There's a popular Newfoundland song - perhaps THE most popular Newfoundland folk song- called I's the B'y. If you're not from the Rock (our nickname for Newfoundland), this translates to "I'm the guy", and the song details exactly who "the guy" is.
If you're a Newfie, you're undoubtedly singing the song in your head right now.
The lyrics of the famous chorus go:
Hip yer partner, Sally Thibeault
Hip yer partner, Sally Brown
Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton's Harbour
All around the circle
When we set out to spend the May 2-4 weekend in Twillingate, we didn't have any intentions of traveling very far outside, but when we considered how doable a day trip to Fogo was, we just couldn't resist.
It was a pretty grey day, and we all donned our winter coats as per the Victoria Day weekend tradition of freezing temperatures and a possibility of snow. The overcast skies really give Fogo its moody feels and that's kind of part of the experience there.
When Dave and I traveled here in 2015 for our mini moon, we splurged on a meal at the Fogo Island Inn. We kind of enjoy telling the tale about how awful our food was, but we've heard of other people really enjoying the food there so we chalked it up to a bad coincidence that we hated everything on the menu that night. This time, we just admired the inn from the outside and picked up food at the grocery store instead.
Once we had completed the Fogo leg of our trip, it seemed like a shame not to head to Moreton's Harbour. So off we went, just for the heck of it.
We jokingly mused amongst ourselves that we couldn't understand how Moreton's Harbour made it into The Circle. I mean, it's a lovely enough NL outport community but there's really nothing there. Perhaps it used to have more? Was it just audibly pleasing for the sake of the song's rhythmic pattern? Here's a photo of it:
Back in Twillingate, we witnessed two beautiful sunsets and a few icebergs here and there. I've been hearing that the number of 'berg sightings is down, so I guess we were fortunate to see the few we did. I'm still waiting for an opportunity to see one up close and personal, but TBH, it would probably go a lot like this.
We had a lovely meal at the Anchor Inn, and I have to give them a huge shoutout for meeting my very demanding diet restrictions. Not only that, it was quite delicious despite having to leave out the apple compote, dressing and spices on my salmon.
Dave and our friend Sean frequented the brewery there a couple times, and my favourite spot was a new little artisan shop that just opened up right across the street. I picked out this sweet little mug there, as any of you who know me know I can't turn down a nice mug purchase while traveling. Or any time.
I made Dave pose for this photo, and because he is such a good sport and husband, he did it. This place was one of my favourites when I came here with my family back in '08, but it was closed the day we went there. I'd highly recommend it if you ever go to Twilly, though.
The photo at the top of this post is of one of the other highlights. That cute little fishing stage is found in Durrel, which is right next to Twillingate. A sweet old man named Melvin owns it, and he calls it his "museum". Inside you'll find all kinds of knick knacks collected from over the years, including a MASSIVE collection of PENS from just about every country in the world. It's totally worth the little drive to have a chat with Melvin and see what's in there.
Before we headed back to Corner Brook on Monday, we took a long, scenic detour. There are a lot of abandoned homes and buildings in these outport communities. It's equal parts sad and fascinating to wonder about the people who lived in them, why they left and what life was like in the olden days. During our travels we came across a lot of these old homes, but this one stuck out to me for its vibrant colour. Not to mention the fact that the laundry on the clothesline next door means someone still lives right next to it. It's just such an interesting contrast to see signs of life next to places that have been dead to the world for many years.
There are many times I don't like living in Newfoundland. The winters, the difficulty (and expense) of actually leaving the island, the lack of stores and services you'd find in larger cities. But I love learning about our rich cultural history and exploring the beautiful coastlines, and trips like this always increase my appreciation for both. I'm so proud to live here, where we can enjoy safety, fresh air, and quick access to the ocean.
Some days I wonder if we'll ever have an opportunity to leave and if we would take it. I honestly don't know. For now, I'm grateful that winter is fully over and we're about to head into Newfoundland's prime season. And I highly recommend you make your way all around "the" circle and all the other outport circles Newfoundland has to offer. Who knows what other hidden gems you'll find.