The Newfoundland Ferry ordeal

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
Trip End Aug 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Friday, August 29, 2008

First and foremost, a THANK YOU to everyone who has been posting comments on our blog. You have no idea how excited we get when we receive the comments. I think itīs our way of feeling connected with family and friends, so keep those comments coming.

And now for that ferry trip, well I guess it wasnīt so much an ordeal but rather really really long and somewhat tedious. It was delayed for 12 hours. Instead of departing at 3:00pm, it left at 3:00am.

With 12 hours to kill, we drove into the nearby town of Sydney, where their giant tourist attraction is a huge fiddle. After having coffee in a hip cafe we drove to the ferry terminal and lined up our van behind the other passengersī vehicles. Unfortunately the bar in the terminal was closed, so we sat in the van, walked over to the waiting room in the terminal, read some books and walked to the town of Sydney North. There is a walkway linking the ferry terminal to the town, and since Its not a very big place there was not a whole lot to do. We kind of scouted what was there in terms of food and walked over again in the evening to a Pizzeria for dinner.

We watched the comings and goings of different vehicle types boarding the ferry. There were a group of cyclists who had been biking across Canada and this, we think, was their last leg of the journey. There were also a group of guys with all terrain vehicles (about 15 of them) and it was interesting to watch them unload their bikes from the trucks. It looked like they were leaving their trucks behind so we have no idea what happened at the other end. Did someone pick them up or did they just ride their ATVīs into the sunset?

The 15 hour crossing ended up being an 18 hour crossing. We thought it was all weather related and then heard some people saying that the ferry was running on 3 engines instead of 4. So, all in all, 30 hours on the go. The ferry itself was comfortable enough. We had dormitory type berths and although not great, were okay for a nights sleep and an afternoon snooze which was very welcoming. On-board there was a bar with Newfoundland musicians, movie theatre, showers, cafeteria, and outdoor decks. It was the biggest ship I (Rajiv) had been on.

We arrived in Newfoundland at 9:00pm on August 31st.. needless to say, everyone on board was very happy to see the welcoming lights of Argentia where the ferry terminal is located.

Instead of driving to St. Johnīs that night, we decided to stay at a campground close to the ferry terminal. We were just too exhausted to navigate unfamiliar roads shrouded in fog, and the warnings about the Moose made us even more wary about driving at night. The campground we found was the cheapest so far, at $20.00 for a site with electricity.
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