Friday, July 5, 2013

On the Discovery Trail (Part 2)

Happy Friday Everyone!

I'm so excited to continue with the story of my weekend adventure to the Bonavista Peninsula lovingly known as the Discovery Trail.

After having poked around Bonavista, myself, the boyfriend and the parents (who stayed in the hotel the evening while Phil and I battled the moths and flies out camping... lucky ducks) decided it was time to broaden our horizons a bit. LOTS TO SEE!
One of our first stops on Sunday was 'Cape Random'. A number of years back a TV mini series called Random Passage was filmed just on the outskirts of New Bonaventure (and by outskirts I mean a 10 minute walk through the woods). The series was based off a fairly famous Newfoundland book which took on the task of describing the day to day life and hardships of a particularly courageous set of people living in Newfoundland back in the 1800s.
While the location is not actually called 'Cape Random', it was the site of an old fishing outpost. The buildings you see below represent perfectly the types of buildings people lived in 200 years back on this fair island of mine. Which is really what makes this site gem for me. It's not that a national TV series was filmed here... its that this preserves a history not many get to see anymore.
As a child every Newfoundlander learns about the fisherman's life past and present, we learn about the seal hunt and how many Newfoundland women were left widows when their men simply did not come back from fishing/hunting on the Atlantic ocean. But the people who actually did the hard labour, well their buildings, their lives were never quite preserved. Sure their are traditions that still exist because of their way of life, but I've never been able to really get a feel for how these people lived and survived here. Newfoundland was not the most hospitable climate 200 years ago... and in some cases still isn't hospitable now when the snow starts falling. So when you're looking at the pictures below... think living there in the dead of winter, with snow piled up as far up the walls of the houses just to keep the wind coming through the cracks in the 'walls'. Imagine that... piling snow up the side of your house to keep the warm in... WHO KNEW?!?

View of the Village
The house in the background is the 'rich' house.

Apparently these houses wouldn't have actually had glass
windows... just shutters. 

A poorer house. The floor would have been covered
with straw to keep the dirt down.

Up to 17 people could have stayed in this 6 bed shack. Lets
just say lots of bunk buddies for body warmth on those
chilly nights.

The crevices between the logs that make up these houses would
often be stuffed with moss... which continuously needed

A small school house built on the side of a home. The numbers and
 letters you see are actually written on birch bark. They also would use
 individual slate pieces to practice their writing and math. My lovely
boyfriend - a teacher - loved this clearly :)

A view of the fishing wharf and traditional fish flake. Salt cod was the bread
and butter and was essentially currency 200 years ago. Everyone in
the community would have been part of the fishing/fish processing, right
from the oldest adult to the youngest child. Another interesting factoid is
that they would use evergreen bows as a layer between the filleted cod and
the wooden boards of the fish flake to allow air circulation and promote the
curing process.

The fishing wharf... also the wharf of death... soooo rickety!!! 

Our lovable true blue Newfoundlander tour guide showing us how
  the cod was processed.
See what I mean by rickety!?! These logs were more like sticks and
only 3 to 4 inchs on the round. That's the ocean and rock you see in the cracks!!!

This was a calm day in the bay... just imagine what it must have been like
 working  in that building when the seas were rough...
which they typically are.

Not much to say here... just LOVE this picture. 
 Well folks look like this is leading in a Part 3. Wayyyyy too much to share :)

I hope you've enjoyed your little virtual travel experience to Cape Random, Newfoundland!

Have a great weekend,



  1. I enjoyed it so much.
    Thank you for sharing x

  2. Such an interesting post and lovely scenery!

  3. What a beautiful place ~ I can only imagine how hard the life was there back in the day. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Love learning and seeing pictures of places from back in time. Great cultural experience. Can't wait to see the rest. Thank you for all the beautiful pictures.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing. I discovered Random Passage and it's sequel during our time in Newfoundland. We did drive the Discovery Trail while there but weren't able to stop where the miniseries was filmed. Thanks again for bringing back memories.

  6. Wow, that all looks fantastic! I love learning about the history of the places I live in. It's usually much more interesting than expected... Example: the ruling family of Sharjah, one of the emirates here, used to be pirates!

  7. I am enjoying seeing this beautiful area and learning more about it! Thank you!!

  8. The place is so beautiful and lovely pictures. Sounds like great fun

  9. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us! That wharf sure looks scary to walk on!

  10. ho my ! those pictures are a delight
    It's really a place we want to go !!
    I love those kind of places, and the landscape is so beautiful !
    lucky you !! =D
    I'm immediately going to read part 3 =)

  11. Such an interesting piece of history. When we travel I always like to visit historical places, preferably places where the common people lived, like the one you visited here. Fantastic pictures.


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