Saturday, 27 August 2011

St. John's, Newfoundland

Arrived at 2:30 this afternoon, August 27,

73 riding days
6200 kms
5 flat tires  (1 by G and 4 by B) B rides much closer to the edge, as far away from the trucks and cars as possible!!
5 time zones
10 provinces 

..... and now we'll have to watch what we eat again.
We have rented a car starting Monday for ten days, as it is not likely that we will be back here anytime soon. The last day on the Transcanada was a pain, lots of traffic and inconsiderate drivers. Thusfar the gentility of Newfies is more vaunted than flaunted, but we'll see.

Newfie computer joke: ask one to log on and he starts looking for a fireplace... Let me know if you don't get it.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

On board the Atlantic Vision

Yesssirreee, ferries have internet capabilities these days!!

From Pictou where G had a haircut

is that a vaccuum cleaner I see?

we rode the very very busy highway 104 to Baddeck in two days. I had a bit of a hard time after 50 kms both days and realized I hadn't been eating enough and was hypoglycemic, a feeling I know well enough from cross country skiing. The third day, a 82 km jaunt to Baddeck on the Cabot Trail, we stopped for some food early enough and there were no problems. We stayed an extra day to make ferry reservations and took care of a few odds and ends. Yesterday we did the 52 kms to the North Sydney ferry terminal, arrived early and had to wait 8 hours for the ferry to Newfoundland to leave. Arrival today will be 3 pm and we will cycle a short distance and then pack it in. The next day or two we will ride to St. John's and that will be it for the bike riding. We are looking forward to visiting the Rock, but have been told that rental cars need to be reserved six months ahead of time. We'll see. It would be a shame not to be able to drive around, now that we are here.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Prince Edward Island

I looked at our tires in Riviere du Loup and particulalrly Brigitte's rear tire looked pretty bad after 5000 kms. We decided to change both rear tires and kept the old ones as spares. As sailors we know that you never have enough spares and I've never seen a spare I didn't like... Next stop from Grand Falls was Florenceville and then Woodstock. On our way there we tried to use the Trans Canada Trail again. Looked okay for a while until we arrived at a place where a river came into the St. John river and where the bridge across was washed out. We managed to get across but after a few minor washouts we came to a place where we really could not get across and we had to backtrack. Tiring work, down and up the banks and through the water, with heavy bikes and the trailer. Near Fredericton we wanted to stay at the Chicadee B&B. Business must have been bad as the place had burned down and we ended up in what used to be a Holiday Inn. Next were Youngs Cove and Moncton. We took a rest on the highway and cop with flashing lights arrived wanting to know if we were allright. He passed us two more times and flashed his lights or turned on the siren each time.

The transfer to PEI  took place in a van with the bikes loaded in a trailer as the winds on the Confederation bridge, 13 kms long, are very strong and the risk is there that you get blown into traffic. At the place where the bikes are loaded the mozzies were out in full force so that we were looking for a blood transfusion once on the island. We rented a car for three days and found the island pretty but relatively boring. The only excitement came when a control freak in a car tried to convince us to ride single file (only my front wheel was overlapping) on a country road with very little traffic. We wonder what he tells Hells Angels motor bikers, who never travel single file.

Tomorrow we are back in the saddle and will take the ferry to Nova Scotia. We figure six more riding days, or 73 total, to St. John's, Newfoundland from where we will tale a plane back to Ottawa. Thusfar 5'700 kms.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Grand Falls, New Brunswick

Taking a day off from aching legs and backs and recovering from lack of sleep due to some very inconsiderate people arriving at 1 am in Edmunston. From the top:

Fromn Quebec to Montmagny and Riviere Ouelle, where we camped again. Noisy campground with music until 11 pm and drunk neighbours. until all hours of the morning. Problem is we need lots of sleep, which we don't always get. Camping is hard on the backs as well, so we'll keep motelling and use the camping gear as a backup.

Riviere du Loup next stop, all along the St. Lawrence. I wish I could confirm recognition of the various places from our trek along the coast on Octopus I in 2002, but it looks different from land.

We watched the interim resolution of the Great Debt Ceiling Debate in the Excited States of America at night. Boy, these people have really lost their way, putting the world economy at risk for the second time in three years. Failed State??

Cabano, inland, was hard, as the bike trail, consisting of crushed stone, was very soft. We stuck it out for 40 kms and then elected to hit the road again. The trail from C to Edmunston was a much harder surface and we scooted along a pretty lake for a while.

Edmunston is a miserably grimy industrial town with tall chimneys belching smoke into the sky in the downtown area. On the way in we passed St. Louis du Ha! Ha!, picture later. No idea what this is about, but it was funny.

As we were riding into Edmunston the clouds looked threatening and we asked someone if we could wait out the rain underneath his carport. His wife came out and we had a lovely conversation, in Frenglish, made lovelier by the lady's question if that was my mother I was cycling with... Needless to say Brigitte is "Mom" from now on. The receptionist at the motel wanted to know if I was older than sixty (seniors rate). You've got to love these New Brunswickers.

On balance Quebec has the loveliest bikle trails and lots and lots of tourist information points with all kinds of maps. Hard to beat. NB has the friendliest people thusfar (says G!!!!).