There is an island, way off the East coast of Canada called Newfoundland. In a previous life, Denis spent years working as a diver around Newfoundland and Labrador, restoring shipwrecks and photographing underwater. Memories of icebergs, humpback whales, frigid waters, lobster meals and wild house parties entertained by fiddlers and singers with thick Irish accents have never left him and in recognition of this, Newfoundland holds a worthy spot in our list of Dream Journeys.
Newfoundland is a barren and lonely land empty in the middle but covered by small coastal communities with wonderful names like Come By Chance, Conception Bay, Dildo and Heart's Content. This itinerary is for those who like to drive and who like to explore in a "slow way" taking in quiet villages and experiencing the outdoors. We start in St John's, the provincial capital and the oldest city in North America, and move to the small remote communities of Trinity and Fogo Island before finishing at the UNESCO heritage site of Gros Morne, carved by glaciers where hikes with naturalists explain why seeing this wilderness is so difficult to describe. Ice is, in fact, never far away and icebergs of all shapes and sizes are seen drifting from northern Labrador and the Arctic down the coast. Highlights are often the boat trips to look at icebergs where you will hopefully sight a few whales feeding around the area but also having a few rum and cokes with the locals in a local pub with live music.
The accomodation ranges from B&Bs to the most incredible wilderness lodge one has to see to believe. The owners and staff at each place reflect a true Newfoundland hospitality and humour. The travel industry now says that this remote part of Canada is becoming the new "in place" to visit. Parts of us hope this will be a new wave of tourism for the province after having gone through so many economic hardships but, on the other hand, parts of us hope it will remain one of our secrets a little bit longer.
Yes, Newfoundland is very far from our Asia and South Pacific "backyard", but we have never shied away from remote lands and magical people and Newfoundland definitely fits the bill.
Early summer is a good start, from early June until September.
WHERE DOES IT START?
St John's (and be careful, there is a St John in another province called New Brunswick) - You want St John's Newfoundland...
A minimum of eight days
DID YOU KNOW?
The row houses on St John's waterfront were painted different colours so the ships could see them in the fog.