Year: 2019

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The Fourth Corner of the Earth

Why is it that the weather doesn't quite matter as much on vacation? While I always wish for the best, sometimes the weather showing what it's really like, instead of the possibility I dream, is part of the charm. Enter Fogo hiking in Newfoundland in July.  Temperatures are into the 40s. And our first hike, out to Brimstone Head, supposedly one of the "Four Corners" of the world, an arm that reaches into the sea nearby the hotel. We went with PJ, the hotel's head of activities, who knew…

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Of Crab and Crisp Air

The weather is persistently clammy here in Brooklyn, although it is now officially autumn, and all I can think of are the crisp blue days of Fogo Island, staying in the most cozy hotel. Since the hotel is rather the central feature of the island's topography, as well as the hub of our stay, I wanted to share a little bit more about our time there and nearby. We woke up each morning to warm light off the sea. I peered through binoculars to see boats and possible whale spouts in the distance…

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Puffins on the Magic Island (of Little Fogo)

As anyone who has walked down a city sidewalk, past the beady eyes of pigeon scavengers can tell you: my greatest fear is a flock of birds flapping in my face. So this post's joy comes as much as a surprise to me as it will to you. Background: On the ferry to Fogo Island, we met a few locals, who mentioned that if the boat tour was going to Little Fogo Islands while we were there, we should definitely take it. Our hotel did offer it, and while we were not sure another boat tour after our…

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Fogo Island, Auk Walk

What drew us to Fogo was this mystical hotel whose existence is integrally tied to the community and rocky coast, lashed by salty waves, as anyplace in the world is. This deep sense of place enticed us to overpay for AirCanada flights and then continue to rejigger them 4 or 5 times after they changed the arrival times. And even more beautiful were the people, who talked with reverence of the cod, the coast, the wildflowers, and each other. And how they stayed, even when the fish were taken, and…

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Fogo Island, Day 1

They call Fogo Island one of the four corners of the earth. And even for those of us who don't think know the earth is flat, getting to Fogo Island, the most easterly island off the northern cost of Newfoundland, requires dedication. We drove from Twillingate in the morning to wait in line an hour early for the ferry to Fogo Island, departing from the port of Farewell. The ferry was large, smooth, and reminded me of the Scottish ferries of our past, with piping styrofoam cups of coffee and…

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Twillingate by Sea

As I'd read about icebergs near Twillingate being a slight possibility in early July, I heavily research boat companies that left from Twillingate and one our first full day in Newfoundland, chose a small, family owned one for a 2-hour, afternoon ride, the Iceberg Man Tours. We met at the cute Iceberg Shop, and I pulled off my bog-damp socks for warmer ones before the anticipated winds on the water. The boat was small, and we had two couples from Austria along, who seemed not to care about the…

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The Top of Twillingate, Newfoundland

Walker and I's (arguably) first date involved a very long walk down a very damp stretch of sand, but it was meant to be that way, the Scottish sea. Here is the tale of one of our less romantic walking endeavors.  When we arrived at the French Head Beach, and noticed a few scattered people traversing a bit of a field, we assumed that was the start of the loop we had found on the only hiking map of the Twillingate Island we could find: a hand drawn one, printed from an online PDF. To say it…

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Newfoundland is just that for us

We had two qualifications for a quick 5 day summer break from NYC swamp in early July: cool and close. And you better believe I keep a running list of places I'd like to visit that gets longer by the week, so it took me about 10 minutes to think of Fogo Island, a place I'd read about in Newfoundland, but of which I knew nothing. I didn't know where Newfoundland was and I certainly didn't know the islands off the coast. Some Google mapping later, I had discovered the jut of land that you'd find…

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Up Above Awasi Patagonia

After arriving home quite late from our evening hike to Mirador Condores, Walker and Diego, our guide, plotted an early morning sunrise spotting trip. I woke up groggy, and all I remember is that Diego took us off-road into an amazing lookout spot, our SUV mounting the landscape with ease, literally no one, even cattle, awake yet. We drove to the top of a bluff near the hotel, and the sunrise didn't disappoint. I viewed it from the pseudo-warmth of the car, literally chattering and shivering,…

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Patagonian Perfection in Torres del Paine

Here at last is the heart of Patagonia: One of the surprising benefits of staying at Awasi was actually the distance from the park, which tended to be hung with clouds that sat over it, as well as more crowded. From the short distance, we were able to hike in places like the Baguales, completely devoid of tourists, as well. But as our trip neared closer, we did make a few jaunts into the actual national park of Torres Del Paine, stopping at lookouts like Lago Nordenskjord to capture that thick…