TransLab tips.

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Otis357, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Otis357

    Otis357 Dirty Hippie

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    Have some vacation time to burn this year, and am considering a two week trip around the TransLab. Route will look something like THIS, but open to adjustments:

    Been reading ride reports and have a few questions. Hoping some who have recently done this ride can answer.

    Riding an F800GS with a 2G Rotopax so should have 450km+ range. Any issues with fuel availability along the route?

    The ferry from Argentia to Sydney - do we need to book ahead to get a bunk or can we ride on?

    Whats the latest in the season to make this ride? My options are to leave next week or after Sept 7.

    Feeling a little rushed to leave next week so any other tips, hints are appreciated.
    #1
  2. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander nail bender

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    after Sept 1 ...cooler-less bugs-more rain

    450km is good, I ran out at 395 ish with about 20 to go
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  3. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Likely would not have to book ferry, but yes if you want a bunk. Once you know when you expect to be in Argentia, whether that's in a day or 7, I'd book then.
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  4. visser

    visser Send lawyers, guns, and money. The SHTF.

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    When I did the trip a few years back (in reverse direction as you) I had to spend an extra day both in Labrador because I failed to book the ferry and in Newfoundland as I failed to book the ferry early enough. Apparently "It's just a bike, you can fit it anywhere" doesn't work all the time.

    You can read the blog entry about my trip here: https://www.out4arip.com/2016/02/trans-labrador-highway-and-newfoundland.html
    #4
  5. Otis357

    Otis357 Dirty Hippie

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    Thanks for the link - great report! Ive done the Cabot trail by car years ago and had planned to just skip it and use the time to ride up and check out the Gaspe instead, but your video makes me want to do it again by bike.... will see how my time goes.
    #5
  6. CanadianX

    CanadianX Don’t leave a steaming pile for others.

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    Make time to do the dam tours at Manic 5 and Churchill Falls. BTW you can camp on the church grounds in Churchill Falls. The TLab is mostly about the road but stop and engage with the locals. We found the people a little less extrovert but friendly none the less. Newfoundland is definitely about the people but the terrain is beautiful as well. If you have time wing out to one of the smaller coastal towns. We spent a few days in Burgeo, amazing camping at the Sandbanks provincial park.
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  7. MikefromNL

    MikefromNL Lost among the yuppies

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    It's expensive, but I strongly recommend getting a cabin on the ferry, and book as early as is practical. That route shuts down for the year in late september, so the later crossings can be pretty full and cabins book up quick. It's a long night if you're stuck sitting in a chair.

    Ferries in Canada often reach maximum passenger capacity before the vehicle decks are actually full, so they have to sail with lots of space available, just no more life jackets, rafts etc.
    #7
  8. Peter640

    Peter640 Peter 640

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    Agreed with all above do tours at Manic and Churchill. Lots of bears at Churchill if camping! I ended up In the Church to sleep! Stop at Town Office for advice it’s worthwhile letting them know your there and camp at the Church. Be super careful with food.

    At Goose hunt out the abandoned camp site at Gosling Lake nice camping there or I just jumped into an old shed!!

    450 k no issues but take some octane boost if your Bike likes high octagon fuel! When I arrived at Port Hope Simpson the power was out and no gas pumps worked! I had enough to go on to Battle Harbour and fueled there. I suspect that was pretty unusual! I would have been screwed without second fuel can! R1200 GS 20 l tank plus 9 lites additional. Easily had 100k to spare. Just watch your speed as road was pretty fast but that uses more gas!!

    I rode the route a few days ago and it’s brilliant! Road In perfect first class condition! The 389 is also good. Just remember your a long way from help and watch out for grader crews and soft ridges from grader.

    Book all ferries as early as you can as I didn’t and no cabins for me.

    If you don’t book Blanc- Sablin turn up early and ask for a number at ticket window and you’ll have few issues.

    Keep a beady eye on weather!

    See my RR for pics! On the rock make the effort to go to Fogo Isle, great free camping at Tilting just as you enter town and pass sign look for toilets in left. Sounds like a shit spot!! But It so nice!

    Hunt out Foley’s shed in Tilting for a good time, opposite the oldest house (not the fish house!) museum. Ask for Phil. It will all make sense when your there!

