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Leading Tickles, Newfoundland and Labrador

By Emma L. Hutchinson

Nestled, quietly, behind a carpet of endless boreal forest and the rugged vast coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador, lies a world of historic beauty, tradition and a timeless way of life.

Although you could relish in the beauty of this whole province, why not start on the north coast of central Newfoundland in the quaint fishing village of Leading Tickles? From walking along the cliff edge to hiking the challenging terrain shaped in time by the wind, rain and ice, or relaxing on the rocky beaches listening to the rolling waves crash against the shoreline, Leading Tickles has something for the extreme adventurer to the tranquil soul.
With images of pastel sunsets glistening over raging icebergs and whales gliding though the clear blue waters among fishing boats sailing on the open sea, this picturesque paradise is a photographers dream. Schools of whale migrate from the south, while ancient icebergs drift toward them, marking the start of summer. The rare omnivorous Newfoundland Pitcher Plant blossoms on the hillside, while red tailed foxes dare to explore the unbeaten paths of the wilderness. Moose are not a rare encounter while driving along the winding roads of the village, but to see a black bear you must venture into their forbidden territory.

Newfoundland and Labrador, the most easterly point in North America has made its living from the ocean for centuries and it shows in the array of traditional English and Irish dishes. It is not an unfamiliar scene to see the fisherman of Leading Tickles venture out in their boats to collect cod for fish n’ brews dinner. Years of bearing the harsh winds while away at sea show in the wrinkled, tied, drawn eyes of the fisherman. They slave away at the only way of life that is familiar to them and battle the rough currents of the Atlantic Ocean to carry on the tradition their fathers once led. Along the coastline of this charismatic fishing village, boats, anchored by frail wharfs, wait patiently for their next venture to the deep.

The village folk wave at passing strangers while opening their doors to weary travelers offering a fresh cup of tea or a heartfelt invitation of salt meat and potatoes, or rather Jigg’s Dinner. During the winter, tradition must continue to put food on the table. Men and women track over the ice in their snow shoes to collect fish through perfect circles in the ice, passing seals that relax on separated pans of ice in the distance.

Leading Tickles, a peaceful, picturesque vista with its doors always open. Perhaps in the middle of nowhere, but perhaps North Americas best kept secret.

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