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Web Writing Sample: Biking Newfoundland

Our Newfoundland bicycle tour is one of our favorites. This is the far east of the western world. Where science and beauty collide, providing a land that is both breathtaking and somehow humbling, too.

Fittingly, Newfoundland has given the world many firsts. It was here that Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal. Here that Alcock and Brown launched the first transatlantic flight to Paris. Here that scientists discovered proof that the continents drift. And so geologists are perpetually fascinated with the Tablelands, where the earth’s mantle is forced to the surface by tremendous tectonic pressures.

And yet, it’s the austere, unspoiled beauty that defines this great place. Enormous lakes—or ponds, as the locals call them—were carved by massive, prehistoric glaciers, with dramatic cliffs extending 2,000 feet above the water. The rocky coast, explored by Vikings more than 1,000 years ago, the rough wilderness, the ocean, and its sweeping vistas, the world’s friendliest people... This is the Newfoundland that we can't wait to introduce to you.

Day one: (68 km;1 mile equals 1.6 km, moderate to challenging) Leaving Deer Lake we will cycle north on route 430 into the park enroute to Norris Point where we will hang our hats-well maybe our helmets-for the next three nights. There are a few hills to tackle today as well as a few downhills for compensation. Keep your eyes open for moose along the way. They are pretty hard to miss! Our first three nights together will be spent at The Sugar Hill Inn.

Day two: (40 km, moderate) After a short ferry crossing, we will cycle along the Tablelands to the village of Trout River. Due to the rock composition, nothing grows on the Tablelands, and this creates a wondrous contrast with the surrounding greenery. We’ll stop at the interpretation center, because the information there will enhance our afternoon's adventure, and grab some lunch before we return to Norris Point. Once off the ferry, we’ll trade bikes for kayaks for a beautiful two-hour paddle around Bonne Bay, amid whales and bald eagles (on a good day). Lodging: The Sugar Hill Inn.

Day three: (hike, moderate to challenging) Today we hike Gros Morne, and it will take us six to eight hours to complete. Bring lots of film, for this truly is God's Country. There's no better way to describe it. The views from Gros Morne will take your breath away: with stunning fjords descending to the majestic sea below and dramatic waterfalls that fill you with a sense of awe and longing. It just feels so right, like this is how it was meant to be. And the bountiful wildlife — ptarmigan, caribou, moose, hares, coyote, deer, to name just a few —will help you feel at peace with the land, and that feeling alone is worth the price of admission for our Viking Trail tour. Tonight we're staying at The Sugar Hill Inn

Day four: (82 km, moderate). With the exception of leaving our inn as we make our way to Rocky Harbour, today’s ride is flat with wonderful scenery all the way to Portland Creek. There are numerous stops along the way to get a feel for the area and how it must have been so many years ago. Tonight we're checked in to The Entente Cordiale.

Day five: (100 km, moderate). An early start will have us back on our bikes enroute to Plum Point. The road is quite flat, and the ride is usually accompanied by a tailwind. It is a good opportunity for those wishing to get in a Canadian century and then some; but don't worry, for the van will try to stay close by. Tonight we'll stay at The Valhalla Lodge

Day six: (interpretive hiking, easy to moderate). We will visit the Viking Village at L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the first European settlement in the New World was recently discovered — 500 years before Columbus! Afterwards we take a short interpretive hike whereour guide Gina will tell us about the people who have lived here for so long and about the flora and fauna nearby. After lunch we head to St. Anthony for possible iceburg and whale sightings before taking in the Grenfell Mission. It's a very full day with a special night planned for you this evening! Lodgings Valhalla Lodge.

Day seven: After yet another great breakfast and many amusing stories with Bella, we return to our van for the drive back to Deer Lake. Time permitting, we'll stop at any sites we might have missed on the way up the coast. Of course we will be keeping our eyes peeled for moose as well. And when it comes time to say our goodbyes, we know that your hearts might swell, and your eyes may water, for our Newfoundland trip often touches our guests on a deeply emotional level, where tears are a sign of happiness.

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