Saturday September 8th
I still can’t seem to get out of bed on time but no matter I had a short rode today to the Argentia ferry which goes to North Sydney Nova Scotia. Anyway yesterday was difficult finding any place to stay so I ended up at “The Wilds” which is a resort with a golf course. For $139 a night I wasn’t complaining and I was so tired that it really would have had to be over $150 for me to contemplate anything else like sleeping on the side of the road. The staff were excellent although I had a little problem trying to get my laundry done. It seems you just have to talk to the right person. The only clean clothes I had, which I wore to dinner, was a t-shirt and bike rain pants (thankfully not tights). The ladies working the restaurant had lots of questions once they learned of my journey and did not think it odd that I slept under the visitor centre in Portogul Cove South.
After breakfast I headed about 5 kilometers back the way I came to connect onto a Westerly highway. This would save me 35 kilometers from taking the Trans Canada which was hilly to boot but there was a gravel stretch for 22 kilometers. Not too far after Colinet the gravel started and honestly it was that bad at all considering it was hilly. The two biggest things about riding road like this is one it slows you down by at least a third and second it shakes everything apart on your bike. I was hoping to see some Caribou too but no luck. For the most part the ride was cool and cloudy which was perfect weather but as I neared the end it became sunny and warmed up a bit.
When I finally hit pavement I was so relieved. Only my reflector shook off but it hung by a screw so I was able to repair it. Before you enter Placentia there are a lot of nice houses along the South bank thank look more like vacation homes than residences. I wonder which one it is or what percentage of each. The town itself is on kind of a causeway and is really exposed to the ocean but I do not know what kind of weather they get here. I was pretty early so I went for pizza and relaxed for a bit in town. I had about 3 hours before the ferry so I could take my time although I did want to find a shower and thankfully there are showers at the ferry terminal.
This ferry is quite different from the ferry to Port-aux-basques since it is a 16 hour ride hence there are mostly cabins with a lot less public seating. There is a lounge at the front of the boat but it was so stuffy I went out on the deck. Leaving the terminal was very scenic, just outside sat a pair of mountain islands. The mountains are small of course but it was still beautiful and less rocky and windy than port-aux-basques. However it doesn’t take long to be on the open water and darkness to set in so back inside I went.
There are some limited options for food. I had brought some left over pizza but 3 hours later it was soggy so I through it out – can you believe it! The buffet was $22 a steak dinner at a separate restaurant was $25 for I went with the steak. There appeared to be limited staff though and the waiter was running around because he was in the weeds so to speak. Eventually my dinner came and I can honestly say it was more like a $10 steak. Who knew? After dinner it was time to find a place to sleep and there are two smaller sections at the back of the boat with reclining chairs where they turn some of the lights out. Some people had forgone that and literally camped out at the front of the boat in the lounge with their pillows and blankets. I had brought my sleeping bag so I laid behind the row of chairs in front of me and used my bike bag as a pillow. Let’s just say I didn’t sleep to well and one of the lights they left on was super bright. I will be in Nova Scotia in the morning though!