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The Islands Experience



After touring Twillingate and area, return to the mainland by way of the causeways. Branch off Route 340 onto Route 335, which takes you to Farewell where you can catch a ferry to Change Islands, with a sailing time of 25 minutes, and Fogo Island, which is 50 minutes away.

Located in Notre Dame Bay between Twillingate and Fogo, Change Islands has one incorporated community built along the narrow tickle and the causeway that joins the two largest. There have been people here since the latter half of the eighteenth century when the Labrador fishery rose to prominence. By the beginning of the twentieth century this was a prosperous settlement with a population of more than 1,000 people who fished in the northern waters or worked in the huge merchant premises that lined the shores. Now the numbers have declined to only 450.

In Change Islands little has changed since the last century: there have been motor vehicles here only since 1965! The house styles and the lifestyles here are from another time. White painted, narrow clapboarded homes sit in tidy green gardens. Fishing stages and stores, painted in the traditional red ochre colour hug the shore. Small boats chug in and out the harbours and tickles. There's even a general store where you can buy the makings for a picnic, and there's an almost abandoned community at Puncheon Cove that's a perfect place to eat it.

Fogo Island, a mere 25 km long and 14 km wide, was first settled in the 1680s by fishermen who sought refuge from the French raiders terrorizing the East Coast and Beothuks who harassed the Europeans on the mainland of Notre Dame Bay.

Because the original settlement took place in the 1700s and the area remained isolated well into the twentieth century, the descendants of the first inhabitants retained traces of their Elizabethan dialect which can be heard on the island today. Many ancient folk customs brought from England, now disappearing from many outports, continue in the communities on the island.

Along Route 333 you travel through several picturesque communities on the way to the village of Fogo. It was probably named not for the North Atlantic fog but after the Portuguese ‘fuego,’ or fires, which were signs of Beothuk encampments that were frequently seen by early settlers.

Visit beautiful Barr'd Islands on Route 334, a few kilometres from colourful Joe Batt's Arm, named for a deserter from the crew of explorer Capt. James Cook, who charted this coast in 1763. Sandy Cove on Route 334 is the most north easterly point in Notre Dame Bay and is known for its gorgeous sandy beaches.




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