Ive been back to Brooklyn just a bit longer now than the time that I was away. Finally made a rough line of where I was.
View 2011 tour in a larger map
Ive been back to Brooklyn just a bit longer now than the time that I was away. Finally made a rough line of where I was.
View 2011 tour in a larger map
Tonight I have my tent in the grass and the mosquitos were not so bad.
This morning Eric and I went for a coffee at Island Chocolate. A very nice place with a fine National Cash Register on display (the one for regular use was of the plastic variety). The draw was open and chocolate coins filled the till. I also bought a simple chocolate bar for later. We sat out front and were talking. Emma, who was serving us sat and chatted with the two of us and the refills were free, for everyone not just us.
On the front porch with us was a large sleeping dog. Rupert, we learned. Rupert had to be the most photographed in all of Victoria. Despite that he only moved when the sun crept into his resting place. Rupert was dark brown and the size of a cub bear. I hear the breed Newfoundland said but I wouldn’t know.
When the sun became too much for me, around the time of our third coffees, I suggest we go to the park and see about making breakfast and see if this provincial park showers rumor was true.
The tide was on the up and the park was grassy with a small cliff to the water. A nice place to eat, and there were a number of kites in the air. The breeze was right for kites. Nothing like yesterdays 100 km/hr winds.
The shower was true! It worked and had hot water. So very thankful because I was without a proper washing since Machias, Maine. It’s been a couple weeks. I think I need another shower to get clean. That one just made me not-dirty.
For food we each made our own things but shared this and that. Eric was a cool guy. I think I learned a few things from him that he does not know. Like, it’s better to go slow. Maybe not bike slowly but to not rush away, stay and enjoy a place, see what happens, who you can meet. We had some things in common and yet we were on opposite tracks. He had come from Montreal (in two months) and I am going to Montreal. I’ll likely be there in two weeks.
After lunch we tried to get wifi and an outlet at the visitor center. I got a charge but the wifi cut out on me so I walked around the docks and light house with my camera. Then I sat in the shade of a tree by the curve in the road near the light house and talked with a girl also walking around taking photos.
I wanted to take a photo of Emma and I had my recurring thought about one lesson of touring. Don’t procrastinate. I know this. But in practice it’s more like, I can put that lesson to use later. We were tired of the sun at the V.C. And notice the shade had hit our porch table from earlier so we were headed back for more coffee. I was detoured to get a photo and caught up to him a few min later but he was up the block outside the cafe I was in last night and talking to some locals. I walked up. But then decided I needed some water so walked back down to Island Chocolate. I thought if I saw Emma I would thank her for being so friendly and ask for a photo. I got more water but did not see Emma. I walked back to where Eric was.
He had said he was going to stay in Victoria for the day. I knew I had to go. A part of me said I should slow down and use this lesson Eric has taught me. But I said to myself, I’ll use that lesson later.
I took one more photo of him with my iPod and shook hands as I said good-bye.
The rest of my day was mostly just numbers. 116 (some packed dirt) to the 1 to the 10 back to the 1 to the bridge.
I tried to hitch hike just before the last gas station. That only lasted as long as I had snacks to eat as I thumbed at just the pickup trucks. Then I figured I’d inquire about the shuttle. Then I saw another touring cyclist. A solo fully loaded female with 6 bright red bags. From Germany. Began touring in Victoria (the big one) just came over the bridge. Told me to hurry to catch him before he goes back. I jumped away before I thought to take a photo.
I just caught the van. $8. Robbie was my driver. Bags off and into the van. Bike onto the trailer and strapped down. I could have easily ridden the bridge. Wide shoulder.
Back in NB there was another less loaded touring bike in the rack at the station. As I unpacked my bags off the van and back on my bike the cycle tourist came out in a hurry to get on the shuttle. Another solo female. Two in 15 min. And I did not get a photo of either. This lady did come over to me to say hello. It was her day number one of the tour. Robbie was making sure the loading was getting loaded and she was in the van quickly. Just before the driver jumped in for another traverse I asked for a photo. At least one person.
Water and info on the closest store in my direction from the V.C. A wee bit of wifi and I was off. Trying to make something of my day.
But really just back to the numbers. 16 to the 955( a cracky bumpy country road) to the 15 (wide shoulder high way) to the 133(like any state route that runs through towns)
Stopping before sun down in Cap-Pelé. A slow roll through to scout. Stopped at a biker bar and spoke to some guys in the lot. They pointed me to a nearby park I even just rode past. Chatted for a bit but the sun was setting. H2O at the Irving and a pasta diner then tent up.
