September 7: Ingonish to North Sydney, 107 km and a night ferry to Channel-Port aux Basque
I decided to have a second cup of coffee when I saw the down-pour outside. Maybe it will pass – I was hopeful. It rained last night but the morning looked ok. I wondered when I will have an opportunity to dry the tent fly. I am often thinking about the tent. Not seeing a change in weather, I decided to leave by 9 am. So It Rained. Sometimes hard. Sometimes just a drizzle. Every once in a while there would be a short break. Clouds were low and if there were any views to be enjoyed, I certainly didn’t see them. I was soaked all the way through but figured that I wouldn’t get cold as long as I kept moving. So I cycled.
No pictures were taken until around 1 pm. I took my gloves off to give my wrinkled hands a break just before a gusty stretch to my little “short-cut” ferry. I watched the waves, kept both hands on the handlebars and was barely moving.
This was the scariest little ferry boat ride; I had a good grip on a door handle as waves splashed over the deck and the ferry attendant casually carried on conversation. He advised me that “5 km into the wind and then you have a mountain to climb” on the other side.
It stopped to rain briefly by the time I reached “the mountain” and I was delighted with my first sign for the Newfoundland ferry. A steep down the mountain on the other side and few more climbs to the ferry terminal in North Sydney.
I took a picture of a cool bridge in the distance but when I finally got close, I was concerned how to get across. No signs of bikes not being allowed, in fact a “share the road” sign but no shoulder or bike lane and the wind blew so hard, that I pushed my bike across the bridge. Every time a car came by, I leaned into the railing. This was not a fun adventure.
The ferry terminal in North Sydney is new and fancy and the town has all the expected amenities. I managed to sneak into the laundromat, before they closed, to dry my wet clothes. Grocery shopping complete and leftover pizza packed, I biked back to the terminal only to get soaked again.
Sleeper cabins were all sold out so I paid $20 extra for a recliner in a quiet area. Curled up in my sleeping bag, earplugs in, it was like an oversized airplane seat with leg support.
107 km wet and windy