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Report 1901: A Month on the Rock

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

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Page 21 of 31: A Day Round the End of the Connaigre Peninsula

photo by Michael

Slipways and fishing stores at Wreck Cove

We spent a full day exploring the small fishing villages along route 362 and its feeder roads, beginning with Wreck Cove and working our way back to Harbour Breton.

It was a good drive across the barrens with erratics and lots of lakes. There was more woodland as we dropped down off tops into the coves. Wreck Cove had an Ďend of the lineí feel. The shop was shut and empty, although the houses were well kept and looked after. After the old parents die many of the houses are used by the children for holidays. There is ongoing work to improve the harbour which is well sheltered with red cliffs to the seaward side.

Combe's Cove was even smaller with no shop and the post office had closed recently. It had a well protected harbour with headlands coming round bay. There is little fishing now and only a small pier, although there are still a lot of old wooden wharves.

St. John's is marked on the map but is just one house with greenhouse and volunteer fire engine from Belleoram.

Boxey, reached by a short drive off the main road, is a small settlement with a very basic shop which just sold dry goods and hardware. It felt as if there wasnít much money or work in the place.

Mose Ambrose was bigger but less attractive and boasted shop, petrol and B&B. The settlement straggled along a much bigger bay with fish farming.

English Harbour West was just over the hill and is the main settlement for the area as it has the school with restaurant near by, patronised by the school children and serving the usual selection of burgers, chips and fish dishes. There was a large store on the pier at the end of the settlement. At the other end, a track led onto the headland and would have been interesting to explore. Cod was drying on a fishing line in the garden of one of the houses. It is salted by rubbing in dry salt and then needs to dry for three days. The drying temperature is critical and it is important it doesnít get too hot. The fish is hung in a shed overnight or if rain is likely.

We drove through St. Jacques, a long straggling settlement which was not particularly attractive to Belleforam, at the end of the road. This is a large settlement around a big harbour with a fish processing plant. It is a lovely situation surrounded by cliffs and views across to the uninhabited Chapel Island.

We dropped down to Pool's Cove, a superb setting with lovely views across Belle Bay with its coastline of pink cliffs.

Back at Harbour Breton we parked up below Red Head (past the hospital and two cemeteries) which is a massive red cliff face. Deadmans Cove was a pretty, sandy beach with an offshore island and another reached by sandy tombola. There was a nice easy walk on a well made gravel path along the top of the cliffs with asters and golden rod on the sea side and boggy vegetation with pitcher plants inland.

We loved the Harbour Breton area. There were a lot of walking trails around the town and given good weather we could easily have spend extra days here.

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