Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding... - Page 3
Page 3 of 105 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 18 53 103 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 1563

Thread: Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

  1. #31
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R

    In the hold of the ferry

    It's a 6.5 hour overnight trip from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to the west coast of Newfoundland at Port-Aux-Basques. There were a lot of people on the ferry on their way to St John's on the east coast, but because it's so costly to ferry all the way there, most people choose just to drive across the island instead.


    Trying to get comfortable on the ferry

    Being unemployed and homeless, we opted for the cheap seats on the ferry instead of a cabin. We weren't allowed to lie down on the floor or across several seats and if the crew found you, they would kick at you until you woke up...

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BCSportBikes.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #32
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/5.html




    Pulling into Port-Aux-Basques

    The ferry pulled into Port-Aux-Basques, on the west coast of Newfoundland at 6 in the morning. We stopped into the visitor centre outside of town and waited a little while so we wouldn't have to share road with the hundred other vehicles also exiting the ferry. Also had to change the time on the clocks on the bike. Did you know NL has its own time zone and just to be different, it's a half hour ahead of Atlantic Time! Despite our little stopover and losing 30 minutes, the seaside community was still fast asleep as we left in the rain and fog, to ride north up the main highway.


    Riding the west coast of Newfoundland

    They call these the Table Top Mountains, a leveling off of the terrain that gives rise to a natural wind-tunnel effect, the same winds that blow 18-wheelers and trains off their tracks.


    Bearded dragon stops to say hi to us in Corner Brook

    Corner Brook is the first large town about 2.5 hours north of Port-Aux-Basque, and are they ever friendly! Seems like our stop for lunch brought half the population of the town out. As we hung out in the Timmies parking lot eating our sandwiches, we had a parade of people asking where we were from and giving us advice on where to go on the island and everyone warned us to be careful of the killer moose on the roads - they like to jump out in front of vehicles. Normally our conversations went like this, "How's it going der, eh? Watch out for dem der moose!". Lots of stories of moose strikes on The Rock, especially during the early morning and evening hours.


    Gros Morne Park - wiped from the ferry ride

    We got to Gros Morne Park in the early afternoon and set up camp. Because I opted to take pictures on the ferry ride instead of sleep, I passed out immediately while Neda took the opportunity to hike around see the park. Later on, we met up with Ben at the visitor centre, who happened to be a fellow ADV rider on an XT600 from New York who told us that a GS rider had died on the Trans-Labrador trail that he rode on the week before. Sad news.


    Neda's hike through Gros Morne Park


    Gros Morne Park

    The next morning, we made a decision to hot-foot it across the island. We're remorseful because we would have liked to spend more time here but we had to meet friends in Halifax in a few days time, and it turns out the ferry from NL's east coast only runs three times a week! Neda really likes it here and it is high on her list of places to move to whenever we decide to settle down again. We both really wanted to ride to St Anthony's to see the icebergs glide down between Labrador and Newfoundland, but Ben assured us that there weren't a lot of them. Next time!

    The scenery off the main highway was pretty uniform as it cut its way through the boreal forest of the island. I had the depressing feeling that we were missing so much of Newfoundland and I vowed that after we wrapped things up at home, I mean Toronto... , we would go about the rest of our journey very differently. After trekking 700 kms eastwards and a whole day later, we pulled into St John's, the capital city of NL.


    Neda hams it up at Cape Speer. Took forever to dry her off...


    Looking pensive at Cape Speer

    The fog was pretty thick in the early evening as we rode the steep and windy road out to Cape Speer, the eastern-most point in Canada. It's just outside St John's, and Neda remarks how understated our tourist attractions are compared to the US. No wall-to-wall T-shirt/hot-dog stand/souvenir stalls here, just the beauty of the eastern Newfoundland coast. We stared out at the Atlantic ocean together and wondered what we'd see and where we'd end up next.

  4. #33
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R

    This is where our journey really starts...


    Following the yellow brick road to the lighthouse at Cape Speer

    Starving, we rode back down to St John's for dinner. We were parked somewhere in downtown St John's looking for a place to eat, with no success when we walked back to our bikes and there was a guy on a huge red Kawi waiting for us! Roy is a paramedic in St John's, and he was just riding around when he saw two unfamiliar bikes (everyone knows everyone in St John's) and he wanted to give us a tour of his city. So we hopped on and followed him around town as he showed us the sights. He was a great ambassador for the town and we felt like we had the red carpet treatment!


