Tessa and others told us we could see puffins in Elliston, just a short drive from Bonavista. We stopped at the Elliston visitor center to get a map even though the town is very small. It’s helpful that many towns, even tiny ones, have a visitor center. The path that goes to the rock where the puffins are passes through the front of a private home’s property. The walk to the rock isn’t long but when we came to some slopes I decided not to go any further with the boot so we turned around to return me to the RV. When we got to the home, the lady owner Pat was outside and said she wanted to drive me up close to the rock. What a fantastic offer, especially when Pat said she had never driven on the path (it had some large rocks imbedded in it).
She drove us as far as a tiny walkway bridge that had ocean on either side and I could see more of the rock and two small deep coves on both sides of the bridge. Steve went ahead to see the puffins because they live on the outside of the rock, not visible from the path. The puffin colony was 100 yards or so away and he had to zoom in on them. They would fly to within 5 feet of him but that was too hard to capture.
I’ve always thought puffins were the cutest birds in the world. These are Atlantic Puffins and are only found in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are two other kinds of puffins, Horned and Tufted, found in the North Pacific.
After Steve got back from seeing the puffins, Pat was telling us about Mabrey, a tiny settlement at the end of the road. Then she said “what the heck, I will take you there.” She told us who lived in each house (some were Americans from New England) and showed us an old fish drying rack that was used many years ago.
Pat and her husband are actually from British Columbia and the house has been their summer homes for the past 6 years. Pat was telling us how the people of Elliston are so poor, yet so nice that not a week goes by that someone doesn’t bring her some fish or pie or jam. Ellison has a puffin festival each year plus one of the nicest beaches in Newfoundland. There is a municipal RV park across from the beach with rates in the teens.