17 July

Took me about 10 minutes to pack up and leave the campground. Amazingly it was still relatively dark at 5AM so I snuck out on parking lights only, barely able to see until I hit the main campground road. Fifteen minutes later I was at the Tim Horton’s to get my coffee and it was PACKED!!!! Thinking it was folks getting ready to leave (had to be at the port by 6:30) I realized these were folks who had just arrived on the midnight sailing from N. Sydney

Not sure if it was indicative of the quality of the food, the policies of the restaurant, or just plain happenstance but EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE exceeded acceptable weight standards. People appear to be generally much larger than a mere 25 years ago and as far as I am concerned …. whatever floats their boat. It’s their health. But I feel sorry for the doctors who have to wade through a sea of fat in order to operate or the poor nurses and CNAs who have to move these people, turn them, bathe them, clean them, etc. when they get either hospitalized or in long term care. You know those workers will feel resentful having to move these tons of flesh and the care given will be much less than optimal. Everyone will suffer for it. I wonder why people don’t realize this? Such a shame that people are so self-centered on their own well-being that they give no consideration to the consequences of their satisfaction and pleasure. And it’s worse in the US.

At 8:30 sharp we severed the port bonds and headed out. Bye Bye, Newfoundland!!!!!

For the first few miles the seas were smooth as glass then the “glass” got crinkled a bit so it wasn’t quite glasslike as we sailed south and it made for a very smooth passage. You could not tell you were on a ship …. unless you went outside and the wind nearly bowled you over because we were headed south and the wind was from the south. There were very few people on board and I felt like I had the place to myself. Sitting on the 8th deck (the ninth was reserved seating and it had plush, wide leather seats and other accoutrements but it was empty and I could not get in there) there were about 150 seats and maybe 20 were occupied so I had no problem finding a place to plug in. Coming over it was over half full and finding a plug-in required luck and tenaciousness.

So far I’ve taken over 3000 photos and have been trying to get a handle on them all. First I separated them by date into their own folders and created sub-folders for the raw files. Last night I found that unmanageable so created new folders that corresponded to the drives I took plus one for Nova Scotia/New Brunswick and one for getting to Canada. Culled another 400 or so photos so am down to 1700 right now. When all is said and done and the trip over, I hope to have that down to 1500.

About 15 miles from North Sydney people began to comment about the smell in the air. Turned out to be smoke from the Quebec fires!!! That thing has been the bane of my existence up here. And it suddenly turned all my plans on its ear. Instead of driving north on the Cabot Trail via Englishtown Ferry, I headed to Baddeck to the Information Center to inquire about the weather tomorrow. If crap, I head to Halifax. They said it was supposed to be sunny, checked the whether and backtracked. Rain. So, goodby Cape Breton. Now to decide: Halifax or Hopewell Rocks. For that I must await the morning to double check. The Info Center also called the campground I stayed in last time here on the 28th and when the gal inquired about the wi-fi sites she listened for a bit, hung up and told me they have plenty. It was 6 miles away to the south and when I arrived and inquired they said, “sorry, no wi-fi because their provider said there’s a problem. By then the info center was closed or I was tempted to go back and tell them they lied to me and get all irate and upset….just to prove a point that in their business they should not lie. But they are a 9-5 operation and by 9 tomorrow I’ll be long gone.

As it turns out the park manager was very accommodating and offered to let me use his own set-up (I needed to verify weather and was waiting for an email response to another issue) and when I went to take him up on it the service was fixed for the entire park. But it’s the principle of the thing re: the Visitor Center.

What a difference 110 miles of water makes. It’s much busier here. Much more crowded, more sirens, more traffic, more people. UGH!!!

Food is very expensive here, too. Go into a grocery store and they start the “psyche” by giving you small carts. I guess you can’t fill them very much and fell psyched into thinking your shopping is done so you leave …. with a huge bill. I got a smaller bag than a Wal-mart bag and paid $30 for bread, tomatoes, cheese, 20 oz energy drinks, chips and a small bottle of mustard!!!

I think if they had big carts Canadians would keel over of heart attacks when the bill was presented.

More “Canadian Culture” news: a radio program give me the impression the station was advocating for people to turn each other in for texting while driving. Classic police state mentality advocated by the state-controlled arm of the media. People actually are calling in to demand that police DO SOMETHING about this “menace.”

It’s one thing to get caught by a cop on the phone. it’s quite the other when you have the local citizenry acting as cops finking on one another. What’s to prevent people from calling the cops out of spite? A kid calls the cops on his father because he’s grounded. An angry spouse ruins the other spouse by false accusations. That’s basically what’s being advocated. And where is the burden of proof? But that’s what they want.

