Newfoundland, you are so much more than I expected

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Well, two years after it was published, I just read “Sorry Newfoundland, you are not what I expected,” written by a guy from North Carolina.

Telegram letters

I’m from Cape Cod in Massachusetts. That guy must have visited a landfill or municipal dump and thought it somehow represented Newfoundland.  

I’ve gone to the rock for the past two years and twice before that.

For me, it is the most fascinating place.

The beauty is often unearthly. The people are truly friendly. Hell, some guy I didn’t know saw me walking around Bonavista and invited me into his house for breakfast.

I’m going back to the rock again this summer. Each year now, I find myself researching on the Internet for different places there to visit.

 I’d like to go to Parson’s Cove, an old outport in ruins, so will take the ferry to Francois and also visit Hermitage and Gaultois this time around.

Rather than simply go to L’Anse aux Meadows, one of my favorite places, I explore and visit St. Anthony Bight, Raleigh, Noddy Bay, Quirpon and Grand Bruit.  

I’ve gone to La Scie, visited Snook’s Arm and got completely lost in the woods trying to find Indian Burying Place, which I never did find.  

But at least I got my story and photos published in Downhome magazine.

Oh, I wish I could find someone who’d like to hike there with me this summer. I will probably give it a try alone again, but this time with a GPS and bear spray in my hands. It looks like one of the most gorgeous outport ruins in all of Newfoundland.  

Well, Ireland’s Eye looks pretty too, but I talked with the guy who gives tours out of New Bonaventure and he says he doesn’t stop there.  

Last summer I hiked to British Harbour, hoping to find ruined fishing sheds and houses, but there wasn’t much there.  

Bonavista is a gorgeous town.

 And Red Cliff has some beautiful ruins.  

I was at Battle Harbour 15 years ago and am tempted to go again so I can hike Great Caribou Island where there are some ruins.  

Sadly, I fear they’ve probably over-restored most of the beautiful shacks I saw there 15 years ago.

I’d also like to visit Hebron, but that’s pretty complicated.  

I was looking into a cruise (very costly) that stops there, but one has to fly back from Greenland.  

Anyhow, anyone out there want to hike with me in June to Indian Burying Place? If so, please send me an email at  

Newfoundland, you’re definitely the best.  

George Slone

Barnstable, Mass.

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Bonavista, Cape Cod Massachusetts Indian Burying Place Gaultois Noddy Bay Grand Bruit La Scie Snook Ireland New Bonaventure British Harbour Red Cliff Great Caribou Island Hebron Greenland

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Recent comments

  • James J.
    January 06, 2016 - 14:23

    Kudos to George Slone for recognizing value, diversity, uniqueness when he sees it. It's time the ill-equipped and ill-suited Don II abandoned rough waters off Newfoundland for calmer seas. Slone's article had nothing to do with this province's economy; that's down to us. But he quite rightly pointed to our rich history and compelling landscape. He is to be applauded for his interest, energy and enthusiasm. It is true that Newfoundlanders are among the most friendly, hospitable people in the world, but as is often the case people sometimes fail to appreciate the opportunities for exploration and knowledge closest to home. Good luck for another good summer of travel.

  • Jerome
    January 06, 2016 - 13:50

    Unfriendly Newfoundlanders, yes, they are the trolls on this site. I come across many tourist on the trails and even in the city, I tell them to smile and say hello and they will get the same response back, simple and easy. Sometimes people can be a bit cold or distant, maybe it is because they think other people don't want to be bothered talking to them or they want to keep to themselves, to each his own. I have traveled most of Newfoundland and what I have found is that if you are friendly to other people they will be the same to you, you reap what you sow. This summer myself and my son were on the west coast, hiked Gros Morne, all the people we came across we talked to and found out where they were from and suggested places to go. Even one time my 17 yr old son got ahead of me , when I caught up to him , he was having a great chat with a couple from Britain, I joined in on the conversation. We even talked to a number of Newfoundlanders on the trail, also very friendly. Newfoundland is a fantastic place with great people, but there are doom, gloom and depressing people in every society , the trolls here can attest to that.

  • Christopher Chafe
    January 06, 2016 - 12:01

    I think we ALL need to realize the fact that Newfoundland & Labrador is not everyone's cup of tea so to speak. There will always be visitors here who love the place and there will be visitors here who dislike the place.

