The last time that I had been on a really decent voyage was back in 2005 when my good friend Rhys had invited me to be best man at his wedding in South Carolina, and I had ended up for a few days on the Outer Banks.

I'd had plenty of bouts of itchy feet but early retirement due to a major health issue meant that I had no money with which to scratch them.

Nevertheless, if your luck is in then it is well and truly in, and in 2010 a most astonishing series of coincidences, so strange that no-one could possibly make them up, occurred that changed my life for good.

And that's not the best of it either. Talk about impulse purchases - totally out of the blue and from nowhere, I ended up making one of the most significant purchases that I have ever made - and all on a whim. Not like me at all.

As a young adolescent I had devoured the adventure stories of Alistair MacLean and Hammond Innes and one book that remained firmly stuck in my mind was The Land God Gave to Cain. I thus, even at 13 and 14 years of age, resolved to visit Labrador and see for myself the scene of all these adventures.

I'd been idly plotting a route to travel by road through Labrador, even though I knew that it was just a pipe-dream given the eternally-impoverished state of my finances. There was only one road and that came to a thudding halt at Goose Bay, and that was that. The only way out, apart from retracing one's steps or taking a boat, was a 300 mile hike over the mountains.

That dramatically changed in the early spring of 2010 when it was announced that a road of some sort had been built over the mountains and it was now possible to drive (with a considerable amount of care) to the Labrador coast where there was a ferry that went over to Newfoundland.

"We might be on to something here" I mused to Strawberry Moose . "If only we had some dosh".

Back in 2009 my very good friend Liz passed away, and it was her request that I look after her daughter as much as possible, a task that I volunteered gladly to undertake. And in the late spring of 2010 Kit proudly announced that she had been accepted as an exchange student at a University in Windsor, Ontario, in the depths of darkest Canada. Might it be possible that I go over there in September to help her settle in?

"Damn! Damn! Damn! Why don't I ever have any money just when I need it?"

When I moved to Brussels in 1993 I bought a little studio apartment and that was my home for three years. Since then I'd been renting it out and in the late spring of 2010 a young girl was living in it.

She rang me up in May 2010.
"I'm really sorry but I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you notice to quit"
"Why's that?" I enquired.
"Well, I'm at that kind of age where I feel I ought to be thinking about buying somewhere for my future"
"Well, I'll be sorry to see you go because you have been an excellent tenant, but I do wish you well". Politeness of course costs nothing.
"I'm really sorry to be leaving because I love this little place and I really do feel at home there. I don't suppose you would consider selling it to me?" and she mentioned a figure.

Picking myself up off the floor I quickly did some maths. I might be losing the rental income but if I used some of the money to pay off the mortgage on my other place, I'd be in front. Then, I own a derelict building in a small town near here and my mate Terry and I had already worked out just how much it would cost to turn it into two flats. If I spent some more of that money I would get the rental income back and more besides.

And that, my friends, left the sum of about €8,000. And I remember during my working life doing everything that I could and giving up all kinds of things so that I would have some money and have a little fun when I was older.

Now I'm old, and so I started packing.

If you haven't become fed up and you are still here, what you are about to read is a story of my adventures in North America in 2010.

At the moment, though, I've not made much in the way of progress due to one thing and another. Dealing with all of my notes and photographs is not the work of five minutes. I've put the links in as far as I've reached, and you'll need to check back every now and again to see what new links have been added since your last visit.

Another thing that perhaps I should mention is that parts of my route of 2010, particularly along the north bank of the St Lawrence, were also covered in my journeys of 2011 and 2012 and so there is a combined index for that. At other moments I crossed the tracks of my journeys of 2000 and 2003 . It's all likely to become very confusing, but don't worry, you aren't the only ones. I'm confused and I wrote it all.

I shall leave you with the immortal words of the legendary Philaster Chase Johnson who had similar challenges upon his time when writing his magazine, the name of which I have unfortunately forgotten.

"Cheer up. The worst is yet to come."

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