Maybe this “police state” mentality is already firmly ingrained in people here. As I drive down the road I can’t help but notice how 99 cars out of 100 will pass and NOT ONE PERSON in that car is curious about who they are passing or who’s passing them. I can understand a certain lack of curiosity if, in Florida, all I see are Florida cars. But I would be curious as hell if I saw one from Hawaii. I would wonder who they are, what they’re doing here. I would want to know what they look like: are they young, old, got kids, etc.

Here, it’s as if everyone goes around with their heads down not trying to attract attention. No curiosity. It sure is an awful lot like what we read about what it must be like under a “stasi state” like East Germany, the Soviet Union, North Korea, etc.

18 July

It rained all night and was actually quite peaceful and great for sleeping.

Being here is a mirror image of the first visit on the 28th. Foggy, cloudy, rainy.

Headed towards Halifax with the intention of finding a place to get the van’s oil changed. Instead of Halifax, stopped in at a Canadian Tire in Truro. They told me they could do it for $34. I bet I do not leave here for under $55 after taxes, fees, eco-charges, etc. They were efficient and when I listened to them talk to other customers they appeared sincere and were not the types to tack on unnecessary work to fatten the bill. They even recommended alternate solutions to problems to keep drivers on the road longer before doing the work. Good folks.

Total bill? $53. The frakkin’ thieves masquerading as government bureaucrats and feel-good “eco” nonsense tacked on $19 to my bill.

The latest outrage in Canadian news is the release of a study done in the 1940s that alleges the Canadian government purposely malnourished Native kids to study the effects and get to the root of why Indians had such chronic health problems. People are OUTRAGED that this took place and want justice. Frankly I do not understand the outrage. Sure, they should not have done it but like so many things in history, this is HISTORY. It’s done. It’s over. The Canadian government is not doing anything like that now nor have they for decades. It’s like these folks have nothing better to be pissed off about.

Not sure why but gas here is more expensive than in Newfoundland. I would have expected it to be the other way around given how everything has to be shipped to Newfoundland.

Here’s another observation: Canadians seem downright guilt-ridden when it comes to their native population (First Nation.) Lots of the signs have native translations on them and there are all sorts of road signs directing drivers to First Nation Cultural Interpretive centers. Not sure what all the hub-bub is about but everything I’ve seen or read so far indicates that, yes, the Indians do have a culture. But what was it? The fact they worshipped “spirits” for trees, mountains, buffalo, water, etc? They all do that. The fact that their’s is a culture that is predominantly violent and frequently engaged each other in wars and skirmishes? Almost all of them did that.

Did they invent math, physics, guns, astronomy? No. They did not even have a written language. They were, truly, savages. They lived in crude shelters, were nomads, had no constant source of food so often went hungry. Yes, there were some that engaged the white man but even in that two arguments can be made: 1. they did it in the hopes of either getting advantage over other tribes or 2. they were truly desirous of cooperation and peaceful co-existence. And for either of those you have folks who will say they were 1. traitors for betraying their people or 2. “visionaries” for attempting to be UN-type “ambassadors.”

It’s silly, really. But Canadians seem obsessed about this. Maybe they do it in order to placate the Natives. Who knows. And I never will. Part of the Canadian “multi-culti” disease about to destroy them like it is England.

The day cleared beautifully but there were some some powerful winds blowing, too. I guess their job was to kick the clouds out.

Made it to Hopewell Rocks and walked on the ocean floor. I think it’s about a 35-40 foot tide here from the center of the bay’s low point to the highest point on the shore. People see these numbers and expect the water at the high tide line to drop 35-40 feet at THAT spot but the land gently slopes into the bay from the shore and whereas it may not appear to be such a big deal in photographs, actually seeing it with your eyes it what makes it amazing.

It’s the equivalent of moving 100 billion tons of water twice every 25 hours through here!! And it moves about 6-8 vertical feet per hour depending on what phase the moon is in.

Saw lots of “flowerpots” which are rock formations that used to be solid walls but the sandstone had fractures that through time eroded making parts of it unstable which then fell off leaving the harder stone standing by itself. Gradually, with time, it too, will erode at the base and fall over.

Speaking of over, short of going back tomorrow morning to catch a couple of pictures at high tide, I am out of here.

Headed home.

5 Responses to THE RETURN HOME

  1. thirdnews says:

    “Did they invent math, physics, guns, astronomy?”

    No one invented math, physics, and astronomy. They were simply observed, and explained through the use of tools. So when Indians observed cedar wood has having a negative charge, and used the branches to prevent lightening fire, they were not claiming anything other than astuteness

  2. antzinpantz says:

    Please, stop being so pedantic. You know what I mean.

  3. thirdnews says:

    Are you calling me donnish? 😉

  4. redneckgeezer says:

    I thought Al Gore invented everything.

    Have a safe trip home.

  5. McMurdo says:

    Have a safe and uneventful trip home Vilmar.

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