When traveling, one of the best ways to get the feel, the flavor, and the social climate of a new locale is to visit the local watering hole. And on Ramea. the best one is Red’s Lounge. Red’s being the best bar/lounge is not only my opinion, it’s also the opinion of all the locals and they should know. It wins hands down and the reason is quite simple – it’s the only bar on Ramea. And though it’s the only pub on the island, it’s not open everyday or all hours. The owner works at an oil company and that job comes first. Priorities – we all have them but I wish his matched mine better.
As in my trip to Fogo Island a week earlier, I needed to get to know the “powers-that-be” in Ramea. Since whoever wore the mantle of he/she-that-counts-as-the-big-cheese-or-poobah-of-the-island was not to be found, I did the next best thing. I went to Red’s. it was lunchtime after all and the light wouldn’t be good until 2:00 PM. Ahhh, the life of the photographer!
Certainly in an outport/island such as Ramea, a stranger stands out even if they’re not in a bar. As in the TV show “Cheers”, everyone knows your name and it wasn’t long before almost everyone knew mine. Hell, you walk into any place with cameras dangling all over you and people look up and take notice.
Before long, maybe at least two or three minutes(!), I was being “interrogated” by the locals. Actually, befriended is a much, much better description but not as humorous. The first of my “interrogators”, sorry,that’s friends, was Gerard. Gerard, born and raised on Ramea, was thrilled to have someone new to talk with. As in any bar anywhere, it’s the same people and the same stories, over and over again. I was going to be entertainment or least a source of new stories. Hey, their stories were new to me! That should count for something.
So, over a beer or two, maybe three of the locally brewed Quidi Vidi variety, Gerard filled me on all the poop. Who was who in the bar, what people did, local color, etc. For me, he was a font of information – some of it was useful immediately, some not until later that day, but I was not to know that at the time. However, Red’s was to become my base of local operations for the time I would be there. In the meantime, I would need to get outside to photograph while the light was getting better. It turned out that they had a hell of lot more beer left than I did light.