A Trek Through Gaultois

FeaturedA Trek Through Gaultois

Gaultois is a tiny community on Long Island on Newfoundland’s South Coast. It is a short ferry ride from Hermitage across 6 km of ocean and takes approximately 20 mins. Your vehicle will be left in Hermitage, as there are no roads in Gaultois.

 

map

Map image courtesy of Newfoundland Labrador Transportation and Works

 

Leaving Hermitage with beautiful views along the way.

 

Fjords, beautiful vistas and no fog, a gift from September.

 

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Hmmmmmmm………………….

 

Arriving in Gaultois.

 

 Anyone need a cab?

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The terrible news came in 1990.

Gaultois was once a thriving community.  Fishery Products International decided to close the fish plant in 1990 because it had too many plants on the south coast. It is a testament to the tenacity and hard work of the people of Gaultois that approximately 100 people still live there. Most want to resettle but still haven’t reached a majority vote.

 

The ferry leaves and we begin our trek up to Gaultois.

Gaultois is home to three, possibly four (it depends on who you talk to :))  distinct areas, The Valley, The Room, The Point and The Bottom.

Trekking along.

We had a great lunch at The Gaultois Inn  and then continued our walk.

 

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Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do this trail to the abandoned community of Piccaire.

 

 

 

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School Transportation.

I was surprised to learn that there are still 17 students, with two teachers in Gaultois.  As we were leaving , some of the older students zoomed up on their dirt bikes or quads and took the 3:30 pm ferry to Hermitage. They planned to return on the 7 pm ferry.  Many residents of Gaultios have cars and trucks that they leave in Hermitage.

 

 

I like seeing clothes drying on clotheslines, but these disturbed me. I imagined the hard work involved pushing the clothesline up hill  and then the dust from the moving  quads blowing on the other two.

 

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Bike in Gaultois

This photo tells visually how I felt when I left Gaultois. Overcome with sadness.

I hesitated in writing this in the event that some of the current residents of the community read this post; but in doing a little research, I found that although the town is somewhat divided on resettlement, most are eager to leave and start anew. There are some plans in the works for rejuvenation, and if that is what the residents want, I wish them well.

Gaultois, plan a visit, stay at the inn, do a walkabout or two, talk to the locals and form your own thoughts and opinions.

 

“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.”  ? author

 

Photos L. Fudge

Restoring My Soul In Harbour Breton

FeaturedRestoring My Soul In Harbour Breton

Harbour Breton on Newfoundland’s South Coast should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is the home of amazing fjords, cliffs and mountains, storytelling beaches and ocean, fields of Canada burnet (bottle brush), multi-coloured seaweed and amazing hiking trails.

Please click the link below for more information.

Harbour Breton

The hiking trail which starts in Deadman’s Cove and connects with One Mile Pond Is approximately 5 km (one way) and is almost surreal in its beauty.

The Dalai Lama was posed this question by F. Von Schonborn “Never before has there been so much affluence for such large segments of the population in the West. And yet more and more people appear to be asking: Does this whole thing-do our lives- have any kind of purpose?”   A part of his response was “…………….if we are discontent, even the most beautiful things will rub us the wrong way. Then we are gripped by anger and hatred for ourselves and others. Then we no longer feel good in our own skin. We cannot enjoy a beautiful flower, the song of a bird, or the smile of a child. This shows how important is is for us to live in harmony with ourselves.”  Hiking and nature keep me grounded and, finally, comfortable in my own skin.

Seaweed in Vase
Seaweed in a Vase  L. Fudge/C. Fudge

 

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A Gift From the Sea Photo L. Fudge/C. Fudge

I have never seen such different colours/shades of seaweed.

Primrose? along the trail.

 

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After climbing Iron Skull Mountain the previous day, this was the perfect trail to rejuvenate us.

Chinese architecture:)

Around the pond.

 

There are walks on which I lose myself, walks which return me to myself again.

