Dispatch from Neil’s Yard, Bonavista

Thanks for all of your comments. We’re enjoying tea and wifi at Neil’s Yard in Bonavista. It’s been a week of tranquility, moose encounters, beautiful scenery and lots of painting. We’re staying in Duntara, which is in the centre of the map. We’ve explored quite a bit of the immediate area and there’s something new every time we visit a neighbouring community. Keels is just down the road and it’s become a favourite sketching spot.


This is our second visit to Bonavista. Earlier this week, we toured the lighthouse. It was socked in with fog but it’s adjacent to the spot where John Cabot landed in 1497. A statue of Cabot looks out over the new world.

Another neighbour is King’s Cove. We’re not sure why it’s called the ‘Athens of the North’ but I like to think of Duntara as Sparta. We found a root cellar with a blue door in King’s Cove. Root cellars are very common here. I haven’t seen the inside of one yet but I find them rather mysterious.

Yesterday, we explored the other side of our cape. Look at the map and you’ll find the villages of Open Hall, Red Cliff and Tickle Cove. Another artist’s paradise. The ruined buildings are an intriguing subject but don’t get the wrong impression. The homes are very well kept.

Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls make their home on an island a few hundred yards off the coast. As we observed this nesting colony, a Bald Eagle flew around the point and headed straight for the gulls. Utter panic ensued. The eagle ignored a hundred or so wheeling and screaming antagonists and deftly snatched a gull chick before continuing down the coast. After a few minutes, it was pursued only by a single gull.

The last village along this road is Tickle Cove. It’s known for the ‘Sea Arch’. It was a short walk from the parking area and well worth it. The red rock is typical here and I’m sure it gave Red Cliff it’s name.

Are you following the Stanley Cup playoffs? Boston versus Vancouver. Michael Ryder of the Bruins is from Bonavista and there’s little doubt of where local hearts lie as you drive around the area. The B on the flag below is upside down on one side and right side up on the other, a peculiarity pointed out to me by the gentleman who flies it at his home in Keels.







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2 Responses to “Dispatch from Neil’s Yard, Bonavista”

  1. nolando Says:

    Fascinating stuff – I wish I could have tagged along but felt I almost did with your rich descriptions. No mention of food or drink?

  2. jane darragh Says:

    Thanks for the glimpse into bonavista. check out Trinity – as I recall it was the capital of Nfld ….

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