Fogo Island is a spit of land in the middle of the mostly wild and erratic Atlantic Ocean. It is closer to Dublin physically and culturally than it is to Vancouver. It’s a barren place where fishermen have scratched out an existence without much profit for more than 400 years.
If Newfoundland is the Rock, then Fogo Island is a pebble, a 25-km-long island that sits off its east coast. Getting there requires a flight into Gander, an hour-long drive to Farewell and then a 45-minute ferry. Being there takes your breath away. The roadsides are populated with lush forests, flat ponds, soft green caribou moss and a riot of wildflowers. Every wave the ocean pulls back into her arms at Oliver’s Cove creates a musical, mumbling sound as the stones get tumbled in the current. Trails are part moonscape with 400-million-year-old rocks and part verdant patchwork quilt with thick, springy moss punctuated by purple wild asters, blue flag irises and bright-red pitcher plants.
Scattered across them you’ll find deep red partridgeberries, scarlet marshberries, perfect blueberries and juniper berries that look like black pearls. There are puffins, caribou, icebergs and riddle fences.