Sunday, August 11, 2013


Days 1 and 2

First two days of the trip were not very exciting. Serega and I left Boston around 2 pm on Friday, July 26, 2013, and were supposed to meet Dima at New Hampshire Liquor store on Route 95.Lena with Illia were planning to catch up with us somewhere neat Bangor, Maine.

We arrived to meeting point with Dima, but he was nowhere to be found. After about an hour of waiting Serega called his cellphone and to our big surprise Masha, Dima’s girlfriend, picked up the phone, this how we learned that Dima forgot his phone and all the documents at home. 

By this time Lena and Illia caught up with us, we told Masha that we will meet Dima in Bangor. We found very inexpensive and “very fancy” motel ‘Super 8” and got ourselves one room.
Dima arrived shortly after us, and we went to sleep, after turning the lights off it became obvious that nobody is going to sleep, so we opened a bottle of Tequila that we purchased just for situation like this one. Lena made a quick trip to nearby gas station to purchase some food for us. We were disciplined group and only drunk a little bit more than a half a bottle of magic potion that improves sleep.

the crew in front of our fancy hotel
 On the day two we woke up bright and early; grab quick breakfast in the hotel, which was included, and took picturesque rout 9 towards Canada. We had to cover over 400 miles on that day to get to Halifax in time for Sveta’s arrival from Boston. 
Group in very spirited manner covered distance between Bangor and Canadian border, filled up bikes for the last time with inexpensive gas, in comparison to Canada and headed to the to the border. Everyone but Serega crossed it very quickly. Mr. Ivanov had to explain himself to Canadian border guards, because many years ago someone with the same name and data of birth flew from Russia to Canada without proper visa and attempted to enter country. Well, it was just a little delay and we headed towards St. John, New Brunswick for quick lunch. 

Hello New Brunswick
Rain cover from my rear bag got blown away during the ride between St. John, New Brunswick and Amherst, Nova Scotia, so I let the group go to Halifax and proceeded to Canadian Tire by myself  great store, to look for alternative solution. I bought small tarp and 2 bungee cords. Taking into consideration that I was alone and had about 5 hours before Zabarina’s arrival, I took my time during the ride to Halifax airport and enjoyed great Canadian roads. I still arrived about 1.5 earlier and just killed time by looking at the map of Nova Scotia. Once my best and only wife arrived we headed to our hotel to meet the rest of the crew. Actually it wasn’t hotel it was 3 bedroom apartments at Saint Mary's University, strategically located about 15 minutes walking distance from the center of the city. Upon arrival to the apartment we quickly changed and joined the crew for a walk to the happening place and got beer at of the local establishments. No pictures from the night. 
Nova Scotia visitor center

Day 3
This day was filled with events and started very early, since we had to be at North Sydney no later than 11:30 am, for ferry registration, so we had to cover 240 miles that morning. Lena followed us to one of Tim Hortons on the highway leading to Cape Breton, where we parted, she went back to Boston and we headed towards North Sydney. 

We were riding like maniacs, only stopping for gas and bio breaks plus stretching. The pace of the ride paid off and we made it just in time for ferry registration, despite very spirited riding we still enjoyed scenery that Nova Scotia offers.

After about an hour in the port we were given green light for loading on the ferry.

 Once bikes were securely strapped to the deck, we went to the bar for some snack and beer, we had 7 hours to kill.


We were able to secure some very comfortable chairs in the sleeping quarters of the sheep, so at some point we took a really good nap and later even shower, which was very nice. The weather was excellent during the voyage from North Sydney to Port Aux Basques, so we got a chance to spend some time on outside deck.
Upon arrival to Port Aux Basques we headed out of town to J.T. Cheesman Provincial Park, which is located about 15 minutes from the port. We found ourselves a very nice, secluded site right near the river.

Day 4
On this day the plan was to get to Trout River camp ground, which was only 214 miles ride. We packed our bikes and rode on the nice gravel road to the beach for a photo-shoot.

Scenery of  South Western part of the Newfoundland is amazing.

