Jeff & I went to Newfoundland for a couple weeks, a few weeks ago. I would highly recommend the trip to anyone who loves nature and friendly people. We stayed at a little B&B on the Atlantic coast where we watched whales eat and play on a daily basis. The name of the B&B is the WhaleWatcher B&B. We had a fabulous time!
As you know, I have some physical challenges in my life. On this trip I learned one of them is temperature and humidity. I live in Indiana which is normally very warm and humid during the summer. The people who can relate most easily are those who live in Florida. When I was looking for a place to vacation, my highest priority was the temperature had to be under 80 degrees. Newfoundland was listed as being no higher than 77 degrees. When I was looking for vacation places, I hadn’t realized how much of a role humidity plays in my feeling well.
I freely admit Newfoundland gets above 77 degrees. The hottest temperature, during our stay was 83 degrees and the lowest was 66 degrees. This was during the month of July. There were 2 days where I had to wear a scarf over my shoulders for the entire day because I was cool. Considering I’ve never had to wear a cover of any kind during the summer, this was a completely new experience which I enjoyed immensely.
When we arrived it was pretty late so we stayed in a hotel close to the St. John’s Airport. The next day was very windy and was cool so we looked for light jackets; it had not occurred to me I might need a jacket. We found some at a local sightseeing spot – Signal Hill. The first day was spent sightseeing at Signal Hill and Spears Point (a lighthouse). I, of course, overdid things and found a new symptom; blood in my urine. This did scare me a bit because it happened so quickly and was so pronounced. I knew it was stress on my body so I decided to keep calm and see if it would go away the next day – it did. We went to our B&B and I went to bed.
We rested for a couple of days before doing drives around the Avalon peninsula. on two separate days. Those days were lovely and the drives were wonderful! We visited St. Mary’s bird sanctuary. It is fogged in about 200 days per year but houses over 60 different species of birds as they lay eggs & then raise & care for their young.
The things I noticed most about Newfoundland were the short trees. The trees are mostly pine and only get about 40′ tall. I would guess it is because the island is rock with 1 – 2′ of peat on top. The grasses, even in the most remote places, never get above my knees. The rivers look like root beer because the peat gives them a deep brown color and the rushing water creates cream colored froth where it collides with rocks and in waterfalls. The electric poles are often held in place by square containers filled with large rocks because there isn’t enough depth to dig a hole for the pole.
I didn’t see a lot of row cropping. I saw a couple places with dairy farms and about the same for horse owners. There is so much land that is free of housing but I don’t know if people are allowed to ride upon it. There are large areas of wilderness but, again, I don’t know if riding is allowed. Being a horseback rider, I always wonder about the availability of riding areas.
Homes are along the coast, mostly. There are some inland but usually only along well traveled roads. There are bogs and lakes everywhere you look. Commercialism is catching up to Newfoundland and I see it being built up around the interior lakes and being sold as condominiums to city dwellers and tourists.
Prices are about double what they are in the US for food but housing is very reasonable. Seafood is the mainstay of the locals but grocery stores carry a wide variety of staples. I didn’t realize I love seafood until I ate the seafood in Newfoundland. I learned my palate is very discerning and can taste the fishy fragrance of seafood that is only about 12 hours old. So, it is unlikely I will find seafood in my area which is up to my palate’s demands.
The humidity and temperature were contributing factors to my ability to enjoy Newfoundland. I don’t know what the humidity was but I would guess 40 – 45%. Our B&B had no AC and I had no problems. I was able to sleep with the windows open every night and only sweated on one day when I was in the sun, the breeze was not blowing, and I was in town where the heat was concentrated. So, I thank Newfoundland for showing me I can do over 12 hours in a day without needing a nap or sweating while also being fairly active and without getting ill.
All of this information has brought me to a new place in my life. Since being home, I have been housebound. In order to stay feeling well, I stay inside in AC with a fan blowing on me because the AC isn’t enough to keep me cool. Even though the temperature, this year, is very pleasant, I am unable to do anything outside without sweating and wearing out. The humidity levels are even reasonable, about 60% +, but that is too high for me to even walk outside without sweating and needing an extended nap afterwards. Now, I am trying to figure out how to make changes in my life which will allow me to live in cooler climes and be able to start having a life again. I am hopeful, if I figure this out, it will help me be able to get beyond what has happened to my body, get it back to a place where I have more freedom, and allow me to live more fully in any climate.
I am so grateful I was able to visit Newfoundland. I learned a lot about myself. I got to see whales & puffins on a daily basis, enjoy the outdoors, and be more active than I’ve been in years. Our B&B not only had whales out the back door on a daily basis, there were also a couple islands within sight – one had a puffin colony and one had bald eagles. We were lucky enough to see several icebergs while out running around and puffins within about 30′ of us at Elliston, near Bona Vista. I’m grateful for what I learned about myself on this trip and how I can improve my life. I only have to figure out how to make the changes I need.
I’ve learned I really like seeing new places and experiencing new environments. I have yet to visit a place I have not enjoyed or wished to return. The US has wonderful places to visit as well. With the variety of altitudes, I believe I can find places which suit me any time of year. My dream for myself is solidifying. May you find your dreams and have the experiences you desire.