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Potatoes, puffins and pure pleasure

Yesterday, we went to Elliston, the Root Cellar Capital of the World.

Thought we’d see a few and get back on the road.

Well, hold on to your potatoes because once again, sorry to repeat myself, we learned a lot more than we ever expected.

We met Cal Haley who told us the community had 135 root cellars spread out over a 2 km area with the oldest dating back to 1839. They restored  40 of them. Many are still in use today and all of them face east because “east winds will go all through you but will not carry frost.” You‘ve got 2-half-door ones, upstairs and downstairs ones... There’s an art to keeping vegetables fresh and crisp over 9 months you should know ; some are kept in damp sawdust and others in burlap sacks.

The true story is how in 1994, after the collapse of the cod fisheries, the community truly  banded together and decided to spread the word about their age-old little treasures.  Their Roots, Rants and Roars Festival has the biggest Jiggs dinner ever (cooked using root vegetables from the cellars!!)

 

Ellison has another claim to fame: its puffins. There are the cutest ever and they can be seen from the cliffs. If you stand away from the cliff, they might just land at your feet. It is actually the only place when you can view them from land. Mr. Haley estimates there are around 5,000 pairs of those orange-beaked love birds (they mate for life).

 

 

Much to our disappointment we missed the opening of the brand new Sealers Interpretation Centre’s Home from the Sea, which is slated to open to big fanfare on June 19th in the presence of lots of dignitaries. As much as we cajoled, we couldn’t even get a peek  inside.

Today’s highlight was a stop at Cashel’s Cove Crafts in Spanish Room. Irene is another gem. She happily shares her love of the area. The crafts she chooses to carry in her darling boutique are a tribute to the artisans and crafts of Newfoundland. From pottery to hooked mats to knitted mittens and wooden dories, juniper woodturning, local fluorspar jewellery, tea dolls…and on and on and on… She knows each artisan and is proud of them. She also has some of her own paintings… Oooohhh! Pure pleasure for the eyes and certainly great choices to give yourself or others. I suggest to think of yourself first…

Tonight, Hotel Fortune, brand new, very well appointed, nicely designed and so comfy

Tomorrow, La France...