The Great Canadian Road Trip: Part 4 – North Sydney To Corner Brook

After leaving “The Bates Motel” and getting some breakfast at the last Starbucks for hundreds of kilometers, we made our way to the ferry dock to catch the ferry from North Sydney NS to Port aux Basques NL. The cost of the crossing was $533 return and I would recommend booking in advance at this website. I’ll let my wife tell you all about the experience and supplement it with pictures from the Nikon COOLPIX W300 camera:

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We are now hours away from our destination of Newfoundland and have arrived at the ferry docks on time for boarding. We can see our ferry The Blue Puttees and it’s the biggest ferry dock and ferry that I have seen. The Newfoundland Ferry is organized with the efficiency and security of a border crossing. Boarding the ferry for the first time is an experience in itself and I am taking in the view as we drive up to the mouth of this large vessel. Prior to boarding we had booked a 2-person berth cabin and we had packed our carry on for the 8 hour ferry ride accordingly. Hubby and I both packed our jackets, laptop bag and phones. Additionally, I had packed snacks, a blanket and a novel to read onboard.

One thing that I should note is that once you drive onto the ferry, you are not allowed to go back to your car for any reason. Thus you need to make sure you take everything that you need for the 7 hour crossing. Now back to my wife’s account:

Our cabin was kitted out with amenities such as shower, bathroom, outlet (for our electronics), ferry radio for ferry announcements, TV with cable with two single beds complete with linens and fluffy pillows.

The ferry was fully equipped with observation decks, smoothie café and drinks bar, fully licensed restaurant, vending machine, gift shop, and kids play area. We enjoyed lunch aboard the restaurant. I had the baked cod served with mashed potato and steamed vegetables. Hubby had their burger and fries.

One amenity that is missing is onboard WiFi. There is WiFi that you can use while you line up and wait for the ferry, as well as inside the ticket office. But once you’re on board, you’re out of luck. The closest thing to having Internet access was a Rogers 3G and LTE connection that was present in the first 2.5 hours and last 2.5 hours of the crossing.

We arrived soon enough and began the drive to our hotel. It was late by the time we arrived at our hotel to check in however the hotel restaurant was kind enough to stay open a bit later for those of us who needed dinner after a long day traveling. At the Crown & Moose (the hotel restaurant) I had ordered their seafood chowder and fish n chips.

The hotel in question was the Greenwood Inn & Suites in Corner Brook. It is decently priced at $179 a night and it fit our requirements of allowing us to keep our road bikes in our room. Plus it’s in the center of Corner Brook which gives you options for restaurants and the like. Oh yeah, the WiFi is speedy. Downsides? There aren’t enough places to easily plug in your laptops and other gizmos. Case in point:

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This is underneath the desk that I had my laptop on. This is where I ended up recharging our Garmin Edge 520 cycling computers, our rear safety lights for our bikes, or as pictured above our Belkin and Asus battery packs.

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There was a power port just above my laptop which I could have used for recharging our various gizmos. But I was using it for the laptop’s power adapter which barely managed to stay plugged in. Besides, anything that didn’t have a long cable would hang down and cause the charger to fall off the wall. Thus making the floor underneath the desk the better option.

There were a couple of oddities as well:

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This is the first place since this place in Australia that has built in Ethernet.

The other thing is the design of the bathroom. The toilet and shower is on the left side of the room next to the door. But the sink and vanity is on the right side of the room directly across from it. I’ve never seen that before and found it to be odd.

Tomorrow we’ll head up to Gros Morne to begin our hiking and cycling adventures. Stay tuned for that!

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