I have not thought about the temp since being in Canada. Hope that stays the same as I head North.
There are some towns and cities I’ll be going through but the ride from Vic to Cap was very quiet(except bridge). Just one store. Not much traffic. No one really. It makes perfect sense that Eric wanted to stay in Victoria.
Oh shit how can I almost forget that I shaved my face. First time of the trip.
The Island Chocolate bar did not last long. Now I’ll try to go one week without any chocolate. After that I might try a week no coffee. Not as a test but sometimes it’s good to take a break to enjoy it a little more later. Or does that sound bad?
I think I’m going to make a list of things I carry on tour that get noticed.
Also a list of items I use to secure things to my bike.
Eric Martin and loaded bicycle in Victoria by the sea, PEI
Eric is one of six touring cyclists I’ve seen in the last 3 days. We had a few meals together and shared some stories. He was touring from Montreal and the day we met was the day he was supposed to have been back to where he started. His journey has been a good one. Carry on my friend.
I woke up early, 6am. The wind was so bad my tent was tipping up. I thought a bad storm was getting near and thinking to maybe stake it down and hope for the best. I even got out and grabbed the ground tarp under neath and turned the tent 90 degrees to be closer to the building and have a less exposed surface area.
Laid back down and though about a day in the tent. But looked out again and saw no sign of rain. So I changed my mind. I packed it up and went to get coffee. Sitting in Tim Hortons I figured I’d head toward the bridge. A couple old men sitting there said the weather called for a lot of sun and a lot more wind. 100km/hr around noon. I rode the 210 back to the 1 in stupid wind. Riding at about 9km per/hr at times. Seriously I was in my Z gear on a flat road it was so bad. I had trouble even holding the bike up and keeping it straight. But what was I gonna do, I had to get somewhere. I stopped for lunch at Busters Diner on the 1 near the 3. Good grilled cheese, hash browns and another coffee. More wind to Charlottetown. I wifi’d it up there and really just sat around eating all my snacks. Nobody really was talkative. I even asked about a camping store to buy stove fuel but was told Canadian Tire??
I looked on my iPod for a camp store. Found one for on my way out of town. I ran out of laziness so I started to move West. Stopping at a outdoor outlet for a bit on the way. I did see the Canadian Tire so I went in for a look. I had slept behind one once but never been in.
Dang man its like a giant K-mart of the North. And they had my stove fuel. Fuel is the only non edible thing I’ve bought on this trip. The fuel was not the only thing that I liked but I have photos of the other things.
Rode by the camping store, stopped in, chatted with a guy there about Arkel bags. They had a good selection. I had not seen them in person before. Didn’t buy anything.
Rode the coastal route toward the bridge. Long and windy with no real places along the way. My goal was Victoria by-the-sea. I was told friends of a friends owned a chocolate store there. But rolling in just after 7pm, they were closed. I was hungry and didn’t have dinner in my bags yet. Find store.
I go into a cafe on the same street. Walk in and it’s like a restaurant. No I don’t want a table for one. Sorry I just need to ask where is a store to buy bread, a grocery? The guy was not nice and just points. A girl there tried to help but just seemed to suggest a different store. So then the guy points in two direction real fast and says “there is a store that way and that way”. He was no help at all but I said thank you and walked out. The problem was there was nowhere else around to ask and I was zapped tired. I just sat in a chair near the front and closed my eyes for 10 min. When I opened them a cat was sitting next to my hand and a man was walking down the street. He said something to me so I asked for directions to the store. He gave me good and easy to understand directions.
Just then a lady opens the front door and hands me a roll in a napkin. She said “just something in case the store is closed” she walked back in as I said thank you. I said thanks to the man and grabbed my bike and walked away. I opened the napkin and there was a roll and a butter packet. Something about the stress of the the scenario, tired, not being helped and then a witness to all that going out of her way to do something, even a single dinner roll. It got to me.
I ate it and it was enough to get me the 2km to the store. On the way the sun light on this one church was just right. Kind of the photo I’d been waiting for.
Made it to the store and as I made the last turn toward the front door I saw 2 other touring cyclist. I said hello. And Eric responded. I said hello to the other one but he was quiet. I learned they were not really together. Just by chance. Then three, by chance, seems very rare to me.
Before long Eric and I were chatting and then the other was gone. I didn’t even get his name. Odd but Eric said he spoke very little English and that he started in Vancouver.
