My famous show of interest 20 years ago was “I’ve never been to Fogo Island” when Leo told me that was where he was from. 😉
This many years later, it’s the first place I send visitors and locals alike.
“Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour, all around the circle” is the famous line from “Ise the B’y” a song about Newfoundland, sung and taught across the country as part of Canadian music tradition. Shanneyganock video Ise the B’y
It must first be stated that Fogo Island has several communities including the Town of Fogo.
Think, Quebec City is in the province of Quebec and New York City is in New York State.
Quebec City is not the whole province and each community, large or small has and is proud of its own identity. Don’t confuse living on Fogo Island with living in Fogo. Appreciating each community will open you to the tradition and history and future of the individuals who live and work here. Of course, amalgamation of municipal government adds to confusion. Map showing communities
Island Harbour got it’s dues when I wrote staying at Cyril’s but for me, the hub of the Island is Joe Batts Arm.
Joe Batts Arm is where we’ve been welcome and fed for years by another brother, Jerome and his wife Bernice. For sure I’ve spent a dozen Christmases in their home and been made a part of events including Bernice’s family and friends. In addition to a great place to visit all of these people, JBA has developed as a great tourist destination.
Also made famous in song, Joe Batts Arm Longliner video by Middle Tickle, we watched the Longliners as part if the Flotilla in the opening ceremonies of the Etheridge’s Point Seaside Festival.
Three nights of great local music and food make this a lovely weekend to spend on the Island. We attended both Friday and Saturday nights but the big finale is Sunday night with “Wooly Bully” played by as many musicians as the stage will hold. There were about a dozen guitars plus accordions and drum kits the year we stayed. Then there are fireworks and even a light and smoke show depending on the year.
Can’t make it in early August for the festival? Come any time and book a Bed and Breakfast or tourist home or the soon to be opened Fogo Island Inn if you can swing that! Rumors are that rates are from 500 to 5000 a night but apparently the 5k includes meals and a suite! No matter the price, guests will think it’s a steal when they see the million dollar view!
Follow the progress on the Fogo Island Inn facebook page. Whether your budget allows an Inn stay or camping, the information in their updates will inspire you to include Joe Batts Arm on your bucket list.
While making your plans, include Nicole’s Cafe and Growlers Icecream on your list of places to eat. Two separate and distinct businesses in JBA, Nicole’s features delicious local fare in an upscaled, value-added way, Growlers is where you go for a treat.
At Nicole’s Cafe you can eat a main at a reasonable rate or go the 3 or 4 course route and really appreciate what an amazing menu they’ve developed at the Cafe.
Growlers is the homemade icecream parlour. I have to recommend their twist on ‘cookies and cream’! Rather than chocolate cookies, they feature Newfoundland’s famous Purity Jam Jams
Feeling full? Need to work off that second scoop of jam tart? How about a hike or stroll to the Long Studio to see if there’s an artist in residence.
One of several studios available for A.I.R. this studio offers a stunning view of the Atlantic and the longliners coming in.
Past the playground and Alfred’s garden the trail is easy to follow and carries on past the studio for about three kilometers if you want to work up an appetite for dinner.
I’ve had many meals from Alfred’s garden because he’s Bernice’s brother and also sells produce to Nicole’s as part of the Agricultural Co-op. I learned this year he’s also a fine harmonica player thanks to a great video shot by Ben Ged Low on the Fogo Island Inn facebook page. Alfred’sgardea>
Because we spent so much time at the festival, I didn’t get to visit the Hart House to see the locally made quilts or check out the workmanship of the Winds and Waves Artisans Guild. Facebook pictures of local work Maybe just as well, because how many homemade quilts or hand turned rolling pins do I need? (The answer is always “One more”)
As I edited and played with this post, we visited with house guests and made preliminary plans for next summer when we’ll travel together to Fogo Island for a holiday. Looking forward to it already.