Day 88 Pt.2 – Dear readers, it’s been ages. When we last spoke I was in a bar in St John’s, celebrating finishing my journey across Canada, and answering all the flood of comments that came in. I had such a great evening, as if I was talking to everyone with me in the bar, and because I finished fairly early in the day I was able to cross all the various time-zones and share the experience with people world-wide.
- Today’s Distance (miles/km): 40/64
- Time in saddle: 2h 47
- Max/min temp (°c): 38°/23°
- Climb/descend (feet) : 1781 / 1480
- Calories used:
- Cafe time: 1h 34
(The map has gone walk-about. Basically, it was the ferry to Cupids)
The next thing I knew, I’d used up all my website memory and couldn’t fill in the missing gaps, or explain why I suddenly got to Cape Spear so quickly. That problem is now fixed, and you many not know it but you’re now experiencing a very upgraded version of the blog, supercharged and ready for anything. So let’s pick things up back at Stuart and Elsie’s, two days before my planned ride out to Cape Spear, as we prepared to go out for supper with old friends of theirs across the bay in Cupids…
Their house is perched on a slope that leads down to the sea, and has been a labour of love over many years to restore to its current award-winning magnificent condition:
Stuart, Elsie and I found that the best way to fully appreciate their property was with a glass of beer and snacks, on the deck overlooking Conception Bay North:
(These were local Iceberg beers, made with iceberg water. Icebergs regularly drift into the bays on Newfoundland)
As was so often the case on my trip, as soon as I sat down it was time to get moving again, so we loaded up the car and drove over to the home of Ros & Roy where we had supper together with Roy’s twin brother Ross and his wife Betty. Rarely have I spent an evening getting names as confused as I did that night. Nobody seemed to mind, and I was treated to the finest example of Newfoundland hospitality you could ever wish for. Either Roy or Ross (sorry guys) had previously been mayor of Cupids, and between them they seemed to know everyone and everything on Newfoundland. If my timing had been different I would have been treated to a traditional “Screech-In”, conducted by my hosts themselves. For more details on this extraordinary tradition, have a look at this:
We sat outside whilst Roy barbecued the fish we were having, enjoying the warm evening and giving me the low down on how things work on the island. As the evening went on it transpired that Ros is the biggest Downton Abbey fan I’ve ever met, and when I told her that I’d had a very small part in one episode, things got serious. The conversation became a blow-by-blow account of the making of an episode of Downton, as well as the experience of recording the music over the several years that the series ran for. Downton paraphernalia was produced to get us all in the mood:
(With Elsie, left, and Ros, and a little bit of Downton)
Newfoundland played a vital role during the crisis in the air following the 9-11 attacks. Thirty-eight aircraft were redirected to Gander Airport in the north of the island, where they were to wait indefinitely until it was considered safe to fly again. The people of Newfoundland opened their doors to the seven thousand strangers, and the amazing story has been turned into a hit musical, Come From Away. Since we’ve been talking about being “screeched-in”, and you’re all now experts, here’s the Screech-In scene from the show, performed live on tv:
Once we retired to the sitting room, and settled into comfy sofas with a nightcap, I confess that my eyes were closing. I should apologise to my hosts, but I’m sure they understood. It was a wonderful evening, and made me feel that I should make my way back to Newfoundland one day soon. Once back at Stuart & Elsie’s, I was asleep in seconds.
(More on Day 89 tofollow…)
3 thoughts on “Day 88 Pt.2 – What Really Happened on Newfoundland”
Hurray! I know we’re in touch with the real thing back in Chipperfield, but it’s great to have the blog persona here again to brighten the day. Xx
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Ha! Still out there in my mind, especially when putting all this together…bx
Hurray!! I knew there had to be more! So lovely to have the blog back… I’ve missed it!
Welcome home, Ben! How does it feel to be back?