Woke up earlier than I would have liked in order to catch the ferry to Newfoundland. I met another cyclist, Ryan, who is cycling across all of Canada and finishes in St. John's. I enjoyed talking to him and hearing his story while we sailed.
Once off the ferry we had a hearty fried fish dinner and beers. Afterwards Ryan headed to his hotel and I hit the trail in search of mine. After failing to find the classic hobo hotel in the form of some old railway cars, I found a good spot 6km down the trail. Woke in the middle of the night with stomach pains. All that deep fried fish was hard to digest!
Beutifully scenic start along the Newfoundland Coast, the trail got less interesting and tougher as it moved inland. Overgrown trail makes for tough riding. I had a very "Newfie" small town experience when I found a small store just off the extremely cold and windy trail. I had a cuppa with Alice, she gave me two cinnamon rolls and a hug!
Watched two beavers simming close to me just off of the trail. First bear sighting today. Very tired tonight.
More tough trail today. Saw some neat wildlife (more fixes and beavers). Managed to get my hands on some (bad) beer and greasy food.
Ran into some other cyclists on the trail, who clearly had very high opinions of themselves, doing a ride from Labrador. I think they were lost and confused, as it turns out they had only been off-roading for a few kilometres, had hardly any gear and didn't know what the Trans Canada Trail was. One asked "is this a *thing*?", gesturing to the gravel track. I enjoyed telling them that it was the longest trail on the planet and then realised that they were slyly trying to film me! I'm glad there aren't more people like that. They were the first cyclists I had met on the trail and they couldn't wait to get off of it!
Started the day trying to make my front derailleur play ball. Got it working a bit better, need a bike shop!
More of the same trail wise - pretty tough going in the gravel, was spurred on by the thought of getting to a town.
I needed a bike shop and the one in Corner Brook was the only one for a long way. It being Sunday tomorrow and 5pm fast approaching I headed straight there. Coming straight in off of the trail I washed it out back of the bike shop and then checked in to a hotel across the road while the mechanic got to work.
Within an hour my bike was like new and I chatted a bit with the very relaxed mechanic. I felt like a crazy woods-person who just got his arse saved again. It was cheaper than expected and he wouldn't take a tip. I hope my confused words adequately conveyed my gratitude.
He also recommended a lovely little Italian restaurant for dinner. Just what I needed!
Tempted to take a day off at Corner Brook, but still feeling strong. I decided to push on to Grand Falls-Windsor and take a proper break there.
I had a nice breakfast with Ryan, then hit the highway. I had it in my head that the TCT took the highway all the way to Deer Lake, but I realised too late that there was a few kilometres of trail that I had missed. I think it was my sub conscience telling me to mix things up, because as much as I hate the traffic, it was nice to be moving fast on a smooth surface for a change.
Very marshy beside the trail, so it took a very long time to find a spot to camp at. In the end I crashed out beside the trail and cowboy camped. Got some rain in the night, but I threw the tarp over me, so it wasn't too bad. I'm either getting better at sleeping rough, or just exhausted!!
More of the same trail-wise. In the hills, surrounded by marsh that looks a little like the Savana. Tough going, but making good miles. Saw two moose AND AN OWL! Could see the owl's silhouette in the light from the setting sun. I could tell from his ears moving that he was scanning his domain, while also keep an eye on me. Nice sunset, found a better spot tonight - even if it is in a ditch!
It's pretty remote out here; completely silent and another great start show before bed.