Twin hills

Unfortunately we couldn't do much gravel road riding due to us riding two-up and all the luggage on our bike, suspension was already overloaded. Our group proceeded to main road for future exploration of the island. We stopped about an hour away at the gas station for some fuel for bikes and ourselves as well.
Pancakes, staple of Illia’s diet

trucker's breakfast
After few more hours of riding, gas stops and visit to supermarket to get some food and buzz for the night, we arrived to Trout River campground.
our camp site

the mountain on the back looks like dog's face

Day 5
Today we had to ride to Port au Choix, and it was only 157 miles away. We decided to hike Table Lands trail, which located about 15 minutes away from Trout River. We had a quick breakfast, packed our bikes and headed towards the trail. Table Lands is very impressive and interesting place. The entire hike took us only 2 hours, and it well worth the time we have spent.



After the hike we got back to our bikes, changed into our riding gear and started our journey up north.

There is only one campground in Port au Choix and when we arrived there first impression was so-so, since it’s primary caters to RV’s, but when we saw tent spaces, we were amazed, completely surreal, right on the beach, drift wood is everywhere. It was simply great, the view the sound of the ocean; something that you can only see in the movies.
Rain was moving in, so we put tarp up, to make sure that we have some shelter from the rain and we can enjoy our dinner. We bought some fresh Cod. Dima and Serega were planning to try local Rum (Screech), and Zabarina and I had a bottle of nice French wine. 


crazy Russian swimmers

It was raining pretty heavy, but abundance of driftwood and tarp over our heads made this wet and chilly evening enjoyable. Also this night was a first test for our tent and it proved to hold great in the rain.

Day 6
The rain was gone by the time we woke up, but everything around was grey and gloomy. We took shower, packed our gear and went to the nearest town for breakfast.

 Today destination the most Northern point of our trip L'Anse aux Meadows, also known for it’s Viking’s historic site. We had B&B reserved and it was only 136 miles ride. The goal was to get to the destination, check in to B&B and go explore Viking’s heritage site. Landscape was drastically changing the further we were progressing north.

Roads had very little traffic, so we decided to have another photo-shoot.

We arrived to our B&B - "Viking Village", unpacked our bikes and rode to a to the Viking heritage site. It was an interesting experience, place is really beautiful, but the site itself is nothing impressive, especially if you compare it to Plymouth Pilgrim’s village. Anyway, let’s see some pictures.


Views around this site are simply stunning.

By the time we finished exploring site and surrounding everyone got hungry, and we headed to one of the local restaurants, where we tried some of the local foods. Fish and chips kicked ass, fried cod tongues were really great, Serega decide to be very special and ordered “Fisherman’s brewis”, which is traditional Newfoundland food.  After dinner we all  came back to B&B to do laundry and drink some of the local beer. Boyzzz decided to go for a walk to explore surrounding around the B&B and drink a little mixture of local Rum with Pepsi. We found this really beautiful cliff overlooking the bay, sat on the grass drinking mixture and feeding mosquitoes.

Day 7
Today’s plan is to ride to one of the campgrounds in Gross Morn National Park where we would spend next two nights and explore the park. On the way to the park we had a few stops. The first one had this really cool abandon bridge, where we performed another photo-shoot.

While riding on the highway we have noticed a gravel road that was parallel to it, so we took a turn and it was awesome.
Lenin again

and the next stop is Arches

We finally arrived to Green Point campground at Gross Morn National Park and found a really nice site with ocean view. While waiting for park rangers to bring firewood, we took a walk to the beach and brought back plenty of driftwood.

We still had plenty of daylight, so we went for a hike along the coastal trail that started at our campground and of course we had to have a photo session.

Time for meditation

Firstgear TPG commercial

на субботнике

Лось Обыкновенный Ньюфаунлендавский

We grilled some tasty cod and washed it with some wine. Boyzz drunk some berry wine (чернила), and we had a nice bottle of wine from California.

Day 8
It was the rest day. We woke up pretty late and rode to a nearby café for breakfast. After the hike we rode a bit north to hike to Western Brook Pond and took cruise boat to see this inland fjord. Hike was very nice and pretty, cruise was also good but a bit pricy.

It was very nice warm and sunny day, so we decided to go to the beach. We were suggested to visit town called Cow Head and the beach Shallow Bay, local version of South Beach in Miami, with water temperature at about 70, it still was nice to take a swim in the clean ocean waters. 
We stopped by the nearest market to get some food for tonight and proceeded back to the campground for the evening.

