Category Archives: Atlantic Canada 2011
Yesterday evening we walked up Signal Hill, and this provided me time to take some photos which I share with you here.
Friday, August 19, 2011
2011/08/17: 85 km to Witless Bay
As we left the dry haven of our efficiency unit, Daniel quipped that the hoped the next tenants weren’t Muslims or Jews. We’d cooked and eaten an entire pound of bacon, not to mention three fried eggs each. With no fume hood, the place smelled strongly of our hearty breakfast.
We went a short way to the tiny, archaic Museum of Sealing and Whaling, which consisted of Continue reading
Thursday, August 18, 2011
We started early, and as we rolled along the shoulder of the Trans-Canada, all I could think of was the song by The Arrogant Worms that goes “We’ve got rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks…..” (Click here and press arrow for song) The island of Newfoundland is bigger than Ireland, smaller than England, and has a population of fewer than half a million souls. There was virtually no access to the interior until the 1960s. The emptiness goes on and on. We put our miles in.
We stopped to pose with Morris the Moose outside the visitors’ centre in Goobies. Morris was the only moose we saw, despite the island being literally overrun by them. Moose were deliberately introduced from Nova Scotia in the 1930s as a food source, and since a bounty system meant they’d finished killing all the wolves a decade earlier, the moose did very well. Too well.
We passed the big oil refinery at Come by Chance, and dove into The Tanker Inn, frequented by drilling crews at Arnold’s Cove just as it began to rain. It rained hard all night.
2011/08/16: 69km to South Dildo
It was raining as we left, and the rain steadily increased as we rode. Water trickled inside our wet weather gear from above, splashed up from below, and drenched us in heavy sheets from the side as trucks passed us. Some hours later, we pulled into a “K” restaurant for lunch, and the waitress brought new place-mats because we’d drenched the table as we undid our clothes. She also got a mop to dry the floor near our chairs, in case someone slipped.
We discussed our options, and decided to get a room at the motel beside the restaurant. To our great disappointment, however, it had no room left. The visitor’s centre helped us find the next nearest haven against the horrid weather: an “efficiency unit” in South Dildo, 12 km to the north. Daniel wanted to go there anyway so we could see a small whaling and sealing museum the next morning, so off we went, crossing slurries of brown water that washed across the road where creeks had overflowed.
Stopping to buy food to make darned sure we wouldn’t have to go out again, we rode up a gravel track to our unit and began to spread out our gear. We had two bedrooms and a living room, there were loads of hooks on the wall, and there was even a washer and dryer. What a relief!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
2011/08/13: 93km to Eastport
Leaving town, Daniel noticed his fraying front tire was getting worse, so he turned back to buy a Canadian Tire replacement, install it, and managed to catch up to us within about twenty kilometres. We stopped to eat our excellent lobster sandwiches (prepared by Alice) at Joey’s Lookout above Gambo.
We paused at Malady Head campground in Terra Nova NP, trying to reach Alice and Mark who might have come to join us. We were unable to reach them, so continued to Eastport and the cottage of a relative of Daniel’s who, although extremely busy with the local writers’ festival, Winterset in Summer, had generously said we could camp on his lawn. My feeling was that we were an unnecessary imposition when other places to park our scruffy selves were readily available, but we ended up cooking ourselves fresh cod in our hosts’ kitchen in the company of an amiable labrador.
Chris and I crawled into our tent on the porch, while Daniel wiggled into his borrowed emergency bivouac sack. It provided no insect protection, so Daniel ended up moving into the boot room during the night.
2011/08/14: Kayaking and and 47km to Charlottetown
We scoffed bananas and rode to the park’s visitors’ centre to meet Mark, Alice and Anna. Mark swam in Newman Sound with a snorkel and mask. These Jersey Islanders are made of stern stuff! Daniel rented a single kayak and Chris and I got a double. This allowed us to go out for two hours, along with Alice in one of their single kayaks they’d brought, while Mark stayed ashore with Anna.
After some time ashore chatting (and using the dryer) we three rode off southward to Charlottetown where we found a motel. Seemingly from nowhere, a cyclist appeared with an all but unrideable bike in need of major attention. Joseph was an enterprising lad from Toronto, who’s taken the bus to North Sydney, crossed to Port aux Basques, and was heading to St. John’s to visit his girlfriend. He had come from Port aux Basques in an astounding four days, averaging 180km per day! But his back wheel had several broken spokes and what was left of his rear derailleur dangled uselessly from the chain, the derailleur hanger having snapped. After some consultation, Chris bashed the bent hanger with two rocks to straighten it, and did his best to reattach it. We’re not sure how far he got with this tenuous repair, but we suspect that if he didn’t find a bike shop soon, he’d be hitchiking to St. John’s.