By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
I’m going to wrap up this series about the Maritime plus Newfoundland-Labrador with a quick list of things that are indelibly etched in our minds.
The poem above by David Boyd is what I consider symbolic of the way of life throughout most of these four isolated provinces that touch the Atlantic Ocean and its maritime arms. It’s my impression that the people of this land are fighting valiantly to retain their independence and the lifestyle that has manifested for more than 400 years. It’s a struggle.
David Boyd, the poem’s author, is a fighter – he has spent years and great energy preserving the historic fishing culture that generations in his family have enjoyed. A tough, but very satisfying existence for the fishermen that, for many reasons, is losing out to a complex tapestry of current conditions. David is the proprietor of the Prime Berth Heritage Centre in Twillingate, Newfoundland. Go to the website www.primeberth.com for extensive information, more than I can explain in a blog.
TOWNS – I’m going to be brief, since I’ve written about all of these over the past four months:
Twillingate, NF, was a favorite, a small town center of activity and interesting shops, plus the site of one of our favorite mini-hikes across from Peyton’s Woods RV Park. It was also where we were introduced to Ugly Sticks, which I have written about several times.
St. John’s, NF, probably had more interesting sights than any other city. I would call it a definite “must visit.” (Not to be confused with St. John, NB, which was also interesting.)
Lunenburg, NS, with its seaside downtown and beautiful gardens, plus nearby beautiful Mahone Bay and the Blue Rocks.
Bonavista – Very interesting town with the St. Matthew’s Legacy, a typical Newfoundland small town with traditional structures.
Hikes — Maybe “strolls” is a better term, since we didn’t have extensive time to wander far and wide, but we did take mild excursions to immerse ourselves in the pastoral surroundings.
Cape Onion, NF. The grassy trail takes off from the historic and critically reviewed Adams House, bordering the shoreline and then ascending via wooden steps to a meadow high above the aqua-green waters pounding the rocks below.
Elliston and Spillar’s Cape, NF – We were the “early birds” arriving at the cliff across
from the island of puffins at Elliston, where we were treated to a show that included a puffin waddling five feet from Monique – an absolute highlight of the entire six-month journey. On recommendation from a tour-bus guide, we left there and went to Spillar’s Cape nearby for another puffin experience, plus a vista of better-than-postcard proportions.
A quote from a sign in a restaurant in Twillingate: “And there you find yourself, Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, And oddly enough, It’s exactly where you want to be.”
Events: Without a doubt, the Tattoo and Screech-In are at the top of our list, but we saw plays, and walked through museums, government buildings, forts, gardens and much, much more.
Other favorite memories – As part of a caravan, we were in different places almost every day or two, seeing different things in our own vehicle (we pull a travel trailer), in cars of newly-made-friends, on tour buses, from tour boats and a schooner, and walking. Here are a few other topics that come to mind:
Creatures — Eagles, ospreys, moose, caribou, deer, a fox, and livestock grazing peacefully in verdant pastures.
Scenery – The Atlantic and other great waters; glacier-sculpted hills, rocks, lakes and rivers; fishing villages; icebergs (not many this summer), Jellybean houses in St. John’s, the Bay of Fundy.
Food – Lobsters, cod, haddock, salmon, crabs (depending on the seafood season), Poutine, Denair, fish & chips, Tim Horton’s bakery/coffee shops; a lot more that we either sampled or didn’t want to try.
I have to mention again that each of the Atlantic Provinces is unlike the others, except that they all have evolved around fishing and have histories that are linked with the explorations by Europeans, and therefore are somewhat similar. Going to any and thinking you’ve seen it all is a mistake.
And finally, for the sake of those who qualified as Newfies, “Long may your big jib draw.”
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved