A Visit to Iceberg Alley Driving down the Labrador coast

The Route We Took: Rte 510 S & 514, 514-01, and 513 / Iceberg Alley

Lodging: Riverlodge Hotel, Mary’s Harbour, NL, CA

Food: Restaurant within multi-purpose building in which the hotel is housed

Joke of the Day:

Why did the elephant stand on marshmallows?

He didn’t want to burn his feet in the hot chocolate.

These are the jokes, folks.

We thought we might spend the morning taking a ferry ride. If you look online, there’s a ferry that services Charlottetown, Port Hope Simpson, Norman Bay, and Williams Harbour. A call to the ferry company confirmed what the waitress had shared with us the evening prior, ferry service had not commenced even though the website indicated it started in June.

Ferries in Newfoundland and Labrador are tricky. Pay attention, call for reservations, and plan accordingly.

We experienced another search party in an effort to check out. Honestly, the gruff, miserable woman who is supposed to man the front desk is almost never there. And, frequently, no one knows where she is.

Once found, we asked to check out. In the process, she asked, “Did you have any meals?” We were startled. Our dinner’s hadn’t been inexpensive, and had been charged to the room. Why wasn’t the front desk aware of this given the 12-hour delay. Oh, right. The woman was never at the front desk!

Finally we were free of The Alexis Hotel.

Before getting back on the “highway”, we stopped at The Moulder of Dreams, which is a local pottery studio / sheltered workshop for Myotonic Dystrophy, which is located in the building with the town’s offices. I didn’t notice street signs, but a short drive through town should suffice to find it.

The pieces are interesting and several have Inushuk images painted on them. You will find Moulder of Dreams pottery throughout The Labrador Coastal Drive, but the studio itself has the greatest variety and the best prices, including a discount bin!

With our purchases in hand, we were back on the road. Before resuming our southbound journey, we headed back north briefly to Charlottetown and Pinsent's Arm.

a better-than-average bridge

The bottom line is - avoid Port Hope Simpson (save for gas and pottery) if you can.

Both communities are charming, but they do not add to the experience. They are the same as every other coastal town and village, but without the services. Charlottetown had a general store, but neither had lunch, coffee, or gas. Unless you have plenty of time, you can drop these from the list with confidence that you aren’t missing a unique experience.

It was time to resume the southbound portion of our trip. This was the day we learned, when Canadians say, “Take your time,” they mean the roadbed is crap. You’ll have no choice but to go slowly or risk damaging an axel. Or losing an axel as my mother described it.

Not too much longer we were in the charming burg of Mary’s Harbour. This far into our trip, we had learned to check in early, request a room near the wireless router, and scope out gas and food before embarking on the ‘real’ things we wanted to do in the area.

A quick stop at The Harbourview Restaurant above the general store (follow the signs for the White Water Falls Trail), which, ironically, doesn’t have a Harbourview unless you stand up and look out the front window. Some of us need to be on tip-toe.

Nevertheless, one of our best snacks was here: long, golden french fries and homemade soup.

Finished with our snack, we checked out the general store from which the smell of delicious, freshly baked bread was emanating. We picked up a loaf of bread and rented Zodiac, again.

After driving around town, we took 510 north a bit to 513 E, aka Iceberg Alley, to St. Lewis. Charming! And, amazingly enough, as advertised (save the hours of Loder’s Point)!

there's even an inukshuk dog!

We took 513 to its very end where you’ll find a gazebo and placard that describes the location. The view is amazing, and there actually are icebergs floating into the harbor. If you hang around long enough, the nice lady who lives across the street may come out and chat with you.

charming wooden boats

Heading back, we turned left on a dirt road just before reaching the school. On a hunch we thought perhaps we’d find Loder Point here (the link doesn't do it justice). If I recall correctly, there was a blue utility building before the road turns left 90-degrees. Loder’s Point is at the end, white with green trim. Unfortunately for us, the guidebook indicated it was open until 8 PM, but closing was really 5 PM.

A wheel at St. Lewis, Loder's Point

St. Mary's Harbour

Iceberg Alley

Iceberg Alley

Nailed Shut -- A Door at Loder's Point (available in Stationery)

We were pleased we made the effort to go out to St. Lewis, but it was time to head home to Mary’s Harbour and dinner at our hotel.

rear window

A word about drinking wine in Labrador ... Don’t. Occasionally, say in Labrador City, you will find a liquor store that carries wine. The one in LC is, particularly, impressive. But as a rule, there are two types of wine by the glass with dinner, red or white. The red wine improved as we moved south, but only moderately. I was delighted I had thought to bring a box of wine on the trip. I don’t even want to contemplate otherwise.

Created By
Meredith Rendall
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Papered Pixels Studio

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