    Roy, our tour guide around St John's

    Our final stop on Roy's tour was the restaurant we were looking for, the Bacalao, billed as "nouveau Newfoundland cuisine". After a long day of touring, the food was excellent: Labrador caribou and traditional salted cod. Amazing food, all washed down by some dark ale from a local brewery called Quidi Vidi.

  5. #34
    Sedate hooligan Array T-rex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Van City
    Bike
    THE JUGGERNAUT, BITCHES
    Wow - really great stuff. Keep it coming!

  6. #35
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/6.html


    Start the day right!

    The next morning, we rode around St John's to get some supplies and walked the downtown area. Ended up at Ches's fish and chips, which was a Newfoundland institution, and came highly recommended by Roy the night before. One of our resolutions on this trip is to try everything the locals recommend. I suspect the food tasted extra good because of all the hills we had to walk up and down to get to Ches's. Did I mention the roads in St John's are crazy steep?!


    Lake Quidi Vidi

    After lunch, we hopped on our bikes and rode out to a very pretty area just outside St John's, recommended by the waitress at Bacalao last night. It's called Quidi Vidi, and it's where the beer we drank is made. The brewery is housed in an old fish processing plant on the lake, the white houses above are fishing stages.


    GS at Lake Quidi Vidi.


    Hanging out at the Quidi Vidi brewery

    We took a tour of the brewery and received some beers to take home with us. These are not the beers, we only got one each. Unfortunately, mine leaked in my top case on the way back. It's very hard to wash out the smell of beer. So right now I'm carrying a little bit of Quidi Vidi 1892 dark ale with me everywhere I go.


    99 bottles of beer on the wall...

    The fishery was bought by the brewery after it was shut down when Newfoundlanders faced tough restrictions on fishing in the 90s.


    Signpost at Signal Hill. Foreshadowing, maybe?

    Around the same area is Signal Hill, which was the site of the first transatlantic wireless signal by Marconi. Later used by the military as a communications centre, it provided us with great views of St. John's from above as well as the waters of the Atlantic ocean.


    Cabot Tower at the top of Signal Hill


    Neda gets shot out of a canon at the top of Signal Hill


    The view of St. John's from the top of Signal Hill.

  7. #36
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R

    Whale-watching from Signal Hill

    These tourists must have gotten their money's worth. There were a lot of whales jumping in and out of the waters below Signal Hill, and all you had to do was look for the whale-watching boats as they followed whales swimming in the bay.


    Colored row houses are a famous sight in St John's

    The legend is that the fog was so thick in St John's that when the fisherman came home, they couldn't distinguish which house was theirs, so they painted them all different colours so they wouldn't walk into the wrong home. Dunno if it's true, but it's pretty.


    Still empty on George St, the hub of nightlife in St. John's

    In the evening, we took a bus into St. John's looking to taste a bit of nightlife. However, we were reminded how old we were when at 10PM on a Saturday night, we were ready for bed and the party hadn't yet started yet...


    Not "screeched in" officially...

    Newfoundland screech is a foul-tasting paint-thinner that the locals used to brew cheaply. There is a whole tradition of being "screeched-in" involving drinking this slop, kissing a cod and reciting a dirty limerick about jibs and penises... The only place that we could get screeched in was Trapper John's, which was dead, so we instead went to a crowded bar and ordered some screech there instead. Turned out we walked into a cougar bar...

    Next day was a travel day - ride down to Argentia, at the southern tip of Newfoundland to catch the ferry back to Sydney. We were recommended to ride some of the more interested roads around the coastline instead of taking the main highway straight there. So we did! Scenic routes like the Irish Loop which winds its way around the Avalon peninsula and ends up near the ferry dock. Apparently, the Irish Loop gets its name from the fact that most of the initial settlers of the coastal towns hail directly from Ireland.


    A wedding and a funeral on the road

    The pictures above depict a wedding roadside toll: two women raising money for a stag and doe for a local couple getting married that weekend. Neda donated $5 to pass. The bottom picture was actually a funeral procession, which we initially thought was traffic due to construction! We saw cars lined up behind heavy machinery, but then the construction vehicles did a 180 and all the cars followed as well! Turns out everyone in that town, including the construction workers rode in and out of town to pay their respects to the dearly departed. We joined the procession at the end of the line and followed them back into town and passed them as they turned into the cemetery. A wedding and a funeral on the same road within the same hour! Bizarre!


