Posted by: mckenzie68 | July 27, 2010

Back in Canada … July 22 or Day 95

We were looking forward to today, as today was the one that would bring us back across the border into Canada.  Our ride to the border at New Brunswick was really nice.  The weather was great, the road fun and the scenery pretty.  All was good until we rolled up to the CDN border.  The guy who was manning the booth was one of those guys who feels his job is major and he isn’t going to let any body get away with anything.  Rules are rules!

Ray and I pull up side by side (this is how we’ve gone over the border on our bikes for the past 10 years including this trip), where we are promptly told to never to that again.  We must go through single file.  Ok.  Must be a new things we thought, no biggie.  So Ray hands our passports to the guy who then asks Ray when he crossed into the USA.  Ray explains that we came over April 20 on our tour then had to hop in a week ago to see his terminally sick Aunt, but not on the bikes.

The guy asks what we have to declare and Ray (being the honest guy he is) tells about the bike tires, a few t-shirts and a couple of other bits that would total to $700 max.  The guy then smiles and says that Ray is well over the $400 allowed and will need to go over to the second checkpoint area to provide receipts and pay tax.  ??  Ray said, “Pardon?  Why?  We’ve been in the States for 3 months.”  The guy replied, “No, you’ve been in one week.  I don’t care about the bikes, I care only about you.  You were out then back in.  So…you will be providing all your receipts.  I hope you can find them.”  I almost fell off my bike.  Ray tried again to explain our situation with Aunt Lil, but the guard wanted none of it and told him to get on over the the second check point.  At which point he called in a relief so he could go through Ray’s receipts with him.  It’s true!  Talk about adding insult to injury!

So then it was my turn.  Me, being shy and demure, told the guy and his relief female guard that they make it very challenging for honest people like Ray and I.  The female said to me…are you ready for this?….”Well, you should have brought your motorcycle tires with you when you crossed the borders with you last week.”  WHAT?  I will admit that I looked at her thinking she must be joking, however she was not.  I said, “Yes, that would have been the way, as removing the tires from a motorcycle is a simple process.  I should have thought of that.”   Then I told them that all I had to declare was my motorcycle tires – well under the $400 that I’m allowed and the guy waived me through.  He wanted to get on to Ray anyway.

So, being that Ray is the super record keeper that he is, he pulled his receipts out and headed into the office.  When Ray got in there, he again attempted to explain why this wasn’t right and after a bit, the guard finally figured out that he wasn’t right about what was happening.  He let Ray go and actually came out to apologize for the problem.  He admitted that he really wasn’t listening and that his only thought was the ‘rules he abides by’.  But once he listened to Ray, he realized that Ray wasn’t being inappropriate.  It was a good thing and I think he was a big guy for that apology.

We finally were on our way and we headed to Saint John for the day.  We had decided to take the ferry to Digby which left at 8:45 pm.  Since we had the time to kill, we check out Saint John.  They have this cool natural wonder called the “Reversing Falls” or “Reversing Rapids” where water from the Saint John River meets the waters from the Bay of Fundy.  The waters meet and collide as they try to go around each  other.  It’s really very cool to see!

When we got back to the ferry terminal, we met a nice gentleman from Edmonton (Brent) and his wife who were also on a motorcycle adventure of their own…an interesting older gentleman who was coming across in his VW camper…a few young gentlemen who were working the ferry terminal with the direction of the cars and a few others.  When it was finally time for board the ferry, we were put on almost last (weird for bikes), but we soon found out why.  The deck had been painted with a slick finish, and was wet…it was the scariest thing I have ridden on this trip.  When I entered the ferry my feet slipped like on ice!  I am proud to say that neither Ray nor I had any incident and were able to park and tie our bikes down.  Then it was up to the deck to chill out for the 3 hour tour to Digby.

We got there on time, a bit more tired and ready to find out hotel in Annapolis Royal (about 20 km away).  At this point it was about midnight and the stars were hiding.  We carefully rode our bikes off and were off into the pitch black to find our room.  It was quite a ride with critter scares, one drunk driver (that poor bugger was messed up!) and a tour of the area thanks to Ray’s Garmin (I think it enjoys torturing him).  We arrived at about 12:30 am, got the bikes stripped and were asleep within 30 minutes.  We were knackered!  At least we were safe, and tomorrow it’s off to meet up with a couple of Ray’s friends from Germany.  I’m looking forward to it!



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