NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
For the second year in a row, Katie and Tyler Flood have attended the Rock Island Music Festival in Ramea. The Montreal couple plan to continue their travels to visit Francois and Grey River too.
Katie said they first came to Newfoundland nine years ago on their honeymoon, and they’ve been back almost every year since.
She said, “We love Newfoundland.”
“I actually met two Newfoundlanders in Montreal at a concert and a French guy was trying to talk to them and I translated,” recalls Tyler. He went on to play tour guide for them, and the Newfoundlanders promised to return the favour someday. “(We) never took them up on the offer but saw the commercials and was drawn to Newfoundland.”
The Floods own a mobile dog grooming business and partially converted one of their vans into a small camper for this summer’s trip.
“Our first time we went all across the province, quickly and in different places,” Tyler said. “When we left here, we spent all 11 month,s all year long thinking of Newfoundland, playing Newfoundland music in our car and then we’d come back for a month.”
Finding the Rock Island Music Festival was a happy accident.
Last year the Floods failed to pre-book a return trip on the ferry to Nova Scotia and were forced to wait for four or five days. In the interim they took a drive to Burgeo, one of the few places they had left to explore.
“We loved Burgeo. It was beautiful,” says Katie. “And then we found out it was that music festival in Ramea Island, so we got on the ferry and we went over to Ramea and we had a blast. So this year we said we had to come back for the music festival.”
“We almost bought a house last year. That’s how much we loved it,” agrees Tyler.
The couple has explored the province extensively since their first trip nine years ago, and Newfoundlanders they meet always offer suggestions, but usually the couple has already been there and done that. But there are still some unexplored adventures to be had along the southwest coast.
“They’d always stump us with Ramea and Francois,” admits Tyler.
Last year the couple tried to finally reach Francois and Grey River, just to say they’d visited those places too, but they ran out of time.
“But we had so much fun in Ramea,” says Tyler.
In fact, the couple tells everyone they meet to visit the area because of its stunning scenery. He likens the white sand beaches of Burgeo to those in the Caribbean or Greece.
“Burgeo is fabulous, probably an undiscovered jewel to tourists,” he said.
This year they’ve planned a month long vacation and have packed a tent in case there’s no available accommodation.
They seem to like pretty much everything about Newfoundland, even the climate, which is sometimes so different from Montreal.
“And the fog. The fog is beautiful.”