Thursday, July 13, 2006

Newfoundland Trip Day 9

At 6:30am there’s blue sky and some broken cloud overhead. Nice early morning light, but I’m not in a position to take advantage of it since the view isn’t great from the cabin and I’m nowhere near ready to get on the bike yet. I should look for a place with a view in Twillingate.

Oh well, have to do my backup and maybe Photoshop a picture or two. Yesterday I did a composite shot of an old rotten boat – I created the comp quickly but it’s not right yet. Have to do it at home on the big screen. Off I go!

I’m baaack! But now it’s 11:00 pm and I’m at Peg’s B&B in Fogo, on Fogo Island! I rode down from Trinity to Gander then turned North towards Twillingate, but never made it there. Before I tell you about Fogo, I’ll relate what happened in Gander. I stopped for gas and thought, since it’s a large city, perhaps there’s a Honda dealership. I had a rattle coming from the surround in the front wheel well and a couple of screws were missing, so I figured I could get them there. I did find the dealer, he also sells Arctic Cat sleds & quads.

They fixed the screws for free. While I was waiting, I had a look at my tires – my gosh, the front one was down to the wear bars. And so was the back! Time for new rubber. To make a long story short (too late!) there are no tires for my bike on the Island. OK, well maybe in St. John’s, but I wasn’t going that way. In the end we phoned Scott’s motorcycle dealership in Cornerbrook where they ordered a set of Bridgstone tires for me, to be air freighted in, to arrive on Friday. God knows what that’s going to cost me!

The bad part is, they’re not open on Saturday. So I have to cut the trip short to be in Cornerbrook on Friday. Logically, I should (and probably will) change my ferry to Friday night or Saturday morning from the original planned Sunday morning. We’ll see how Friday goes.

So I was riding up to Twillingate, and saw a sign for the Fogo Island ferry. What the Hell. I turned, and took the ferry. While I was waiting in line, I met another motorcyclist named Roy Sandland. He’s a (former) Chief Motorcycle Instructor with the Newfoundland and Labrador Safety Council. Apparently he had a falling out with them and quit after 27 years teaching. We had a lot in common and chatted throughout the ferry ride, then rode together for a little while on Fogo. He actually took the 6:30 ferry back, was camping in the Dildo Provincial Park. He rides a Connie and does so really well (I admired his aplomb on gravel).

I was concerned about where I would stay in Fogo, needlessly. I found Peg’s B&B (the only one here) and got a room. I had met one of the other guests before – they were at the bird sanctuary yesterday too, and had been at Cape St. Mary’s the day before me. They’re from Calgary, on a 6 week vacation.

Fogo Island is interesting. The geology looks to be pre-Cambrian, much like Northern Ontario, only extreme. You’ll see what I mean when you see the rock pictures. The land is dotted with hundreds of sloughs (ponds) and millions of rocks. The settlements here were established early in the 18th century, but the population is declining. No one really wants to stay here, and making a living in the fishery is difficult at best. In it’s heyday, the high school had 2,500 students, now there are less than 500. And of course, nobody wants to stay after graduation.

It’s a small place. I rode to the town (Tilting) on the other end, it was only 16 km. The scenery is spectacular, you can’t take a bad picture. There are only 2 restaurants in town, one of the Chinese so I couldn’t eat there. I had my usual salmon and salad at the other place. I’d better be losing weight given how little I’m eating.

Tomorrow I’ll take the ferry back to the mainland (Newfoundland) and wander down in the direction of Cornerbrook. We’ll see how far I get.