How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Cape Spear Anyone? Anyone?

Finally, some excitement. Francis forgot to counts heads and the bus crept out of the parking spot from Cape Spear. The driver inched forward with caution as other tourist milled about around and in front of our bus. (Single) Angela from Germany came running up the hill. One worried husband tore down the aisle to the front of the bus. “One minute, Francis. My wife is missing.”

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You should have seen our tour guide’s face. Though he’s of a ruddy complexion, he turned the red of a sun-drenched tomato. Angela soon lumbered up the steps breathless, with a lopsided grin on her flushed face. This time, the bus driver piped in. “You thought we’d leave without you, eh?”

The worried husband pointed a finger with relief in his voice. ”There she is.” Thirty pairs of eyes turned to their left—no, more—some wore glasses. The missing woman hobbled up the steep grade waving to the bus. Wait for me. I’m coming. She had turned an ankle in her rush, but not enough for medical attention. As she made her way inside the bus, her husband wiggled a finger at her. Using a stern voice but unable to hide his amusement, he said, “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.” He burst out laughing as did she. The whole bus roared, even Francis.

The woman came this way but towards us

The woman came this way but towards us

Francis then entertained us with a story where he had been left behind in the Dominican Republic. He left the resort in a taxi at 6:00 a.m. wanting to tour in the Catalina Islands. Then he hopped on a bus, then a catamaran, and a paddle wheeler down to a monastery. He was the only English speaking person out of the 60 on the tour. He walked around, took pictures and decided to return to the bus. No bus. Everyone—gone. He walked out to the highway. Waited and waited. Along came a yellow bus with only one seat at the back. Half-asleep, the guy in the next seat pointed to his armband. Francis had a blue one; his seatmate a pink one.

The good Samaritan called to the driver, who figured out Francis was on the wrong bus. He pulled over on the highway and made him get off.

A car came along with some guys inside. “Want help? Want help?”

No, he wasn’t getting into the car but decided to walk. The gist is he came across security guards who could not speak English. A guy came along on a bike. “Trouble, trouble,” he said in English.

Francis saw a car, walked up to the driver and asked, “Where am I?” The guy shook his head.

A small voice in the back asked in good English, “Can I help you, sir?”

Francis could have hugged him. “How far to the resort?

“Three and a half hours.”

“How much to get back to the resort?”

“$90.00 U.S.D.

He finally arrived by 11:00 p.m. All the buses had returned at 5:00 p.m. What a state his wife was in! This story proves how important counting your tour passengers is. After his experience, he always remembered that. Except, this time.

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Cape Spear Quick Facts:

  • Glacier once covered this area (see all the loose boulders)
  • 1836, first lighthouse at Cape Spear
  • East coast trail (hikers come from St. John’s, from everywhere)
  • In summer, tour guides have to force people into bus (stop the whale watching)
  • Bunkers from WWII
  • Most easterly point of North America

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Next on September 30 – Signal Hill

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