By Shawn Hayward. Illustration by Ricky King.
To get to Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s, and therefore the Bell Island Ferry, you can take Conception Bay East Taxi (709-685-3121) or Cove Taxi (709-682-2386) The trip with either service will cost you about $20. Call ahead of time to book a spot and see how much baggage you can bring, because space depends on the number of passengers.
If you’re looking to leave St. John’s for Ferryland and all points in between, you can hire Molloy’s Taxi (709-682-6679). It takes 25 bones to get to Trepassey, and less if you’re going somewhere along the way. Renews, for example, costs $17 to get to, more than worth it if its replica of Our Lady of Lourdes grotto performs miracles like the original in France. The taxi leaves St. John’s around 4:30 p.m. and will pick you up at your door, pilgrim.
Leaving the island via the Argentia ferry? Then consider Newhook’s Transportation (709-682-4877), because the driver’s sure to get you there in one piece, with 58 years experience! Jack Newhook has been taxiing since 1951, when rock n’ roll was the Devil’s music and Joseph Stalin still terrorized the former U.S.S.R. He’ll take you to Argentia for $30, leaving St. John’s at 8 a.m., though trips to meet the ferry may vary. Best call ahead of time to make sure.
Both March’s (709-747-225) and Shirran’s (1-877-468-7741) will take you from St. John’s to Bonavista and Clarenville for $40, seven days a week. Marsh’s leaves St. John’s around 1-2 p.m. Bonavista was the site of the Cabot’s landing in North America, at least if you don’t ask someone from Cape Breton.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
To get to St. Pierre and Miquelon, Foote’s Taxi (1-800-866-1181) will get you to Fortune, though not in time to catch the ferry. The bus leaves St. John’s at 2:30 p.m., arriving in Fortune at 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you’re willing to stay overnight in Fortune you spend the next day in France.
Experiencing Newfoundland’s beautiful-yet-isolated south coast can be accomplished using R&E Transportation (709-753-7022), formerly Slaney’s Bus, which leaves St. John’s for Marystown seven days a week between 2:00-2:30 p.m. The trip to Marystown costs $45. If you just can’t leave your pet behind it’ll cost an extra $15 to take along, if it’s in a carrier.
Gros Morne is awesome, as anyone who has been there will agree. If you want to be one of those people, Martin’s Taxi (709-453-2207) can help you out, if you can get to Corner Brook or Deer Lake that is. The bus leaves Corner Brook at 4:30 p.m., arriving in Trout River at 6 p.m., at a price of $18 per person.
St. John’s to Port-Aux-Basques
The old standby, DRL Coachlines, runs daily between Port au Basques and St. John’s. Check out www.drlgroup.com to find its complete schedule. Be nice to them, since the company has a near-monopoly on cross-province public transportation. Enjoy your trip!