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Fairies in Ferryland

CANADA | Tuesday, 26 May 2015 | Views [90] | Scholarship Entry

I’ve guarded the secret for so long that I’m somewhat hesitant to share the travel discovery that I made on a solo excursion to Newfoundland, Canada a few years back. Does the magic cease to exist once the words are released into the universe? I certainly hope not.

Leaving St. John’s in the pre-dawn hours, my first stop was the most-easterly point of North America - Cape Spear. Yes, being the first person to greet the splendid September day was a big ticket item on my Bucket List, and one that I’m not likely to forget. But the existential moment of a lifetime was waiting for me a little further down the coast.

Following Route 10 south along the coastal edge of the Irish Loop, I passed quaint fishing villages and breathtaking ocean vistas, before the fairies led me to the place I thought existed only in my dreams - Ferryland.

Sitting at the base of an isthmus, with a lighthouse visible on top of the distant rocky headland, sits Ferryland. The former British Colony of Avalon was founded in the early seventeenth century and is an ongoing archeological dig. I spent some time touring the Interpretation Centre and chatting with the archeologist on site before beginning my trek up the hillside to the main event.

What greeted me at the top of the climb was Paradise itself. Not only were all senses engaged, but it was as though my soul itself had found its rightful dwelling place. Blue sky and ocean as far as the eye could see. The sound of waves crashing against the craggy shoreline down below. The scent of sea salt perfuming the air. The feel of the ancient rock of my native homeland between my toes.

All of this provided the backdrop for the superb meal that I enjoyed from Lighthouse Picnics. I feasted on a sandwich of chutney-glazed ham and brie, orzo and pepper salad, rich chocolate cake, and a mason jar of freshly-squeezed lemonade. It was all delivered in the cutest vintage basket; complete with plaid picnic blanket.

Earlier in the day I had questioned my decision not to book a whaling adventure. Time and expenses were a little tight, and I thought that was one activity that I would have to forgo on this trip. As I settled into the perfect rock indentation and looked out to sea, I gasped with delight. Dozens of whales were putting on a free show - breaching and frolicking in the sparkling blue Atlantic waters.

I’m not sure how I ever left Ferryland that day. Probably with the hope and belief that I will return some day. I must.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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