Posted by: Silver | September 18, 2012

St John’s to Inverness

St John’s to Placentia:
Cycling distance: 52 km
Ascent: 449 m
Cycling time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Placentia to Sydney:
Cycling distance: 48 km
Ascent: 472 m
Cycling time: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Sydney to Baddeck:
Distance: 86 km
Ascent: 888 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 45 minutes

Baddeck to Inverness:
Cycling distance: 33 km
Ascent: 382 m
Cycling time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

I may have finally turned round to start the ‘home stretch’ back to Ottawa now, but the pace certainly hasn’t let up at all. Several more back-to-back days of cycling, with several formal and informal presentations thrown in for good measure as well, have all been enjoyable and beneficial for SOS, but have left minimal time for anything else, including catching up on the sleep I almost entirely missed out on during the ferry crossing back from Newfoundland. It’s my own fault of course: I completely forgot the Canadian attitude towards prohibitions, so when the safety video said I wasn’t allowed to sleep on the nice, comfy, padded benches in the bar area of the boat, like a good Brit I believed them and instead tried unsuccessfully to find anything even vaguely resembling an acceptable sleeping position in the ‘reclining’ seats whose designer was clearly a double agent commissioned by the airline companies to make their seats appear comfortable. The Canadians, of course, all slept in the bar…

Happily, though, I have cause to devote most of this entry to some heartfelt thanks towards several businesses whose generosity brought a few moments of personal enjoyment into my busy schedule just recently:

First, there was Philip’s Café in Placentia: not only did Philip not raise any objections to my shamelessly sitting at his counter and hooking into his wireless network to check my emails before boarding the ferry, but when I explained what I was doing, his assistant insisted on giving me a chocolate brownie for the journey as well! Did she know they were my favourite?!

Then, when I got to Inverness, I found that my wonderful host there had been busy rounding up some lovely local support: not only did she persuade the Mull café and deli in Mabou to provide me with a complimentary meal (funnily enough, that involved a chocolate brownie too… ;-)), but she also arranged free entry for me to the regular Sunday afternoon ceilidh at the Celtic music interpretive centre just down the road in Judique (well, it is ‘just down the road’ if your host is also kind enough to drive you there – by bike it would have been about three hours!). Many readers of this blog will doubtless be entirely unaware of how much I love to dance since it’s one of the many things that I get almost no time or opportunity to do on this journey, so this was a rare and very precious treat for me. 🙂

And of course, as always, there is my unending gratitude to all the people who have hosted me and who have made donations to SOS Children’s Villages since my last post – thank you all!!

This is the view from Kelly’s mountain, outside Sydney. At 240m, it’s possibly one of the smallest, gentlest passes I’ve been through, but Nova Scotians do seem to be very proud of it, so I didn’t like to say too much… 😉

I knew I would be a little early for the autumn colours in Cape Breton, but my ride through the highlands between Baddeck and Inverness was still beautiful

A beautiful end to a beautiful afternoon at the ceilidh 🙂



  1. Keep on dancing, Silver! and thanks for sharing your beautiful journey for SOS…. we are so very grateful.
    Glad you are being so well-hosted and well-received!

    ps, happy to know that you are being treated to chocolate brownies! my sister in chocolate, lol.

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