Saturday, August 02, 2008

Newfoundland Day 5

Oh boy. Where do I start? When the women at Tim Hortons told us this morning, "You are in for a trek today, ladies," they had no stinkin' idea. It all began with an early morning spin around the Irish Loop. Our second attempt to make it all the way around (too much historical and cultural exploration yesterday).

It all started great with a quick stop at Tors Cove where we spotted more wildlife. Most significantly, these fun little sea otters.

At Portugal Cove South, we hit the beach to see the caplin roll in. These fish spawn on the beach, and most of the males die in the process. There were thousands rolling up onto the beach.

Then, we made our way to Cape Race. That's when it all went downhill. Well, it actually started going uphill. Background: Cape Race is located on the southeast tip of the Avalon peninsula of Newfoundland. It's claim to fame lies in its role in the Titanic disaster. During the fateful night of the disaster, the Titanic wireless operator was busy sending telegraphs from wealthy ship patrons to Cape Race for relay to New York City while ignoring the ice warnings from other ships. After the ship struck the iceberg, Cape Race was the first to receive Titanic's distress signal.

Cape Race likewise became associated with disaster for us. It's a long journey along a loose gravel road to get to the lighthouse, and halfway up, our tire went flat. Flat, flat, flat. I pulled out all the gear and removed the lug nuts. Thank goodness Don and wife came along to help. He jacked up the car, I removed the tire and placed the little donut tire on, and we began to proceed back down the hill.

Side story- Mom forgot to bring her cell phone with her today. I had no cell phone because mine doesn't seem to get a signal anywhere around here. So, no cell phone.

Back at the Portugal Cove South Visitor Center, a wonderful lady named Carol helped us out. She made us take her cell phone in case we needed assistance en route to the service station. I repeat, she gave us her cell phone. What the heck? These people are ridiculously nice. After a short detour rooted in a misinterpretation of directions (related to Canadians' varied use of the word "right," which is sometimes used in forms other than to give direction), we arrived at Molloy's Esso station where we got a good as new patched tire.

Back to Cape Race we go. Yay! We returned Carol's cell phone and made it to the lighthouse. We celebrated.

But the celebration was short lived. Three quarters of the way back down, the tire went flat again. In we go to the Portugal Cove South Visitor Centre... a second time. As I'm removing the lug nuts, guess who comes walking up behind me...Don. Once again, he jacks up the car, I remove the flat tire, hook up the donut tire, and we laugh. As he drives off, he verifies our direction and makes sure to drive in the opposite direction.

By this time, neither Molloy nor any other tire repair specialist was still in their shop. So we drove the entire way back to St. John's on that donut tire. Did you know they are engineered to withstand speeds of 65 mph and distances up to 3,000 miles? The things I've learned from this trip...

Needless to say, we did not complete the Irish Loop. Two strikes, and I think we are out. The whole episode was really funny, but I just don't have the time or mental capacity to do it justice right now.

For whatever its worth, when we returned the car to the rental company tonight, we discovered they had three cars with tire problems today.


At 3:23 PM, Blogger Christina Regule said...

Thanks for the play-by-play vacation with your mom, Heather! WWHT ("What Would Heather Twitter") could have been the techie twitter lesson for the stranded car and tire episode! Glad that Regena got to Sea-Kayak, too!


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