    The ferry ride back to Nova Scotia from Newfoundland

    Since we were leaving from the east coast of NL, instead of the west, where we arrived, the ferry ride back was 15-hours long. So, to avoid getting kicked in our sleep by the ferry crew, we dished out a small fortune for a cabin during the overnight ride back to Nova Scotia. This was our first time during this trip that we're sleeping in a bed and the cramped accommodations felt so luxurious!

  8. #37
    Registered User Array
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vancouver
    Bike
    Soon


    Love the stories and pictures. Livin' the dream.

  9. #38
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    Taken from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/7.html



    We rode out from the ferry into early morning rain coming down on Sydney, Nova Scotia. We've had such perfect weather for our ride so far, very un-RideDOT.com-like, so we were due for some precipitation! Not a lot of pictures from our ride, since we had to meet friends in Halifax, about 400 kms away.


    Neda tries to make the guard smile at the Citadel. Unsuccessfully...

    The weather clears up as we enter Halifax and we ride up Citadel Hill to check out Fort George, the latest and largest of many fortifications built to repel attacks from the Indians first and then the Americans later on during their Civil war and the War of 1812.


    Tall Ship Silva is a permanent fixture touring around Halifax Harbour, a popular spot for weddings and events

    We met our friends Khanh, Ed and Dirk in Halifax harbour, they had just completed a harrowing Iron Butt SaddleSore 1000 from Toronto through torrential rain and pea-soup fog in New Brunswick! It was nice hanging out with folks from home and we took the Alexander Keith brewery tour for some free beers at the end. Oh, and the show was nice as well, if not a bit cheesy...


    Alexander Keith brewery. Our second beer tour this week!

    The rest of the Toronto riding gang, Will, Mel and Irene pulled in later and we had a great dinner in the harbour, and then checked into a motel (BEDS! LUXURY!) for the evening. While it's great to be on the road and seeing new places and meeting new people all the time, it's nice to hang out with familiar faces again.


    Fog creeps over the harbour at Peggy's Cove

    The next morning, we all rode out to Peggy's Cove, a very picturesque community on the south shore of Nova Scotia, less than an hour outside of Halifax. It was very foggy, which added to the Maritimes atmosphere, but thankfully the thick blanket burned off while we were walking around the lighthouse and granite rocks at Peggy's Cove.


    Arguably the most photographed lighthouse in the world


    I'm trying to bump up the stats for "Most photographed lighthouse..."


    Irene and Khanh taking in the atmosphere at Peggy's cove


    Hangin' out with the hooligans - Dirk and Ed at Peggy's cove


    Will looks out into the bay at Peggy's Cove.

  10. #39
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    We doubled back towards the northern tip of Nova Scotia in the afternoon. This would be our third time doing this route on the trip and co-incidentally we stopped in Antigonish for a third time to gas up. No McLobster this time though. Speaking of, we've been eating a lot of seafood this trip, I'm not normally a big lobster fan, but it tastes so fresh out here!


    Sun sets on our bikes at our campsite outside Port Hawkesbury

    We rode out to a campsite for the evening just outside Port Hawkesbury, yakking and laughing over dinner, while poking good-natured fun at each other until the sun set on our tents. We're rolling with our own motorcycle gang now!

  11. #40
    Registered User Array 2cans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    gva
    Bike
    bah
    Very cool. Just the other day I was day dreaming of quitting job, selling home and doing a world tour.... I pushed the thoughts away until I see this. Awesome!

  12. #41
    Insert User Title Here. Array TripleTime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Spinning right round baby right round.
    Bike
    Yes.
    thank you so much for posting all this up. What a grand adventure.

    I have pics of my son and I walking at that lighthouse @ Peggy's Cove. It was an abnormally calm day that day, so we ventured beyond the normal walking area. He was 14 months old at the time, and just learning to walk - I held his hands up and walked behind him, so I'll always remember that place.

  13. #42
    backslider Array K-rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    at a critical lean angle
    Bike
    2006 K1200S
    How much $ are you spending each day, on average?

  14. #43
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    Quote Originally Posted by K-rod View Post
    How much $ are you spending each day, on average?
    It's all over the place, I couldn't give you an average off the top of my head.

    Early on in our trip, we met a guy in Wawa who gave us a link to an article he wrote on budget travel, this really influenced our budget, for example:

    We try to keep our lodging costs very low, we've camped for free many times. No flush toilets or hot shower, but you can pay $3 for that at community centres. If we absolutely have to camp, we try to keep it around $12-15/night, which includes hot running water. There are sites like CouchSurfing where you can put a roof over your head for free as well.

