended and she still continued with her oration. This not being part of the tour. She said that the Americans came here during World War II and forced the village people to move away s they could build an airfield to defend in case of invasion from Germany.
The villagers were given $200.00 and told to move away overnight. They founded a new town called “Dunville” a few miles away. She had no idea that we from the States. Helen did tell her, but she didn’t change her opinion. Most likely she was very right about us Americans moving in.
That is what we did and saw!  
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