Thursday, July 13, 2006

Newfoundland Trip Day 4

Today’s total: 266 km (plus the ferry ride, of course).

I’m writing this sitting in the bar on the ferry to Argentia. It’s the only place I found an electrical connection for the laptop, although I understand there are others around. It’s now 6:15 pm Atlantic time, I’ve been sitting here for a few hours working on my pictures, etc.

Interesting people around – sort of! To my right was a guy talking endlessly to two people he had met on board – he claims to be a DJ heading for a party of some kind in Gander. This guy has not shut up for 3 hours. He knows everything and everyone.

To my left was a guy and a girl drinking continuously. She just had a screaming fit and he walked away leaving her sobbing uncontrollably. Interesting people, right? There’s a group of guys laughing and joking who just announced: we just hit an iceberg. Abandon ship!

Anyway, the ride around Cape Breton was awesome. The only negative thing was the quality of the pavement – or the lack thereof. You could ride a lot more securely if you weren’t concerned about hitting potholes or rough heaved pavement in the twisties. Still, there were some excellent sections and the views are unparalleled. Again, there were a lot of places you couldn’t stop, but there were tons of lookouts set up in strategic spots.

North Mountain yielded some excellent vistas. I hope my pictures came out well, it’s hard to tell on the laptop. The weather was variable, with some periods of rain and some beautiful sunshine. It’s the Maritimes, I guess.

I arrived at the ferry terminal a bit early and hung out with the other bikers. I also met an interesting group of ATV riders. They were riding big fancy machines (one guy was a dealer and had a demo quad). These ATV’s are not rated for the road, so I asked what they were up to: they had trucked them to the ferry terminal, were ferrying over to Newfoundland and were going to cross the Rock OFFROAD! Apparently there’s an established trail system (except for one spot, I understand, where they have to truck the ATV’s). They were planning to stay in motels but carried camping gear just in case someone broke down and they had to stay out there. Sounds like a blast!

There was also a guy who had ridden from LA! He was on a cruiser (Yamaha, I think) and said he regretted selling his ST-1100 a couple of years ago. Another retired couple from Colorado were on an 11 week trip. They had an RV which they left at the ferry terminal and came over on an SV-650 for a week on the Rock.

When we loaded the bikes on board, the deckhands would not tie them down for us. I’ll try to get a picture or two when we arrive, it was too much of a rush to do so when we got on. In the end, I pleaded ignorance and they did help me. The decks are supplied with cleats just for that purpose, and they used very heavy duty tiedowns.

Guess I’ll go see what I can find to eat. I heard there’s WiFi access up on deck 7 – I’m going to shut down and see if I can find it. Later…