Seven cycling days and more than 500 kilometers further, I have arrived in Amherst where I will take a day off. From now on, I plan to post someting new once a week, around the weekdn or something. Twice a week is just a little bit too much.
Before I cycled from New Glasgow to Truro, I checked the possible routes on Google Maps. Google gave me three options, I chose the shortest one of about 70 kilometer. I haven’t really used my smartphone yet for navigating, because it’s pretty straightforward so far. I remember the most important roads and know where to go to the right or left. Today was a bit different. I had cycled about 30 kilometers when the paved way suddenly stopped. I thought it would only be for a short piece of road. Off-road is not necessarily a problem, but my bike sank in the muddy underground that was just thawed. Even cycling downhill costed me a lot of energy, I was cycling at an extremely low pace. The parts that weren’t thawed, were covered with a thick layer of ice that was way too slippery, even with my studs on the bike. It took me hours of sweating to finally get out. The only benefit was the nice view that I had. Oh, and I learend something new: do not blindly trust Google bicycle algorithm.
The remaining 30 kilometers went really smooth, I noticed that my legs are getting stronger and stronger. In Truro, I slept at Nicol and Darren’s place, a really friendly couple. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them. I did take some pictures of deers in their backyard, though.
Amherst is the next metropole that I will go to, with more than 10.000 people(!!!). I cycled to Amherst in two days, via Parrsboro. Again, I was really planning on camping in the wild, but the ground was too uneven. The few flat spots were covered with water/ice or were just too rough. For the third time, I didn’t have a choice and had to ask someone if I could sleep in their yard. That was no problem at all. They invited me in their house, got a nice warm cup of tea and met Gary and Emmily. Gary told me that, as a former NATO soldier, he had trained in the toughest conditions you can imagine. Yet, he seemed a bit concerned about me wanting to sleep in a tent and offered me to sleep inside. He expected that it would freeze like -10 and told me that there are a bunch of coyote’s in this area, which are like mini foxes. I thanked him for the offer, but put my food in his car, just to be sure. He gave me pillow and extra isolations material for the night, it is more like glamping than camping this way. Despite the temperature, I was lying pretty comfortable, with my sleeping bag that smelled like kerosene as the only minor disadvantage….
It snowed a little bit tonight, but it started melting already in the morning. I took down my tent and went off towards Amherst. I took a quick breakfast at Tim Horton’s. The environment was really beautiful and reminded me of the Scottish highlands. I realized that I haven’t had a single day with bad weather yet, and the forecasts are looking great as well. So far, the weather gods have been really good for me. Despite the relatively flat route, my left knee started to hurt after 7 days of cycling. I thought it would be a good idea to take a day off shortly. In the Netherlands, I had already contacted Charles and I could stay the night at his place. At 3 o clock in the afternoon, I arrived at his house and I met Charles and Carol. An extremely friendly and hospital couple, just like everybody else that I met so far. They offered me to take a day off at their house and that was just too tempting to resist.
Monday, I will continue my bicycle journey towards Moncton, Saint John and eventually towards the border with the US. I am really curious about how the border crossing will be.