  In Praise of Walking Thomas A. Clark

 

 

There are many other great hiking trails and scenic vistas in Harbour Breton and although we did see much of the town, we moved on. Gun Hill Hike and others are on my radar for next year.

Thanks to my husband, sister and brother in law for a most memorable road trip.

Photos L. Fudge

 

Iron Skull Mountain Trail, Belleoram

FeaturedIron Skull Mountain Trail, Belleoram

“I see a picture of Iron Skull, and it brings a tear to my eye,
For I know, she stands guard o’er the birthplace of this Newfie boy”.

Johnny Drake/The Dorymen

 

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Iron Skull Mountain is the highest mountain in Fortune Bay and is 1129 feet/344 meters high. I would rate this trail as difficult and recommend the use of a hiking stick.  Allow 4 to 5 hours (return) for the hike.

I also suggest that when you start the final rocky climb up,  you leave some sort of marker to the wooded trail area. When we started down, we had a little difficulty connecting with the trail again.  My husband climbed down through the trees walked across the mountain until he connected with the trail and then let us know his whereabouts. It was easy to see the marsh that we had walked over far below, but hard to distinguish the actual trail.

 

But before we begin…… a little tour of Belleoram which is on the south coast of Newfoundland in Fortune Bay.

 

While Belleoram is no longer the bustling center it once was, it is still a community with a million dollar view.  It has a population of approximately 400 and I saw four (there may be more), convenience stores!

The mountains and hills surrounding Belleoram, together with the vibrant blue of the ocean, provide a breathtaking scene that is spellbinding.

 

…….and away we go.

The trail into the actual beginning of the trek up takes approximately 40 mins. and is overgrown but not without interest.

 

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.    Carol Welch

 

 

We begin the climb. My sister told me about this hike and we, along with my husband, left early in the morning.  There have been many bear sightings in this area recently. Fortunately we didn’t see one, but saw tracks and other signs.

 

 

 

Headin’ Home

John Drake….The Dorymen

Many years have gone by since I left my Fortune Bay home,
Full of dreams and ambitions, as a young man I wanted to roam;
But now things are different, I’m older and wiser, I guess,
And I’d love to return to that homeland that I love the best.

My friends and relations, I miss them more every day,
And in dreams I go back to my childhood down in old Fortune Bay;
I see a picture of Iron Skull, and it brings a tear to my eye,
For I know, she stands guard o’er the birthplace of this Newfie boy.

And I leave Bishops Falls, head down that Bay D’Espoir Road,
There’s a lump in my throat, son, ’cause I know that I’m headin’ home;
And when I reach St Jacques, I know everything is alright,
I got two miles to go and I’ll be in Belleoram tonight.

That old Fishermen’s Lodge is now a modern day home,
The roads, they are paved, and them old fishing schooners are gone;
That old church looks the same as it did when I sang in the choir,
The Orange Lodge gave its music to the lounge on the government wharf.

The dories made way for the faster and modern speed boat,
As you walk around town, you’ll not see a sheep, cow, or goat;
The steamers don’t call here, they are a thing of the past,
Now, it’s phoned-home visits, my, things are changing so fast.

My memories may fail me, but I feel like a king when I say,
I’m a proud Newfoundlander from Belleoram, down in old Fortune Bay.

And I leave Bishops Falls, head down that Bay D’Espoir Road,
There’s a lump in my throat, son, ’cause I know that I’m headin’ home;
And when I reach St Jacques, I know everything is alright,
I got two miles to go and I’ll be in Belleoram tonight.
Just two miles to go and I’ll be in Belleoram tonight.

####…. John Henry Drake [1936-2006] of Belleoram, NL (Headin’ Home, SWC Productions) ….####

Johnny Drake, along with Thomas G (Tom) Rose [1940-?] of Bay Du Nord, NL, co-founded The Dorymen in 1969.

 

 

He has reached home.

 

 

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“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”    Edward Abbey

 

Another great adventure with my husband and sister!

 

Photos by L. Fudge