Nuthin’ but Puffins!

The chance to see a puffin up close is haunting me, particularly after reading in the Newfoundland Travel Guide that it’s one of the only remaining places in the world where one can see them up close in the wild.  But it means a 30 mile drive back to Elliston in the rain, and still no guarantee. However, the weekend is now behind me, so crowds should have let up. I decide I will boondock at the scenic overlook just beyond the puffin site.  This will give me two opportunities, one later in the evening, and another the following morning if I don’t have success. Continue reading

Bonavista Peninsula — Down the Other Side

After spending the night with whales feeding right outside my window, I am too wired for sleep.  I wake up with the sun, which is quite a feat considering it rises at 5:30am.  After my hike up to the lighthouse in hopes of getting some nice color in the clouds before the ubiquitous fog rolls in, I contemplate a nap.

But the weather forecast shows this to be the most favorable day in a while.  So no crawling back into bed for a few more winks, even though it was only a few hours sleep.  I’ve got to keep moving.  Weather changes fast here on the east coast, Continue reading

Bonavista Peninsula — Up One Side…

Ever eager to keep up my circumnavigation around the island, I move east, clockwise around the perimeter. Newfoundland’s “other” national park, Terra Nova, Gros Morne’s baby sibling sits on the east coast. If you drew an imaginary line across the northern part of the island from Gros Morne on the western side, chopping off all the “fingers and arms” that jut off from the coast, you would hit Terra Nova National Park on the eastern side.

Every national park has a reason to warrant protection and conservation by the National Park Service. In the case of Terra Nova, Continue reading

From a Fogo State of Mind to a New York State of Mind

To say I left Fogo Island reluctantly is a gross understatement.  It’s one of those places where I know I am going to look back and say “Why didn’t I spend more time there?”  But I’ve made a commitment back in Maine at the end of August, so I must keep moving.

I want to stop at the North Atlantic Aviation Museum in Gander as I head east around the island of Newfoundland.  Often referred to as “the lifeboat of the North Atlantic,” Continue reading

Fogo Island’s Juxtaposition

Fogo Island has another side….an intentionally contrasting side. One of art and architecture, where life is lived in the contridiction. And I hate to say it, but also what appears at first glance to be obscene opulence. But I was quick to judge it seems, as it bears further examination.

Mention “Fogo Island,” and those who are familiar will chuckle and ask tongue and cheek, “So did you stay at the Inn?” Fogo Island Inn, built in 2013, a 29 room luxury hotel, is getting a crazy amount of press these days. In fact, just this past month, Continue reading

A Fogo State of Mind

The tourist influx is in full swing in Twillingate, with people racing from cove to cove asking “Have you seen any icebergs?” like it was a game of real life pokemon. It’s an energy that’s hard to describe, but I haven’t felt it since leaving the crowded Bay of Fundy. I’ve come to thrive on the solitude I’ve experienced since being in Newfoundland, and as my friend Ed recently said, “I miss the empty.”  Continue reading

Twillingate: Tire Troubles, Terrible Roads, and Tour Buses

I’ve been eager to get on to Twillingate, southern end of “Iceberg Alley” for some time now, as reports on the Newfoundland Iceberg Facebook group show giant skyscrapers of ice floating just offshore. If Saint Anthony’s holds the lock on iceberg viewing at the northern end of Iceberg Alley, Twillingate reigns as the place to be at the southern end. I’ve been patiently anticipating my arrival in Twillingate, not wanting to rush through my planned stops in between, but eager to finally arrive. Continue reading

The Top of the Bottom of the Earth

A couple of friends and followers asked if I was going to explore further in Labrador…either further north up the gravel road toward Cartwright, or back down to the southern shores of Quebec.   It’s so tempting! Both seem like such beautiful places with so much to see!   I would love to go further in either direction. But I haven’t even scratched the surface of Newfoundland yet, and still need to leave time to explore more of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, since I blew through on my way north.

Wise were the travelers who came to the maritimes earlier in the year, as one could certainly spend months up here without running out of places to explore.  Already, I am trying to figure out how I will fit it all in. Continue reading

Battle Harbour, Once the Unofficial Capital of Labrador

I am not sure what first drew me to Battle Harbour.   I think it may have been the advertisement in Newfoundland’s “Lost and Found” travel brochure.  Maybe it was the article with the word “Escape” in the title.  Or maybe it was the promise of a place where “the distance is as much metaphorical as it is physical.”

I’ve always gravitated to historic places with a feel for authenticity….that promise realism of what life was like so long ago, yet also understate the conveniences and comforts of present day. I don’t really care for places like Williamsburg with its spiffy Continue reading

Red Bay, White Dust, and Black Flies

Red Bay, up the rugged coast of Labrador, is one of Canada’s newer UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Awarded the UNESCO status in 2013, this sheltered bay was once a thriving whale fishery, driven by the demand for whale oil used for lighting and manufacturing in Europe.

Between 1530 and the early part of the 16th century, Basque people from Spain and southern France would travel over in the spring, setting up what was the world’s first industrial scale fishing industry, Continue reading