Distance: 29km (18 miles)
Today was the longest day of the track for us, but also the last one. So we started early, at about 8am. It was our plan to first walk to a convenience store about 2km from our hostel, as we didn’t have enough food for the 8 or 9 hours it would take us to get to Port aux Basques. When we got there however, we learned that the store wouldn’t open before 10am. But – as often happens in NFLD – someone who drove by offered to take us to a gas station up the road, where we would be able to buy some sandwiches. Problem solved!
Soon after we resumed walking, we reached the coast, at Wreckhouse. Wreckhouse is known for its high winds, with gusts of up to 150 km per hour. Rail cars have been completely blown off the tracks here at times, and today it are transport truck drivers that have to be careful not to be blown off the Trans-Canada Highway. Railway officials relied on one of the locals living in this area, Lauchie McDougall, to inform them about the strength of the wind. He was a trapper and a farmer and gauged the wind force by how his house trembled. If he thought trains would be in danger, he informed the railway agent at Port aux Basques, so he could hold the departing train.
Most of the track today was coastal walking, and we loved it. The trail was a lot easier to walk on than the day before, and the oppressive heat had disappeared. Around 5pm an orange snow plow car came in sight, and we knew we had reached the end of the track: the western terminus of Newfoundland’s railway.