This is a picture of me with the world’s largest “illuminated” fiddle. The designation seems to imply that there is an even bigger violin out there, sitting in the dark. Where is it?
Last night I stayed in a hotel! with towels! a pool! privacy! and Victor! He and his fancy new bike arrived safely and today we are doing are final sorting (my God, for a lighter bike!) and laundry before heading to the Newfoundland ferry. On the ferry, we’ll spend the afternoon playing cards and chatting with the other cyclists. So far, we know that Dick and Pauline who biked from Toronto and Roger and Gary who biked from Vancouver will be aboard. Dick says to expect a few others as well. I was telling Vic we need to dash to the liquor agency to get a bottle of something to share.
It’s a 14 hour ferry ride to Newfoundland. It seems like we are taking a trip to the edge of the world. I can’t wait.
It is 926 miles from the Portland, Maine train station to the ferry terminal at North Sydney. The decent thing about riding this distance to start my vacation is that I do not have to take my fat pants to Newfoundland.
Sydney is a surprisingly dreary town, sprawling with box stores coming in. The folks I met there were however, incredibly nice and helpful. If you need bike repair (me: another chain!), Frameworks is walking distance from the harbor.
There are no outfitters in Sydney (or it appears Cape Breton). I spent half a day not finding MSR/Primus Isobutane fuel canisters. We may be buying a new, heavier camp stove or eating more gas station food before we get to St. John’s.
There are no campgrounds in or close to Sydney. I split a room with R and G at the Royal Hotel, one of the cheaper hotels along the waterfront. It is clean. There is a university dorm on the way out of town toward Glace Bay.
It is a comparatively flat 18 miles from Sydney to North Sydney. North Sydney has pretty much everything you might need (except fuel canisters), meaning unless there was a concert, you could skip Sydney if you are catching the ferry.