|Day 44 Manitowaning to Tobermory
43.72 kms @ 23.8 kph for 1 hr 49 mins & a total time of 7 hours. Planned distance 42 kms.
Woke up to very pleasant temperature of about 18 degrees and continued nice to a high of about 27.
Today was a very short riding day of 42 km , including a ferry ride of 1 hr 50 min and was planned as a mini rest day . We left Manitoulin Island on ferry across the entrance of Georgian Bay to Tobermory on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and the entrance to "southern" Ontario.
The ferry times are 9:10am and 1:30 pm . The van had to make the 9:10 ferry , and had to be at the ferry by 8:10 am to keep the reservation and since we were 36 kms from the ferry , the van had to leave by about 7 am . Also it would take anywhere from 1 ½ hrs to 2 ½ hours for all the riders to get to the ferry. So all tents & gear had to be on the truck by 0700 and no breakfast could be served - all the kitchen kit was packed last night . For breakfast we did up boiled eggs last night and everyone could make sandwiches for breakfast and also buy their own full breakfast in South Baymouth - at the ferry terminal town.
Most people got quite excited about the schedule and when I crawled out of my tent at about 610 , almost half of the people had left or were about to leave (having gotten up at just after 5 ).
Anyways - every packed , oranges and breakfast snack bars consumed , Jim & I were on the road by 635am.
Real nice morning however we were facing a very strong southern head wind all the way to ferry . We caught up to Lara & Mark about the same time John & Peter caught up to us and we formed a 5 person draft train and made very good time, changing about every 3 minutes , and maintaining a speed of about 30 kph. We made it into South Baymouth by 745am - lots of time for the 910 ferry and also to get something to eat and check out the shops. Everyone is in by 845 am . South Baymouth is a tourist & ferry town - souvenirs & eateries.
Quite a line up
for the ferry
. We watch the ferry unload - interesting that the second car deck has hydraulic ramps that lower and the cars drive off
. Our bikes are all lined up at the front of the line.
We drive our bikes on first and "tie" them with ropes to the bulk head of the ship. We immediately headed for the cafeteria and our third breakfast or coffee break snack . As we head out the view to the south west is nothing but water - you could image that you were on the ocean - no land in site.
Several are feeling the impact of a early rising & take the opportunity for a rest
. Soon all the bikers are ready for departure
- again we are the first off. There were about 15 motorcycles that got off the ferry and another 12 or so that got on - apparently there was a big Harley Davidson rally & parade in Owen Sound on Saturday & this may be some of that. English Mike made an interesting comment that he was surprised at the large number of female motorcycle drivers & bicyclists in Canada - not so at home in Britain - hardly any female drivers..
We have arrived in Bruce County
and directly into Tobermory
, the Scuba Diving Capital of Canada - so named because of the close presents of two wonderful diving areas - National Marine Park & Bruce Peninsula National Park . Some interesting scenery as Bruce Peninsula is the northern end of the Niagara Escarpment that extends 725 km from Niagara Falls area to Tobermory - the world famous Bruce Trail also is continuous along this escarpment.
Tobermory is a real bustle of tourist activity -
lots of eating & drinking establishments ( with temporary patios and weekend music entertainment for the crowds ) and souvenir shops, boat tours, scuba diving outfits , and other shops . Too touristy!!
Of course we check everything out - have a wonderful ice-cream cone while waiting for lunch - then it was beer and burgers & fries at the local pub.
We continued onto the campsite - Harmony Acres - another TDC special that has been used for many years but that is now essentially closed to the general public. No signs only an address 6798 Route 6 - they did have a temp sign out for us
. Very quite site - real nice showers & washrooms - but no other amenities - especially for a mini rest day - no swimming , no laundry , no phone - nothing . Time to do some reading , get caught up on logs and watch JJ's video on Tour d"Africa that Lewis & Sandy had purchased in the Sault at JJ's hotel (proceeds to programs in Africa) fascinating tour & pictures ( maybe in another life time) .