A hillside of vibrant wild lupine swayed in the northern breeze as I "hauled in" to town. The streets of town follow the natural course of the land just as the homes which are built on the areas of flat ground or exposed rock suitable for a foundation. The distinct angles of house footprints, yards and white picket fencelines reflect the traditional settlement and building process closer in tune to the earth than any governmental authority. Down at the small marina and wharf, I asked an electrician running conduit where I could find a cup of coffee. "Jis up der, The Merc has coffee and muffins" he suggested. The modest building and simple interior looked like a more aggreeable place to drape my dripping gear over a chairback than the gourmet inn and restaurant up the road filled with toursist's faces.
I ordered a cup of their freshly roasted brew and took a seat at the long communal style table. Water droplets ticked off my helmet beside sodden gloves sounding a laden "squish" upon the wood floor. Ohh the delicious nutty taste of coffee warming me slowly from the inside out. A gentleman greeted the barista with a familiar chat and pulled aside a chair across from me. He introduced himself as Tony and we began "yarning" about the weather, town history and the difference between life in this nook of the world and the outside. With the creaking swing of the front door and cold rush of air, he greeted each person entering with a nod or "Good Morning Kyran" as folks hurriedly grabbed their morning cup before continuing on to the theater, B&B, boats or shops. Meanwhile, my body warmed from the coffee but my soul thawed with the conversation. Here was a humble and gentle retired teacher with an informed mind and honest perspective. Kyran sat down alongside us and continued with our conversation for an hour or more. At a nearby table, Steve Miller sipped his coffee and sunk a fork into the rich square of carrot cake. After an in depth conversation about central asian geography, I learned that Steve was the Candaian Ambassador to Kazakhstan. You sure do meet the nicest people on a Honda!
Two hours later,my coffee up was long since empty but I had a full invitation to stay at Tony's house for the evening. We stopped at his daughter Karen's B&B for an introduction and a laminated pamphlet of "A Day Trip up the Bonavista Peninsula", a customized driving tour for heading north toward Cape Bonavista. With this treasure carefully tucked away into my pannier, I bid farewell and began my afternoon adventure north.