Newfoundland Part 3

By Remy

We are suffering some technical difficulties which are severely testing our patience and harshing our vibe. It’s also why we had to post Newfoundland in 3 different parts. If we can’t solve this issue then we may switch to a completely different format of staying in touch. For now, let’s get on with part 3!

Remember the earlier remarks about the weather? Hurricane Larry amplified things and forced us to flee the Avalon Peninsula before we were ready to consider it explored. We retired to Gambo where the only effect we felt was a night of rain. We had been receiving reports from Chris and Doug of pleasant weather in Cape Breton and decided it was time to head back to our ferry in Port aux Basques. We spent the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in Gander, which was a meaningful experience as it was one of the few places in the world that didn’t feel helpless in the days following the attack. We got off the track we had already beaten with a stay in King’s Point, which celebrates it status as one of the least-foggy places in Newfoundland (that tells you something else about the weather here).

“When in Rome, dress as the Romans do.” Liz models her new van slippers, produced locally in Cape Bonavista. They happen to be synthetic (Liz can’t wear wool – the pea for this princess) and the colours match the design palette of the Radvan.
Our last stay on the Avalon Peninsula in Witless Bay. Sites like this were typical in Newfoundland. We did a nice hike here and gorged on blueberries before the clouds of Hurricane Larry rolled in.
Climbing back up Signal Hill after our fish and chips and beer feed in Quidi Vidi. The Rock is no match for this rock-hard woman!
The boardwalk trail along the entrance of St. John’s Harbour leading to the Lower Battery site. The trail at one point actually passes through someone’s back yard, and if one is lucky you can say “hi” to the homeowner enjoying a beer on his deck as you walk across it.

By the time we boarded our return ferry to Nova Scotia we felt like veterans of Newfoundland. I know that is a bold statement, as we will always be “come from away” and have never experienced a winter here, but the place has gotten under our skin. Much like Haida Gwaii, which had a similar effect on us, Newfoundland is a truly wild place, and its people live very close to that. Even the souvenir shops reflect this, as they are full of goods like knitwear, hooked rugs, carved antlers and preserved local foods. It is totally authentic and usually produced by villagers local to where the shops are – no “Made in China” crap here! We ate much from the land and sea, and when you stand on the coast and watch the ocean, you are very aware that you are on the edge of the world here. We admire the resilience of the people that live here and appreciate their warm, friendly and helpful nature and sense of humour. We are glad we came, and hope that many of our friends and families will do the same! 

The ferry terminal in North Sydney, as seen from where we spent our first night back in Nova Scotia. We are ever so grateful for the number of different ways we get to witness the beauty of this country!


Published by tompkinsontheroad

Married mother of two awesome boys who is now living full time in a self converted Camper van and seeing more of the world. We gave up something super special to live our dream of living a free and simple life on the road exploring new places and taking joy in the discovery of the extraordinary

5 thoughts on “Newfoundland Part 3

  1. Hi Liz and Remy!

    I am loving your stories and photos! A grand adventure of the best kind.

    We are doing great, slowly extracting ourselves from Nelson in as humane and reasonable a way as possible. Besides the organizing/selling/trips to the Sally Anne, it’s mostly an issue of downloading jobs and responsibilities to other people so that we can manage things remotely. It’s challenging as I’d like to have my sticky fingers all over everything but I am learning to trust the process!

    Craig and I bought a house in Victoria that is similar to our house in Nelson, but it is split into five suites, not 3 like ours here. And it’s 4 houses from the ocean!!!! We are going to occupy the main floor and 1 of the 2 basement suites, Ella is going to live in the converted garage in the back yard, and there is another occupied basement suite and a entire top floor suite which for the moment is rented out. It’s a serious house hacking situation, lol! Craig is going to wedge a mini-shop into the basement, and then we will just reevaluate as things progress.

    Sarah decided also to get on board and bought a house just a 10 minute walk from us, and my mom is moving into a senior community 10 minute walk the other direction, so it’s all falling into place. We’re aiming for simple and easy. The moment it’s a bit complicated and messy but by Dec hopefully we will all be landed and sorted and ready for fun.

    As a collective family we all just decided to make a bold and sweeping move to improve the greater situation for everyone, and remove the travelling to see each other portion of the show. The girls also want to be on the coast and although that was a factor for sure, quite frankly, the smoke and heat this summer and Nelson was a bit much. We felt like we had all of our eggs in the Kooteney basket and all of a sudden that basket was feeling a bit vulnerable.

    It’s difficult to share that perspective with folks around here as people are still buying, and of course, most people we know own land and property, but we decided we needed to take action ASAP. Climate refugees? Kinda. Yeesh. Maybe that’s a bit harsh…I think we saw the writing on the wall that things may get much worse and quickly, and if that is the case, we need to anticipate and manage our options accordingly and not get caught out. If things are manageable into the future we still have property here and an investment in the community but all our eggs are not in that one basket.

    It’s also a major downsizing process, in which I think of you often as I put a free pile or sell something on Kijiji. So far, so good! My mom down the street is moving from her big place into a 600 square-foot apartment in a senior community, so she has also had to take a hard look at the physical possessions getting in the way of her new lifestyle, too.

    So that’s the update from our end:-)

    Thrills and spills but lots of gratitude too. We’re able to do it, and we don’t have a couple of toddlers making things harder and wanting attention all the time. Remember the days???

    I’m not going to say I hope you’re having a great time, as I can clearly see that you are🌻No doubt there are challenges, but that’s life, right?!

    Best to you both and take care,



    1. I am so impressed that you are all moving as a collective! Your tight family bond prevails.
      Enjoy the process and when things get tough moving from your beloved community just listen to your own advice…. “ you can’t have it both ways”. Your words echo in my head whenever I get too deep into thinking about the things we are missing out on back home.
      Please send photos when you can! We will be watching with great interest as you make this huge ( and hopefully final) move
      Thanks for reading our blog.


  2. Makes me want to go back to Newfoundland soon ! Our neighbours are from Bona Vista – probably one of their relatives or friends that knit those lovely slippers !


  3. I am totally enjoying each and every post and photo! The beauty that the two of you are experiencing is amazing!! I Love the slippers Liz, and all the colorful, beautiful photos/ Thank you for sharing


  4. Newfoundland Parts 1to 3 Pictures marvelous and Commentaries totally entertaining as usual.Looking forward to your next adventure ❤ Cheers 🍻


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