Sunday, July 31

A Fogo Island Tale

Friday evening after exploring New World Island I hauled out the map to see what I might do the next day (this is long range planning for me) and saw a blue line which indicates a vehicle ferry route to Fogo Island. So I decide to drive on over to Farewell (where the ferry departs from) and maybe just make a day trip (with the van this time) if I can get aboard and it doesn't cost too much. No need to Google Fogo Island - it has a ferry so their must be something to see when I get there, right?

Arriving at Farewell I see fifty or so cars, several RVs, and two big trucks lined up, so when I roll up to the ticket booth, my first question is - "got room for me" the guy says "sure" - me, "how much is this going to cost?" - $11.50 comes the reply - me, "and how much for the van?" - "that's for you and the van" - hey, I knew going to Fogo was a great idea!

One of the smaller ferries going to another island


Arriving at Stag Harbour, on Fogo Island, I arbitrarily decided to head for Fogo (town) - the island has nine small villages. It was a nice, scenic, uneventful drive across the island. In town I was immediately faced with a "left or right" decision at a "T" intersection, left I go. Then two "Y" intersections, and I stick with left. See where this is going? One right turn and I might not have this tale to tell (and for you to suffer through) - or, I suppose, maybe just a entirely different tale - who knows about these things.

After winding my way through town I find myself at Brimstone Head Park with a trail described as a challenging hike to "one of the four corners of the world". As first I think, this is a dumb idea, as I look up and see lots of stairs, but the "four corners" thing overwhelms my common sense - up I go. I used my "slow but sure" hiking technique and had some nice views on the way up - but the fog rolled in as I reached the top, so no great pics. However a plaque does shed a little (very little) light on the "four corners" mention - surprise, the Flat Earth Society, has designated Brimstone Head as one of the four corners of the flat earth.

Brimstone Head - doesn't look like much from the parking lot
Rest stop about 2/3 of the way up
See the van? Just kidding.


Returning from my epic adventure to the very edge of the world I noticed that what I thought was just several RVs parked while their owners were out hiking was really a campground - unusual because my trusty campground app (AllStays) made no mention of it. Better investigate, in case I'm ever back this way - remember this is only a short day trip. I head over to a group of folks (four ladies enjoying the view and afternoon sun in their camp chairs, two guys talking nearby) I ask the ladies "is this afternoon tea?" - two reply in unison "no way, it's cold beer time". I then inquiry if anyone can give me some information about the campground, everyone points to a lady, who then comes over and starts telling me everything (surprisingly I understand her - turns out she spends six months in Arizona - Note: Newfoundlanders have a very unique Irish based accent, not easy (sometimes impossible) to understand and it becomes increasingly more difficult on these out of the way islands and towns). When I say I'm not spending the night (just want the info) everyone is disappointed, and I get bombarded with reasons why I should stay and that I should at least climb Brimstone Head before I leave. "Just did that" I said and the lady jumps up, hustles over to her RV and comes back with this:


After getting my certificate, I ask the guys for a lunch place recommendation - one say "%#~*\?(" is very good. I said "Tommys"? he responds "):-#%€<~]*" then adds "just past the church" which I get. Turns out the restaurant's name was Beaches, good thing the church was next door!

Had some good Fish & Chips and was paying my bill when I noticed a sign saying the restaurant would close at 7:00pm for Eddie Coffey and that tickets were still available. So, naturally, I had to ask "who is Eddie Coffey" - she replies, "a Newfoundland legend" and lots of (I'm sure) interesting information about Eddie that I couldn't understand. But, I'm always up for hearing a "legend", so goodby "day trip" - I've found a reason to stay overnight! Only one little issue - after a waaaaaay to long conversation with the waitress I finally get that Eddie doesn't do his thing until 10:00pm. I ask why so late, she said "that's early". When does it end, "around 1:30, but usually later". Yikes, better go get a nape! Showtime, and I was one of maybe six visitors. I retired at 1:00 and heard the next day that it went until after 2:00. Fun night, Eddie was pretty darn good, after only being on the island for eight hours I had three locals that recognized me at the concert - one of Eddie's song says "there are no strangers in Newfoundland" - especially on Fogo Island, guess that's true. Sorry, dark bar/restaurant no pictures of Eddie.


From around the Fogo Island:

Good night, sorry for the looooong post.