  • Incognito
    January 06, 2016 - 11:59

    I've had the unique experience in NL of first being a tourist from the States, then a resident of 2 years and now a tourist again during my visits. I have a young child now as a result of mixing business and pleasure. My daughter is a Newfoundlander and I am not disappointed about that fact. I am, however, left with mixed feeling about the Province and it's citizens. There was without a doubt a profound difference in how I was treated when the locals assumed I was a NLer vs an American. You treat your own worse at the onset than when you were dealing with an American. Perhaps that is normal human behavior. I also had the unfortunate experience to spend time in your Family Court. Suffice to say I was treated with disdain and contempt by your court justices. $100K in legal fees just to establish a relationship with my daughter. It was all about money. The family on the other side of this debacle are prominent in your community. You all would be shocked to know this story. I will continue to enjoy NL despite this and expect to visit many times a year.

  • Anon
    January 06, 2016 - 11:32

    Reall, do you have a name for the other provinces? What your name for Ontario? Alberta? How about Quebec...think Quebecers would like their province to be referred to something that's offensive? Not likely.

  • Jackie
    January 06, 2016 - 07:22

    While I agree with the beautiful scenery I strongly disagree about the friendliness. There is a difference in the way people treat others as you cross the island. It appears as if the closer easterly you travel the ruder people are. The driving (drivers) are terrible, the customer service is something to be desired but yes the island is picturesque.

  • BI
    January 06, 2016 - 07:12

    Mr. Sloan - don't listen to negativity from people like Don II. His comments obviously aren't worth reading and do not reflect the true opinion of Newfoundlanders. We love visitors. We have some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada; and definitely the friendliest. Maybe Don II doesn't come from here -but we love to stop on hikes and talk to the tourists who have gone out of their way to visit our beautiful province. Go for it. Don II. Have you ever heard the expression - if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. You are quite hard and I feel very sorry for you.

  • kd
    January 06, 2016 - 04:32

    I failed to see anything political in his comments that guy seems to enjoy nl almost as much as i do i dont currently live on the island but visit six or seven times each year its the most wonderful place in the world

  • Anon
    January 05, 2016 - 15:53

    So, who asked you, anyway, Roy? Is that why YOU wrote, to insult us?

    • Roy
      January 06, 2016 - 14:38

      The only people I may have insulted were the whiners and complainers. If you think you were insulted then it must be because you identify yourself as such.

  • Thanks Mr. George Slone for your compliments!
    January 05, 2016 - 15:14

    Don II: Your comment is despicable and you should be ashame of yourself! The province of Newfoundland and Labrador's landmass with so much of it situated on the Atlantic Ocean is very beautiful. Even though Nature Blessed us with both a Great Location and Great Natural Resources base, we have been subjected to a poor economy because those who governed us down through the centuries were more concered about building economies and population bases for their own personal economies and the economies and population bases of other provinces and countries.

    • Don II
      January 06, 2016 - 09:20

      My comment was not despicable. I am not ashamed of my comment at all. You reacted like most people do when they think that their beloved homeland is being disparaged. Sometimes it is necessary to criticize the way your home is run if you want to keep it from being wrecked and ruined. Mr. Slone referred to all of the "ruins" he saw in Newfoundland. What is so wonderful about a Province full of ruins? You admit that Newfoundland and Labrador is a beautiful place and I stated that the landscape is wild and attractive so what is the problem? You admit that the Province has been poorly governed and I stated so in my comments so what is the problem? A place can have all the resources and riches in the world but they will be of no use to anyone in the long run if they are squandered by Government greed, waste, fraud, incompetence and corruption! Crowing about how beautiful this Province is will not put food on the table and money in the bank if it is left to dictators and idiots to rule! The State of Massachusetts where Mr. Slone is from was ruled in the 1950's by a Dictator Governor and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador was ruled in the 1950's by a Dictator Premier but the difference is that the wise people of Massachusetts had the good sense to boot out of the Dictator Governor and even sent him to prison. However, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador just replaced their Dictator Premier with MORE Dictator Premiers! Look around, read a Newspaper, listen to the News on CBC. Ignore the Government of Newfoundland propaganda baloney. The facts speak for themselves! Pride always goes before the fall.

  • Roy
    January 05, 2016 - 13:07

    That's it boys, someone pays you a compliment about your home and you spit in his face. Too many newfs around just looking for a reason to whine and complain about something.

  • Kev
    January 05, 2016 - 12:45

    Battle Harbour and Hebron are in Labrador, not Newfoundland. And sad to say, a lot of the criticisms by "Gene Poole" the other year hurt because they were true.

