Tour Diary – St. John’s, Newfoundland (July 5, 6 and 7, 2012)

You can choose to visit the dramatic mountains of BC and Alberta; or the majestic plains of Saskatchewan and Manitoba; the pristine lakes of Ontario; the unique culture of Quebec; or the quaint beauty of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI; or you can decide to really blow your mind and visit a large rock sitting in the North Atlantic called Newfoundland. This place is like no other on Earth, a mixture of Scot and Irish and English and French and Viking and aboriginal with a touch of Danish and Portuguese and Spanish mixed in just for fun. The tourist brochures may say that English is the main language spoken here, but it really isn’t. The true natives speak a dialect that is a language unto itself. Island life moves at its own pace (they even have their own time zone). It is the sort of place that you can never really know. Its mysteries are only revealed to those who spring from the Rock itself; if you are not born here you will never be from here. Visit here if you can and plan to rent a car and explore the inlets and fishing villages and mountains and forests and be prepared to be charmed and prepare yourself for that urge to throw away the life you’ve built back home and start afresh….it’s that kind of place, with those ancient witchy-poo vibes.

We had three days here, some of us were able to get out of St John’s and explore a little bit. Margo and Jeff went whale watching and actually saw whales. Pete hooked up with his wife and daughter and explored a bit of the Avalon Peninsula by car. I walked the hills of St John’s in search of a lobster role (which I never found), sampled some of the local ale (I highly recommend the pale ale at the Yellow Belly Brew Pub), ate three excellent bowls of seafood chowder, sat in a few of the many very groovy little cafes and eavesdropped on the locals talking about the hip and happening goings-on around St John. It’s a great little town, wedged in the side of a cliff, haloed by fog, under siege by the weather, drowned in history…..visit here.

On show-day there was a bit of drama, one of the trucks on the drive across the island hit a moose. Luckily the driver was fine, but both the moose and the truck were totaled. They had to scramble to find another truck to pick up the gear, but despite arriving hours late they still got the show off on time: a bunch of pros. We had two excellent shows. I think I can confidently say that the second show was our best show of the tour. Our hotel was across the street from the venue so I was able to watch all of the Mellencamp Bands first night. They rocked, one of my favourite shows of the tour. Oh ya…..I forgot to mention the people on this rock….so weird, so wonderfully strange…..visit.