Monday, September 2, 2019
On Madeline’s recommendation, as well as All Trails’ 5 star rating, we took a short drive to Chance Cove to hike the Coastal Trail. It seems like every cove we visit is beautiful. There are similarities, yet differences. We watched as fishermen cleaned their catch on the docks. On a holiday weekend, lots of trucks were parked at the dock. They had their own barachois (lagoon), bordered by a rocky or sand barrier to the sea.
It’s a big parking lot at the trailhead, but there was not the usual sign. Later we would find it at the driveway entrance. We asked three ladies where it goes and how long it is. They had shirts for Iceberg Beer and Dildo beer, so Martha was interested. She had just bought Iceberg Beer and liked it. The ladies said, “You MUST go to Dildo!”
The trail winds through the woods for 20 minutes. It is well-maintained with walkways and signs. I tried to imagine who would do all this work. As we came out into the open where a pretty peninsula stretched out into the bay, we stopped to talk to a man, a woman and two teenage girls. While Martha talked to the woman, I talked to the man. One of the advertisements for Newfoundland said to stop and listen to the stories Newfoundlanders tell, and we have learned to do that. They were from town. “Chance Cove?” I asked. “No, St. John’s”, he said. Commenting that it was a lovely day, he said, “Every day’s a lovely day, if you put your feet on the ground”.
I guessed his age to be 59 or 60. He was a postal worker, but recently began forgetting his regular boxes. Since his mother and two brothers suffer from dementia, he went to get checked, and sure enough, he has it. A handsome, healthy man, it is sad. But they were enjoying a nice hike on a beautiful day.
They went on, and we walked out the little peninsula and met another couple. The man asked if we would like our picture taken, so we did. Then we began talking. Quite a character, he asked where we had been, suggesting all kinds of things we had missed. He suggested taking the ferry over to PEI, then drive the length and drive off when we were done.
Funny how these things go. We kept bumping into these two couples along the trail, and would see the first couple again in Dildo. Winding up and around the cliff, signs pointed to several gorgeous beaches with crystal clear water. Several small islands lent character to the beaches, one having caves running through them. It was a bright, sunny, warm day. Several people went into the water for a swim. I mean it looks like a South Pacific beach, but I’m quite sure the water is cold. The second couple we talked to climbed down the rope to the beach. He was a scuba diver and wasted no time shedding clothes and going for a swim. I was surprised his pretty Newfoundland/Labrador retriever didn’t go in with him. He had told us he does the Polar Bear Plunge in St. John’s when it was -12C, so this is nothing.
I think there were three of these gorgeous beaches before looping around for the return. We have hiked some spectacular hikes, and I would add this one to the favorites list.