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Published: August 27th 2013
I visited downtown St John's, with its curvy narrow streets and shops upon shops. It was colourful and at the end of season so I got a cheap tshirt. With a fond goodbye to Harvey, I left Friday morning for Tera Nova National Park. Here, I have found great vistas, vast sandy beaches and easy paddling. I decided to paddle first because it had rained overnight and looked to stay gray all day. The young, friendly woman at the visitors centre told me I should go out of the park to Sandy Cove and paddle around the point to see the Dungeons. So, I did. To get to the beach is a 100 m climb down steep stairs. I wasn't sure if I would make it with my 17 foot kayak, but I was going to try. I discovered that I could get it off the roof of my car, all by myself if I stood on my cooler. The challenge would be the stairs. Of course, as is typical here, the moment I started on my way, I was offered help and quickly accepted. The beach is long and deep and shallow as well as being soft fine sand. The
tide was just beginning to come back in, so it made it easy to launch, since there wasn't any wind either. I paddled out to the point and that's when you feel the swells rather than the slight waves; this was my first time on the ocean this trip. You round the point and see what she meant by the dungeons. The rock had been worn away by the waves to create crevasses and caves into the cliffs, quite unnerving as you float past them on calm water to think what the power of the ocean can do. I turned around and decided to visit the other side of Sandy Cove. I paddled my way into more and more protected coves as the arms of the ocean traveled into the land. At each cover there was the docks and fishing ships of little towns, with the houses hanging over the cliffs in all colours. The wind started to pick up slightly and I'd paddled steadily for an hour and a half, so I headed back to the beach. It was quite the idyllic scene, a sail boat had put in anchor in the cove so it's family could go for
a swim. Again, as I started to lift my kayak up the stairs, I had an offer to help. Newfoundlanders are good, warm, friendly people, young and old. I have been called girlie, luv, dear, dearie etc from just about everyone. I got back to camp for a well deserved nap and then I had lamb for supper. At the grocery store, you can get slab of lamb leg, just like a beef steak for 6 bucks. They grow lots here, browsing on salt plains grass, so the meat tastes wonderful.
Today, was warmer and very sunny, so I decided to hike under the shade of the forest. It had been suggested that I hike the Malady Head trail. I'm at Malady Head campground. This trail 2.5 km long and then back again. It goes up and up and up, before you turn around to head back down, down, down. I like hiking just for the trees and rock and moss, the plants and flowers, and the sound of leaves in the wind. Usually, there is an object for the hike, and this was no exception. When I reached the look out, I was blown away. This was the
best view I have seen of all the hikes I've taken this trip so far. You look out over the three arms of ocean reaching into the land with all the islands and pond and forest between. The ocean misted away into the sky at the limit of your view, utterly beautiful. Very much worth the climb.
I stayed another day then I had expected, because when I woke in the morning the weather was perfect. I went for a 3 hour paddle up an absolutely calm arm of the ocean. the water was looking glass flat and reflected the light in ripple patterns up on the trees at the water side. I tired myself out, but was in seventh heaven. There were no people, the views were magical, the little beaches beckoned for me to stop and eat lunch. Wow, I'm glad I stayed. Now, it's off to Gros Morne tomorrow. Good night and sweet dreams.
Tot: 0.453s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 8; qc: 54; dbt: 0.012s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb