Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Part 1: The journey to Fogo Island

It'd be pretty silly to apologize for my blog laziness these days, since I've been so absent, but I'd like to say sorry for my tardiness to my good friend Paula who graciously hosted us in Fogo Island, Newfoundland last weekend and treated us to such a good time. She and and her wonderful hubby Steve were so great about showing us around and feeding us such yummy food.

So, after spending a night in Gander, we headed for the fabled Fogo Island, which was made famous in that I's the B'y song that everyone sang at some point in school. My oldest friend (for 27 years!) Paula moved there a few months ago with her husband, new baby, and adorable dog, and we were their first visitors.

Let me say firstly that it was a lot further than I expected. It took in the neighbourhood of an hour to drive to Farewell where the ferry leaves. For anyone who is planning on going, I have two pieces of advice: 1) bring a map (there aren't many signs along the way); 2) eat in Gander before you go. We were excited and left without breakfast and discovered that there isn't anything in Farewell except the ferry and a vending machine. We were super early so we backtracked, but still couldn't find anything but a gas station where we bought some of those plastic-wrapped sandwiches that somehow have expiry dates stretching one month into the future. Mine was actually pretty good.

The ferry ride was quick and pleasant with a very short stop in the Change Islands. The vessel was the same actual boat that used to carry passengers between New Brunswick and PEI before Confederation Bridge was built, so it was very familiar. Again, for anyone planning on making this trip, there is only vending machines on board, so be prepared. The crossing is only about an hour.

After getting off the ferry, we drove the last 20 minutes to Paula's place and it really was such a different world. After a straight stretch of highway at the beginning, the road started to wind around inlets and rocky terrain covered with red heather alongside the foggy coast. All the businesses (convenience stores, pubs, and even a tanning salon) were inside old residential houses, which is so charming.

Upon our arrival, Paula had a huge spread of freshly caught crab that she got straight from the fishery, Newfoundland potato salad, and yummy white bread rolls. I think I ate twice as much as everyone else. Rule of thumb: 8 lbs of crab is more that enough for 3 regular people and one greedy one. The crab was by far the best I've ever had. The fishermen pressure cook it immediately after catching it, so you only have to steam it to warm it up again. The flesh came out of the shell in one, luscious piece. Thanks so much, Paula. I am so lucky.

1 comment:

Shell said...

Fresh seafood (insert drool here)
I am SO envious of you