Last summer I island hopped off the coast of Newfoundland. Islands in Newfoundland? a common reaction…..but, yes, there are quite a few of them, and they are stunningly beautiful, each one different than the last.
After flying into Gander, a short ferry ride from Farewell took us to Fogo island, where the transition felt immediate. Gorgeous rocky shorelines with slabs of granite meet the tumultuous North Atlantic.
The island felt immediately secluded with rough beauty, incredible views, and like nowhere I had ever been before. There were only a few shops and the ones that were there boasted fabulous coastal views.
Views and experiences on Fogo were made more dramatic by relentless heavy rain, and chilling temperatures leaving me chilled to the bone . Did I mention I visited in July?
Art studios are dotted around the coast, all part of an arts initiative by local millionaire Zita Cobb, who returned to Fogo Island to invigorate the local economy. Cobb’s vision for Fogo was shaped by her travels through Africa. When she realized that her home island was suffering greatly with the decline of the fishing industry, she created the Shorefast Foundation, named after the lines that fix cod traps to the shore.
One of the four new artist’s studios on Fogo Island is called Squish, meaning off-kilter. Built to host artists from Canada , the artists-in-residence programs are a major factor in the goals of the Shorefast Foundation. Zita knew that contemporary art was a part of the equation of connecting the community internationally.
Fogo Island is a very special place , as is Newfoundland. I can’t wait to return, for much longer next time.
If you go: Fly to Gander, rent a car and drive about 90 minutes to catch the ferry in Farewell, which takes about an hour to Fogo Island. Local time can be confusing as the time difference is in ½ hour segments
Where to stay: Quintals Guest House: delightful, beautifully decorated, and cozy, http://www.quintalhouse.ca
Make sure to eat at: Nicole’s Cafe, Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo, 709-658-3663www.nicolescafe.ca for locally inspired and scrumptious cuisine
More information, visit: AdventureCentralNewfoundland.ca, 1-888-489-2366
photos by Jeff Thomason