Bonavista, Newfoundland

I Like You, Bonavista

Funny, because nothing about my Newfoundland “tourist” weekend went according to plan. The weather was crap, my friends and I didn’t get to crash a wedding as promised, and there was nary an iceberg in sight. The fog was so dense we couldn’t see the coastline in some spots…but isn’t that just the way of Newfoundland?

No, actually. I ended up with a mild sunburn last week and I’ve started wearing my yoga pants and sweater to the gym. I’m in the awkward transition phase where I feel like everyone’s staring at my butt, but I’m just so used to wearing a snowsuit.

Maggie, Rae and I headed to our friend Steph’s place in Hillview that Friday for a barbecue, some beers, and a little bit of Blow. The movie. We were up at 8 a.m. for bagels at Timmy’s, then on the road to Trinity and Bonavista. It’s unfortunate that I associate the word “trinity” with Dexter’s most notorious serial killer, because this might be the cutest town I’ve visited in Newfoundland. It’s also one of the most historic towns, a lot like Lunenburg is to Nova Scotia.

The Mockbeggar Plantation.

I had an arguably better time exploring Trinity, but for some reason it’s Bonavista I need to revisit. I want to live there. For like, a week. I think it’s because although my vision was skewed by fog as thick as pea soup, there was something nearly supernatural behind the scenes. Like the whole town just has a big, bad secret. Steph pointed out Mockbeggar Plantation, which is apparently haunted. She then pointed out The Harbour Quarters Inn, where she had stayed before, which is also apparently haunted. You can probably hear the writing wheels in my head just turning.

I also wouldn’t mind another 3lbs of banana split cake from Walkham’s Gate Cafe matched with their chocolate chip lemon cheesecake, where incidentally I also sampled the best coffee I have ever tasted in my life. And we all know how much of a coffee connoisseur I am, what with my habit of sometimes reusing grounds.

We went to the Dungeon, a circular gap carved out in a cliff where two seaward-side channels push bright blue water inside. Bonavista sits upon sedimentary deposits 600-million years old, and I felt like if I could just see the beach below the drop-off, it’d be beautiful. We’re not sure why it’s called the Dungeon, but apparently unruly folks were tossed into it.

At the request of Maggie, we drove to the lighthouse where the keeper hung out of the window as we snapped pictures. Steph went to talk to him, and despite touring season still being closed, he invited us in to have a look around. He might have been lonely, wrapped in an island of fog all alone for days at a time. He pointed out the fog horn, an unimpressive box erupting every so often, and showed us the miniscule 20-watt bulb used to sweep the ocean. I actually never knew it were the magnifying glasses responsible for so much light. He invited us to stay for coffee when we were done, but we had to leave. Instead, we received pencils and pamphlets.

My mind was blown by this light bulb concept.

I only have one request, Bonavista. Please make the clouds part and the sun shine down for my next visit, so if there are icebergs coming down the Alley, I can at least get some decent photos.

  • May 12 2011
    debbie kendell

    hey candice , i love your stories , they make me smile and i can hear your sense of humor in them . keep up the wonderful work honey . have a wonderful journey across canada. love aunt deb

    • May 16 2011

      Aunt Debbie, this is one of my most favourite comments I’ve received yet. Thank you!

  • May 12 2011

    A 20 watt bulb? You’re kidding me! Absolutely incredible – that’s even dimmer than I am! I haven’t been this surprised since some folks threw me into the dungeon! :)

    • May 16 2011

      LOL, “that’s even dimmer than I am.” Quote of the day.

  • May 12 2011

    Argueably one of the best weekends ever. I am ever so determined to go back at some point this summer, even if I have to do it alone! I wanna stay at the haunted inn… and visit the haunted everything… and yeah. Loved it. :)
    (and while I’m sad there were no icebergs seen, I’m pumped we visited a lighthouse! :D )

    • May 16 2011

      Soooo much left to do there! MUST GO BACK.

  • May 12 2011

    Oh my goodness that chocolate lemon cheesecake looks like heaven.

  • May 14 2011

    I always knew that lighthouses worked with magnify glasses but I never realized the light bulbs were so small!!!!!!!

  • May 14 2011

    Very cool places. Funny how tv influences us, I saw Trinity on this post and thought Dexter. I didn’t there are still lighthouse operators – an episode of The Simpson’s had me convinced they’re operated by robots.

    • May 16 2011

      Lol, I don’t remember that episode!

  • May 15 2011

    I really like this post. You have got some seriously interesting stuff in Newfoundland. No outsiders would realize this without you to tell us. One thing, though – you seriously re-use coffee grounds?

    • May 16 2011

      Hehe, I am glad! :) Gorgeous place. And I have been known to reuse coffee grounds…but only in mad, shameful acts of desperation.

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