After we left PEI, we journeyed to Sydney, Nova Scotia, at the northern tip of Cape Breton, to catch our ferry to Newfoundland. We got to the ferry terminal a few hours early, so we parked, took our longboards, and went to get some food. At that point, our ferry was going to be leaving at 9:30, instead of 7:30. By the time we got back and had gone inside to inquire about a camping spot for the night once we got to the island, we heard that the ferry had been delayed to 10:30. Now that it looked like we’d be spending a good chunk of the night on the ferry, we asked about bunks on the ferry. Turns out they only had cabins, which were over $100 a night. When we asked if there were other places to sleep, they told us that there were only recliner chairs. That was it. Definitely not enough sleeping room for everyone on the boat.
When we finally loaded, we rushed up to the decks looking for a place to sleep and finding nothing. The Marine Atlantic staff were telling everyone not to sleep on the benches in the cafeteria (which were prime sleeping locations) so people were just wandering around, and the general vibe was not too stoked on life!
So we thought, why not sleep on the deck? It’ll be quiet, maybe a little wet, but we’ll be able to lie down and get some real rest. Seemed like a great idea! We got our camping mats, pillows, and our two blankets and set up camp. We had the big wool blanket tucked under our feet and over our head. It did well to keep us warm, but if there were any gaps, we could feel a cold sea-air draft. And it was cold! It wasn’t the best sleep in the world, mostly because of the cold wind and the hard surface, but at least we got some sleep to prepare us for the 12 hour drive ahead!
We docked in Port Aux Basques at 8:00am, 8 hours after we were scheduled to be there. As a result, with a phone call to the vice president of Customer Service, we got a free one way ferry ticket! I guess that can kind of make up for it.
We didn’t stop in Port Aux Basques, but continued on through the entire length of the island until we reached Saint John’s. Here are a few fun facts about that drive. We noticed that Newfoundlanders call any flowing stream of water a “Brook.” And closer to Saint John’s, every body of freshwater is a “pond.” No rivers or streams or lakes, just brooks and ponds.
Oh and one more fun fact before I go…Newfoundland is the home of PIneapple Crush, Crush Birch Beer, clear Crush Cream Soda, and Roast Chicken Potato Chips. Oh! And let’s not forget the Newfoundland steak! Otherwise known as fried bologna.
Anyway, next up I’ll let you know about our week at the Newfoundland Ranch! (It was one of our favourites…if not the best.)
Cheers for now.