Now that I’d returned to the mainland which is Newfoundland proper, I was to head to the southern coast of Newfoundland to catch another ferry to another island. Yeah, yeah, I know…
But, I had a lot a traveling to do in front of me. First south, then west, then southeast, and then finally south again until I reached where I would spend the night before getting on the boat. And that would take the entire day. A very long day. Aw c’mon, this can’t be the way to Burgeo, can it?
Before I proceed with this retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, let me recap some earlier posts for background material. First, Newfoundland is big…damn big. Secondly, much of it is still wild without a lot of settlement on it save for the coasts. Third, there aren’t many places to stop for food, directions, or even meaningless conversations over coffee. When you do find a place, make sure you get some take along food and drink, anything. For me it was chocolate-covered cookies and water. Did I mention it’s big? Fourth, where you can stop will probably have the most bizarre collection of chips available, that you might not want to sample unless you’ll be near a toilet. Fifth, while the maps are quite accurate, nothing prepares you for the enormous space similar to going what Australians call their Outback but here is just out there and out there are absolutely no kangaroos. Sorry, Mate! Hopefully you get the picture. I did mention it’s big, didn’t I?
This is the first time I’d be traveling in Newfoundland without a view of the sea nearby and that’s a bit disconcerting. All my previous travels here have never been far away from water and I’m missing the outports and all their character and stories.
While the original intent for my book “Arn? Narn?” was to be an exploration of isolation, nothing had prepared me for this. This part of the island is rugged and almost barren; more rock than brush, some trees, many bogs, few seen moose or caribou, and lonely, very lonely. There was no radio reception out here and I was grateful for the working cd player. And because it was so remote, beyond what the odometer told me, I had no real idea of where I was going. Friends have also told me that, but I digress. And the cookies were running perilously low. If I was going to find my way back, I would probably need them for crumbs to leave a trail.
Onward I drove. From Fogo though Birchy Bay, Norris Arm, to Deer Lake through to Pasadena (no I couldn’t have traveled that far!) then Corner Brook, right hand turn at Barachois Pond Provincial Park into Burgeo, my resting place for the night. Well over 650 miles this day. Resting place indeed. Try crash and burn and wake me next year place. But I won’t need any more cookies for this part of the trip, oh no, – I’m going on another boat! Maybe some Dramamine though.