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Sunday, May 21, 2023

Pirate's Haven RV Park on the Robinson's River

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Hi Blog!

We don't usually blog about our campgrounds, but Pirate's Haven is not your typical tourist campground. Most of the folks in the park are locals from Stephensville, here on the Western Shore of Newfoundland. They are a friendly lot and they love to show their pirate pride. Aargh, matey!

As soon as we arrived, we were invited to a meet-and-greet Saturday night. As soon as we arrived at the campfire, we were handed a glass of Newfie punch and a hot dog! Turns out the campground owner makes his own spirits. It is fermented rice and wild Newfoundland blueberries. Needless to say, the punch packed a punch!

While not an official Parks Canada Red Chair, we felt this Pirate Chair at the campground deserves honorable mention in the Red Chair Hall of Fame.

The campground has its own restaurant. In honor of the May Long Weekend (or, as they say, "24th Weekend" -- count them), they hosted a Sunday Brunch. After feasting on poached eggs, fish cakes, beans and toutons, we climbed up the crow's nest to get a bird's eye view of the camp. Pictured below is the view from the top looking down on Robinson's River.

In the photo below, that's Buster and Dusty on the left. This part of the park is usually used by RVers who bring their ATVs to ride the Newfoundland Trailway Provincial Park. The recreation trail runs from Port aux Basques all the way to St. Johns. The trail follows the old rail bed of the Canadian National Railway. The Newfoundland Trailway is also part of the Trans Canada Trail which goes from St. John's to Victoria, BC and Tuktoyakluk, NWT.

The Longhouse is the hub of the social activity in the park. Most of the seasonal RVs are in the lower, front section of the campground, which is in the upper center in the photo below. The trees in that area of the park help protect the rigs from coastal winds.

After brunch, we took a drive down to Robinson's Beach. The area around Robinson's is very rural. "Robinson's Head" has been on maps since about 1798. The headland and community were named after John Robinson, from Ireland, who lived in a cave at Robinson's Head. "Robinson's Station," about two miles from the original village, came into being after the railway was constructed in the late 1890s and people, mainly those working at railway maintenance, settled in the area where the local road intersected the railway. The name "Robinson's Station" became simply "Robinson's" on October 1, 1960.  The area boasts some interesting architecture:

Here is our first look at the gravel bar that separates Robinson's River from the Gulf of St. Lawrence:

We started our beachy exploits by hiking up the banks of Robinson's River.

Below, Kathy proudly strikes a "William" pose at the furthest point.

Looking up river...

Looking downstream...
Below, the photo looks north toward Robinson's Head. This beach was a rockhound's worst nightmare. Every rock on the beach was a keeper. However, today's mission was to find the elusive sea glass. Kathy found a piece of green glass fairly soon in the hunt, but that was all we found.

Now, did I mention how cool the rocks were? These rocks found themselves imprisoned in sandstone. Not to worry. In a few thousand years, with the constant wave action at the beach, they will be free again.

When we first came upon this rock, we thought it might be part of a ship wreck. The sandstone has been eroded by constant wave action. As the surf comes in, it crashes over the top. When the wave goes out again, it curls under the back of the rock and hurls beach stones at it, steadily hollowing out the back. 

We leave you at the mouth of the Robinson's River where it meets the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If you look carefully, you can see tiny Kathy searching in vain for more pieces of sea glass. Never fear; there are still plenty of beaches left in Newfoundland to explore.


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