Saturday, July 18, 2015

All around the circle!

Dildo Run Provincial Park, NL – The alarm clock went off at 5:30 this mor-ning, be-cause we had to be at Farewell a half-hour before the ferry was to sail for Fogo Island. It was about a 45-minute drive and we didn’t want to be rushed at a time of day when moose tend to graze onto the highway.

A stiff wind was thrashing through the trees as we headed for the ferry, popping seasick pills along the way in anticipation of a rough crossing. The boat did heave and sway, but we were fine and the trip only took about an hour. On display in the seating area were some lovely panels of pieced fabric, depicting typical scenes of the island. They were made by local seniors as part of a project to tap into the rich experiences and knowledge of this age group, and to encourage them to form a kind of welcome party for the many tourists who visit every year.
Alice and Phyllis, at the visitor information centre, were two such welcoming seniors who told us all about the highlights of the island, where we could eat, and general chit-chat. I could have listened to their quaint expressions and lovely accents for hours.

The town of Fogo was our first destination, on the north shore of the island. I wanted to complete my photo trifecta of me standing in front of the signs for Fogo, Twillingate and Moreton’s Harbour, since I got the other two shots yesterday.

After a lei-surely drive around the harbour, we proceeded on to Joe Batt’s Arm. Besides see-ing the town, we had another plan: to try and find Val’s friend Harvey, who worked with him in Kingston over 40 years ago and who came from Joe Batt’s Arm. Alice at the visitor centre said she knew him and that he did summer on the island, so he might be there.
First we stopped for a comforting bowl of seafood chowder at Nicole’s, to ward off the very chilly weather. Today was supposed to be the day for the Great Fogo Island Punt Race, an annual event where competitors paddle “to there and back” on the open sea in wooden punts – but it was too cold and rough, so it was postponed. It still meant a pretty busy day for the staff at Nicole’s, but we were able to ask Pauline, who’s from JBA, if she knew Harvey. Indeed she did, and she gave us directions to his house.

The other JBA must-see was the Fogo Island Inn, an ultra-modern, high-luxury hotel built on the rocks, where guests may enjoy a room for $1,000 a night! A shuttle service drives you to the hotel from a satellite parking lot, and you can drop in for tea if you’d rather not break the bank. We perused the lobby, admired the quirky décor and took our leave.
Finally, we set off in search of Harvey’s house on the off chance he might actually be there. We knocked on the door and, when he opened it, chuckled inwardly at his puzzled expression, which shortly changed to amazement when he realized who we were! His wife Barb was also there, and welcomed us with great hugs. We only had a short time with them, but it was delightful to catch up after four decades. It was also great to see what Harvey and Barb had done to the house, which belonged to three generations before him, and was now lovingly refurbished with original wide-planked floors, hooked rugs and scenes of the sea on the walls.

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