Nova Scotia, PEI and the Maritimes Holiday
Getting the show on the road: Montreal to Nova Scotia
Fundy National Park proved to be an interesting experience. Initially I was quite disappointed to find that it was yet to reopen for the season but - despite the visitor centre being closed and no park literature available (I presume this is a seasonal thing?) - I soon realised that it was far from being a problem. In fact it turned out to be a very big bonus indeed as I had pretty much had the place to myself and it was wonderful to be able to explore a number of trails without the usual hoards of loud Americans . I enjoyed my visit enormously and, as I left to head to the Hopewell Rocks, I could feel that I was starting to relax at last.
I probably shouldn't have been surprised to turn in to the Hopewell Rocks site to be greeted by the now familiar ‘Ferme' sign. However I wasn't going to let that out me off so I climbed over the barrier and made my way down on to the beach regardless. Apparently there have been numerous occurrences of people getting caught out by the huge tides here and getting swept out to sea so I kept a close eye on the rising water as I wandered around the rocks but I've got to believe you have to be pretty stupid to get caught out as it really doesn't come in that quickly.
I was tempted to stay at the hotel next to the rocks for the night but I really wanted to reach Moncton so that I could witness the tidal bore and I pressed on once again. Moncton itself surprised me a little, I have to say, for it was a really lively little place; something that I'd not been expecting. I saw the tidal bore this morning and, although I was a little underwhelmed, it's kinda cool to have seen it, I guess.
In fact, if closed had been the story of the past couple of days, underwhelming really must have been the word of the day today for the whole day was taken up with a decidedly average drive down into Nova Scotia. There was nothing actually wrong, you understand, I'd just hoped for rugged rocky coastline and exciting landscapes. What I got was endless views of muddy rivers and numerous opportunities to stop and hear stories about the tides.
Earlier in the day I had been planning on heading to Kejmkujik National Park and finding a place to camp there but, worn down a little by the constant pushing on, I decided to call it a day and followed a sign from the main road to a motel. I seem to have lucked out with a fantastic little motel in the town of Annapolis Royal - in fact I seem to be its only resident tonight! It seems that there's quite a lot of things to do in the immediate area so I'm gonna go have a look for myself tomorrow morning. One of the attractions is a tour of North America's only tidal (yeah, yeah, I know!) power generating station which could be worth a visit. If it's open, of course!
Originally published on - and Copyright retained by - Boogity, Boogity, Boogity
Previous: Ready for the off... kinda!
Next: Finding my feet in Nova Scotia
Last edited by UKCraig; 05-18-2009 at 07:43 AM.
Well, you're off!
I hope you can shake off your funk and enjoy yourself. I can definitely relate to the sadness of leaving a buddy back home. Even when we're just gone for a few days, I miss my dog. We're probably going to be gone for about 3 weeks in June/early July and the only thing marring my excitement is worrying about her while I'm gone. They are like our children, aren't they?
Remember, there are no boring roads, even if its muddy tidal basins instead of rocky, rugged coastlines. ;)
I am wondering if the way I was feeling yesterday was down to some weird form of reverse jetlag and too long in the car on my own? So far I've done something like 1400 miles but today I only did something like 150 or so and they were all on backroads.
I've found a lovely little B&B for this evening and will try and post another update later this evening whilst I have use of a 'proper' PC. My frustration with my little travel laptop yesterday almost bought an end to it. All I can say is thank god the window of my room wasn't open as it may have made a rather swift exit from the room!
Megan wants one
Ever since she first read about your new gizmo, she has wanted one -- So inquiring minds want to know -- what makes it tough to use?
Originally Posted by UKCraig
I just have fat fingers and a lack of patience! I tried the eee pc first but didnt get along with Linux so traded it and bought a Vye instead. That's a Windows machine with a 120gb hard drive and touch screen... all kinda cool but the screen is pretty poor so its a strain on the eyes and the keys are too small so its a strain on the fingers.
I can't fault the idea but I'd suggest going for something just that little bit bigger. I saw a lovely Sony Vaio at the airport but it was 3 times the price of this so it's about compromise.
Finding my feet in Nova Scotia
Finally. Day five of my trip and finally I think I'm there. Not there - I have been there since Thursday evening - but there. At this time yesterday I was felling a little stressed, worked up and worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew with this trip but, as I sit here in the rather lovely Bayview Pines Country Inn in Mahone Bay Nova Scotia, I finally feel at home. I'm not sure if it was some sort of jetlag, being in the car on my own for so long - constantly driving - or if it really was the scenery not living up to my expectations but - whatever - I'm a happier boy this evening.
