DAY 6: Blanc Sablon, Labrador Straits

Posted by Terri

 

Though it wasn’t the promise of magical light that woke us at 5am today, we were still up before the sun. This time, to catch a flight all the way to Blanc Sablon to explore the scenic Labrador Straits.

 

We were joined by Air Labrador’s Michelle (not to be confused with Michele Ramberg, half of Roth & Ramberg), who grew up in Forteau, and knows every inch of the place. Luckily, the sun had followed us from Nain, and the light would be perfect today.

As we drove along the shoreline in the quiet hours of the early morning, we noticed how the landscape had changed dramatically from the harshly beautiful North Coast. It was softer somehow, and quintessentially seaside, complete with sandy beaches and rolling waves, with the Island of Newfoundland barely visible off in the distance.

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Our first stop was the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, a National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we learned about the incredible history of the Basques whalers during the 16th century. After a tour of the Interpretation Centre, we parted for Tracey Hill Lookout, leaving Dale to shoot the town below.

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Though the boardwalk up took exactly 670 stairs, the view over Red Bay was well worth the climb. Along the way, Michelle told us stories of picking berries as a kid, and schooled us on how to pick a proper Bakeapple (also known as a Cloudberry). As we climbed down, we hunted the hillside for perfectly ripe berries made warm by the morning sun. Needless to say, none of them made it back to the parking lot.

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After a lovely lunch (including Bakeapple Pie), we drove along the Straits, stopping at several picturesque communities along the way, including Capstan Island, L’Anse au Loup, and L’Anse Amour.

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We arrived at Point Amour Lighthouse, the tallest in Atlantic Canada, late in the afternoon. Being self-proclaimed champion climbers, we couldn’t resist another 132 stairs (including two rather steep ladders) straight to the top, encased in 6-feet thick stone walls.

 

With nothing else to worry about, other than how to change our iphones from Labrador to Newfoundland time, we talked about the peculiar name of the place. And how, perhaps, we’d finally found the point of love, right there on the Straits.

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 Thanks to Air Labrador’s Michelle for being our amazing tour guide, and our pilots, Shawn and Ben, for taking us South.