Well, now I really have to catch up on my writing! After so many days with either very slow internet or none at all it is about time.
Monday Aug.7th we said our good byes to the staff and our excellent cook Myrtle and left Battle Harbour by boat. It was a foggy, windy day and cool. We picked up all our stuff and the bikes at the Riverlodge Hotel. We only had a short distance of 180km to ride. There was still some dirt road to manage up to Red Bay, Labrador and from there it was all paved to L’Anse Au Loup, our destination for the day.
This village is not very big but we had trouble finding our bed and breakfast place and had to ask at the local shop. Turned out that Mrs. Barney had changed her front yard sign from Barney’s B&B to Mary’s place…we had passed that twice!!
Mary, our host, was an 85 year old Labradorian, who…loved to talk!!! I think she was so happy that she had company, finally she could talk to someone! This kind of accent from Labrador is really difficult to understand, but we only had to listen and nod anyway!
For supper we had bought a Pizza at the grocery store to heat up in her oven. We offered her a piece and she happily accepted just so she could sit down with us and…talk some more! Whoever knows Heinz can imagine how much he likes that!!! He just got up and left after dinner, while Jane and I now know the whole family including their health history!! Her family had urged her to give up the B&B business but she can’t really decide.
She was a sweet lady though and we felt sorry having to leave her by herself! Anyway, we took a stroll down to the little harbour, saw some whales and a mini iceberg, which was the high light of the day.
Next day we rode to Blanc Sablon to catch the ferry to Newfoundland. This was just over the (imaginary!) border in Quebec. The ferry ride took only 1h 45min to St. Barb. The sea was choppy, Jane struggled a bit with seasickness. There’s always Gravol!
From St. Barb we rode up north to St. Anthony. What a beautiful ride along the coast past small fishing villages it was. We planed a 3 night stay at Lynn’s bed and breakfast there. The town of St. Anthony was bustling with Campers, RV’s etc. Lots of tourists come to see this area as well as L’Anse Aux Meadows, the National Historic Site where the Vikings had landed about a thousand years ago.
Our next host Lynn came running out of her house with a worried look when we came up into her driveway and asked us whether we had booked a room here at all! After we confirmed that and reassured her that we were indeed friendly bikers, the worried look disappeared and she was lovely. She is a 76 year old and also thinks of giving up the B&B business, but for older people, who might need some company, or just someone to talk to it is not easy to give this up!
We had a whole suite for ourselves and Lynn made us a wonderful breakfast with typical bakeapple jam. At this time of the year everybody in Nfld. Is picking bakeapples, so if you see lots of parked cars at the roadside…they are all out picking berries! They taste delicious in jams and pies!! Only in Nfld. though!
We spent 2 days in this area, of course saw L’Anse Aux Meadows, went hiking along the coast, had delicious seafood and enjoyed stories from Lynn. She loved us, gave us a motherly hug at the end and said we should come back. It is certainly interesting to hear from not only Labradorians but also from Newfoundlanders about their life and hardships regarding lack of jobs and increasing price of hydro. Everyone has someone in their family who works out west to make some decent money. Lots of young people leave to go to the western provinces but in the end they all come back, because they still love the east coast!
On Fri. Aug, 11th we left and rode to Gros Morne Nat’l Park. For the first time on our trip we had 4 nights of camping planed. This park is a beautiful area on the west coast of Nfld with lots of hiking trails and fjords. Heinz and I have been there with the twins a couple of years ago and loved it. Jane had also been there and loved it. We spent 3 full days in the Park, had luck with the weather, did lots of hiking, hung out in Rocky Harbour, the little fishing town within the Park and enjoyed some moose meat at the local restaurant. So far we had still only seen 1 moose and 1 bear at the side of the road during our trip. Fairly disappointing!
Tuesday we packed up late and left for Port aux Basques. Time to say good-bye to Nfld. It truly is a rough but beautiful Province of Canada, people seem to be a little more relaxed and layed back. We had a whole day before the ferry left at 15 min. before midnight. We arrived in Port aux Basques late afternoon, took a stroll around town. We listened to some live music at the harbour, had dinner and finally boarded the ferry before midnight.
It was a smooth ride, but we all did not get much sleep. We arrived at 7 in the morning in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Looking for a place to have breakfast we stopped in Baddeck, a sleepy little town on the Bras d’Or Lake that I remembered from our last visit.