Friday, August 8, 2008

(Mark) Aug 4 - 8: St John's, Cape St. Mary's, Placentia

Ok as you have noticed I'm going to preface my posts with (Mark) so you all know who is posting, since I and M+M are now on different paths doing different things.

So what have I been doing recently? Well, August 4 and 5 were days off in St John's for me, I climbed up Signal Hill via North Head which is an amazing trail, checked out the Battery and Quidi Vidi, chatted with Neil at Quidi Vidi Battery, checked out the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals and had tea in the crypt of the Anglican one, went to the Rooms (provincial museum) with its spectacular views, and met some more touring cyclists at the hostel. And that was just on Monday. Tuesday I did laundry and saw a bunch of other sites including the Railway Museum (very interesting), Commisariat House (elegant, somewhat interesting) and various heritage walks around town, and worked on my bike. St John's is really an elegant, lively and interesting city, I really like it - definitely high up on my list of favourite Canadian cities. In the evening my new friend Ben from Toronto who I met in the hostel and I checked out a few bands at the last night of the George St Festival, which was pretty cool.

August 6: 117km to North Harbour. A nice ride, started in a downpour which eased off during the day. I went through Bay Bulls, over the remote Route 13 to the TCH and then down Salmonier Line to Salmonier and Colinet, where I had a few chats with really incomprehensible locals, and went down the river to near North Harbour where I found a beautiful camping spot right on the beach. It rained all night but stopped before I got up, thank goodness.

August 7: 80km to Cape St. Mary's. Well, Alan, you were right - I do believe Cape St. Mary's is one place on planet Earth I feel priviledged to have been able to visit. It really is spectacular and amazing, and the ride down there was very neat too - very remote, cruising across the tundra, I felt like I was in the high arctic. I would try to describe the seabirds at the Cape but suffice to say there are 70,000 of them and the sight and sound (and smell!) is quite incredible. I walked all around the reserve on various trails and spent a fine afternoon there before heading down the road to camp. The nice man at the nature centre pointed me to a fine camping spot and I had a nice view of the sunset. Unfortunately it was supremely buggy so dinner consisted of bagels etc in the tent.
And this day marked 3 months on the trip! Very exciting.

August 8: I just got into Placentia after a very hilly ride up the coast road from the Cape. Beautiful ride! I was stretching my legs outside of town when Andy walked across the road and introduced himself, and one thing led to another and now I am sleeping in the spare room of the house he and Cindy and Christa and we're going to mum's house for a BBQ tonight. The hospitality of strangers never ceases to touch and amaze me!

More updates whenever I get internet next. Quite possibly not for another week, when I will be in Halifax!


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