After I thanked Charles and Carol for their hospitality and generosity, left Amherst with a bag full of chocolate, pinda’s, energy bars and cookies (I wasn’t allowed to get any skinnier than I was now). I booked an Airbnb in Salisbury. On the way, I bought some additional freeze-dried meals in Moncton that only require you to add some boiled water. After 75 kilometers, my knees started to hurt. Not much later, I had to stop twice as the pain was too hard to handle. Not so good… 110 Kilometers turned out to be a bit too enthousiastic. The accommodation was really cool. It was some kind of tree-house. The new owners of the farm, Kathryn and Paul, told me that it was actually a super-de-luxe cabin for hunters, including a toilet, electricity and warmth. Wi-Fi was the only thing missing, although that had it’s charm as well.
I didn’t feel like staying here to give me knees some rest, I wanted to get to Saint John as quickly as possible. I decided to split the 120 kilometers distance in two days. With a lowered saddle, I decided to just try it out. Furthermore, I decided not to use the SPD-click pedals. With a frustrating low pace, I eventually pedaled 60 km. I found a nice place to camp in the wild there, near Apohaqui. At night, I could hear the coyote’s howling, a pretty neat sound.
The next day, I cycled (again slowly), towards Saint-John where I booked an Airbnb. I ended up in the house of a Chines lady. She graduated in Beijing as a web developer and was looking for work in Saint-John for some months now, but hadn’t succeeded so far. I therefore think that Airbnb is an important (althoug small) source of income for her, although she said she predominantly does it to meet new people from other countries. After the common tour through her house, she went to her room and I haven’t seen her afterwards…. Maybe she just didn’t want to mee me, that’s also a possibility of course :-).
For some time now, I have the idea to buy an harmonica as I thought it is a cool idea to buy one here and become an expert along the way. Google Maps showed me where some music shops were and the seller recommended me to buy one of the simplest ones. All I needed as a beginner, he told me.
When I started cycling, it started to snow pretty badly. This wasn’t really relaxed, as I had to cycle on the highway with all the snow plowers. Luckily, no dangerous situation occurred. One major advantage: I had a tailwind. Because of the tailwind, I could cycle almost 80 kilometers without much effort. I camped in the wild again on an icy surface. I had to use a brick to get my tent pegs in the ground.
Because of the 80 km I could cycle yesterday, I only had to cycle like 50 km the next day towards St. Stephen, the city near the border with the US. My knees are getting better a little bit. Despite the fact that it was only 50 km, it felt like it took forever, as if you mentally prepare for the distance you about to pedal. A couple of hundres of meters before my final destination, I got a flat tire. A better timing is almost not possible. I could easily fix the leak in the garage and fixed some other issues as well. In St. Stephen, I met Helen and Gary. Helen works as a home care taker, and Gary as a carpenter. On my rest day, I visited the well-known chocolate factory of Ganong and helped Gary to put a new small window in the bathroom of their second home, so I learned something new today! Although Gary did 90% of the work, I felt really proud of accomplishing it… Gary and Helen invited me over for dinner and I ate some Canadian lobster, something you gotta try when you are in the maratimes. It was extremely nice! If everything goes well, I will cross the US border tomorrow.