Experiences in Newfoundland are really a nesting egg kind of thing with a causeway leading to an island whose ferry then leads to an even smaller island which, when you get there, makes all that wandering worthwhile. And the most common adjective used around here is magical with places like Twillingate offering both icebergs and whales seemingly within an arm’s reach of shore. Even the time zone, which is a half hour ahead of the Maritimes, has a bit of a Harry Potter quality to it.
From Twillingate we drove a few hours to Elliston which is known for their root cellars and puffins. The latter hang out an island so close you can almost jump to it. Depending on the time of day, you can either spy them hanging out at their own island or venturing onto the main coast (and then resting a few feet away from yourself). Whales are also common so you might have a bit of dilemma over where to point the camera. Afterwards a beautiful sand beach waits for you to splash around in the waves. Considering the icebergs in the distance, the water really is not that cold.
Making this all the more fun are the over seventy dialects found on the island with many of them able to be traced back to specific hamlets in England, Scotland, and Ireland. This type of linguistic diversity can only be possible if cultivated in isolation and the island offers plenty of that. For our puffin morning, we shared the soft grass cliffs with exactly three other people. At Twillingate, despite the many bed and breakfasts, we were mostly alone when picking up ice on the beach or spying whales from shore. Although easily reached now by good paved roads, they were accessible only by boat up to the mid-1960s. According to an older local, Twillingate did not even have phones until the late 1950s and electricity was not a given anywhere until much later. Tourism for the most part has been slow to gain a foothold on the island and tent camping has been easy with campgrounds filled with new and returning visitors. There is a long tradition here of Americans making friends on the beginning with U.S. servicemen, who were stationed at bases throughout Newfoundland during the World and Cold Wars, returning home with Newfie brides.
So I sit her now at my campsite a little before seven. Corey and Henna are sound asleep but the strong wind has kept me awake. Last night while setting up camp a strong gust blew the tent up and into a low branch. When we plan these trips we try not to get bogged down in the details. Just pick a direction and go (let the wind take us wherever). It was funny watching our tent do the same. Noel