A day in Corner Brook

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Mon 6 Sep 2010 00:52
Well, Saxon Blue got through the night OK. We got an email from Kali and Magnus that they'd had 50 knot winds but had managed alright and everything was fine. Apparently, they rigged the two anchors in tandem so I think that would have held an aircraft carrier.
The storm brought down a lot of tree branches in Corner Brook and there was a power-cut in the night so all the locals were pretty excited about it today. We slept through the whole thing. Everyone has been saying how it's the worst storm for decades but it doesn't seem to have done any major damage.
Andrea and I went out shopping to a proper American supermarket which turned out to be much like those in the UK only it had a truly massive Liquor Store on the side with some truly impressive prices as well. You'd need to be rich to be a lush in Canada. It was a bit freaky to see all the food for sale after the places we've been and it was hard not to buy everything in sight but the thought of moving it all back to our hotel room and then into a taxi again tomorrow put us off getting too carried away.
We found a lovely cafe for lunch and then walked to the Captain Cook Historic Site which sits above the city on a hill. Cook spent years charting this coast for the Admiralty and built up such a reputation that he got the job of taking the Endeavour to the Pacific for his first voyage there It was a long walk for us along hot roads but we needed the exercise after sitting on the boat for days. It was worth the walk as we could see right down the fjord towards the open sea with the whole of Corner Brook laid out below us. It's a strange city, very spread out with lots of gaps filled with trees. The centre of town is a paper mill and a couple of shopping malls with the Downtown area where we are off to one side. The houses are nearly all made of wood and mostly single storey. They're quite small but we saw loads of big Harleys parked in front and more massive 4x4 trucks with 6 litre petrol engines than you could count.
As we walked along, we passed the local Women's Refuge with a sign outside the front door saying "Perfume Free Zone". I can just imagine it: woman walks in, two black eyes "My husband beats me". "Well that's very sad but you can't come in here smelling like that. Out you go". I don't think they can be very busy in the refuge if they've got time to be worried about that sort of thing.
Other craziness: in the hotel restaurant, Andrea wanted a mushroom omelette. They had various omelettes on the menu but not one with just mushrooms so we had to order the most expensive omelette with Everything but hold everything except the mushrooms. Of course, the kitchen made one with everything except the mushrooms so they had to make another one, all because they're so worried about what to charge for something that's not on the menu.
On our way back from the Cook site, we found a Newfoundland Emporium which was a combination of second-hand book store, souvenir stall, art gallery, bric-a-brac shop and general tourist info. I found loads of out of print books that I was interested in a spent far too much money on them and we had a good chat to the woman working there before staggering back to the hotel overloaded and dehydrated. We've just been out for a lovely dinner and that's our first day in civilisation for some time. To be honest, neither of us enjoyed it as much as we thought we would. We miss Saxon Blue and the wild places we've been with her. We miss the people we meet in those places, too. In fact, one of the women we met on the dock in Cox's Cove just rang me in the hotel room and insisted on fetching us from here and taking us back there tomorrow so we don't have to take a taxi. Now that's friendly!