Sunday, August 21, 2016

Living la vida loca in La Manche

I arrived in La Manche after leaving from Fairhaven with rain falling.  The first order of business was to get the tent up.  I had never put a tent up in the rain before because in all my trips its never rained coming into camp.  My luck had to run out eventually.  Luckily I worked out a plan as I paddled into La Manche.

The plan was to put the tarp up first and then erect the tent under the tarp keeping it dry.  It worked like a charm and I was pleased with my "boy scout" skills which I improvised on the fly.

Eventually the rain lessened but still pecking I carried all the gear I needed up from the beach.  Once I had that done I was feeling pretty hungry so I got supper on.  Under the branches it was dry enough not to need rain gear.

The branches provided the perfect spots to hang the pots to dry!  The tent was tucked as close to the tree as possible almost hugging it.

I boiled some water to drip some coffee and has this view from ...

... my perch on the edge of the ocean.  It was a pinch me moment.

There wasn't a stick of wood on the beach to have a fire.  That was a first.  But the rain stopped so I decided to go on walk-about.  This place was frequented by the local party crowd who left their whatever this was supposed to be.  This was the view of the resettled community looking northeast.

The census of 1921 lists 11 people living here in four households consisting of 2 families of Flynns and Hynes.  The Flynns came from Presque and the Hynes from St. Kyrans on the other side of Placentia Bay.

This was the view looking southeast.  It looked a huge open area for four families.  It was but after it was settled in 1836 the population grew to 142 by 1874 making sense of what I was seeing.

After the population peak in 1874 it gradually dwindled to the low level of 1921 and in 1935 there were 23 persons living there in four households.  The families of Hynes were gone and families of Parsons and Benoites had moved in.

I followed the ATV trail out of the former community and looked back towards where I had pitched my tent.  There was lots of level ground but also lots of hilly slopes not suitable for tents.

The census of 1945 lists 27 individuals in 6 families with surnames Benoite, Flynn and Parsons.

I'm not an arborist but I could tell these trees were not native.  Someone brought them here.  Whoever they were they were not here to greet me; everyone having moved away an abandoning the community by 1966.  One of hundreds so left behind in Newfoundland.

I left the location of the former community behind to explore the ATV trails which made for excellent hiking.  It would be a worthwhile destination for a two night stay and enjoy hiking in the area.

My hike finished I returned to my perch to relax and enjoy the view looking out over the water.

I was alone but not one bit lonely.  It was a feeling difficult to describe; just a deep feeling of inner peace and tranquility.  I didn't even have a drink of alcohol with me - I didn't need it.  It will be one night I will long remember.


  1. This is really great to see Tony! Nice Tent! :) Who needs any other high than that!! Miss you!

  2. Cathy it was so incredibly meaningful for me to do this by myself especially after all my travails with the house. It was a more relaxed solo trip than Trinny Cove earlier this year and felt more comfortable.

    Tony :-)