Sunday, July 24, 2011

Labrador starts...

Labrador starts, or at least it did for me, with an air hockey table at the Northern Lights Inn bar. There's also a billiards table, and one of those sand bowling things like the one they have at the Mount Royal Tavern in Baltimore.

I'm sharing a campsite across the street with a retired South African dentist who has ridden motorcycles through places I haven't even heard of. We met on the ferry from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon, hanging out with the publisher of a Canadian motorcycle magazine and his friend, who are here testing out a new bike.

I had reservations for the 3:30 ferry, which left at 6, thanks to a wind and rain storm we all battled through on the way to the terminal. It was a bad wind. Not Kansas bad, but unpredictable. It first hit me while I was passing a car at a high rate of speed on a two lane highway between L'Anse aux Meadows and St. Barbe. The bike wobbled dramatically, then back as I over corrected. I think the people in the car were more scared than I was. They passed me later when I stopped for gas, and when I caught up again, they just got off the road.

The rain started sometime last night , and it was a cold one, so this morning was spent in the laundry room at the Viking RV Park, trying unsuccessfully to dry out. It worked well enough to prevent hypothermia, but I wouldn't call the ride to the ferry comfortable. The rain and the wind were enough to make me forget about constantly scanning for moose, and I guess I was lucky. One of the other ferry passengers had a close encounter in his car that left him pretty shaken.

Anyway, the ferry ride was uneventful, spent telling motorcycle travel stories. I'm posting this from the Northern Lights' lobby, before I head back to show the South African what snoring sounds like. The late ferry just got in, and with it the trio of Russian ladies, who I was happy to see because I felt a little bad not saying goodbye.

I'm headed for Cartwright, partly because there's a giant iceberg up there to see, but partly because it is a town in an interesting state of affairs. Before the Trans-Labrador Highway was completed, you had to take a ferry through Cartwright, so there was a tourist trade. Last year they finished the highway, so Cartwright isn't on the route anymore.

Anyway, I probably won't make it there tomorrow, because there's a lot of stuff to see down here, as the bartender just told me.

All for now.

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