July 07, 2011 - Three Provinces in Six Hours
07.07.2011 - 07.07.2011 24 °C
After a cup of coffee and a muffin at the motel, I headed out of Tracadie under grey skies and blustery winds. What a change from yesterday. The thunderstorms that looked imminent the night before, didn't materialize. It was 15C in the morning.
I headed south on #11. After a few kilometers, I turned left off the highway searching for a secondary road that followed the beach. It was on the map but I couldn't find it. My GPS was pretty well useless on these back roads. I tried following it's direction but found myself going literally in a circle. So I gave up and went back to #11 and rode to Shediac.
This part of New Brunswick is made up of huge marshes. They actually look like lakes that connect rivers to the ocean. Shediac is a busy little place. I rode into the downtown area to find a cup of coffee at someplace other than a Tim Horton's. The traffic was so congested, I gave up and returned to the highway where I fueled-up and headed south.
I got onto #16 and headed towards the Confederation Bridge. I had some good fortune as I approached the bridge. I stopped so that I could take a photo of the bike in front of the bridge. A car pulled up behind me. The driver got out and told me that some stuff had fallen off my bike. The "stuff" would be my Aerostitch Jacket and my bike cover that I had strapped to the passenger seat. Lucky for me, the jacket fell off just as I was stopping, but the bag with the bike cover fell off a few kilometers back. I thanked the guy very much, retrieved my jacket and headed back to see if I could find the bike cover. Unfortunately, it looks like someone must have stopped and picked it up.
One of the neatest things about motorcycling is that you can almost always find a positive in anything bad that happens. While I lost a $100 bike cover, I didn't lose my $500 jacket. So I figure I'm ahead $400.... right?? Another interesting thing is that up until this morning, I had my passport and some U.S. cash in the inside pocket of that jacket. Something this morning made me put those items in my trunk. If I'd lost the jacket with my passport, I probably would have had to change my route home to Canada from the States.
The 12.9 kilometer ride across the Confederation Bridge was much nicer on the Wing than the last time I crossed in a car. On the Wing, I was sitting up a bit so that I could see over the sides of the bridge. In the car you are much lower and can't see much. When I got across the bridge, I rode into Summerside and had a bite of lunch. I rode through Charlottetown and out towards Wood Islands where the ferry goes back to Nova Scotia. I figured I'd grab a motel room or B&B then take the ferry back to the mainland tomorrow. Once you're out of Charlottetown on that side of the island, there are no places to stay. I arrived at Wood Island and the ferry was there waiting to sail. So I paid $40 and got on the boat.
It's and hour and a quarter sail to Pictou. Given the shorter trip, it is more expensive than B.C. Ferries. The boat was old and ratty looking. B.C. Ferries definitely does a better job. There were only 3 motorcycles on the ferry and they put us at the back of the lower deck. In B.C. we get priority loading, always first on and first off.
The ferry ride felt like an eternity. Seating was very uncomfortable. I think this sailing was reserved for those with bratty kids and crying babies.
I got off the ferry in rain and rode about 30 kilometers to New Glasgow. I rode around town hoping to find a "mom and pop" motel but no luck. I went back to the highway and checked out the Comfort Inn but they wanted $140 for a room. I went next door to the Country Inn and Suites and got a room for $104, almost the same as I paid for a real nice hotel room in Ottawa.
Speaking of prices, gas in New Brunswick is regulated. Yesterday it was 1.20/liter. Today it was $ 1.23. I guess they review the prices weekly and change it on Wednesday mornings. Gas on PEI is $1.17 today.
I'm heading over to Cape Breton Island tomorrow. I'm hoping to catch the 10:30 p.m. ferry to Newfoundland from North Sydney. So there may not be a blog tomorrow unless they have WiFi on the ferry.
Distance today = 583 kms
Distance todate = 7,043 kms