A Busy Day of Rest
After yesterday’s long ride in the rain and wind, today was a much more relaxing day. Although, no less windy. It’s kind of funny, despite spending the night indoors I actually kept the window wide open for those soothing sounds of the outdoor world.
I woke to the same sounding wind as yesterday but with a bit less rain. I also woke to a power outage. Apparently that happens somewhat regularly. After spending much of the last month either on a bike or in a tent, the lack of power really didn’t seem all that important. If anything, it was probably more of a nuisance for my hosts as they had to pull out the butane stove to cook breakfast – although, they really didn’t seem bothered by it either.
After a full breakfast of orange juice, fruit, cereal, eggs, bacon and toast I returned to my room to organize some of my gear for the next phase of the journey – this included gathering some laundry that SO desperately needed to be done. I mean, SO desperately. I’m not sure there’s enough detergent in the world that can revive some of these clothes. Good thing I don’t have to travel downwind of me!
In addition to organizing I also confirmed that the Bella Desgagnés is still set to arrive on schedule on Wednesday. I also did a bit of research to see what my route will be once I get to Newfoundland. I haven’t decided if St. Anthony is on the itinerary or not – although, there seems to be growing support for the idea. Hmmm … maybe this website should become, “Where should Mark go next?” The trip from St. Barbe to St. Anthony is about 115km which, after looking at the elevation map, is certainly doable in a day – depending upon which way the wind is blowing. Planning on a worst case scenario (ie. headwind and rain), it’s two days each way – and that doesn’t include any additional side trips to Pistolet Bay or Cape Onion. So, I remain undecided.
After I got things somewhat organized I turned my attention to the outdoors. It was still very windy but not raining. I took advantage of the dryness and headed into the village (a whole 500m away). I stopped in at the grocery store for some more junk food (because I haven’t been eating enough of that). I also noticed there’s a hardware store so I stopped there to see if by chance they had some reasonably priced Methyl Hydrate for my stove. They did. Call me crazy but I just might stay here!
Things got even better from there as the sun made it’s first appearance in what feels like forever – even though it was really only a day ago (not hard to tell how spoiled I’ve gotten with the weather!). With my brain actually functioning I thought this would be a good time to set up my tent to dry it out before getting on the boat tomorrow. Between the sun and the wind the tent was dry and packed up again in no time.
I spent much of the rest of the day wandering around the village taking photos – and in some cases, retaking photos now that the sun was out. It’s a very picturesque village. Had the weather cleared up sooner I would’ve liked to have taken the 15km trail that follows La Petite Rivière Natashquan (and includes five waterfalls). Unfortunately, the trail isn’t particularly bike-friendly. Actually, it’s a pedestrian only trail … and 15km each way makes for a long walk.
I decided instead to head back to John Débardeur for dinner – it was about 5:30 and I really hadn’t had any real food since breakfast (which was excellent, by the way). I was going to have an encore of yesterday’s poutine dinner but had a change of heart (no, that doesn’t mean a heart transplant – yet). In case you hadn’t noticed I’ve been eating a bit of poutine on this portion of my journey and I thought maybe it was time to change things up a bit. I’m not a “foodie” so trying new foods isn’t high on my list but as I won’t be in Quebec much longer I thought I should sample some of their other offerings. And so, after perusing the menu I found the perfect choice. Poutine Italienne! I mean, spaghetti sauce instead of gravy – how could that be bad? Spoiler Alert: It can’t. It so very can’t.
Despite the size of Natashquan I still managed to put another 13km on the bike today.