Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 11 con't to Day 13 6/30 - 7/2 Wed-Fri

Day 11 (con't)

I followed the river from Bridgewater for several miles before the road cut inland to Lunenburg. About 5 or 6 miles from Bridgewater, I stopped for a drink and noticed one of my rear panniers was open. I then realized that the reason I had the pannier open was that I had taken out my toilet kit to shave at the library and when I did a last minute search on the computer, I had forgotten to pick it up. I didn't want to take the time to double back, figuring I would just buy a new toothbrush, shaver, etc.

Arriving at Lunenburg I stopped and bought an apple and orange and a quart of yogurt. They didn't have any small plain yogurt for sale, so I had to buy the big one. I made my way to the wharf where I had one of my favorite road meals of cut up fruit , oatmeal, and yogurt. While eating, I met a man from Florida who had travelled from Florida in his cabin cruiser with his wife and two sons. They were there to see the maritime museum, a luxury I forwent due to the $20 price tag for admission.

After a few photos, I headed for Halifax. On the way out of Lunenburg, I hit a rail trail and took it for a while until the surface seemed too rough to make it worthwhile. The rail trails are a toss up. The gravel surface take a little more work to pedal on, but the grade is always gentle so there are no hard hills to go up. I rode the local road for a while past some pretty coves and then got onto the main highway. My goal for the evening was the Shore Club in Hubbards, a short distance past the town of Chester. On the boat from Saint John, I had seen an ad in a motorcycle guide to Nova Scotia for an all you can eat salad bar and steamed mussels with a lobster dinner. My mind was made up thats where I would be heading this day. I figured with my cycling appetite I could eat my money's worth.

I arrived at the Shore Club around 7:00 and headed in for dinner. I was surprised at the price. It was $28 and change for the small lobster (9/10 lb). Added to that would be 15% tax plus a tip. Expensive as it was, I was committed. I started with a plate of salad and my first container of mussels. I had two more containers of mussels before my lobster arrived. I was pretty proud of my ability to leave nothing but a carcass. It was then back for another plate of salad and another container of mussels and I was reasonably sated. I then took the brownie and ice cream covered with chocolate sauce option for dessert.

Back towards the highway from the Shore Club was a park at the end of the bay. A local on a scooter stopped and talked with me just before the park and he said no one would mind if I put up my tent behind a bush in the park. It made an easy place to spend the night.

Mileage for the day - 50

Day 12 July 1

Today is Canada Day, the Canadians equivalent to the 4th of July. After drying out and packing up the tent, I headed on towards Halifax. I needed a washroom (translates to bathroom) so I stopped a short way down the road, used the facilities and shaved and treated myself to a cup of coffee. Had a few chats with the locals, including a gentleman who winters in Florida.

Very soon down the road I came upon the Margaret's cove rail trail. I didn't take it at first, but when I started hitting some hills I decided to give it a try. The trail was in good condition and there were many people using the trail, either walking or biking. Periodically there would be a nice overlook where I stopped and chatted with the people sharing the view. I only had around 30 miles into Halifax, so I didn't have to hurry.

Around lunchtime the trail came to an old rail station converted to a bike/coffee shop. It was called the Bike and Bean and it offered bike rentals and service, as well as coffee, rolls and light meals. The owner, Dana, loaned me his wire cutters to shorten the cable I had repaired yesterday. He also runs a tour company, Pedal and Sea. Some of his tours were in Ireland and he said he had run into Bike Vermont there. After polishing off the rest of the muffins and cinnamon buns, I headed to Halifax.

While the rail trail didn't run along the coast, it passed by several nice lakes. I figured I would see enough sea coast before I'm through and it was nice not to have to ride with the busy Canada Day traffic. As I approached Halifax, I called my host and got directions to his house. Without difficulty I found my way to "Fuller Farm", the home of Al and Sarah Evans, in Halifax. The farm is really just a rental apartment where well-tended vegetable and flower gardens have been created. Both Al and Sarah live eclectic careers. Al does some bicycle repair, photography, and other creative endeavors and Sarah is a librarian with many creative sidelines. They have hosted round-the-world cyclists, Trans-Labrador cyclists and many others in their time as Warmshowers hosts.

Chatted late into the evening with Al, aided by some growlers of the local Propeller Brewery Porter and IPA.

Day 13 July 2 Friday

Slept in this AM until around 8 AM. Had breakfast and then Al took me to a local bike shop where one of the employees, Mark, worked. Mark had biked in Labrador and Al thought I ought to meet and talk to him. It turns out Mark was an ultra-distance cyclist and had biked the Paris-Brest-Paris randonneur brevet, a 1200 km endurance event. He shared information about the communities I would pass through as I work up the Labrador coast, water availability, and road conditions. While I was having my conversation with Mark, Al had to go off and do a radio program that he hosts.

After chatting with Mark, I headed towards the waterfront. On the way I rode up to the Citadel, the fortification that overlooks the harbor. While cycling the road that circles the summit, I ran into a German tourist from Nurnburg and had a chance to practice my German.

Down at the waterfront I visited one of the ships on display and poked along the waterfront. It was very touristy, much like any city on water. There is a ferry across the bay to Dartmouth. I took the ferry and with a transfer pass was able to take it back, all for $2.25 - one of the few bargains I've found recently. The ferry ride gave me a better view of the harbor and the ocean beyond.

Got cash at a bank, made a few purchases and went back to Al and Sarah's. Got my laundry done and Al helped me remedy a squeak I was having in my pedals.

That brings me up to now. I'm going to add some more photos to Picasa. Katie emailed me how to link there easily, so to see the photos click here.

I'm off tomorrow with expectations of reaching Sherbrook on Sunday. From there I'll work my way to Port Hawkesbury and on to Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail.

I'll post again when I can.

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