Friday, July 29, 2011

The last leg

Hello Fellows, I am in Sydney, Nova Scotia. After solving my bike issues (the chain and chain rings were so worn that the chain was skipping) I made good progress toward Nova Scotia. Since the roads were boring, straight through the forest, I decided to go through PEI to check it out. I got there and the forecast was terrible for the forthcoming night so I asked someone if I could crash their barn, and I got invited to stay in a huge trailer with all the modern comfort and dryness we expect in our lives. The next morning I only had to ride 35km to Charlotte town, and I decided not to take the transcanada highway, but instead to go off the beaten trails. I ended up on some dirt road lost in the middle of nowhere, a true change from the usual pavement. A good experience overall. I stopped at the local bike store that I had called a few days before to pick up some parts, then treated myself with some delicious bagels and oh my god I gotta go or I will miss the ferry. The race was on to reach Woods Island before 4.30pm. I was fighting against strong headwinds and Russian hills. I made it with a little time to spare, but that was 2 intense hours. At the ferry terminal, I bumped into Clive, another guy on his bike. He left Victoria, BC, early may and has been following the transcanada trail, mostly off road. We connected right away and decided to camp together in Pictou, my first stop in Nova Scotia. After a long search, we found a sheltered place to pitch our tent, and the rain that night was unbelievably strong. A good pot of salt cod with pasta, and an endless list of stories kept us entertained all night. In the morning, we set off together but parted shortly after since he was headed to Halifax and I was going east to Cape Breton Island. All morning I was stuck on a 4 lane highway with a mist so thick I got soaking wet. I pedaled 80km on a can of sardine and a cup of raisin and after a good lunch the weather was opening, and a light tailwind allowed me to make good progress. By the time I crossed the Canso causeway, officially entering the Cape Breton Island, the sun was fully out. A few minute only after I crossed, 3 Canadian navy boats arrived and the causeway rotated to allow them, blocking hundreds of car on either side. Lucky! I pushed on that day until late, energized by awesome condition, beautiful landscape and colors. I stopped 2 km short of 200, in an isolated house on the side of Bras D'Or lake. The family that was living there was very hospitable even though I bet they don't see many travelers (the house was wayyyy off the road). I got treated with a warm shower, some good company and a coffee in the morning. I had a lot of fun with their 3 little kids. I set off this morning and it was supposed to be an easy day, only 70km to North Sydney, then I realized my bottom bracket is wobbly and needs to be replace. Here I am in a public library, waiting for the bike store to see if they have the part in stock. pray for me!
Be well readers, and check out my photos here


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