    PS it’s been very HOT up here like 30-32 degrees and humid! I suspect a bloody Big storm is brewing!

    6572A249-8B4F-4C6E-8DBD-22C28CF68775.jpeg

    Peter
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  9. killianm

    killianm Been here awhile

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    I did the clockwise route last year mid september from central PA. I wasn't sure how long it would take to do the gravel. I was able to eat a lot of miles fast on the translab and hit the blonc seblon ferry two days before my reservation. I got on in standby because I got there early. Not all the standby passengers made it on. I was able to spent a couple more days in Newfoundland. The dam tours were closed for the season but just walking around was cool. Camping at the Manic 5 overlook was great. I'd like to go back and spend another week or two in Newfoundland. I'd go again right now if I could get the time off. Everything about the trip was great.[​IMG]

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  10. KKORO

    KKORO Been here awhile

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    I took the ferry to Newfoundland in June this year. Probably different during the later months, but I had no trouble getting a cabin the day before I arrived, both coming and going. I would call and be told all cabins were taken. I asked to be put on the waiting list and was notified before the day was up that I got a cabin. Additionally, I tried to get someone to share the room/cost with any of the other bikers. No takers. They either had a cabin or didn't want to spend the money. Going to Newfoundland I had a 4 bunk room all to myself. Coming back I had a 2 bunk cabin.

    My thoughts on whether or not to pay for a cabin is this. Because of all the signs warning of moose collisions (a couple of signs said there were "hundreds") I figured I'd have to get a motel room before the morning ferry, so I didn't have to travel at night, and also when I got off the ferry, or soon there after, when I got to my destination. Add it all up and it's cheaper to get a cabin.

    Since you'll have a fairly long wait before you get on the ferry and because they put all the motorcycles together during the wait, you'll have plenty of time to check around to see if someone has an open bunk.

    KKORO
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  11. Otis357

    Otis357 Dirty Hippie

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    Im hoping I can pull it off this year but it will be a solo trip. Did you guys use hotels, campgrounds or just stealth camp along the way? Planning 2 weeks to enjoy the sights a little so trying to get a realistic picture of the costs involved.
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  12. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    There is no stealth camping on the rock. Camp wherever you want.
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  13. killianm

    killianm Been here awhile

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    I camped on the nice days and got a hotel when it rained or I was eating up big miles and riding until dark. I'm a wimp when it rains. I hate a wet tent!
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  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Hotels could run you 80-130 a night, campgrounds could be 20-35. As mentioned, there's no real stealth camping as you don't need to hide from anyone. You can camp anywhere. If you want some sort of shower then a campground is a good way to go. If you want to stealth, and get away and go down a quite path, by all means.

    This is what I would do.....

    Newfoundland has A LOT of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes etc. If there is enough space around any of them to park an rv, you'll see an RV or 7 there. Some call this gravel pit camping.

    Find the above, pull in and say to the folks camping there already, "do you guys mind if I camp over there" (they may be saving that spot for George), but they'll say have at it. There's always room for a guest and a tent.
    This way, you won't have to buy wood like in a campground (they'll have a fire going) and you'll save money for food and beer. Though still bring your own beer, but you'll be eating moose stew by the time your tent is set up.

    Take a dip in the water and try some fishing while you're at it. Get a license though.

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  15. MikefromNL

    MikefromNL Lost among the yuppies

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    Another option that I have done in 50+ towns in newfoundland is to stay prettymuch right in the middle of town at the "friendship park" as they are called in a lot of towns. Often have a bathroom, sometimes a fire pit. Almost always a gazebo. People will come out and chat. Sometimes bring you food (especially in the winter).
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  16. Newfiebullet

    Newfiebullet Been here awhile

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    In all the many times I've been down the 389 I've never gone to the lookout on the western side, or even known there was one there.

    Thanks for showing me that, I'll have to check it out next time I'm through.
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  17. killianm

    killianm Been here awhile

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    Mid September it was only the couple in the cage from Australia and me. Some guys on atvs showed up after dark, spent a few minutes looking around and left. Other than a few critters in the woods throughout the night it was gloriously peaceful. The dam is lit up all night so it never gets dark but I had no problem sleeping.

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