via Lion’s Den Trail
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