We went in to buy our food. After I asked where he was camping. He had me look across the street with him at a flower bed in some grass yard or something. I told him he should camp behind a church with me. He’d been on the road for two months and not yet thought to camp behind a church. But from his stories he meets many kind people along his journey. He is very likable.
We rode to the same church I had photoed and the back yard was a fine camp spot. We made dinner and shared stories. We talked about staying in touch with friends and through that I learned that he didn’t know what a PB & J was so I promised to make him one in the morning. The mosquitos were very bad so after dinner I went into my tent for the night. Tired. Only 110km but all in the head winds.
Tomorrow I’ll try again for some chocolate. Then see what I can do about getting over the bridge. Back in NB I hear there is a nice beach not far to the north. Maybe a swim. Not that I care as much as I did a week ago but still no showering. Smelly.
I woke up to rain so I did my usual and slept in.
With not much sun I was barely motivated to get up but I was hungry and wanted something hot. The rain eased back long enough to go sit on the dock again and heat some water for oatmeal. Again talking to a couple of boaters about the day. I learned that the PEI ferry is free for everyone and everything. Only charging to get back. Same for the bridge. So after realizing this, and that the shower building is locked in the morning, I high-tailed it to the station before 11am to catch a boat. Quick stop at the market for second breakfast and again at the visitor center for a restroom and water fill up. Well water. High in iron. Not so good but I’ve drank water in a lot of places not so good.
On the ferry I mostly wifi’d it up in a cushioned seat next to a plug. Also keeping an eye on the weather channel of TV. The storm that was supposed to wreck NYC is on track for PEI. So they say.
Once on the island I had no idea where I wanted to go. So I sat and watch all the cars unload and then all the island cars load while I switched out my maps. Not till the end of the ferry road did I have three choices. I could have gone straight on the 315 and that would have me go straight thru the island toward Montague. And by a nothing (I’m certain) town named Brooklyn. West is the Trans Canada 1. Would quickly get me toward the bridge, maybe too quickly. Or East I could ride along the South coast to Cape Bear and Murray Harbour.
It wasn’t till the intersection I decided. Pedaling to the 4way I sort of thought a little “fuck it” and turned east on the 4. The long way around and opposite the bridge. And of course about 10 km along the way it begins to rain again.
The road was very quiet. I could see the water straight to my right over wheat fields and farm lands. The 4, as a road, was just like any country road in south-west Ohio. I thought that if Ohio was an island it could be the PEI of the Mid-West. But I’ve only seen a little bit so far. Staying straight the 4 became the 18. Not much else changed. The towns on the map were nothing more than a couple mail boxes. But the end of the road did take me to a cool light house. On the point, sitting on a cliff and I arrived just as the rain let up enough to take some photos and eat a lunch. I had the place all to myself. Quiet and pretty.
I followed the 18 around to the 348 to Murray River. Not anything there to make me stop.
Beyond that was a mandatory detour steering me away from the water. I had to take the 4 north. The 17 was out due to closed bridge.
So, inland on the 4 again I followed it a ways. Was gonna skip all the coast till Montague but out in the middle I hung a right on 317 and made my way back onto the 17. A few extra km’s to get to Montague but whatever.
Seemed like the numbers were my friends today. The rain was not. On and off like every 20 min. My rain jacket and rain pants hit all possible configurations today. On and off, back and forth.
In town I stopped at the first place I saw, an ESSO station for some water. One guy working there was helpful.
Outside, while I was taking some cover from the rain, he came out to chat. We talked about my impression of Canada, it’s very good, and he gave me some local info. I might have talked with him more because he was truly interested in what I am doing but I was very hungry (lucky for me this town has a store, two even!) and I felt like the gaps between rain showers where getting closer to being nothing but rain only so I left the ESSO.
My plan was buy food, find a camp spot, and make food.
That’s what I did. With some hot water from the ESSO I gave my stove gas a slight break, maybe I’ll have enough fuel for oatmeal tomorrow.
Pasta dinner. This time I tried something new, to beat the skeeters. Made dinner by just sticking my arm out the tent door to man the stove. It worked well enough.
The odd thing is that from about 10 min before I put up my tent to over an hour later there has been no rain. I like that but worry about tomorrow. Think I might spend the whole day tented up due to that storm coming this way.
As I get close to one month on the road I start to think of ways to travel even cheaper so I may do this longer. I’ll need to work again because on this schedule I’ll eat my way thru my budget before long. And that’s with me not paying to camp.
I don’t remember the last thing I bought that was not food or drink.