  • Anon
    January 05, 2016 - 10:25

    Sloane obviously also doesn't know that it is offensive to refer to Newfoundland as 'the rock'.

  • Don II
    January 05, 2016 - 09:54

    It appears that Mr. Slone has taken in the Government of Newfoundland baloney tourism propaganda hook, line and sinker. I respectfully suggest that Mr. Slone should take off his rose colored glasses and try to see the real Newfoundland and Labrador. The landscape is wild and attractive but the place is isolated, subjected to harsh winter weather that lasts for 10 months per year and it is a place that has been badly governed for over 150 years by dictatorial Provincial Governments and 240 Town Councils who rule the small towns of the Province like feudal fiefdoms. As an American from Barnstable Mass. Mr. Slone should know all about the corrupt and heavy handed way his home State was run by Governor James Michael Curley back in the 1950's. Mr Slone should understand that Gov. Curley would be considered to be an "Angel" compared to the ruthless and unethical politicians who have run Newfoundland and Labrador! Many Come From Aways who dreamed of moving to Newfoundland to live peacefully in a quaint "outport" town soon found out that they were not welcome, viewed with suspicion and were harassed until they "got the message" and moved back to "where they came from." Mr. Slone should be very cautious about visiting Indian Burial Places in Newfoundland because the Government frowns on such activity and will enforce the Historic Resources Act against anyone who is suspected of disturbing the sites. The way that things are headed financially in Newfoundland and Labrador I fear that Mr. Slone will soon have many more abandoned outport community "ruins" to visit in the future!

    • Donna
      January 05, 2016 - 10:29

      may I ask where you live Don II ???? How d you know so much about NL???

    • james
      January 05, 2016 - 11:29

      you had to back to 1950 for a comparison to see what is happening in Newfoundland today

    • chris
      January 05, 2016 - 13:17

      Don II , Do you wake up in the morning with a song in your heart? Bet you never see the glass half full. So sad, sad, sad.

    • G. Tod Slone
      January 08, 2016 - 11:15

      Thanks much, James! One must consider that I am of a different perspective, that I do not travel north to Newfoundland to test the waters of the political/economic landscape. I see beauty where perhaps others might only see "Don't bother to cape coddle and barnstorm us with silly anemic platitudes for the landscape and simple folksy ruins." I cannot see as such people see... and evidently, they cannot see as I see.. Anon, I thought it was Newfoundlanders who refer to their province, as “the rock.” I did not think of the term as an insult at all. Hell, I love rocks… unless of course thrown at me! Well, now I know it’s an insult. Thanks for the info. Jackie, I find the drivers rude where I live in Massachusetts, rude in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia too, then quite surprisingly nice in Newfoundland. Again, it’s a question of perspective and experience. Now, where else can I go, stop the car in the middle of the highway, get out, take a few photos, then take off? I do that in Newfoundland, no where else. 
Kev, I know where Battle Harbour is. I’ve been there. I know where Hebron is. BUT isn’t there a governmental Labrador/Newfoundland connection? Don II, what to respond? So, if I am to visit a place to take a hike, I should consider the overall government, economy, politics et al? So, if I am to visit Sandy Neck beach, close to where I live, for a hike on the sand, I am to reflect first on the 1950s governor of Massachusetts… before I am to conclude that the beach there is beautiful? Hmm. That is indeed a different perspective! Thanks all of you for the comments!!!

    • Baz
      April 15, 2016 - 20:26

      By NC standards it may be ten months but I'd say five is closer to the truth for most visitors. Having lived in Britain, Ireland and Canada and visited many countries, I have yet to encounter friendlier people than Newfoundlanders. NC is a pretty spot but the locals are not as friendly as the people here.

  • david
    January 05, 2016 - 08:09

    Hooray for low expectations!

  • John Smith
    January 05, 2016 - 06:27

    I detest when someone refers to the lush, green province I live in as the...The Rock"....NL is not Alcatraz...we have the same land mass as the Sate of California...with plenty of farm land and forests...yes we have a rocky coast...but that is only a fragment of what we are....

    • Reall
      January 05, 2016 - 16:41

      I don't mind "the Rock" at all. To each his own. I kind of like it. If anyone in the world says they are going to or have visited "the Rock", we all know they are referencing NL.

    • Chantal
      January 06, 2016 - 11:12

      .. or Alcatraz.