2017-08-05 Sat

Newfoundland

I’ve been thinking of this trip for the past four years or so. Now I am going. Booked the one-way air ticket yesterday.

Every trip should have a goal, and this trip’s goal is “To see as much of the island as possible” in the sense of covering as many miles as possible so that my mind has an idea of distances, remoteness and so on.

This is NOT a trip to visit every village, and for the first part of the trip I’ll be just driving from one end to the other.

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I think of the roads in Newfoundland in two groups of five.

The first group of five are major legs. The map above shows a leg going up to the northern tip of the island. Another leg leads to the south-western corner.

Day one is fly-there and get the car and drive two hours (only) to Clarenville for the night. Day two is Anse aux meadows, celebrated in Nevil Shute’s novel “An Old Captivity”. I shall stand there and contemplate being closer to the Azores than to Toronto.

Five days of driving along roads that look like the boring stretches of Alaska.

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The second group of five are the peninsulas.

Three peninsulas are along the north-eatsern coast, and I consider the Avalon peninsula as Northern and Southern parts.

Five days for the peninsulas.

No really In ten days I can cover most of the isand.

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On any stretch of my route there are diversions. Above is a map of the south-western part of the island. Starting at Corner Brook I see at least fifty small settlements and towns. I suspect some of these will be little more than fishing harbours.

One day’s drive is from Channel-Port Aux Basques to Harbour Breton, a doddle at 698 kilometres, but I have the option of spending two days on that section if weather and other factors combine to make it worthwhile.

I remember dropping in to Telegraph Creek and wishing I could have stayed overnight. That experience may be repeated on this trip.

So, not “ten days of 800-900 kilometres each day and we’re done”.

You will note that I bought a one-way ticket. I shall not book a ticket to return until I know that I am three or four days away.

If the weather is lousy (UK 1998) then I’ll be done in ten days. If the weather is good, and if the villages and coves intrigue me, maybe twenty-eight days!

Canada Post

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The Toronto Star jumped on the case of vans parked in bike lanes, and the provincial ministers recognise political leadership when their faces are rubbed in it.

So pressure was applied and canad Post has grudgingly accepted the verdict.

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Poor Canada Post, their situation is so unlike FedEx, UPS, Sysco and all those other delivery vehicles. Why was Canada Post singled out? Because by and large I think the other delivery schemes leave space for cyclists. But please see my letter of Tuesday 1st August this year.

I note with interest that Canada Post delivers “stuff” and “things like that”, that is, Canada Post now has serious competition, and it hurts.

And the medicine? Probably nothing more than ointments and salves for cyclist who were toppled from their bike when they were forced into the vehicle lane by an illegaly parked Canada Post van.