The Rock did not want to let us go. Due to the extreme and expensive logistics of getting a bus to St John’s we decided to fly and park the bus in Halifax/Dartmouth to wait on our return. The plan made perfect sense in the outside world but Newfoundland has a way of turning the outside world upside down. We arrived this morning at the airport for our 11am departure to Halifax, check in went smoothly, no problem at security, boarding the airplane was a breeze, but take off was another story. The pilot informed us in a patronizing tone that there was something wrong with the onboard computer system so they needed to re-boot them (“…just like you computer at home….”). The re-boot didn’t work, so we all shuffled off the airplane and were told that there would be a thirty minute delay. When that delay turned into a 5pm departure, we made our way to the bar to watch a really lame Wimbledon final. There was a slight upturn in our humour when we found out that the bar had Yellow Belly pale ale on tap. Eventually the 5pm departure turned in to a 7pm departure so we all hopped in to cabs and went to see Ted at the nearest mall. It was vulgar, crude, in bad taste, exploitive, obscene, immature and funny as hell. I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie in a long, long time. Margo opted out of Ted and went to see Spiderman, because she has some long outstanding, unresolved issues with her childhood teddy bear. The plane finally left at 8pm, only a nine hour delay, and we said goodbye to Newfoundland and goodbye to our day off.
I wasn’t planning on going fishing in Dartmouth, but once I heard that they call themselves “The City of Lakes” (or something like that) I figured I should look in to it. I found a decent sized lake a short bike ride from the hotel and spent a couple of hours walking its shore. It wasn’t an ideal setting, sitting next to a highway and I couldn’t escape the smell of dog poo. At least, I told myself that it was dog poo, but I figured it was a lot better than sitting in my crappy hotel room where I also couldn’t escape the smell of something that also smelled liked dog poo, but probably wasn’t. I also caught a couple of small smallmouth bass, had a couple more on the line that surfaced and spit out the hook and also had a couple more strikes from what felt like pretty decent size fish. So it was a positive urban fishing experience.
Dartmouth is now part of the greater city of Halifax that sits gleaming across the harbour. There was a time when Dartmouth was its own city and a nasty place it was. These days it is basically a suburb of Halifax, and looked upon in that light, it’s not a bad place; hilly and treed with a lot of parks and lakes and some funky old wooden houses. There is not much happening in its downtown area, but it has developed its docklands into a people friendly place with a great view of Halifax. If you want to find a groovy little cafe or brewpub or are in the need of a little bit of culture then Halifax is a simple trip across the bridge or a ferry ride away. I decided to try my hand at some mackerel fishing off of the pier. I didn’t last too long…the locals told me that “they’re runnin’ or they ain’t”…and it appeared that they weren’t running.
We had two really good shows. We are finally getting a handle on this and it helps that the audiences both nights were right there with us. We leave the Maritimes tonight for a marathon 1400km trek to Ottawa. It has been a great couple of weeks spent in a part of the country that we rarely get to. The folks down here have been batted around for many decades. This region once had a thriving resource based economy where anyone that wasn’t afraid to put their back in to it could make a decent living, not so anymore. The towns may be a little frayed around the edges and there may not be a whole lot to do on a Friday night for someone just passing through, but the countryside is still strikingly beautiful and the people are about as down-home and friendly as you’ll find anywhere. Come for a visit, you’ll not be disappointed.