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Thursday, 29 August 2013

The N'or Easter and Arrivng in La Belle Province

Where the old Burt homestead once stood. Another lovely day in St. Anthony. 10 degrees, rain and blowin' a gale.

Remember that "calm before the storm" statement I made in an earlier blog post. Well we were in a right good rain storm now, I'm watching Pete leaned over into the wind, fighting to keep the bike on the right side of the yellow line. The winds are gusting to 60 kph with sheets of raining falling sideways. The sea was angry this day my friends as we headed towards the ferry for the Labrador.

The previous day, after my family history lesson and the homecoming of the young Elliott boy from New Brunswick, we left L'Anse aux Meadows for St. Anthony, our home away from home for the night. My mom's cousin Garl and his wife Liz foolishly agreed to take two weary travelers in for the night. 

We were treated like royalty, steaks on the BBQ, cold beer, fresh potatoes picked from the garden, bakepples with ice cream, and two warm beds for the night. Not to mention a great evening of yarns(stories and tales to you mainlanders) and a guided tour of St. Anthony. Plus a nice dry garage for the bikes. Garl called it a shed, so we were picturing a 10x12 shed, not the 20x30 garage posing as a shed.

Liz and Garl Budgell

The shed

The next morning after a fabulous breakfast we headed south for St. Barbe, with a small stop in Raleigh to see where the Elliott clan came from. We stopped into this place for a coffee to warm up,
and ended up meeting my fifth cousin who gave me a run down on the family tree. Damn this is just getting weird, apparently most of the residents of Raleigh are my cousins of some sort.

I would have loved to have stayed around for the family reunion but we had a ferry to catch, it was time to get our asses to the Big Land.

The ride was interesting, gusty crosswinds, sheets of rain, and the temps were falling towards 5 degrees. Shit, this is still August right? Did we miss about 2 months of time? It was like a wet windy November day in Saint John.

The best part of the day was meeting Oliver and Darryl at the ferry terminal. We sat together on the boat, and all wondered why it seemed to be listing to port the entire time??? The crossing was loppy, but not too too bad, we hit a couple of waves that made us question our bike tie down abilities. Thankfully all were upright after the 90min crossing.

Oliver is in the yellow shirt, he rides a BMW 1200GS, and is from Germany, now living in Toronto. Ya it's odd to see a German on a BMW. Darryl is the guy who doesn't look like Pete, rides a Harley Ultra Classic Limited and is from Florida. Ya he's freezing his nuts off and no he's not taking it across the gravel.

I would have loved to say the weather was better in Quebec, but it wasn't. In fact it was worst, almost sleet. We all decided to call it a day since it was close to 5pm, and checked into the Four Seasons.

Not the Four Seasons next door to the Marriott either.

It was more like a boarding house or B & B, and was perfect for the night. Supper was great and Pete managed to find some beer, Darryl had some rum and coke. We sat around and got to know each other and tell some more yarns into the night. We also met Francois, who was another very seasoned biker who had just come the opposite way thru Labrador. 

Great hotel/ B&B, very clean, great food.

 Thursday morning we woke up to this, a fine day for riding. Oliver was traveling alone and was on the same route and schedule as us, so we all decided to ride together. Safety in numbers, and he was a good guy, that fit in well with Pete and I.

Darryl rode up to Labrador briefly the day before.....big ride from Blanc Sablon, must be a whole two or three kilometers. Anyway he was carching the ferry back to the Rock to start his long journey back to the Sunshine State in an effort to finally get warm again. He can at least say he was in the Big Land, plus who in their right mind would take a sweet Ultra Classic across that road.

We were finally gonna make the Big Land.

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