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Our Journey to Lewisporte, Newfoundland

As life often presents difficulties and delays we are trying to make it a habit to go with the flow, trust the universe and make “lemonade out of lemons”.

I purchased a schoolbus already in July 2021 for the purpose to convert it into a motorhome so we have a place to live while working on the boat. The plan was to start the conversion on “SV Hakluyt’s Wanderer” (that’s how we named her) in September. As Wes was delayed moving to Canada we had to put up with ice-cold Manitoba weather (-30 C) in December trying to keep the Wanderer above freezing inside. Wes’ hernia surgery threw another wrench in and instead of leaving the middle of February we were all ready to go on March 5th ! But the Wanderer didn’t start - didn’t crank at all when turning the key - Mr. google found some schoolie forums and obviously this is a common thing if you mess with any emergency windows or doors which seems to happen frequently by accident. We checked them all and couldn’t find the problem. Meanwhile the weather turned into a blizzard and we thanked the universe that we weren’t traveling. Luckily Wes and our friend Peter figured out a way around the safety lock and they short-circuited the starter. Wes handed me a piece of wire and said:”There is your new key” …. OK! Let’s go! … and in the afternoon of the 7th we were on the road!

We drove til midnight and made it to Kenora Ontario. Wes was towing “Hakluyt’s garage” with his truck and I was driving the Wanderer. What a vagabond convoy! Everything went smooth and we made a lot of hours - not a lot of km though. Wanderer and Garage didn’t make more than 80 km/h especially on the roads of Quebec. Seems they never fix their roads …. advantage: no construction areas and cheap fuel. Nearby a little town called Rouyn-Noranda we found the perfect boon docking place for the night with beautiful trails to walk the dogs. It was cold night … and Wanderer didn’t want to start the next morning requesting an outlet to plug in the block heater. After unsuccessfully trying to jump her with the truck and with an external batterie of a tow truck company, Wes had to take the generator out of Hakluyt’s garage, which wasn’t exactly easy, and we decided to stay another night to warm her up. I was really happy for the little break and then in this beautiful spot!

Happily on the road again next morning we made it only to Val d’Or when the Wanderer got too hot and lost glycol. Luckily we were not far from a repair place and crawled like a snail through town to get to our destination. Despite they were fully booked for the week they agreed to take us in to repair the bus so we can continue our journey. That was the good news. The bad news was that the part (water pump) needed 2 days to arrive from Montreal. We were grateful to be able to “camp” in their parking lot between trucks and semis and I was desperately trying to “make the lemonade from the lemons” because this was everything but a beautiful place to stay. Neither Wes nor I got frustrated or mad, I guess in this case this was the lemonade!

Wednesday afternoon we were on the road again and caught up with km quite a bit and were able to reach the ferry to Newfoundland before the bad weather started. The ferry crossing was beautiful and Wes spent most of the time on the deck to take pictures of the ice!

We were mesmerized when we saw land - Newfoundland does not have its nickname for nothing. “The big Rock” is really a big rock! The cute houses and light houses make it look like a painting!

Excited we drove off the ferry and made it to Corner Brook to spent the night in the parking lot of a ski area.

Just a few hours away from Lewisporte! …. it was almost a torture that the Wanderer again was to cold to start next morning and we had to repeat the procedure with charging the battery and plugging in the block heater to the generator for another night. Everything happens for a reason and it turned out that there was another storm that we would have hit if she would have started. On March 21, 2022 we arrived happily and safely in the marina in Lewisporte where SV Hakluyt was waiting for us!


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