Chrissie woke before me but I was to wake very shortly afterwards by her shouts and screams of “it’s snowed, it’s snowed a lot”.
The view of the Port from our apartment was a very different one this morning to the one the previous day.
We enjoyed the snowy scene for a few moments before thoughts turned to our journey that day and what the condition of the roads might be like.
“Should we stay here another day and see if the snow clears?” asked Chrissie but a quick check of the forecast for the next few days showed only more snow for the Halifax area.
“We’ll get going, take it steady and see how things go” I said. I felt sure the roads wouldn’t be too bad as countries like Canada are used to dealing with this type of weather, unlike the UK where six snowflakes can bring the country to a halt!
A short snowy walk to a nearby hotel secured us a taxi that would take us to Stirling. Although the taxi ride was a relatively short one through the towns of Halifax and Dartmouth the roads seemed reasonably clear of snow.
Stirling was sat in the yard waiting for us but he looked very different today.
Having loaded the Land Rover with luggage we had brought with us we set off to the nearest ‘gas’ station to fill up with diesel. With the price of diesel at around 70 pence a litre we filled our main tank to the brim and half filled our second tank. Back on the road and we set our sights on reaching a town called Miramichi some 250 miles away where we would spend our first night on the road.
Leaving Halifax we found the motorways weren’t too busy but there was more snow on the roads and in the surrounding countryside than we thought there would be. We took our time initially, driving like we were a couple of short sighted grannies out for a Sunday afternoon drive, but found that the road conditions gradually improved as we moved further away from Halifax
The snow stopped falling within about 20 minutes of us leaving Halifax, shortly afterwards the motorway became clear of all snow, the skies turned blue and we settled in to enjoy the journey.
It was a reasonably uneventful journey in the end and we reached Miramichi by mid afternoon and made our way through the town to our accommodation (we even had time that afternoon to run Stirling to a local car wash and give him a quick jet wash to remove the salt and grime from the drive).
The town of Miramichi is located on the bank of the Miramichi River and Chrissie and I were both most surprised to see the river frozen over particularly when you take into consideration the size of the river.
Leaving a clean Stirling parked outside the guesthouse that night we woke to more fresh snow the following morning, although not nearly as much as the previous day.
It is Friday today and since leaving Miramichi on Wednesday morning we have travelled alongside the St Lawrence River for over 500 miles, have passed by Quebec, driven through Montreal and Ottawa and, at time of writing, we are in a place called Pembroke, Ontario.
Our overnight stay on Wednesday night was in a town called Rimouski and last night’s stay was in Drummondville, with both towns sitting alongside the St Lawrence River.
We have driven over a 1000 miles from Halifax and are still only a quarter of the way across Canada. Whilst all the roads since Halifax have been clear of snow the surrounding countryside has been snowy for the 1000 miles we have travelled so far. We are are constantly awestruck at how vast this country is.
It has been extremely cold at times and as a result we have yet to camp in the Land Rover (staying at hotels and B&B’s is exactly the type of adventure that Chrissie likes!). We have been to areas of Canada where there are Canadians that speak french only, we have yet to get use to being overtaken by trucks that are the length of a small country and Stirling is getting far more attention than we are.
We have watched from our hotel windows as Stirling has had his photo taken on several occasions, have witnessed drivers nearly cricking their necks as they pass by in the outside lane and we have counted in double digits the number of thumbs up we have received.
We have set ourselves a target of around 250 to 300 miles per day and hope to continue to achieve this for the next couple of weeks (thank goodness for Spotify, podcasts and audible books otherwise there would be an awful lot of I-Spy). This schedule should hopefully give us a week or so to spend in the Rockies in British Columbia before we have to catch the ferry to Alaska.