One more Newfoundland post. Best enjoyed on a slow, low-sunlight winter day. So here we go, convening with ghosts on The Rock…
When I left you last in Newfoundland I vowed to go back and spend time in the two little settlements of Open Hall and Red Cliff on the north coast of Bonavista Penninsula. I had driven past earlier and spotted beautiful heritage houses clinging to their souls as they succumbed to the elements.
This beauty revealed itself slowly and achingly as I walked around.
I put my hands to each side of my face to interrupt the reflection as I leaned against the window, and OH! I could see that really it wasn’t so long ago that this home had to be left behind.
It is not so long ago that the “Cod Moratorium” changed Newfoundland’s economy forever. In 1992, in response to the ever dwindling and endangered population of cod in the waters surrounding Newfoundland, the Canadian government imposed a moratorium on cod fishing. Needless to say, with 35,000 people suddenly put out of work, the effects on the Newfoundland’s economy was devastating. Initially meant to last a couple of years, the moratorium has continued to this day with only minimal recovery in the cod population.
Sprinkled throughout the landscape are many beautiful fishermen’s houses which have been abandoned as people left to find a new life elsewhere.
with hand painted signs:
and even a hand painted speed limit sign–now that’s a first for me:
And whole towns disappeared:
There is still a town of Little Harbour. But it is washing away at about the same rate as its welcome sign.
But, wait! All is not lost. The indomitable spirit keeps springing up.
That Newfoundlanders have been able to maintain their spirit despite this assault to the cultural identity inspires me every time I go spend time there. We were happy to meet Peter Burt, who together with his partner Robin Crane found a new way to make a living from the sea with the production of (gourmet) salt!
And the foodie movement has helped to rejuvenate the Bonavista Pennisula.
And always, always Newfoundlanders are quirky, spunky, funny!
excellent problem solvers:
and did I say funny? Oh yes, I did!
Lest so many images of abandonment at the top of this post have left you bereft I will end with images lovingly cared for heritage homes and sheds on the Bonavista Penninsula.
Adieu Newfoundland. Til next time!