Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CCCT Part II - Iona to North Sydney, NS

Saturday, July 6, 2013 - Day 23
We were up at 6:30 AM after a good night's sleep. Bev went to the restaurant to get sandwiches and bread for our breakfast. When she returned we had peanut butter, jam (for me) and banana sandwiches and chocolate milk for our breakfast. We finished packing and loaded our bags on our bikes. We were ready to leave at 7:30 AM but first of all I wanted to get an itemized receipt of our motel expenses. Eventually we located the manager but had to wait awhile while she booted up her laptop. Then she couldn't get the printer to work. In the end we gave up and asked her to e-mail the bill to me. We set off for N. Sydney at 7:50 AM. It was a very nice ride with a few hills and very little traffic. We stopped at Beaver Cove at a Convenience Store and got a cold drink and butter tarts. The next 10 kms were quite flat and before we knew what hit us we were climbing the Barrachois Hill. Of course it was much hotter by now and we were sweating buckets by the time we made it to the top. We both had to stop several times to catch our breath hydrate. we had planned to go to a Hostel in N. Sydney to do our laundry and get some rest before having to go to the ferry terminal at 8:00 PM. We had been told by Andre back in Riviere du Loup that there was a Hostel in N. Sydney but when I checked the Hostel map there was none to be found. I then looked for a laundromat on my GPS and the nearest one was 4.6 kms away. We arrived at the laundromat at 11:45 AM, sorted our laundry and used the washroom to change out of our sweaty cycling clothes. Bev walked over to a nearby convenience store and came back with cold drinks while I minded the laundry and tried to cool off. We ate our ham and cheese sandwiches which the motel restaurant had prepared for us while waiting for our laundry to dry. We finished folding and sorting our laundry at 2:00 PM and cycled down to the dock where we were able to get ice cream cones and sit in the shade. It was still to early to go to the ferry terminal so Bev decided to go get some groceries for tomorrow's ride from Port aux Basques to the campground in Doyles, NL. Rather than cycle there she decided to go by taxi. The girls in the ice cream shop were very helpful and called the taxi company to come and pick her up. I waited in the shade and did some reading. Eventually Bev returned and after sitting around for another hour or so we decided to go for dinner. We had planned to eat at the restaurant at the waterfront but once the evening manager arrived he was so rude when he asked us to move as he wanted to place a slop bucket where we were sitting. Instead we decided to walk back up to the main street where there was a cafe and have our dinner there. It turned out to be a wise decision as the food was excellent and so was the apple pie with two scoops of ice cream. I know ice cream 2 times in one day is a big no-no but we were in a celebratory mood as we were finally taking the ferry to NL. At 7:00 we left the restaurant and walked our bikes along the main street in the direction of the ferry terminal for 15 minutes or so. There was still quite a ways to go to we got on our bikes and cycled the rest of the way. Traffic was backed up along the entrance to the ticket booths but we were able to go around them and get our boarding passes which were waiting for us as Bev had called ahead the night before to book our passage to Port aux Basques. The lady in the ticket booth told us to go to the front of row #4 where we parked and bikes and waited to be told we could go on board the Highlander the ship that would take across to NL. We left our bikes and went into the terminal where we were able to get some information on camping, etc in NL. It was to hot to stay inside so we went up on the deck and sat outside where there was a bit of a breeze and waited for the announcement that it was time to go on board. Finally at 8:30 they were ready to start boarding. The agent let several motorcycles go on board than he let Bev and I go aboard with our bicycles. We parked our bikes at the back of the ship on deck #3 and went up to deck #7. We sat in the bar and had a cold beer. I took some photos before boarding and of the spectacular sunset. We set sail at 10:30 PM for Port aux Basques. We had to go up to deck #9 to find our recliner seats and once we located our seats we settled in for the 7 hour trip across the Cabot Strait. I had trouble putting my seat back. Bev was already snuggled up in her sleeping bag and drifting off to sleep. There were lots of snorers, people chatting, banging doors, bright lights, etc which made it rather difficult to get any sleep. I got up out of my seat pushed on the leaver and gave the back a good shove and finally got it to recline properly. Thank goodness it was a short crossing and a smooth one....
Mike and Pearl Yetman's, Robinsons, NL

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