20080726 On the rock

The day started rather wet, so we opted for a short ride. We started out making our way to the ferry terminal from the beach where we camped with Thomas and Isabel. This was our first “free camping” on the trip, and it worked out well, despite the rain.

Our arrival at the ferry was somewhat optimal, as just as Becky bought our tickets the computer died, which slowed everything down (perhaps it didn’t like Scott’s name?). We managed to get our tickets, and those who were only 5 minutes behind us ended up waiting another 45 minutes!

The boat was clearly a purchase from somewhere in Europe, as the English listing on the signs was the third language listed. The second language was one of the Scandinavian languages, but we didn’t recognize the first (Dutch perhaps?). The boat also had 220 volt European plugs – good thing we didn’t need to charge anything. For this routing they could use a boat that had more car space and less passenger space, since some cars got left behind. In the passenger area, the boat felt rather empty – especially compared to the last 4 days on the Nordik Express.

We said our goodbyes to Thomas and Isabel, and Paula, Dave and family after disembarking. It was sad to go our separate ways after spending so much of the past four days together, but also nice to be in our own space again.

When we left Blanc-Sablon the fog was so thick we could barely see the shoreline. Fortunately, the fog lifted a fair bit (but not completely) in Newfoundland. It was much warming than we expected, especially with the fog. The weather report says 22 degrees but feels like 29. Knowing what 29 feels like in Ottawa, neither of us are sure about the “feels like” 29, but it definitely felt nice and warm, which was good because it was rather wet at times. It rained on and off, but most of the heavy rain was during our lunch break.

We took a brief detour shortly after getting off the ferry. There was a sign to the “Viking winter site”, but the interpretation centre looked rather abandoned. The road was more of an ATV or 4-week track, but we decided to follow it rather than the highway. The GPS indicated to us that the road did join back up with the highway. It was a rather amusing distraction and probably some good practice for other roads. Becky saw her first Newfoundland moose, but we’re sure there will be more! We stopped to talk to Ross who was collecting kelp for his garden. He was quite intrigued by our bikes – they continue to be conversation-starters. Ross is back from a tour in the oil patch, and enjoying gardening the organic way, not least because kelp is free, compared to $50/bag for fertilizer.

We stopped in Flowers Cove at “Sweets ‘n Eats” for lunch, which was delicious! June fed us a great chowder and delicious fresh-baked buns, and we sampled some sweet-bread with raisins (much like a loaf of hot-crossed buns). The sweet-bread was just coming out of the oven, so between the scent and the free sample we were hooked! We now have a loaf we need to eat in the next day or two, but that shouldn’t be too hard.

Given that the tent was wet and we were wet and Becky wanted to do laundry, we decided to stay at a B&B tonight. The prices for B&B outside of L’anse-aux-Meadows and St. Anthony are quite inexpensive (under $50 for two), so we figured we should take advantage of it while we can. We’ll probably try and do some free camping for the next couple of nights while the weather is good.

We’re in the Coziest B&B in Green Island Cove, near the end of a series of small fishing villages. Rosie and her husband Colby are great hosts, and the B&B is very nice. Scott has taken over Colby’s shed (more like a barn) to hang our wet tarp and tent – fortunately he doesn’t mind.

3 thoughts on “20080726 On the rock”

  1. Enjoying your adventure. we will be off to BC on Tuesday been 8 years.
    Perry one of the Drivers his dad lives in Stevens ville . Perry will if you need a place let his dad know you will be coming through. Des has family in st John also.
    Enjoy the rock guys.

  2. Hi!

    I stumbled across this blog looking for people’s experiences on the Route Verte. I’ve subscribed to your feed and will be following your adventures from up here North of 60 (Whitehorse, Yukon).

    I am fascinated with the idea of traveling by freighter. There is a real romance to traveling by sea. Look forward to reading about the rest of your journey!


  3. Re: Ross’ kelp fertilizer:

    It’s good to see people experimenting with ways of enriching soil using locally available, renewable resources.

    Did he happen to mention how much kelp is required and whether anything else needs to be added to fully replace synthetic fertilizer? I have found that vermicomposting produces high-quality compost but not nearly enough to meet the nutrient requirements of a garden, at least on the household scale. The seaweed extract I use to supplement is high in potassium and a modest source of phosphorous, but contributes virtually no nitrogen.

    More generally, I wonder about scalability of organic methods. For example, would Ross’ kelp still be free if everyone wanted to use it in place of synthetic fertilizer? Not that fertilizing with natural gas (indirectly) is a sustainable alternative, but organic produce is still a niche market.

    Oh well, I’ll take anecdotal signs of reduced fossil-fuel dependence over the status quo any day! 🙂


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