The lady (shamefully I have forgotten her name) came out, her clothes a little mucky and looking a little worn, but positively beaming. She’d had a busy morning on her and her husband’s farm helping a cow give birth to a calf. Her enthusiasm radiated from her. I loved the joy with which the birth was received.
We chatted a little about cattle, and she told that if two mothers give birth at roughly the same time, with one of them having twins and the other’s calf dies, you can give one of the twins to the mother with no calf. It made perfect sense but I had never thought about it, probably because a human mother might get a touch arsey if you stole one of her children. Apparently with cows, all you have to do is smother one of the twins in the deprived mother’s afterbirth, and hey-presto (not quite, but I don’t get the intermediaries), she treats it as her own. No thanks, but respect.
The kind lady waved me off cheerily, but warned me that there was going to be rain. I thought that I had gotten good at predicting the weather, but it occurred to me that farmers are outside more often than not and have usually been around much longer than I have.
Though it began to get gloomy, it was a nice cycle for most of the day on small twisting, country roads. Once lunchtime struck, my luck was out. The rain came in buckets, ramping up in heaviness to a level I thought previously unsustainable. I began to get seriously worried about my stuff. My panniers were waterproof, but not take-them-in-the-bath-with-me waterproof.
A Tim Hortons (a quintessentially Canadian doughnut shop/café that can be found pretty much anywhere) came to the rescue. Paddling inside, I ordered a coffee and waited for the rain to burn itself out. Two and a half hours passed. One local commented that it wasn’t unusual for this to go on for up to a couple of days. As I sat trying to work out what to do, I got talking to an older guy. I asked him why lots of the houses had 5-pointed stars on them. “Tacky decoration” he grunted. I felt like there was more to it than that.
Eventually, I decide, instead of trying to camp on the coast as I had planned (it would be miserable in this), to make a break for Moncton as soon as the rain lulled. I wouldn’t need long, Moncton was close. Soon after, the downpour subsided and I made my break. But within 10minutes, it was back to teeming down. Within 15 minutes, I discovered Moncton was over 40km away.
It was too late. I was on the highway, and I was already cold and soaked to the bone. I peered ahead. Through the inescapable rain, my gaze was met and held by the unending, venomous glare of the grey tarmac. I felt nauseous.
It was a frantic couple of hours that ended with me rocking up to Good Life gym in Moncton wetter than I have ever been and asking directions to the cheapest place to stay. An incredibly kind member of staff, Naomi, and a guy named Jason, helped me find just what I was looking for, and in no time I was at a local hostel named C’mon Inn (genius, eh?!). I was thrilled at their kindness and willingness to help.
I had a quiet one that evening and unsurprisingly, slept like a tranquilised panda.