Monday, July 17, 2017

Newfoundland Post #4 – Trinity

I've been telling people I'd consider moving to Newfoundland. Certainly, the price of real estate is right, at least outside the major cities. The scenery is awesome, if you like the outdoors and the ocean is your thing, this is the place to be.

Yesterday, in Bonavista, I talked with several people with that in mind. I talked with the owner of this house right on the end of the peninsula, his back yard abuts the ocean and he's a few minutes from downtown.

The owner moved here from Ontario — the Peterborough./Lindsay area, in fact — about 10 years ago. Loves it, wouldn't go back.  He told me that a property like this would sell for around $150,000, although he would want more for his because he doesn't want to sell and had done extensive renovations.

In fact this area is a "heritage area" and most of the houses have been brought up to high standards, inside and out. I'm standing with my back to the ocean in the back yard of the house next door. It's even bigger and the owner has lived there a long time. He says he's 78, won't move, and his son, who is a high school math teacher (I met him: he looks like he's 25 but he's 50!) He will retire in a couple of years and will eventually live there.

The house to my right is owned by the hospital corporation and is used as a residence for doctors and their families, as is the one across the street. Both of those houses are new and upgraded, and would go for more money, although a house across the street would be less because of the land value.

This is a Google Earth shot from in front of the same house. The blue house is out of the picture to the right (although it was white when Google shot it)). The one on the left is the doctor's house. We're looking Northwest at the ocean. The town of Bonavista is behind us. If you're interested, click this link and you can zoom out to see exactly where I was. 

So the town has a modern hospital, two (!) grocery stores, a quaint and beautiful downtown area, a population of about 3500 (I would have thought it was more. But there are no high-rises or apartments here!), the people are super-friendly,  the scenery is spectacular. High speed internet, I had 5-bars phone service right there... here's a shot just down the street:

My new blog header photo! 

It's a two minute walk to "Neil's Yard" Café and Crêperie

Neil's from London, England, been here since 2011. The building itself is a heritage building owned by the city but leased to him. 

Mmmm, Cheesecake and Café Americano. If I moved there, I'd have to get them to do a chocolate version. 

There's only one drawback mentioned by everyone I talked to.


You have to be prepared for it, they all said. The rumours of 30 foot snowbanks are greatly exaggerated and the snow clearing is first class. It doesn't get as cold as we get at home. The big rock seawall keeps the ocean at bay. But it's just a little bit WINDY. Houses are all built to take it, some solid, some designed to go with the flow. Neil told me the North wind off the ocean last winter peaked at 155 kph. That's 100 miles an hour, folks. Is that a hurricane shelter at the back of the blue house up above?

Twillingate is a bit smaller (pop. 2250) but it's much more weather-friendly and its only industry is tourism. Similar prices...

I suppose one could buy a less fancy home and just use it as a summer property. Hmmm.

There still be icebergs here. But a local told me that this is probably the last of it.

I used Topaz Impression to "paint" this one much like Georgia O'Keeffe might have. Although, I doubt she would have aligned the horizon with the top of the building. Getting more sophisticated in my old age. I might try my hand at painting this scene in oil. This is on the way to Cape Bonavista lighthouse. 

I think that's one of the icebergs we visited on board the Zodiac the other day. The sea was a lot rougher then!

This isn't the same one I was on. Ours was bigger, as I posted last time. Shot from the lighthouse. 

There be WHALES here!

And I thought shooting icebergs was addictive. I'll post more whale pictures in the next blog, because I saw more down in the Bay Bulls area, but here are a couple of shots:

One of my first glimpses of these monsters, from the shore in English Harbour, near Trinity. This is a humpback whale, they grow to something around 50 feet (15 meter) in length. The whales were circling, driving a school of capelin into a bay where they could feed. 

And feed they did, coming headfirst out of the water (it's called "broaching", massive mouth agape.  

Passengers on this Zodiac were treated with a whale broaching right next to their boat. These pictures were all shot from the shore. 

I took my leave of the Trinity/Bonavista area and headed south to Witless Bay, just below St. John's.

I like to venture off the main road. In this case, I drove toward "Little Heart's Ease" on a peninsula in Trinity Bay and I kept going until the last little outport on the end, called "Southport". 

Colourful house abound in Newfoundland, with the ubiquitous fishing boat. A bit off the beaten track, even for me! 

Next post, from Witless Bay, south of  St. Johns. Stay tuned!

— 30 —