Monday, July 27, 2009

The Ferry, the weather, the cost of hotels

To get to Newfoundland there's no choice, you have to take a very long ferry ride.

During my stay in the maritimes everyone was commenting on the weather, which is not very good, and they were commenting on the ferries, which were not running on schedule.

My ferry ride across to Newfoundland was schedule to leave dock at 6:30 p.m., and passengers are expected to be on dock two hours early. The ferry finally left shore around 1 a.m.

The crew was so pleased, the crossing, which can take up to six hours took us 4 1/2 hours.

Disembarking took until sometime shortly after 6 a.m.

Marine Atlantic, the company that runs the ferries, put out a press release during my stay in Newfoundland stating that the ferries were now running on time. Each of the ships had broken down at least once during this busy summer season. However, all were now back in the water and things were running smoothly

My ferry back to Nova Scotia was scheduled to depart Port Aux Basque at 10:30 am. It left on time. After we had set sail the captain announced the journey would take 6 1/2 hours because the ferry on the other side would not be leaving on time.

When we reached Nova Scotia, after a sailing time of 6 1/2 hours, we couldn't dock because the ferry scheduled to leave Nova Scotia for Newfoundland hadn't left yet. There we were, trapped on the ferry for another hour or two.

A day or two later, while listening to CBC radio, I heard that there was a fire on one of the ferries. No one was hurt. The ship didn't go down, nothing very dramatic, but the ferries were once again running behind schedule because they were short a ferry.

After my visit to L'Anse Aux Meadows I had a long drive to Port Aux Basque. The weather was ridiculous. At first beautifully sunny. Then it poured. Then very powerful winds blew in. Then there was pouring rain and bright sun at the same time, which created the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen.

I paid far too much money for hotel rooms in the Maritimes. My advice would be to thoroughly research possible hotel accommodations before even thinking about the trip. I wish I had done so, it will take months of living rent free in Mexico to regain the money I lost by spending twice as much as I thought I would.

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