To The Ferry

Oh glorious day of rest. How my legs needed that. It was a giant uphill battle for the last few hundred kilometres, so I feel like I earned this. Also, I am now clean (relatively) and showered for the ferry ride. There’s nothing I hate more than being dirty on long haul transportation. Except maybe earwigs inside my tent. That’s pretty bad too.
I leisurely got packed up, with a dry tent, and made my way to Sydney to catch the ferry at 5pm. Since I had some extra time, I bought a book at the library (for 25 cents), had some lunch, and got some groceries. I don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot of stores between Argentia (where the ferry lands in Newfoundland) and St. John’s. For lunch I had fish cakes, they were ok.
At 3 I went to check into the ferry. In the waiting area I ran into a large group of cross Canada cyclists. This is the other organized group doing the trek (I had met the first organized group on the ferry from PEI). There were about two dozen cyclists, most of whom looked like retired men. There were maybe 4 people under the age of 40. Again, I’m glad I did this trip on my own.
I sat down next to one of the cyclists and started chatting. I’m really sorry that I did. He was a rather depressing individual. He started telling me that I shouldn’t be doing this trip on my own because it was dangerous for a lone person, especially a woman. Then he told me about a couple (a friend of a friend of a friend) who had a bad experience cycling, and then a lone male cyclist who stopped blogging in Mexico (the downer telling me this story assumed the worst).
Buddy, first of all, you do not get an opinion on this. This is my trip, and I will make the decisions without any input from you. Second, your stories make no sense and are doing nothing but making me regret speaking to you. Third, I’ve made it through 9 provinces by myself, and have had no problems, except that I’m now talking to you.
Then, as a coup de gras, he told me about the two cyclists in his group that had been hit by a car and killed. I had heard about this long ago – a couple were riding outside of Thunder Bay and a driver from Austin fell asleep at the wheel and hit them. I can’t imagine how devastating and scary that must have been for the rest of the riders (I don’t think they ride as a group). I’m not sure I would have been able to continue the trip if I had been in that group.
But really buddy, stop talking to me. I picked up my book and started reading, having finished my conversation with this guy.
While boarding the ferry I met another cyclist on his own. I forget his name, but he had gone from Vancouver to Montreal one year, and was now completing the trip by riding from Montreal to St. John’s. He was much nicer. I liked him.
I secured my bicycle and gear to a pole, and made my way up to the movie room of the ship. It was there that I met Mikhaila, a hilarious six year old from Texas, who was travelling with her family to a reunion in Argentia. She told me all about her school and her family and then drew me some pictures. Apparently I’m very good at making friends with small children and depressing older men.
We set sail (engine?) and were off on the 14-16 hour ride. They played some movies while Mikhaila built a fort next to me.

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