Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dateline: Cornerbrook, Newfoundland

The best laid plans as dear Robbie Burns had it. And he wrote it for me. No reaching home today, I fear.

I drove from Moncton to Sydney, close to 500K yesterday. Vision, the huge new ferry greeted me at the dockside.

The Lobster Boat, a tiny restaurant patronized by locals only, for it is off the beaten track and tucked away down behind a garage was where I ate my supper - some local seafood. A few years ago, a kind young man pumping my gas told me about it and pledged me to secrecy. Well, no one reads this blog right? I did spot some locals pursing their lips at my out-of-town car licence plate.

I had no access to interwebz last night for a post. But the beautiful new ship ferried us over the broad Atlantic from Sydney, NS to Port-Aux-Basques. I had a cabin on the 8th deck with a panoramic window overlooking the harbour. Compared to the old ships, "Vision" is luxurious, with duvets on the beds, 2 desks, flat screen TV and remote lights. I was too tired to check out the on board spa. You can get an idea of the view here, looking out from my window, the cabin (and me!)reflected on the pane:

The captain announced before we hit port at 7.00 a.m. that there might be a problem with wind for us drivers when we disembarked as it had reached 100k/hr on the mountains.

Oh my. In a little Echo that was a real challenge and very frightening. Ever been caught in a place where you don't know whether to go back or press forward to the next big town? That was me in a nutshell. Crawling along at 60, buffeted by winds and large trucks and those careless SUVs that throw a flood in your face every time they screech past is a life appreciating experience. Oh, did I mention the pelting, horizontal rain to add to my fear and misery?

I get to Cornerbrook and the wind dies down a bit and I think, hey, I can press on. But then the heavens give another burp and down pours a blizzard. I'm serious. Snow. Lots. Melting into floods on the warmish ground but managing to freeze in long icicles to the windows of my car. I'm slow sometimes but I eventually get the message.

I spot a Comfort Inn at the edge of Cornerbrook. I wheel in. Get out. Kiss the soggy ground. I repress an overwhelming urge to waltz with the receptionist.

"What brings you here darlin'?" she asks as she registers me in at 11.00 a.m.

"Oh," I say casually, waiting for my heart rate to go down to 100, "Some sightseeing."


  1. Golly-gosh!!! Adventure! Snow, and gales, and luxury vessels.
    OOoh! Love it!

    Hope you're rested and the weather has settled down by now WWW. :-)

  2. I can only imagine what the drive from Port aux Basques to Cornerbrook must have been like! Oh my!

    Your ferry ride sounds nice though. Only time I ever went to NF, in '98, I got a bunk in one of the bunkrooms, must have been 60 bunks three deep in that hot stuffy room. But I was tired enough that with my ferry-issued pillow and blanket I slept just fine.

    So by now you are probably on the road again for the final stretch. Hope you have a happy homecoming!

    ...hmmm, the Lobster Boat eh?

  3. Beautiful photo. Sounds like a lovely ship indeed.

  4. Wow, quite some weather to contend with. You were wise to hunker down for the night while it subsided. I imagine you could get stranded in those sort of conditions quite easily.

  5. I'm hoping you are safely hoe by now! Not an adventure to be repeated for some time, me thinks!

  6. @T:
    Now becalmed and quite warm as I snuggle into Comfort Inn in Cornerbrook where I shall remain until tomorrow a.m. for the long push home!
    You wouldn't believe the new ferry, I'm tellin' ya! Only downside was absence of wifi and everybody shrugging when I asked. Now don't you go spoilin' all the fun at the Lobster Boat or put your car where it won't be seen now!
    Yes, quite impressive!
    Still hunkered, weather looks good now and forecast OK for the a.m.
    I just love the typo, and tomorrow I should be ho'e!


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