Monday, 14 July 2014

Sun, 13 July 2014 - End of Leg 4

I got an early start (early for me - 9:30-ish), fueled up and headed for the Coast. It was 700 kms but I was itching to get to Halifax, the end-point of the forth leg of my journey (First was to Calgary, then Winnipeg, then Toronto, then Halifax, the last leg being of course to St. John's).

I realized I knew almost nothing about New Brunswick. Obviously pulp and paper is a major industry, since you couldn't get much lumber out of those little bushes they call trees. But... it said I was heading for Fredricton - is that before or after Moncton? And why are we going SOUTH? (actually we were even going West for a time)

One thing I DO know about New Brunswick: they have spectacular scenery, with so many beautiful rivers. I think this one is the Saint John:


The bikers I met were far more friendly, stopping to chat, checking out the bike... and there was a black person at a gas station where I fuelled up (actually he looked like he was from the Caribbean. But the blacks there were descendants of slaves that had escaped the US. I'm supposed to call them "African-Americans", but this guy would be "African-American-Caribbean-Canadian", and black is easier to type.)

One side trip I had to make was to the Longest Covered Bridge In The World:
Note that there were no stop-lights - you just looked down the bridge and if you saw lights you waited. VERY polite and Canadian!

So I travelled on, disappointed I didn't take the Northern route, but itching to get to the East Coast. The soil and rocks here are often a deep red (famous in PEI, but found here in NB as well). And I guess they used local rock to make the road:
My dark glasses made the road a vivid pink.

Turns out there is a fairly narrow isthmus of land between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The wind was blowing hard from the south, and I got my first wiff of OCEAN in over 2 weeks. I didn't realize how much I missed it.

Here's the obligatory shot of the welcome sign to my eighth province:
You can barely see the Trusty Scoot off to the right.

And the obligatory shot of the ever-present wind farms:
I must say I was surprised at how much WIND there is in Canada. Maybe it was just the weather that seemed to follow me across the country, but it has been windy right from Calgary, usually on the nose or cross-wind. No wonder there are so many wind-farms!

I ride across Nova Scotia: up over the (toll) "pass" that was only 240 meters high, down through farmland and trees all the same height, and finally see signs for Halifax and Dartmouth. Now, my destination was the Super-8 in Dartmouth, that was supposed to have rooms for $69/night. But the main highway into Dartmouth suddenly turns into a residential side-street, and I turned up a side road to program the motel into the GPS. I had barely stopped when a nice man looked over his fence and said "lost"? Welcome to the East Coast!

The motel wasn't far, but I had to circle the block a few times to figure out it had changed to "Oceanview". And with the new name a new price: $85/night plus taxes. I grudgingly pay for 2 nights and find out that motels are EXPENSIVE in NS - there are few under $100/night.

This is Bad News for me because the weather forecast is for showers and rain the next few days, and I hate riding in the rain (and hate camping in the rain even more!). So, I'll relax here for while and see if I'm enthusiastic enough to ride north to Sydney in a day or so.

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