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The Last of Labrador
Submitted by Tiffany on 10 September, 2010 - 17:50
And I think it saved the best till last, the gravel was OK, the rain meant that the potholes were all well-marked as pools of water that I weaved around, though the rest of the surface was a bit slippery. Cartwright was my first destination upon leaving Goose Bay - I made it there using my trusty though a bit leaky milk container of fuel to top up Thelma's tank. I arrived in the town, tired and thirsty but nowhere was open, every hotel and cafe was closed. It was apparently some North American bank holiday called Labour Day, and not even the pub was open. Just as I was beginning to despair, Peter at Dewey's Gas Bar (the garage and the only business that was open) offered to help out. He wasn't really geared up for tea making but gamely swilled out his coffee machine and attempted a cuppa- actually it made a very nice cup of tea, accompanied by the Christmas Bread made at Paddy's Stores - cheers for that Peter and for the well-heated garage to warm myself up in whilst watching the DVD Rambo 2, thoroughly enjoyed it though I didn't get a chance to see it through to the end- I think I can guess how it ended.
I camped near the town then turned southward once more, the last stretch was looming, and so were the storm clouds as I ended up getting soaked and chilly, next stop was Port Hope Simpson and another cup of tea. I also had to hand back my emergency satellite phone, which made me think that the road was going to get better - dream on Coatesy! The rain had made it slick and Thelma started sliding around a bit, it was a white knucle ride the rest of the way! I still had several hundred kms of gravel until I was relieved to reach the tarmac of Red Bay, things were going to get more civilised.
I didn't meet any other bike travellers the whole time in Labrador (apart from Ed who took the ferry). The locals all expressed their surpise at me attempting the route on my own and as for camping wild at the same time, they concluded that I must be mad!