Jubilados (Spanish for retirees) savouring the journey

Chosen carefully, planned well and travelled independently

Stories of global travel adventures from Gloria and Kerry, a.k.a. Spice and Magellan

“One of Newfoundland’s best kept secrets.” Trail Peak, 2020.

“In my opinion it’s better than Gros Morne.” Perry Gillingham, mayor of King’s Point, 2016.

“Definitely in the top 10 of all the hikes we’ve done worldwide.” Magellan, May 20, 2022.

High praise. It made us think. What are we, and most hikers, looking for in a good day hike? We came up with seven criteria, awarding four boots for excellent, three for pretty good, two for okay, one for meh.

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Every year millions of tourists visit Ålesund, Norway’s prettiest city. For centuries they’ve admired its setting, seven interconnected islands on the Norwegian Sea. And its elegant Art Nouveau style. After a devastating fire in 1904 burnt the city’s traditional wooden buildings to the ground, young architects (financed by international aid) rebuilt Ålesund in stone and brick. Ålesund is also Norway’s most important fishing harbour. All very nice. What did we like best? A serendipitous surprise, an art exhibit called The Edge of the Sea. Read more

“Ow’s she cuttin’ me cocky?”

“Beskind b’y. Ow’s she getting on?”

Newfinese for,

“How are you, my friend? “

“I’m feeling great. How are you faring?”

After a month (May 18-June 18) of touring Newfoundland in a rented campervan, feeling discombobulated and achingly homesick for the place, it’s taken me this long to feel “Beskind.”

The province with the oldest exposed rocks in the world. The first province to respond to the Titanic’s distress signal, vaccinate for smallpox, host a transatlantic flight, use wireless communication, prove the theory of continental drift. The province with the oldest city and the oldest street in North America. The province whose people are Canada’s most giving1, most sexually active2 and most satisfied3.

In no specific order, here are 13 reasons why The Rock gobsmacked us.

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We weren’t following the flock to Uttakleiv Beach and Haukland Beach in Norway—we hiked the eleven-mile loop before Lonely Planet named Haukland the best beach in Europe. We didn’t know The Times had proclaimed the same years before. Or that the Norwegians voted Haukland Beach the most beautiful place in their country, more than once. We had no idea that National Geographic had declared Uttakleiv the world’s most romantic beach in 2005. Since I can never remember the names Uttakleiv and Haukland and there was a flock of sheep on the trail, when reminiscing with Magellan about our best times in Norway, I call this “The Sheep Hike.”

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An oceanfront campsite in a provincial park on a July long weekend; perfect right? Not with the winds at Agate Beach Campground in Naikoon Park on Haida Gwaii. Magellan and I headed inland in the park, to Hiellen Longhouse Village, a dream the Old Massett Village Council realized in 2015.

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On my birthday the year we were in the Asturias in Spain, we had lunch at El Corral (the Barnyard) del Indianu on the main street of a non-descript town (Arriondas) that’s the gateway to the Picos de Europa, the geographical barrier that isolated Asturias which was a kingdom nation on its own for centuries. As almost nothing is written in English about El Corral or the chef/owner José Antonio Campoviej, we had to rely on Google translation. We invite you, as per the translation of one review of El Corral, to “Get moving, and enjoy like a dwarf eating.”

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