Another great day of cycling. We ended up doing a bit more than we anticipated but that’s alright. Turned out to be a 128kms in 6hrs day instead of just over 105.
It was a bit of a later start this morning. We woke up and Mary cooked us a big breakfast of: bacon, eggs, hash browns, coffee and toast. Bailey had warmed up to us too. She’d slept in the hallway all night and I guess she figured if they slept here they must be alright.
We packed up our stuff and played with Bailey in the backyard for a bit. Mary drove us around to show us 2 alternative exits from the city instead of that steep hill we came in on. We played with Bailey some more, dawdled and were finally ready to go. Thanks again Mary! We all really enjoyed ourselves!
Mary had given us some advice on the next gas station and dealing with the Robert Bonne bridge. She was dead on with her estimation to the Tim Hortons, 15kms. We stopped there to refill our waters and have a snack. I ziptied my rack before leaving because another screw had vibrated out, a non essential one though.
There were a few longer hills, but they were very gradual. There was only a couple steeper hills, but nothing too major. The steeper ones were around the Norris Arms, just as Mary had said. It was really hot out but the breeze kept us cool for most of the day. Mary had suggested we stop at Notre Dame Park for a swim and lunch, as that was the last place to fill up until Gander. We stopped at the visitors centre, filled our waters, had a snack and break then were off. It was a little longer break than I would’ve liked, only because I’d been keeping a good pace and my legs were getting tired. I find it easier to maintain a pace for a while, but harder to start again after a break.
We still maintained a good pace, but there were some long gradual hills. It was hot, especially when climbing, but we still had a breeze. We stopped on the bridge over the Gander River and paused for a minute.
When we started again the breeze had died off and the cycling was much tougher! There were a few more hills and no breeze to keep us cool. It wasn’t long before Gander but it was hot! There were a few good, steep hills as we approached Gander. There was an especially good one just before the city.
We stopped in Gander at Jungle Jim’s for lunch. It was a late lunch, 95kms and it was 3:15. We loaded up and tried to decide whether we’d camp after Gander or stay in the city.
It was decided for us that we go on ahead. Jason has a discount at the Comfort Inn, so we left it up to the hotel. If they could give us a decent rate, we’d stay, if not we go. We left after over a 2hr rest.
We cycled for a while and couldn’t find any good camping spots. We decided to keep cycling for a while longer. It was a little hillier but not too bad. We crested a smaller hill and saw a very large one looming in the distance. It was decided to get over that then camp. It was a long, steep one! There were 4 stages to this fella. A long, steep climb, followed by 2 more gradual sections, then a short, steep climb to the top. It was a long and sweaty climb! The downhill was awesome though! It was long and pretty steep!
We kept our eyes out for a suitable camping spot. We came across the “Copper Kettle” and tried to find somewhere around back. There weren’t many good camping spots but there were some nice views.
Jason cycled down the road to what looked like another road while Chris went into the restaurant to ask. I acted as the relay man in the middle. Chris came out first so we cycled down the road. There was a campsite there but it was full. There was a perfect flat patch of grass hidden behind some bushes right off the highway. We set up there and headed across the street to “Square Pond RV Park” to shower.
We ended up getting dinner there as well. No one was hungry enough to cool since we’d had a late lunch.
It was a pretty quiet night in the end. We ended up playing cards for a while before heading to bed. Only 4 more days of cycling to reach Manuels. Time is ticking!