Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 16: East Coast Trail - La Manche/Doctor's Cove hike

On our last trip to Newfoundland (4 years ago) one of the hikes we did was to an abandoned fishing village called La Manche.  The village was largely destroyed by a bad storm Jan 28, 1966 with many of the buildings and infrastructure washed away.  We found both the hike and the site interesting.  Little did we know that we'd be doing the same hike 4 years later but with a difference.  In the interim Atty had met Patrick while teaching English overseas in the Sultanate of Oman.  It so happened that Patrick had a friend (in Newfoundland) Catherine, whose family lived in La Manche before it was resettled!  It's funny how through a series of unrelated events people become linked together.  Anyway, the plan today was to hike from Catherine and Wilfred's home to the trailhead and then do the trail.  As such the invitation was extended to have breakfast at Catherine and Wilfred's home before heading out on the hike.  Let's just say that Catherine out did herself and we definitely left the house full after breakfast!  The hike for the most part is not that difficult but there is one steep hill at the beginning of the trail that is a killer.  Once we got to La Manche Catherine showed us around and explained how the site looked when she was young and the village was still being used.  We were taken to the foundations of her grandmother's home, to where the school was located and other sites.  It really was fascinating to hear her accounts of life there as it brought the ruins back to life.  It was a treat having her and Wilfred share their memories of the village with us.  I was able to locate some photos of La Manche before it was resettled to show you how the village originally appeared.  On the way back we took a small side trail to Doctor's Cove and had a rest stop there.  It's a beautiful location where you can observe the waves come in to rock formations along the shore. 

Wilfred and Patrick

Catherine and Atty

Wilfred taking in the view from the suspension bridge

A view of the La Manche site as it appears now

A view of La Manche when it still was a working fishing village

The La Manche suspension bridge

Catherine (afraid of heights) crossing the bridge at La Manche....sorry Catherine but I had to show this!

Looking out towards the Atlantic from La Manche

Catherine and Wilfred standing on the ruins of Catherine's grandmother's home

A view of La Manche in the early 60's before the storm

Wilfred, Catherine, Patrick and Atty

A dragonfly that landed nearby to sun itself

The new boardwalk leading into La Manche is located higher up the rocky shore than the original

A view of the entrance to La Manche as it appears today

A view of the entrance to La Manche as it once was

Waves crashing in at Doctor's Cove

Atty taking a break at Doctor's Cove

Catching a break at Doctor's Cove

Walking back to Wilfred and Catherine's place

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