Day 9
Today was our last day on the island, and we had to go back to Port Aux Basques for ferry, luckily we had all day, since the ferry was departing at 11:00 pm. We took our time packing in the morning, and had really nice breakfast in one of the local establishments in Rocky Harbor.
We even took a side trip to see the lighthouse at  the most westerly point of Newfoundland, and had lunch/dinner at local fishermen’s’ fair. Here some pictures from the day.

All the cabins were sold out, so we had a plan. The moment we got into the ferry, Zabarina and Illia ran upstairs and secured comfortable sits for all five of us. Once we strapped our bikes to the floor we went upstairs and took turns by going to the shower.  We had some chicken soup for dinner and went to sleep. Earplugs are great thing I slept like a baby, only once I was awaken by some woman asking me to stop snoring. 

Day 10
We arrived to North Sydney around 7:00 am, stopped for a last breakfast as a group and went on our own. Dima, Serega and Illia went to ride Cabot Trail, and we went towards Halifax. It was too many miles for Sveta in one day to ride Cabot Trail and to get to Halifax, she had a plane to catch next morning. Somewhere around Baddeck, she started to bug me about doing just a part of the trail. She even promised not to complain that her behind hurts after 250 miles, so we decided to do a small portion of the trail between Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay; get lunch at Rusty Anchor and get back on the road to Halifax. Still it added good 120 miles to the day of riding, but it was so much enjoyment to ride the Cabot Trail. The experience of riding this beautiful road is simply great. The view of the green, lush mountains, ocean and beautiful, warm and sunny day added to the experience. We love Cabot Trail.

On our way out from Cape Bretton, we stopped at visitor center and very nice girl from the services reserved for us hotel 5 minutes away from the airport. We never stayed at Holiday Inn Express, let me tell you, it is very nice, modern and clean hotel. They didn't have restaurant on premises, so we walked about fifty yards to Hilton to grab a dinner, which concluded day 10 of the trip.

Day 11
We woke up around 5:30 am, packed our bag, and I took Sveta to the airport for her flight back to Boston, then I returned to the hotel to enjoy very nice breakfast of eggs, sausages and pancakes. I packed my bike and headed towards New Brunswick. My goal for today was to see Hopewell Rocks (, place where you can see highest tides in the world. I quickly reached New Brunswick visitor center where I learned that I have another 5 hours to spare before the low tide, so I can have chance to see and to walk on the ocean floor. This time provided me with opportunity to ride a bit of Acadian trail and enjoy some of the scenery that New Brunswick can offer. Also Dima called me and sad that he will join me for the rest of the trip, since Serega decided to get back to Boston in one day.  We met at the small place, TY Fries, that served excellent scallops and clams, and was only half a mile from the rocks. By the time we got to the park it was already after 3:00 pm and we were able to get the full experience of this place. The whole experience of the park is amazing and even promotional picture and videos don’t do the justice to this nature phenomena.

We even have some video from the park.

After the the visit to the park we hit the road with the goal to camp and New River Campground, which is about two hours away. I guess we ran out of luck, since it started to rain and we rode in the rain and found motel for the night. We still had a good view and decent dinner.

Day 12
It was supposed to be plain and simple 400 miles ride home, primarily on interstates. We headed to St. Andrews for a quick breakfast at Tim Hortons, love oatmeal with berries at this place. We hit the highway right after it, quickly crossed border into US, and took route 9 to Bangor.  We also stopped to buy some wild blueberries to bring them home. About 100 miles to hoe Dima via intercom asked me to pull over, since his bike got some problem. We quickly learned that the problem is in broken chain. Luckily Dima has some mad mechanical skill and he had all the necessary tools, so after about an hour on the side of the road we were able to get back on our bikes and slowly progress towards home.

As a result of this trip we rode for about 3,500 miles, did two 7 hours ferry crossing. Broke one chain, blow up my bike’s rear suspension. We had a great time and learned something new about beautiful and very rugged island – Newfoundland.

Thanks everyone who joined me on this trip, and special thanks to my wife Zabarina, who actually followed me on this journey and shared the whole experience with me, without you this trip wouldn't be the same. I love you.