For the curious traveler seeking that truly authentic, enriching travel experience, look no further than Rencontre East. Situated on Newfoundland’s sensational south coast along the Connaigre Peninsula, Rencontre (pronounced RON-CONTER), is an isolated fishing village that boasts just 129 residents.
Nestled among the magnificent coastal fjords, getting to Rencontre is by provincial ferry only (pictured below). This is a wonderful 1 hour and 45 minute commute from the equally beautiful community of Bay L’Argent. The ferry ride was one of the highlights of our trip as we chatted with locals and witnessed stunning coastal scenery.
Rencontre is so remote that there are zero vehicles (ATV is the preferred mode of transportation here) and their town sign says it all: Isolated and Loving It. But don’t let Rencontre’s low population nor isolation fool you. This is a prospering rural community due largely in part to Newfoundland’s growing Aquaculture sector being the major economic employer here.
Our hosts, Debbie and Paul of Rent Near The Ocean, were the ultimate accommodations providers. From picking us up to dropping us off dockside at the ferry terminal to zipping us around the community on their 4×4. They were super kind, caring and attentive. Paul’s roots are from here and we can’t think of a better way to give back to this proud Newfoundland community.
Rent Near The Ocean works intimately with their guests, offering a variety of tailored excursions including ‘Off The Grid’ Tours and Seafood Beach Boil-Ups. If you are self-directed travelers such as ourselves, they are equally happy to point you in the right direction. They are about ‘travel on your terms’.
Our stay at the Chart House, their lovingly restored heritage home overlooking a nestled bay, appropriately called, Little Harbour was nothing short of heaven. Situated waterside with an extended wharf jutting out into the bay and surrounded by green hills, fishing stages and sheds. This was a real slice of what authentic Newfoundland is all about. Kayaks are also on site to hop in and paddle your way out the bay.
Footnote: for those travelers who can’t truly go ‘off the grid’, no worries, your stay here comes with cable television and wi-fi/internet connection.
After settling in, we decided to take a back country hike to the beautiful coastal fjords. They are called ‘The Other Gros Morne’ because of their similarity to the fjords of Western Newfoundland. This was an easy 30-45 minute boardwalk stroll that ran parallel with a freshwater lake. Along the way we stopped and chatted with several fishermen who were bringing in their boats.
An evening walkabout was also in store for us as we strolled into town. Everything about this place is beautiful, quaint and cute right down to the local stores (2 in total).
Our only regret about visiting Rencontre is that we didn’t stay longer. 48 hours is not nearly enough time to fully unplug and absorb what true living is really all about.