Tuesday, August 4, 2015

the labrador coast

I slept pretty well and I wasn’t on the road until after 7 and the weather was threatening all day. Despite that I was able to fly fish middle brook with my mosquito jacket sprayed with bug spray and catch 11 trout on Royal Wulffs and nymphs. I also got a 40 minute bike ride in (and got pretty drenched) and finally got into Happy Valley and went to the closest Laundromat and did my clothes. I decided to get a room at the Royal Inn since there didn’t seem to be a campground and I wasn’t sure where I could stay. The room was fine and after checking in I decided to head to the dock area, where the Happy Dragon, a medium sized freighter, was unloading with its own “Big Lift” cranes. I rode my bike for 50 minutes than chatted with the ticket agent at the ferry office about the trip to Nain, which takes 5 days roundtrip and which, he said, quite a few people take. After that I went and showered and headed to the Jungle Jim restaurant, where I ate the Bahama Mama, which was stir fried chicken and vegetables with basmati rice, always a treat. Then it was back to the room for TV in English, a real treat. In the morning I got going early because I knew I had a long ride ahead (I figured that the dirt roads would end when I got to the junction for Cartwright) and it was indeed, 40 mph on poorly maintained dirt roads and 25 in the construction areas. I did stop to ride my bike and to fish at a long pool and caught 16 brookies. The drive was tough but I really wanted to see Cartwright so I drove the 50 plus miles to find a poor town with a little fishing industry and not much else. I rode my bike around the wharf area for a half hour and then ate an early dinner at the pub at the Northern Lights Inn. It was a Caesar salad and a hot beef sandwich, drenched in gravy. I needed something hot and it was adequate. I now had to drive to Port Hope Simpson and that was a very long drive, over 120 miles on difficult roads. I had hoped to get there by 8:30 being told that there should be a restaurant open till 9 but as I got closer I saw a sign telling me that it was now a half hour later, since I was in another time zone. Dinner was out but when I finally got into Port Hope Simpson, a gas station was open and I got an egg salad sandwich and a homemade cinnamon bun. When I got to the Alexis hotel, I realized I had just missed dinner but Carol in the kitchen offered to heat me up some turkey vegetable soup and I ended up with a very decent dinner. I did my weights and yoga and then was ready for a well needed shower but there was no hot water. Great. The woman at the front desk told me just to wait a bit but it didn’t warm up so I showered in coldish water. After that it was TV time and I enjoyed watching. In the morning, I got up early and started doing some work on my outlines and getting some e-mailing done. I had coffee and my stomach seemed to have settled down (it was uneasy for a few days). I went back to bed and when I woke up I decided to head to Charlottetown and Pinset Arm. The drive was fine and Charlottetown was okay, not as poor looking as some of the earlier towns. Pinset Arm was also decent, and I rode my bike along the road past a pretty island. After the ride, I went back to motel for lunch and then I headed for St. Lewis. The ride through the spruces and firs was monotonous but after speaking to the woman at the hotel, I was hoping to see a moose or a bear. There are no deer and the caribou herd doesn’t come here anymore after the Churchill Falls project. There was an iceberg in the harbor but the fog prevented me from seeing it. I stopped away from the coast hoping that the cold wind would lessen but it didn’t so I rode in my sweater and jacket for 35 minutes and gave up. The inside of the truck was quite pleasant. I drove back to the hotel for a seafood dinner (all frozen) but quite good. Then it was a quick nap and back to work on my outlines and rules and sending out an e-mail. I had a cup of tea and did my weights and yoga in a very nice warm room. Now that the major dirt road driving is done (I have about 120 miles left and two days before taking the ferry to explore the southern coast which I think will be prettier), I am feeling much better. I am supposed to camp at Pinware but if it is really cold, I may just get a room to be more comfortable.

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