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Hike, eat, party: Newfoundland's food hike

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By Ben Whitmarsh, The Guardian

Food Hike Event at Roots, Rants & Roars

I always think it wise to start a travel blog post with a mathematical equation. It causes the reader to become positively giddy with anticipation. In fact I have heard a gently whispered rumour that when Michael Palin sits down to write his TV scripts they are in fact all variations on E=MC2. That’s how he gets around the world so fast. So if it is good enough for him, etc… Anyway, here is mine. And it is so bold and epoch changing that it deserves a paragraph to itself:

W + F = WF x 2

Now sit down and pay attention while I help you decipher this mind boggling algebraic alchemy. W represents walking. F represents food. BUT WHEN ADDED TOGETHER they become far more powerful than the sum of their parts. In fact my recent research, conducted in (not quite) laboratory conditions suggest that if the diligent researcher walks and eats at the same time, the whole process is twice as much fun as it has any right to be. Let me explain how I came to this conclusion.

My experiment began back at the end of the summer in a Canadian village called Elliston in Newfoundland & Labrador. This little place on the coast is near the bigger town of Bonavista, a place once famed for cod fishing (see the video below) and as you would expect people are constantly thumbing though their thesauruses just so they don’t get bored with the word ‘breathtaking’ when they describe the scenery. My online word finder came up with ‘heart stirring’ and ‘heart stopping’ which suggests it can’t quite make its mind up. Anyway, every year Elliston holds a ‘Food Hike’. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people descend on it’s spine tingling landscape (that thesaurus again) and take on a 3 mile promenade, all the while being pleasantly accosted by top Canadian chefs dishing out spectacularly good bits of grub. I believe it was Napoleon who said that an army marches on its stomach. If he had ever decided to invade Canada then his troops would have been as happy as a cochon sur la caca if he had started his war mongering in Elliston.

However I feel I have digressed from the maths. It was at approximately mile 2, whilst indulging in a white chocolate blood sausage, that I had my eureka moment. Now, I like a walk. And I like to eat. But never have I done both in such an environment of good humour and all round gastronomic excellence. I was enjoying myself far more than I could possibly have imagined. So I did what any true explorer should do at such a moment. I put down my fork, reached for a pencil and distilled my emotional state in an equation. Ah, the romance of travel.

Fortunately, what words cannot describe, the power of vision can. I am sure that you also have a film crew that follows you around whenever you go on holiday and I am no different…please take a moment to watch what really went on.