Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 9 to Day 11 (7/28-30)

Day 9

Woke up this morning to a pouring rain. My hostess, Nancy, had taken me to the ferry yesterday to find the departure time for the ferry to Nova Scotia. It leaves at 12:00 noon. Because of the rain, Nancy offered to drive me to the ferry and I willingly accepted as it was really pouring buckets. We stopped on the way to the ferry at a bulk food store, "Bulk Barn," which had just about anything available to scoop out of a bin. I stocked up on nuts, raisins and oatmeal.

At the ferry, I ran my panniers and bike to the overhang before the terminal and reloaded everything for the trip. Nancy took a photo. While I was waiting for the loading signal, I saw a van and Uhaul trailer drive up and a mess of cyclists got out and unloaded their bicycles.

When we were allowed on the ferry, I met the cyclists. They are a student group from Overland, a bike tour company out of Williamstown, MA. I met their leaders, Chip and Kate and found out Kate is from Montclair, NJ, where I used to live.

The ferry ride to Nova Scotia was uneventful and unfortunately, there was little to see due to the rain. Upon arriving at Digby, the rain had abated to just a drizzle and I said goodbye to the cyclists and headed into town.

A person on the boat said there were covered shelters one could rent at a campground just outside of town for just $10. I checked it out and unfortunately it cost $22 for the night and $20 just for a campsite. It's not worth the money for a single cyclist, so I headed into Digby village.

Digby is known for its scallops, so I splurged and had a scallop dinner at a bayside restaurant. They were delicious, but not cheap at over $1 per scallop!
I had planned to eat at a less expensive restaurant, Josie's, suggested to me by a local on the ferry, but unfortunately it was closed.

I headed out onto the highway again, keeping an eye open for any structure that might offer a dry place to sleep for the night. Lo and behold, I came upon the Overland group stopped due to a bicycle problem. I stopped to give a hand, but even though one of the other leaders discovered the problem, they were appreciative I had stopped. Since I hadn't found a place for the night yet, I asked if I could join them at the campground where they were heading. They said yes, so I tagged along.

We stayed at the Fundy Spray campground and fortunately, the rain held off. I offered my stove to heat the water for their spaghetti, as it is more powerful than the stoves they carry. They allowed me to share in the dinner.

Mileage for the day - 8 miles.

Day 10

Got on the road at around 8:45. It was pretty foggy, so there wasn't much of a view out to the bay. I ended up staying on the Rt. 101, the main highway, not realizing it took me away from the water as far as it did. Rolling hills until I reached Rt. 8, the road that would take me across to the east side of the island.

Once on Rt. 8, the traffic died to about one car every 10 minutes. There were several long climbs where I had to drop into my lowest gear and grind away. The landscape was wooded, with an occasional view of a lake. I saw evidence of clearcutting for wood. Once I had reached the half-way distance across the island, the landscape opened up and there were more homes and some farming. Stopped and talked with a man and his son who were exercising their oxen Dan and Star, two Grey Derm cattle, a breed I was told was native to NS.

Stopped and bought an ice cream cone and napped. Then I took two side roads that took me to the town of Bridgewater on the coast. The landscape was similar to Vermont and could have easily been transplanted from there. There were small hills, but the grades weren't bad and with a little more strength in my legs, I was able to avoid having to drop to my lowest gear to climb them. As I neared Bridgewater, my front shifter cable broke. I hobbled on for a while in a single gear until I saw a small side road that looked like it had a good place to camp next to it. I asked at the house nearby, and they didn't think it would be a problem doing so. They let me use their spigot to fill up my water jug and water bag and I headed over to camp.

I heated up a gallon of water and took what was a pleasant mandi (mandi is a type of bath done in Indonesia where you scoop the water out of a tub and pour it over yourself.) I heated up some water for a pilaf mix I bought and added the mix when it was boiling. I had used too much water, so I poured the excess into my cup and drank it as a pre-dinner soup. I mixed in the Indian dahl bean mix I had carried from VT and was surprised I ate it all. Listened to the radio for a while, fell asleep, woke up to hear the 10:00 news and then really went to bed for the night. Mileage for the day: 82.

Day 11

It was a foggy, but relatively dry morning this morning when I got up. I biked a few miles until I saw a nice picnic table by the road where I could stop and unload the panniers to get at the spare parts for a new shifter cable. I fixed the cable, but I've over a foot extra in length hanging out. I'll be looking for a bike or motorcycle shop today to get it clipped off, rather than cutting it with my hacksaw blade or file.

There was an old fashioned bakery just as I came to town and I proceeded to buy two days worth of raisin bran muffins and cinnamon buns.

I'm now at the public library and will be heading just beyond Chester today to eat a lobster dinner with all you can eat salad bar and mussels. Hope to get my money's worth!

That's it for now. Expect to post again when I am at my Warmshowers host's in Halifax tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Harvie,

    Great to be traveling with you on the Labrador Tour. You are providing a sense of wander-lust this summer to each following the quest. Your writing style conveys an ease and carefree spirit to the trek - but the 80 mile days are impressive! Think of you each day and the challenges and road magic you are encountering. David