Riding along hwy 19 toward the Cabot Trail there are lots of musical and cultural stops and several prominent Canadian musicians hail from this part of the country including Ashley Macisaac. I stopped at one cultural centre to catch a bit of a tune.
Moving on toward Inverness it was still raining and I was completely soaked - except, which I am proud to say, for my feet which were still nice and dry thanks to my MEC shoe covers.
Arriving in Inverness Bob and Loraine drove by and directed me to their place down a little dirt road. Bob was full of interesting information and told me about all of his inventions and creations including his guitars, arrows, fireplace, and house design. We also solved the JFK conspiracy! :) Loraine looked after me with a turkey sandwich and then a big dinner.
The next morning I was off to Pleasant Bay about 115 km down the road. I got some really nice sights along this part of the ride. There was one rain cloud that went over and then it was dry for the rest of the ride. On the way up the first major hill of the Trail I encountered a man riding a replica 1860's bicycle that he had made. Wooden wheels, no gears and questionable brakes.... it was cool, but if you want to call someone crazy - I'm not the craziest one out here! :)
At the top of the hill there was a long flat run before it turned downhill in to Pleasant Bay. When I arrived at Pleasant Bay I stopped at the hostel to check out their rates and ran in to Andreas again. It turns out that three additional Bavarian travellers were also staying at the hostel that night. We all cooked dinner together again and then I showed them a couple of card tricks and taught them how to play Yukre.
The next morning we decided to go whale watching. It was a really fun time. We rode in a zodiak and saw lots of Pilot whales searching for food and playing around in the water. Aft er the tour we went back to the hostel to collect our stuff, make some lunch and set off on our separate modes of transportation.
As I rode away from the hostel I bumped in to the same cyclists, Mike, Fred, and Mary, who I had ridden with to Charlottetown PEI. We climbed the next big hill together out of Pleasant Bay - it was a 4km climb with a constant 13% grade - I rode the whole thing without stopping once! On the back side I found some awesome views and broke 85 km/hr on the way down. I have to mention that Mary is on the order of 78 years old and was only about 5 minutes behind us climbing the same hill! I hope I've got that much go when I'm 78!
Shortly after the rapid descent my friends Anita, Babsi, and Andreas drove by and I stopped to meet them again for ice cream.
This day I was planning to get to Ingonish but the night before, the woman looking after the hostel was really helpful and offered to help me find a place along the way - it turned out to be a little too far for that day so I pulled in to the campsite at Ingonish. As I was riding around the campside looking for a good site I passed my friends Patty and Ed who I had met with Paul in Pictou when we got off the ferry from PEI. They were just as surprised to see me as I was to see them. I camped beside them again and they very graciously fed me again. In the morning we took a picture and exchanged information so that I can visit them the next time I find myself in Florida.
My next goal was Sydney. My sister Laura had arranged for me to connect with the Sydney Rotary Club for a meal and a place to stay and I connected with Lee-Anne who bought me a great dinner at Boston Pizza and then connected me with Peter who has looked after me for the past two evenings. Prior to arriving in Sydney I stopped in Indian Brook where the woman from the Pleasant Bay hostel had arranged a place for me. I just wanted to say hi and thank them for their offer. Here I met yet another German traveller, Nicole, who was helping the owners of the cabins out for the summer. She showed me around a bit and w shared some travelling stories before I was on my way again.
After dinner at Boston Pizza with Lee-Anne we went over to the Indian reserve where Peter was helping out with a bingo night. This is one of the Rotary Club's ways of generating funds for their projects - by volunteering, not playing bingo :)
I met some of the other Rotarians who were helping with the evening and made some updates to my website until about 10pm when the evening finished. When we got back to Peter's house he set me up with a room and we made our plan for the morning - he had to work but could give me a ride back in to town. I had arranged to meet up with Anita and Babsi for breakfast before they headed out of town toward Halifax. After a good visit with Anita and Babsi I headed out again on my bike to find the bike store to see if I could get some help to figure out the clicking sound in my left crank. The bike guy suggested that the pedal needed to be repacked with grease - so, that's what I did - let's see if it works. After my visit to the bike store I went for a shave and a haircut at the local barber - psych! I still have the beard! :) Then lunch at Subway (seriously - these guys need to sponsor me!), then rode back to Peter's place to do laundry and clean up my bike, then dinner with Peter, his daughter Elise, and grandson Mason.
Now, I'm finishing up this update before going to bed. Tomorrow I go to Newfoundland!
Hard to believe that there are only 10 days left of this adventure! Time to come up with a new adventure :)