My Thru Hike Plans Just Keep Growing
ECT Day 213&214
IAT Day 44&45
Day 213: 8 miles
This morning I was up just after 5am and packed up quickly. Today we are walking to the ferry here on PEI to get a boat over to Nova Scotia. From there we will travel to Newfoundland! Originally we planned to do Nova Scotia first, but we think it’s best to go further north and work our way down. That way we hopefully get the best possible weather.
All of us were walking just after 6am and had about 3-4 miles to go. It was all road walking and was nice and easy. My body felt a bit tight but pretty good over all. Before we knew it we were at the ferry walking through the toll booth. Then headed over to the lobby building where we could wait for the ferry.
We sat in the lobby for a while and I was able to use wifi. I haven’t really had any wifi on the island since our motel the first night. After sitting inside for a bit Sparkle and I decided to walk over to the lighthouse nearby. We started PEI at a lighthouse and are ending it at a lighthouse too! It wound up actually being a bit of a walk.
Once we got to the lighthouse we walked around and took photos. Then got a call from Trucker saying that we had 15 minutes before the ferry arrived. We headed back quickly and made it right in time. Then all walked down to the ferry and got on. The ride was only about an hour and brought us into Caribou, Nova Scotia. From there we had to get over to North Glasgow where we could get a bus to the next ferry.
When we got dropped off we decided to start walking the road. Any miles that we do from the ferry into North Glasgow will be miles that we don’t have to do later! Because we are going to come back and finish the IAT here in Nova Scotia. So if we road walk a handful of miles today then it will help us down the road.
We wound up walking about 4 or so miles to a nearby Tim Hortons. Then we were debating whether or not we should keep road walking further. We would have to cross a bridge that may or may not allow foot traffic. And in the end we would be cutting the timing close to get to North Glasgow before our bus arrived.
In the end we decided to call a taxi to pick us up at the Tim Hortons and take us to North Glasgow. The driver brought us right to a plaza with a sports store and Walmart. We all were able to resupply and get anything that we needed. Then we walked over to Burger King for lunch. This Burger King had a limited time menu which included a butter chicken sandwich and butter chicken poutine. In what world could I resist trying that? And it did not disappoint. That was the most delicious and flavorful fast food that I’d ever eaten!
After we ate we walked to a gas station where the bus would pick up. We had over an hour to kill still before the bus arrived. It was pretty cold at this point so I bundled up to sit outside. There was no indoor seating in the gas station so we just had to sit on the curb and wait for our bus. The bus wound up coming around 5:45pm. It was too full so we had to store our bags underneath, which I don’t love to do.
We got seats in the back two rows and got comfortable. Sparkle and I sat next to each other for the first couple of hours. Eventually some people got off and space opened up for us all to have our own personal row.
Every now and then the bus stopped for long enough to get off and stretch your legs. The time went by quickly and I preoccupied myself by writing and listening to music. Then around 9:30pm the bus arrived in Sydney. It dropped us off right at the ferry building and we headed inside to check in.
Trucker had already booked the tickets online so we just had to show our IDs and get our tickets. Then sat in a waiting room for maybe 5-10 minutes before a shuttle took us to the boat. It was a monstrous ship! I wasn’t expecting it to be so fancy. There were cabins you could book for the overnight ferry. But they were all already booked by the time we got tickets. So we got tickets for a more open room with a bunch of seats in it. Like a much more spacious and comfortable movie theater! There was plenty of leg room and space for our bags. The seats could recline and came with foot rests. I planned to get as comfortable as possible for our 11pm-7am ferry ride.
I pulled my things out and got comfortable. Before the ferry got any busier I laid down and did my stretches. Then I pulled my sleeping bag out and propped my feet up on my backpack. I was pretty much fully laying down and able to recline with my feet up. That’s not too bad! We hiked about 100 miles in the last 3 days and a morning, so I know my body needs to rest and heal as much as possible overnight. Hopefully I’ll still heal well while sleeping on the ferry tonight.
Just after 11pm the ferry was about to take off and I was in my seat incredibly comfortable. I was cozy in my sleeping bag and ready to get a great nights sleep!
Day 214: zero day
This morning I woke up around 6am in my reclining ferry seat. I actually slept through pretty much from 11-6am! Every now and then I had to move around a bit to get comfortable. The angle I was sleeping at was not ideal but it was better than nothing.
Once I got up I packed my bag again. I had pulled my sleeping bag out last night to get comfortable which was fantastic. But now I had to reorganize everything. The ferry began to dock so we got our things together and prepared to depart. While we were waiting by the elevator there was a 12 week old puppy which was the cutest thing I’d ever seen.
We got off the ferry and immediately were put on a shuttle bus. That took us over to the bus terminal where we were hopefully going to catch a ride. We hadn’t booked tickets yet but were hopeful that there would be space for us. Which there was! The bus was practically empty when we got on which was lovely. The lady taking tickets and charging everyone was so nice. She had us laughing right away which was a great feeling after a long day of travel.
The bus put on a movie and we all started lounging! I had packed out some mini pizzas from the Walmart bakery isle which were hitting the spot.
The whole ride took about 4-5 hours but with movies playing the whole time I was entertained. Around 12:40pm we got dropped off at Deer Lake and had to figure out a ride from there. There was a Dairy Queen across the street so we headed over for a snack. I got a milkshake and poutine. Then Trucker wound up calling a taxi to take us the rest of the way to Rocky Harbour. That’s where the Gros Morne visitor center is.
The timing for everything aligned perfectly. We had to take all these various forms of transportation to be at the visitor center by 2:30pm. That’s when they do their information session for the national park that you have go to in order to get your permit. We got there around 2pm and the lady working gave a call to the man who does the sessions. He drove over and walked us through everything.
The national park is not on the IAT, but it’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. So we’re side questing the 20 or so miles for fun. But the area has no trails and requires navigation the whole way. It’s gonna be interesting for sure!
After our session we got permits and then headed down the street to figure out accommodations for tonight. There is a motel with cabins nearby that we should be able to stay at. Before heading over we got resupply and drinks. The trail conditions the next couple days are going to be tough so it may slow us down a lot. Then we walked to the motel to check in. Once we dropped our bags at the room we walked to a nearby restaurant to grab a bite to eat. I got a Shirley temple and bolognese pasta which was fantastic. Then we walked back to the room.
I took an amazing shower and shaved my legs. I want to reapply KT tape so I had to shave. Then I spent the rest of the night lounging in the room. We all charged our devices and got situated. Hopefully the national park only takes us two days including transportation. Then we can get back to business. There are about 800 miles remaining in Canada and we want to get it all done before the end of October. It’s gonna be really cool here soon so we can’t linger around too much.
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