Saturday, 6 July 2013

Tyres tyres everywhere but not one to fit a DRZ400s

The trip from Churchill Falls to Labrador City was uneventful though we did get a police convoy to take us through the fire risk area.  Loads of damaged trees but no signs of fire.  In Labrador City which is the capital of Labrador Province is still very small and had a distinct lack of campsites that have grassy areas for tents.  In the end we pitched up at the rowing club and met the HMA which means nothing to me but he suggested that we camp on an area of grass belonging to the local Sea Scouts.  So we did!  A very pleasant spot on the lake and we even had a shower the following morning at the community recreation centre.  Labrador City was covered by a thin veil of smoke from the forest fires in Quebec Province which made the sun look red.

From Labrador city we crossed into Quebec on 3 July and spent the day riding a very dusty road where the lorries kicked up huge plumes of grit that caused you stop and wait until it dissipated and in the meantime hope that another vehicle did not run into you.  We followed the length of the Manicouagan River along which they have built 5 hydro electric plants Manic 1-5.  Close to Manic 2 we found an Auberge where we got the whole cottage for a decent fee.  During the day we had passed Gagnon which was an old mining town which when the mine had been worked out the town was dismantled and taken away.  It was strange to see curbs with breaks where side roads used to be and lowered curbs that used to give access to houses.  Even manhole covers are still there.

The next day was another long dusty one with some twisty narrow sections and I did see 2 black bears at separate spots along the way.  I for one had my bear spray at the ready when we arrived at the very small settlement of Abreville which has a small store and nothing else.  Nothing apart from a bunk house for the workers of the hydro station/quarry/not sure what industrial plant was there.    Bear spray was particularly pertinent since in my efforts to get fed in my ten I had managed to spill the contents of a can of tuna. tents, .  Apparently black bears refer to this as the next best thing to marmite i.e they like it.  I was in the tent in an effort to get away from the squadrons of mosquitoes that called home the slab of concrete on which we had to do a no light pitch of our tents.

Following a night with pricked ears for our four legged friends and a very hard bed we convinced the workers to allow us to have a shower and then headed for Debeau where we arrived late in the day and found a motel.  After the previous three days we thought we deserved a motel.  The road was not in the best condition and we even navigated a snowmobile trail that proved to be a technical challenge for me.  Today in Debeau it was hoped that we might find some suitable tyres but being a Saturday there were no bike shops open.  Still we managed to wash the bikes and do an oil change and hope that the tyres will last until Ottawa.

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