Still on Side Roads

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

P1030070P10300802011/08/09: 81km to Bishop’s Falls
We were at the government dock to meet Mike Roberts at the appointed 9:00 a.m.. The “speedboat” that had been proposed was vetoed for a variety of reasons, and we loaded our bikes onto Mike’s long-liner for the crossing. Chatting to Mike and his father made for a relaxing journey, with good views from the top of the cabin. We watched two minke whales, whales apparently being known locally as grumpuses. (Note: If one whale is a grumpus, I don’t think two are grumpi. The origin of the word is distinctly Newfie and not latin.)

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We disembarked in Leading Tickles. (Note: A tickle here is a strait or narrow sea passage) We rose on to Bishop’s Falls, got two rooms in an inn, and went out to a Cantonese restaurant. I have no problems with sleeping indoors, as the weather is getting worse and worse.
2011/08/10: 103km to Boyd’s Cove
P1030099We rode on to Boyd’s Cove, where Daniel had an invitation from a colleague. Eileen and Gordon’s cottage is down a tiny gravel road. They welcomed us all warmly, and Eileen fed us well. Gordon’s family is from here, so they come for summers. Lots of cousins dropped by, as did a string of  colourful neighbourhood characters who may have been using “meeting the visitors who arrived by bike from Bishop’s Falls” as a thin cover for cadging another beer from a generous household. Pugs named Bob and Fergus held court in the living room when they weren’t managing to slip outside to gorge themselves on fish entrails.
2011/08/11: 78km to Gander
In the morning, we visited the Beothuk Interpretation Centre, a provincial government site that documents the life of the local aboriginal people as pieced together from a partially excavated local village. The Beothuk did not do well after contact with European fishermen, and the last Beothuk, a woman named Shanawdithit, died of tuberculosis in St. John’s in 1829.

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On we rode to Gander, as the rain began to pelt down. There, we met our great niece, Daniel’s niece, four month old Anna, for the first time, and Mark and Alice made us an excellent dinner.
M

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