Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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Are there ferries in Ferryland?

Posted by Rishiray on August 21, 2010


So you’re in Newfoundland, and a couple thoughts might pass through your head, such as

  • “Ok, I expect to have the best fish and chips around, since these people know their fish”
  • “I feel like scotch, since this place looks like what I imagined Wuthering Heights to look like when I was in my form 3 English Literature class”
  • “Am I in Scotland? I could sure use some scotch … preferably a dram or two of Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
  • First passages of Hamlet …
  • What would Bilbo Baggins do on a hike over the hills here to Mordor?

Walking along the coast, with the water crashing on shore and a cold breeze passing over you, you can help but think about the storms to pass and how difficult life used to be.

Thinking about a bleak, dismal morning after a long night of fog horns and lighthouses …

At no point, was I thinking that I would be on the Irish loop, heading to Ferryland for the Lighthouse Picnic. If you’re heading out of St. Johns, having lunch by the lighthouse would be a worthwhile stop. You’re furnished with everything needed for a nice little picnic by the shore.  What makes this place incredible is its location and its concept.  You go into the lighthouse to order and then they give you a picnic blanket and a patterned flag that symbolizes your order.

The conversation goes something like this after

  • Me: “Where do we go?”
  • Them: “Anywhere…”
  • Me: “What do you mean?”
  • Them: “Go find a place.”
  • Me: “Anywhere?”
  • Them: “Yes” <insert their thought process … look ya dumb f##k … we’re in a lighthouse, and you’re by a cliff … go outside and stop asking dumb questions.>

Overall the process is like this …

  • You’re given blankets, one per couple, and feel free to pick your pied a terre for your picnic outside among the beautiful, rugged surroundings on lighthouse point.
  • The blankets are made specially made of a heavy fabric with tartan print and the bottom is covered in vinyl, so that it is easy to clean and doesn’t soak through. A small flag is also provided. You stick them in the ground next to your blanket so that the servers will know which group you are for serving purposes.
  • After walking around and taking the necessary pictures, the girls ended up with two picnic hampers containing a variety of scrumptious looking goodies.
  • All of the breads at Lighthouse Picnics are made daily on site. I peeked in, as they were being brought out of the kitchen and found the aroma of the beautiful, large loaves of foccacia and whole wheat bread to be intoxicating. It was like smelling the most wonderful perfume. Needless to say these breads made fabulous sandwiches. I tried a curried chicken salad on whole wheat made from fresh roasted chicken in a creamy but lightly seasoned curry dressing. It was a standard pedestrian curry spice but the whole assembly made a delicious sandwich.

Now I have to say, that as a Trinidadian … this whole idea of lighthouse picnics, craggy moors, crashing waves and thistle is pretty foreign to me. I mean going to Caura River in Central Trinidad is enough of a camping, picnic experience for me – however this isn’t the worst thing ever.

While in Ferryland, there is also some culture and history to take in. There are the ruins of the Colony of Avalon. I dont know why, but I just think about King Arthur, some knights on a square table and scotch wench. Anyway, most people have no idea that there was permanent European settlement in North America so far back, and that Newfoundland played such an important role. The Ferryland settlement was “forgotten”, and its remains lay undisturbed for centuries.

Cool as all this was, I was still on the hunt for fish and chips … and the general feedback was that we should head over to Ches’s.

By the way, after lunch, driving, scotch and fish and chips and learning that addresses in Ferryland use the alphanumerically lowest postal codes in Canada, starting with A0A

I’m still looking for ferries …

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