NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bonavista - the Town

We enjoyed the 2 hour drive in the fog and rain out to Bonavista from Terra Nova National Park.

Newfies aren't much for turning their yards into roadside attractions, but Wayne liked the little town someone made for their yard.  There are other things to see from the side of the road, including beaver busy in the ponds.

Bonavista's big claim to fame is that it is where Cabot landed in 1497.  There are a few other historical sites around town as well.

We were drawn to the area of Inner Harbor, where the buildings with their brightly colored, sea-worn paint attracted my photographer's eye.

And the boats lining the harbor attracted Wayne's eye.

There were "flakes" in a couple of yards for drying and salting cod.  Do they do that anymore or were they just for looks and historical value?

We did have a variety of fish cakes including one made with salt cod at a local restaurant, but I'll tell you about that in a separate post covering the food of Newfoundland.  If you come to the island be aware that the roads are all short, narrow and interconnect with each in a way that makes no sense whatsoever.  Just the way it is, roll with it and enjoy the view.  Don't bring your RV into the small port towns though, it will never fit on those streets!

We visited Ye Matthew Legacy, excited to see the replica of the ship that made the crossing in 1497. In 1995 the Matthew crossed the ocean and began touring towns in Newfoundland, including Placentia.  Wayne's brother, Martin, sailed on it for awhile and he was looking forward to seeing the ship, but it turns out it wasn't the replica that came over from England.  That one is at the wharf in Bristol, and you can visit it in the open air for free, or hire it for a fee and go for a ride in it.  The one is Bonavista charges a fee, was made after the Matthew went back to England by local shipmakers and it was crowded into a building tighter than my car is in my garage.  We were very disappointed.

Other ships were plentiful in the harbor though I doubt they would let us walk around on their decks.

But the small wooden boat has a special place in my heart, it is the soul of Newfoundland.

Bonavista is a town that seems to be trying to hang onto its fishing heritage, and signs for fresh seafood were abundant.

The salt air, the cod flakes, the painted wooden buildings, it all came together and as we walked the streets I felt a whisper of the old days when cod was King.  For 500 years Newfoundland was home to seas that overflowed with cod, but the introduction of modern fishing technology depleted the fish down to 1% of their original levels.  One percent.

The fishing moratorium that was established in 1992 is still in effect 23 years later but it may be lifted soon.  It put 30,000 Newfoundlanders out of work and changed the way of life in the smaller villages, forcing many to leave for the mainland due to lack of work.

When in Newfoundland, please try to spend your money locally.  Though jobs are more plentiful than they used to be, keeping jobs here is serious business.  Besides, everything is delicious and you won't get friendlier service anywhere else in the world!

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