One thing that I've noticed as I've travelled down through Quebec and New Brunswick has been the absense of a certain - I will choose my words carefully here - amount of enthusiasm from the people who I've spoken to. Prior to this trip I have mainly travelled in the Southern United States where the people who you bump into are falling over themselves to treat you as if you were their best friends. It's charming up to a point but sometimes it can be a little too much so, initally, I was pleased to discover that Canadians are a little more reserved. However, after a couple of days, I started to long for the openess of the South so it was with great delight that I met the good people of Nova Scotia.
The day started with a walk through the rather charming watefront town of Annapolis Royal before I hopped back in the car and headed south along the Kejimkujik Scenic Drive to the national park of the same name. Whilst the Scenic Drive wasn't all that scenic the welcome I received from the park rangers - particularly Trina who sold me my parks pass and who couldn't have been any friendlier - and I left the visitor centre with a big smile on my face even before I had stepped foot on any of the parks trails.
I have got to say that I like Kejimkujik. It is a small park and tricky to get to but maybe that's part of its attraction. It was fully open - something, that I am discovering, is quite rare at this time of year - but I had the place almost to myself (with the exception of the swarms of black fly which Trina had warned me about). As someone 'bought up' on the parks south of the border I have grown used to huge RVs roaring through the parks and huge fat people sweating their way up the trails so I am feeling somewhat spoiled with this latest development.
From there I headed south to a town called Liverpool - well, I just had to, didn't I? - which I liked enormously. From Liverpool I followed the 'Lighthouse Route' along the coast toward my next destination - Lunenburg. I have to say that this leg of the journey was exactly what I had expected from Nova Scotia; rocky coastline, rain, fog and the smell of salt. It was absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed every minute of the drive, stopping regularly for photos. I took the ferry across the LaHave River and, before I knew it, I was in Lunenburg.
I spent several hours walking around Lunenburg and the welcome - like everywhere else I'd stopped today - was very, erm, welcoming. I have to say that I liked Lunenburg a lot. As the literature will tell you it is like stepping back in time and I found the mix of historic old building, the fascinating story of the place and the working docks a fantastic mix. I will quite often stop by a war memorial when I see one - I think they tell a fascinating story - but I was particularly moved that Lunenburg had a memorial to all the men lost whilst working in the local fishing industry over the years. Some of the stories it told were quite tragic; there was one family whose name that cropped up numerous times - over the course of over 80 years - and then there was the story of one night in 1927 when over 80 men perished in a storm.
I had planned to stop in Lunenburg overnight, expecting numerous old bars with roaring open fires and old sailors telling stories of the sea to anyone who'd listen, but was surprised to discover it was actually quite a quiet little place. Maybe it was shut for winter?
After pondering the idea of stopping on a local campground, whilst sitting on the dockside eating pizza in the rain, I decided I'd really rather spend the evening in a warm dry bed and so decided to head onwards towards Halifax. I was quite taken with the town of Mahone Bay a short distance down the road and, spotting a sign for a local inn from the main road, I decided that this would be a most agreeable place to spend the evening. I like it here a lot and feel quite at home: maybe it's because my hosts are fellow Brits who are treating me exceptionally well or maybe I just got over whatever it was I was feeling yesterday. I could see myself staying here for a couple of days...
Originally published on - and Copyright retained by - Boogity, Boogity, Boogity
Previous: Getting the show on the road - Montreal to Nova Scotia
Next: Halifax and Peggy's Cove
Last edited by UKCraig; 05-18-2009 at 07:41 AM.
Now THAT'S the Craig we all know!
Glad you're in the groove now.
My dad used to go to Halifax and other places in the Nova Scotia/Newfoundland areas on business and loved it there. He said the scenery and the people were wonderful. Glad you've found 'em! :)
I'm not sure where it's at over there but I think the dig of the Viking settlement would be interesting to see.
I anxiously await further installments from the new, old Craig.
That's such a cool photo of the two churches right across the street from each other. I rarely see that.
glad to hear your settling into the trip now.:)
must of been wierd going to liverpool without a lot of curly haired scousers running around shouting "calm down! calm down!" haa!haa! [or was there?]
They come in all shapes and sizes, scousers! One of my mates from the BTCC days (Paul O'Neill) is the biggest scouser ever... very very funny :) Thankfully none here tho... don't think I could stand it lol
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