Sunday, 11 September 2011

Homeward bound

Although "home" is a relative concept these days. What we mean is Kim's and Seba's place near Ottawa.

We tootled around the Avalon peninsula and visited a site where precambrian fossils have been found. Fully 565 million years old and the oldest fossils ever found. The place is named Mistaken Point, as is many ships, in the pre-GPS days, turned here and ran aground. There are many, many wrecks and as many as 2000 people have perished here.

We also visited Cape Race, where the SOS from the Titanic was received and answered in 1912. The site has references to discussions with Canadian Marconi in Montreal, my former employer, as to how much information should be released as the drama was unfolding. The famous Cape Race lighthouse light was shrouded in blue tarpaulins as the mercury bath, on which the light floats, is leaking.

St. John's is very nice and we spent some pleasant days here. Visited Cape Spear, the Eastern-most point in North America, in 100 km winds. Parks Canada closed the gift shop on the site, which we thought was an appropriate response.

Here a "taste of Newfoundland" for those of you who have not yet visited this Canadian province!

Vancouver island to Bonavista (does not sound right)   song about Canada

Iceberg near L'Ance aux meadows

Beautiful countryside

Colorful St. John's

Cape Spear, B looking slightly wind-blown.....

On Friday evening, preparing for the trip to the airport, Brigitte checked her phone messages and found that her Dad, 88, had unexpectedly passed away, 2 weeks after their 65 wedding anniversary.
This made the trip "home" very sad and she is leaving today for Zurich. I will follow in a few days for the funeral.

We hit the St. John's airport at 04:30 to dismantle the bikes and put them in plastic bags. The airline, WestJet, was very accommodating, but the bikes were slightly damaged anyway. I guess baggage handlers are the same the world over. They should compete in dwarf tossing contest. I'm sure they'd win.

This is it for now. Thanks for following our progress. Glad to answer any questions you may have.
Just as an afterthought, there are 2 bikes for sale in Ottawa, bikes with plenty of experience!!! They will probably ride across Canada by themselves and you would just have to go along for the ride and maybe fix the odd flat since Gerry want be there to do it for you!?

Gerry and Brigitte

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Touring Newfoundland

Okay, it's confirmed, the Newfies ARE very friendly. Newfoundland's Gander airport accommodated 38 flights diverted here on account of 9/11 and there are many passengers who are returning here on the tenth anniversary to reminisce with people who put them up.
Underway in the northern part of the island we spoke with many friendly people.

We went to the  landing site of the Vikings, fully 500 years before Columbus "discovered" the Caribbean

and saw icebergs if you can believe it, in August.

There are other cyclists underway here, many bucking enormous headwinds. Accommodation is a problem, pariculalrly near Bonavista where a local hero showed up with the Stanley Cup. Irene missed us and other than hard winds caused no problems.

We also hiked in Gros Morne park.  Sorry, above picture from the park does not do it justice, for the real beauty one has to do serious hiking and our legs are used to biking but not hiking (different muscles!)

We have another week to go before returning to Ottawa.