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Vagamonde: Chasing Euphoria and Getting Hit by Reality
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Must have been riding with our eyes closed

"You'd have to be driving with your eyes closed", we were told if we didn't see any moose on the stretch of road from Eddie's Cove East towards St Anthony. On that sixty kilometre stretch, we saw only one! He was a lovely moose, though. Standing majestically by the side of the road, he glanced back at us then trotted ahead before stopping again to give us the eye. When he realized that we were still gaining on him, he finally ducked into the trees and was gone.

We stayed in Hawke's Bay for three nights, not because the weather turned, but because we found out that we could have a new tire for Benoit sent up by a daily courrier that runs up the coast. He noticed a gash in his rear tire when we first arrived in Newfoundland and it's been a constant nagging worry about how long it would last before bursting. Benoit contacted a bicycle store in Corner Brook and in a day and a half he had a new tire. From Hawke's Bay, it's been a delight to discover gorgeous little coves where we could set up tent for the night. No-one in sight and no sounds but the waves of the ocean on the shore.

On Saturday (July 18), the wind turned from a helpful southwesterly tail wind to a nasty driving cold northeasterly head wind. We were barely able to pedal 10 km/h in that wind. Benoit and I took turns drafting, that is, him in front and me riding right behind him, and every couple of kilometres, we'd switch. Those couple of kilometres that I was in front were the hardest workout of my life! At the town of Savage Cove, we stopped with the intent to cook up some tea on our little camp stove. But no sooner had we pulled off the road, a woman came up to invite us in to her parents' house for hot coffee, home-made bread and jam and a little history lesson of the area (from her dad). We were silly to leave the warmth of their home, but we did anyway and headed back into that wind. An hour and a half later, we made it 15 kilometres up the coast to Eddie's Cove East, the last community before the long stretch towards St Anthony. Another family came to our rescue, putting us up to camp in their shed, which was a great shelter from the wind. When the weather worsened, adding a biting cold rain to the driving wind, they let us wait it out for another day at their home... providing us food, warmth, laundry, well, everything that we could need and more. By this morning (July 20), the wind had shifted back to coming from the southwest and we practically sailed across to where we are now, the tiny town of Quirpon near the tip of the Northern Peninsula. On the way, what a delight it was to see other touring cyclists enjoying this fantastic place. We met up with Richard and Kathy (or is it Cathy with a C?) who have been cycling from Rocky Harbour up the western coast of Newfoundland with a brief extremely hilly excursion over in Labrador. (Enjoy the rest of your trip, you two! We hope to see you again.)


  1. Hello Michele & Benoit,
    Your trip sounds very exciting and we'll be following your progress. This is a beautiful province and we love it here. We moved to Newfoundland in 2002 and are very happy with that decision.
    We're glad you enjoyed your rest in Rocky Harbour, we always do too. We arrived on July 23rd (the same day you left) for a family reunion. To bad you missed it - the music was great, there's alot of talent in the Payne family.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and travel safely.
    Georgina & Dave Payne

  2. Hi Georgina and Dave! We would have loved to be there for the family gathering and the music. We'll have to come back again! Thanks again for everything.