10 Beaches/2012: Gabarus and Fourchu

It’s getting to be kind of funny, that every time I have a day off and have time to get to a beach, it’s overcast or raining.

Funny, or annoying, depending on whether I feel lighthearted or not.

Anyway, it feels pretty silly to be driving around in a bathing suit and beach dress on a rainy day, for sure. Kind of the definition of “false hope”.

So last week I decided I was going to check out Gabarus. I’ve never been there, so I was excited – a new part of the island to check out! There is something about travel that really gets my creative juices flowing, and travelling somewhere new especially. And checking out a new place on Cape Breton? The best!!


I had to head into downtown Sydney first, and as I was leaving the raindrops started. Bah! There went my hope that it might clear.

Out on the highway, the clouds still looked pretty ominous.

Stopped at the Alexandra Street roundabout for construction. I do love cranes. And construction – there’s something amazing to me about how we humans can actually organize ourselves to get this kind of thing DONE. Buildings on a big scale.  Highway projects. Kinda neat.

So I drove through Marion Bridge and to the turnoff to Gabarus, and then decided to keep going, to check out Fourchu. I’ve been to St. Peter’s and Point Michaud a bunch, but never to that section of coast between Point Michaud and Louisbourg. Someday I’ll do the rest of it, and check out Framboise too.

It was really quiet here. No-one around. Some birds hanging out and flitting by the roadside. The air was still.

Bemused-face. Like, “what the heck am I doing here, hanging out on a rainy day in Fourchu near some fishing boats, in a bathing suit? I really am quite a dork.”

I went a little further towards Framboise, thinking there might be a beach to be found, but ended up stopping at a one-lane bridge to eat my lunch and turn around. Turned out it was right next to a seabird nesting area, so that was neat.

The ditches are so full of life this time of year! Greens, and other colours, and textures. Lovely.

The irony of eating this sushi, fished lord knows where, by the Cape Breton seacoast wasn’t lost on me. But it was pretty tasty. (The sushi, not the irony.)

That was enough of Fourchu. I wanted to start heading back and check out Gabarus. Someone had mentioned Belfry Beach at one point, so I went there first.

Belfry Beach isn’t sandy, at least not the part where I was. It is covered in tiny pebbles. This was a little painful on my feet at times, depending on thes size of them. Nice and small= didn’t hurt. Kinda bigger= ouch!

This is probably my favorite shot of the whole day. The colours! The textures!The blue and yellow together!

Irish Moss. You can make gelatin out of this stuff! Mum swears by a drink made with it, if she’s sick, because it’s got all kinds of minerals and things in it. I think it tastes like and has the consistency of snot, but… whatevs. To each their own!

Beach succulents.

I sat in my car for a while, writing in my notebook. So relaxing. I could hear (but not see) the ocean. Just time all by myself to write, and think, and stare off into space. The best.

My touring-around necessities – The Nova Scotia Atlas. My cassette tapes (and the radio). My deodorant, I guess? (Well, it’s in the picture.) I took my book along but didn’t read it (that happens a lot). And my writing notebook (a Hilroy from the Drug Store).

Then I went on to Gabarus, the community itself.

Up and over the seawall.

I just really love being by the ocean. The sound it makes, the constancy of it, the rhythm of the waves going in-and-out, the power, and how ancient the whole thing feels. My own day-to-day worries and the headaches of a little human life feel pretty small next to the ocean.

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks.

This is the Post Office in Gabarus. Adorable! A car is bigger than it!

To take this shot I totally pulled a “tourist” move, one that drives me nuts here at home: I STOPPED THE CAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, y’all. But, there wasn’t anyone behind me. So it was OK. Right?

This just cracked me up. The sign says “No Camping Permitted.” And they camped right next to it.

Here are a couple of interesting, Gabarus-related things I found:

To get there: Gabarus’s Belfry Beach is down the Belfry Road, which is off the Fourchu Road. To get to the seawall in Gabarus town, take Route 327 from Sydney to Gabarus and just drive to the end of ‘er. You will end at the seawall.

Curious about my 10 Beaches/2012 project? Basically, this summer, I’m challenging myself to make it to ten separate beaches on Cape Breton Island.  So far: Initial post, Point Aconi, Chimney Corner & Inverness, Gabarus & Fourchu.

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12 Responses to 10 Beaches/2012: Gabarus and Fourchu

  1. Pingback: 10 Beaches/2012: Gabarus and Fourchu « caperblogger

  2. Diane says:

    Beautiful Leah. Going on journeys around Cape Breton is one of my favorite things to do. In my mind I picture what it must have been like when people first started arriving to CB and what the natives americans must have thought. How these new settlers made it through their first winter and how some did not. The history here is amazing. I get a heavy feeling very time I visit Louisburg lighthouse. Especially on the road to the lighthouse.

    Anyway thanks for sharing Leah, one of these days you will have a sunny beach day. You should be using your iphone for you music. You can buy an attachment that hooks your iphone right into your cars radio, you dial in a station and voila your iphone has car speakers especially if you have cbc Radio, cbc music apps or Tunein Radio or AccuRadio and VEVO is good if you want to watch any music videos I also like the NFB app national film board. As long as you have a wireless connection you will always pick up these stations. Take Joy Diane

    • leahcnoble says:

      I picture that too, Diane! What it was like in these same locations, for the people who were first here. Being there, physically, helps me to imagine it much better, our history.

      I could use my iPhone for music, but honestly I’m too lazy and cheap to buy the attachment I need. :) I just haven’t done it yet. I like my radio, too – and my tapes! But thanks for the info.

  3. Gordon says:

    Beautiful photography ! … and I’m really liking the indomitable spirit …

  4. Winston Bearkiller says:

    A new peek into Richmond County for me. I love it. Thank you Leah.

    And the doctoral thesis…I know I’ll be reading that for days. A treasure for us “old docs.”

    Winston

  5. Rick says:

    Your words and pictures are most entertaining,the places so inviting, We love finding new beaches,thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Tiffany says:

    I love your pictures, I’m also selfishly proud to say I myself am from Gabarus and got to see the picture of my parents garage;) (next to the post office!) My mother also painted the sign at the beginning of the village. I’m glad there’s other people appreciating our little neck in the woods!:)

  7. Anonymous says:

    My family spent a lot of time in the Forchu/Gabarus/Framboise area in my teens (and still do) as we have relatives in the area and I visit Forchu every year I go home – always found sitting by the ocean and comtemplating the meaning of life to be a vacation in and of itself and I always come away with a sense of well-being, clearer-minded and a tummy full of fresh cooked lobster – none of which is ever taken for granted. It is part of where I am from – home

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