May 31 - Corner Brook to Gander, Newfoundland & Labrador

The only bus going east was the one I had taken to get to Corner Brook. The stop was at the Irving gas station over looking the city. Walking from the bed and breakfast it took me about 45 minutes along the crest of the hill and then up the main ring road which followed the ridge across the east of the city.

I had another half an hour until the bus was due to arrive and the girl behind the counter at the Irving directed me to the waiting room located through a door to the back of the small shop between two refrigerators

The waiting room was obviously designed to be the back office of the gas station with the video surveillance monitor resting atop a yellow pages on an old desk in the corner. Delivery boxes lay about between the few chairs where a girl sat between her bags reading a book. I sat myself down on the cleanest chair and pulled out a book of my own.

"Hiking the Dream" by Kathy Didkowsky is a book I have been reading while travelling. The author and her family hiked the newly formed Trans Canada Trail 2000km over 4 months. Kathy’s trip was both an inspiration and guidance to me on my similar trans Canada journey.

By the time the bus pulled up outside 6 other people were waiting to board. There was plenty of room so everyone was able to have a couple of seats to themselves. An in-bus movie was playing as I boarded, fortunately not the same one as before but certainly not much better.

It wasn’t long to Deer Lake where the bus stopped at what they call a ‘Gas Bar’. Basically a gas station and restaurant where the bus emptied in for a 30 minute meal stop. I sat at the counter in the classic American diner style restaurant and was served up a substantial burger and fries. Most of the other people sitting along the counter were truckers with their interesting baseball caps chewing on a toothpick.

The scenery along the way to Grand Falls was not as dramatic as that around Corner Brook. The bush flattened out and the forests covered most of the view. When we stopped at Grand Falls quite a few people got on filling up most of the bus. A university student sat behind me taking the last available pair of chairs leaving a far from sober guy who clambered onto the bus a seat free next to her. I don’t think she was too impressed. The alcohol on his breath coupled with his open shirt was probably not the best company. When the bus steward came around they both bought tickets to St. John’s, so he was in this trip for the long haul.

The next meal stop was at Gander, which is where I departed the bus just after 5pm. The bus stop is located at the Gander International Airport that is right in the small town. Calling a bed and breakfast in town the owner offered to collect me, which I gladly accepted.

The elderly man who informed me of his wife’s recent death had decided to sell the house and felt that since I was staying I should be informed of this. I found that rather strange and wondered if he was planning on selling and moving out during my stay.

The weather was beginning to become rather cloudy and from the look of the ground it had been raining probably most of the morning. It didn’t look like it was going to rain anymore so I headed out for a brief dinner and then to the Trans Canada Trail. The Trans Canada Trail in Gander follows the route of the old railway that used to cross the province. Since the removal of all the tracks the remaining path has been improved in most places to form the trail. I walked 6km of the trail through and out the side of the town during the evening. The mosquitoes were driving me crazy by the time I headed back through town to the bed and breakfast.

Arriving back I went down into the rec. room to watch the Detroit Colorado hockey game. The owner was down there already watching the start of the game with his daughter. This was yet another interesting game from the NHL. Every game I have seen so far has been something that you know people will be talking about the next day. The 7 to 0 win over Colorado was something nobody expected to happen and pretty much ended the game in the first period.

Related Pages

Travel Guide - Newfoundland and Labrador
Travel Guide - Corner Brook
Travel Guide - Gander
Photographs of Gander

Travel Diary

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