Norris Point to Portland Creek - Suffering in the headwinds - August 4, 2005

||Deer Lake to Norris Point || Norris Point to Trout River || Rain and rest day || Norris Point to Portland Creek || Portland Creek to Plum Point || Plum Point to L'anse aux Meadows ||

Today was a really hard day. Prevailing winds in this area of Newfoundland are usually south-westerly - a pleasing tailwind when going north on the Viking Trail. However, when low pressure fronts come in from the Atlantic Ocean, winds are raging northeasters - or a small craft warning/gale force headwind. This is what we had all this day. Sharon spent most of the day in my draft so I can't say that she had the best view but perhaps, she didn't feel like a cyclist on an uphill timetrial that would never end.

The day starts out bright and sunny. Only the headwind signals the clouds to come. This is the view at Green Point as we leave south Gros Morne and the odd hills crossing into the coastal plains separating the Long Range Mountains in the central spine of Newfoundland's northern peninsular from the coast. See the high cirrus cloud blowing in ... gonna get ugly


This view to the east shows the front coming at us over the Long Range mountains.

Less than an hour into the ride and the sag wagon pulls over in Sally's Cove to assess the situation; Bryn asks' us how things are. Well Bryn, I reply, I can lean over about 10 degrees on my bike without falling over. No-one takes the opportunity to get into the van yet.

Sally's Cove is one of innumerable fishing coves dotting the coast line. Apparently 53 people live here but they have the good sense to not go biking in headwinds. Unlike on the east coast of Newfoundland, which has copious bays sheltered by headlands from the elements, the "cove" of Sally's Cove appears to be in name only and the salt-boxes and boats are tossed around by wind and surf.

Further down the road we take a break at the shipwreck of the SS. Ethie. Victoria area sailors will look at this beach and think they are at Cook Street - although with reddish earth!

Further north along the road we get to Arches Provincial Park. The Arches - natural sea-eroded arches - are impressive. However the most esthetic part of this parks are the wind-bowed aspens juxtaposed with fire-weed.

Here's Susan turning into the park

White-barked aspens in the un-common Newfoundland sun - hope this is a sign that the weather will break for the better!

The Arches .. festooned with tourists.

Finally there's the sign to Portland Creek! I put my head down for the final 5 kms and sprint full force - at 28 kmh wheeeee - into the headwind. Then Sharon flats! Susan passes us and takes first place into Portland Creek. It's all worth it. Portland Creek is gorgeous. Perhaps my view is coloured by my relief at having the torture of relentless wind over but this truly is a beautiful part of a stunning coastline.

Sharon on our last approach to Entente Cordiale - the B&B where we will stay the night.

More pictures of Entente Cordiale. I should take the time to mention that the views from this place are S P E C T A C U L A R. The food is pretty darn good too. Not to say that the Sugar Hill Inn wasn't nice - but it didn't have any view worth speaking of .. a category in which Entente Cordiale had it beat hands down. It seems to me that on the west coast of a province full of spectacular views - you owe it to yourself to stay in a place where you will go to sleep and wake up and be visually stimulated.


Newfoundland .. where sunsets have the most extraordinary colours and seem to go on forever.

Distance covered today is 98.6 kms. Our average speed is 20.0km/h while on the bike; elevation gain is 405m and we were on our bike for 2hrs and 53 minutes - all of it painful. Our total time outside today (counting breaks etc.) was 4 hours and 56minutes.

(Note - the altitude on the graph below is buggered. I didn't adjust the altimeter to start the ride so according to the computer I was riding below sea-level most of the day!)

||Deer Lake to Norris Point || Norris Point to Trout River || Rain and rest day || Norris Point to Portland Creek || Portland Creek to Plum Point || Plum Point to L'anse aux Meadows ||