Guest blogger Jim, reporting.............
Sep 23, 2017
|Three words to describe Newfoundland - rugged, surprising and unforgettable but all of these words may be applied to an unusual aspect of the island, its POTHOLES. Hilarious but true. Some roads are just potholes, we found our top three locations but truth is at any time there is a large one waiting to capture the unwary. The federally financed roads through the National Parks are of course the exception.
Driving in Newfoundland can be dangerous and everyone has their own tactics to miss the potholes but at least you don't fall asleep at the wheel due to boredom. My response was to be flexible as to which side of the road I would drive and surprisingly, often the cars behind followed suit.
Here the pavements are smooth and the bitumen doesn’t have stones for traction like at home. Over time, usage wears the surface into two tracks and rain water collects there and when water is on the road, it is very easy to aqua plane especially on bridges.
I tried to slow down but the pimpmobile was a beast with amazing powers of acceleration. The trip computer showed a top speed of 300km/hr and we got to half of that without even trying to flatten the accelerator.
A great time was had at a theatre dinner restaurant with a mix of music and skits. In one segment the lead musician was dressed as the Donald and he answered questions as if at a press conference. In an excellent Donald accent, copying the mannerisms and phrases of the great world leader, he spoke about how he was going to create jobs, 150 thousand jobs for Newfoundlanders. Cue raucous applause. These jobs would be in the graphic design and printing industries and there would jobs for printers who would print the signs designed by the former. Then he announced there would be more jobs for the 150k people needed to hold up each sign and the signs would say, POTHOLES. The crowd became hysterical.
At our last b&b the female owner had damaged five wheel rims in the last year and lost the five tyres in that time. She said she didn't speed!!!
If the potholes are filled, the techniques range from perfection to the ridiculous. At times the holes are filled by a team who shovel hot tar from the tray of a back hoe but we also saw workers pouring bags of cold mix into holes. These bags were the size of a potting mix bag and often more than one bag was used per hole. This seemed to be a very inefficient, costly method.
Locals often say that other areas have the worst roads and most criticise the north and west but these areas were the best. In fact, the East which is more heavily populated has the ones to be most afraid of.
We bade the pimpmobile a tearful farewell at St John's airport and are now traversing Nova Scotia in a Jeep and unlike the first month, no heads turn when we roll into town. We are now boring and anonymous.