Channel-Port aux Basques -> Barachois Pond Provincial Park -> Corner Brook -> Burnt Berry Resort -> Bishops Falls -> Malady Head -> Adeytown -> Gushue’s Pond Park -> St John’s
Well, I did it. I arrived at my final destination, St John’s, on a very wet and windy 8th September, three months and two days after setting off from Prince Rupert.
As expected, Newfoundland was one of the greatest challenges I have faced. It has been wet, extremely windy (in every direction), foggy, hilly and remote. I’m a little ashamed to say this final leg has felt a little like a box ticking exercise, to say I have crossed all the Canadian provinces. With little option to take alternative routes I have followed the main highway across the island, missing out on the spectacular scenery and unique settlements along the way. One day I would like to return here to enjoy the island without the pressure of having a transcontinental bike ride to complete. And maybe with a car.
I could at this point throw in some hackneyed phrases about completing the greatest physical and mental challenge of my life, but right now I’m just happy to be finished. Three months and over 7,000km of (mostly) solo cycling has taken its toll. I think once I have had time to reflect and let it really sink in what I’ve achieved I’ll have some more positive things to say. Maybe I’ll write another post once I’ve been home for a while.
I can’t help but think the whole experience will very quickly become a distant and slightly surreal memory. And I’ll strain to remember how it felt to watch whales along the beautiful B.C. coast, cycle by bears without surprise or ceremony, wake to wolf tracks in my campsite, pass through the stunning glaciated peaks of the Rockies, and swim in the ice cold, bright blue rivers that are fed by them. I’m certain time will also fade the sensation of despair from battling with soul crushing winds, alone. I’ll wonder why I ever felt the need to scream out loud at thin air, how a little breeze reduced me to a teary mess sulking at the side of a highway.
One thing is for certain, it has been an adventure. And though the memories may become cloudy and distorted, no doubt I’ll look back fondly at that summer I spent cycling through the second largest country in the world, across a whole continent.