Every now and then you find a place that offers the sort of peace and quiet and inspiration that can fuel a soul for days. Or weeks. Or months.
For me, those places are in nature. Away from busy cities. You can’t find too many places in the world these days that are undisturbed by people. Even the grandiose landscape offered up by the Rockies can’t compare, because you’re sharing the same space with a hundred other souls.
And now there are the Change Islands.
While planning this trip with Corbin and Riley, my friend Janice who works with Adventure Central told me the Change Islands are “magical.” I was skeptical, “magical” being the type of term you never want to use in travel writing. And having grown up in one of the most remote places in Newfoundland, I couldn’t see how this place would be all that different.
When we drove off the ferry and onto Change Islands, an isolated road to nowhere greeted us. So we drove, and drove some more, and then there it was. Magic.
The town was quiet. We joked about the apocalypse, not having seen ANYONE on the street, although we drove back and forth several times. We searched for a restaurant, and found one…deserted.
Well, the sign said, “Open” and the door was unlocked, but when we stepped inside, no one could be found. We even sang out, upon hearing footsteps upstairs. Alas, we decided to check into Seven Oakes Island Inn instead. (We did return to eat later, though. And the service was fab.)
We were out looking for the famous Newfoundland pony, a critically endangered breed (there’s only something like 88 left in the world), but did not find the refuge. It’s hard to find anything in a town where the directions given are, “Go up over the road, around the turn to the left, drive down the street, take a right, turn around, wander into the woods a bit, and there it is.” But, for curiosity sake, here’s what these itty-bitty ponies look like.
(Photo by: bernadettemacphersonmorris)
We hiked along Squid Jiggers Trail, overlooking tiny saltbox houses and the Atlantic Ocean and fishing stages clustered at water’s edge. Most times there was nothing to be heard other than birds chirping and wind whistling. I can see why so many writers and artists spend time here.
Back at the inn, Beulah, the grandmotherly owner of the household, took good care of us. She assigned us to our rooms, and we joined a couple from British Columbia for dinner in the dining room. Beulah had also assigned us to their table, because like all good Newfoundland homes, personal relationships are vital. We carried out the evening in the front parlor, drinking beer and chatting about life and blissfully ignoring the storm going on outside.
And again, I thought, how lucky to be born exactly where I belong.