    Grocery shopping nets us about $4 per meal, and sometimes we only eat twice a day because we're riding most of the time. One tip to save lots of money is to top up your water bottles at any public drinking fountain, it's foolish to pay a couple of dollars for bottled water when it's free everywhere.

    Gas is the most expensive cost but there are days we don't travel. My 1200GS is the most thirsty, costs me slightly over $20 to go about 400 kms. This is the most variable cost, the more mileage you do per day, the more expensive it will be. Excessive speed, although fun, also decreases fuel efficiency (by quite a lot, actually!), so we try to cruise at top gear at the speed limit when the roads are straight - gives us the most bang for the buck in terms of tank range.

    I've had to change my rear tire twice on the trip so far, about $165 tax/in with installation.

    This is the link to the budget travel article: https://umdrive.memphis.edu/jzelazny...dgetTravel.pdf
    Last edited by lightcycle; 09-20-2012 at 02:01 AM.

  15. #44
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    Quote Originally Posted by TripleTime View Post
    I have pics of my son and I walking at that lighthouse @ Peggy's Cove. It was an abnormally calm day that day, so we ventured beyond the normal walking area. He was 14 months old at the time, and just learning to walk - I held his hands up and walked behind him, so I'll always remember that place.
    It is such a beautiful place, and the early morning fog lends a great East Coast feel to it all. The flora around the area is also unlike anything anywhere else as well.

  16. #45
    A long way from home... Array lightcycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Formerly Canuckistan
    Bike
    2008 1098R
    Taken from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/8.html



    The Cabot Trail is the jewel of Atlantic Canada's tourism industry, especially if you're a motorcycle rider. It is considered by many to be a destination highway, like the Tail Of The Dragon in NC, Sea-to-Sky highway in BC, and the Stelvio Pass in Italy. We were camped the night before just outside of Cape Breton island and only had a couple of hundred kms to reach the beginning of the Cabot Trail in St Anns, after circumnavigating the south-east section of the island. The decision was to ride the coastal road of the Trail counter-clockwise so we would experience the scenery of the coast to our right.


    Back to group riding!

    We left most of the planning and ride leading to Khanh, on his custom-painted VFR800, as he led us into the heart of Cape Breton. It was a really big change in rhythm as we rode with 6 other riders and at times we split up into two groups of four to keep things manageable, but the light traffic on the island meant stayed together as a group for the most part. The dynamics of group riding also changed with this many riders, as we had to make changes for different paces, following styles, endurance and also personalities.

    Fortunately, we had all ridden with each other before and it was a quick adjustment to find a group order and pace that we were all familiar with. Neda and I met these guys at a group ride last year and we found it very enjoyable and comfortable to hang out and ride with them, and we were really looking forward to spending 10 days in the Maritimes with them. Like dating, finding good riding partners is sometimes hard to do, but over the years we've managed to find some really cool people that we love touring and doing day rides with.


    Damn you, Toronto riders. Brought the rain with you...

    As predicted by the weather apps (who watches the Weather Network on TV anymore?), the rain started coming down in the afternoon after our lobster lunch in (where else?) Lobster Kettle restaurant in Louisbourg. We head directly to the Cabot Trail and it's too rainy and foggy to see any of the promised sights. Annoyingly, the Pinlock insert on the inside of my visor broke it's seal and water slowly filled up between the fog-resistant plastic and the visor like an aquarium. All I needed was a couple of goldfish swimming around in there to complete the effect!


    Rain falls overnight on the Cabot Trail

    We booked into a 4-bedroom cabin that we found in South Harbour, right in the middle of the Cabot Trail. It's nice to share a whole place like with a bunch of people, besides the social aspect, it's cheaper than what we've been paying for campsites the rest of the trip! With wet riding gear and rainsuits strewn all over the place, we waited out the rain for the night and prayed for better weather tomorrow.


    Meat Cove - off the Cabot Trail

    Our prayers were answered with a beautiful day on the western leg of the Cabot Trail. We were recommended to take a side-trip up to Meat Cove, with magnificent views off the cliff of the north coast. Meat Cove road is gravel for about the last 10 kms, but our street bike brethren did well!


    View of Meat Cove


    It's not a race, Neda...


    Meat Cove

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •