In September of 2018, Botwood NL hosted the Global Mural Arts Conference. This is no small feat for a town of its size. Botwood Mural Arts Society began in 2010 during the town’s Come Home Year and has grown from there. Please make the time to visit the link below.
Before our walkabout, nine of us gathered for a lovely brunch at the Dockside Restaurant. Dockside Restaurant The exterior of the restaurant is rather nondescript, but the inside is unique and so very interesting. We went for the Sunday brunch and it was excellent. An added bonus is the featured art and the showing of so much history. Check their Facebook page as well as the link above. They are open all year but call 709 257 3179 for hours.
These artists were just finishing this mural and we stopped and talked with them. She was from Argentina and was thoroughly enjoying her time in Newfoundland.
Clash of Cultures….Craig Goudie
This was my sister’s favourite. I was torn between this and The Two R’s by Craig Goudie, an artist from Grand Falls-Windsor. The detail boggles my mind and it is such a powerful part of our history.
Artist Craig Goudie…painted on Botwood library
…….this is definitely my favourite! It’s ingenious how he painted the books as fishing stages (rooms) and used pencils for the shores (supports)…..and the paper boats! Seriously, you can’t get any better with creative thinking……and the colours!
Fire hall Mural
Continuing our walkabout and seeing still more amazing murals.
You really need to read everything and look closely at every detail.
The railway through Botwood depicted in a mural and what a story it tells. A section of the old railway bed now provides a scenic walk.
Botwood has four interconnected hiking trails Killick Island 5 kms, Lighthouse Point, Old Railway Link, and King Ridge Lookout. They are not challenging and quite lovely. If you need information, please call 709 257 3022.
My niece, Adrienne recently sent me a quote by John Muir regarding hiking and how he didn’t particularly like the word ‘hike’, he prefers saunter (through the mountains)….Botwood and its murals need you to saunter through the town and fill your senses with imagery, history and pure wonder.
The miracle is not to walk on water, the miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. …. Thich Nhat Hamh
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 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.
Arriving in Gaultois.
Anyone need a cab?
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.
We had a great lunch at The Gaultois Inn and then continued our walk.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do this trail to the abandoned community of Piccaire.
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.
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
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.
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.
I have never seen such different colours/shades of seaweed.
Primrose? along the trail.
After climbing Iron Skull Mountain the previous day, this was the perfect trail to rejuvenate us.
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