The long haul around Nova Scotia

Trip Start Jun 26, 2007
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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Friday, October 19, 2007

Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)

I left Ottawa in a foul mood as I discovered my beloved national football team had lost to Russia. What was worse is that I wasted 2 hours watching the BBC text commentary when I should had been on the road driving the 1443 km to Halifax. Since I was running late and the hostel wouldn't let me cancel the first night I booked, I was left with no choice but to drive the whole distance in one stint (You may realize I don't like money going to waste) and 16 hours later I finally arrived in Halifax. Exhausted after a whole night driving and singing very loudly in my car with the windows open to the Wurzels (I've got a brand new Combine Harvester) in a desperate bid to stay awake and even my initial disappointment of the earlier football result vanished with welcoming views like this....

Sun Rise at Cow Bay, Halifax, Canada
Sunrise in Cow Bay, near Halifax, Nova Scotia 

The rest of the day was a write off as I slept through most of it although in the evening I did bump into two girls who I persuaded into doing a day trip down the coast.

So on the Friday Me, Michelle (a girl who only lives 10 miles from me in the UK) and this German girl (Katrin) headed down the coast to drive along 'the Lighthouse route'. We stumbled across numerous picturesque lakes, bays, caves, coves and lots of roadkill, which is illustrated in the photo album. Otherwise there isn't too much to mention.

Somehow I talked this cute German girl into doing a 3 day camping trip to Cape Breton National Park in Northern Nova Scotia. Although I stupidly arranged to head up on Saturday, the day the Rugby World Cup final is on (D'oh!!). Maybe this sacrifice could open the door for some action that evening. If only it was that easy!! This cute girl on Friday had turned into a bitch over 3 days, but I will give here the benefit of the doubt and put her fiery temper to her red hair. Below is the summary of our Cape Breton trip.

Saturday
. We had planned to leave quite early but I had lent my raincoat to my room mate who need to do some urgent shopping in the torrential rain which didn't go down well with the unsympathetic Katrin who took a dislike this guy. Although it doesn't help when he took twice as long as he had originally planned. So we left Halifax an hour late to commence the 7 hour drive. The driving was pleasant enough through the colourful forests and the rocky coastline in the persistent rain despite some criticizing comments for my driving from my German passenger driver. Finally we arrived at the National Park campsite in Cheticamp just after dusk where only a few people were staying, but despite all my gentlemanly efforts earlier in the day the only active exercise I got that night was cleaning my teeth. Didn't want to push my luck on the first night.

Sunday
.-We got nice and early and started the drive along the scenic Cabot Trail. I agreed to do all the treks she wanted to do with the most notably trail being the 8km Skyline Trek. This trail takes you through the forest which were quite eerie misty in the low cloud before you come across the 300m high plateau with its good views of the coast and golden coloured tree lined valley. On the return leg we had a close encounter with 2 mooses (probably a mother and child) grazing on the long grass. Trek No.8 was a short board walk through the bogs to see the non-existing insect eating plants and trek No.11 was another walk through the forest to see a water fall. On a positive note I got less criticism today from my German colleague however this was replaced by the silent treatment and I am losing the will to keep up with this one-sided friendly conversation, I had covered her family, hobbies, dreams and I even gave her my last chocolate Rolo, maybe one day I might understand girls!!! By the end of the day we had got through one third of the National Park and had pitched my tent in the empty MacIntosh campsite. But despite my best efforts at keeping her talking this evening (I even burnt a CD filled with her German music to listen in the car the next day), she has gone to bed at 8.30pm leaving me in cooking shelter typing up this blog. I retire at 10pm, once again no sign of getting any action. All I can hope for is a friendly Katrin tomorrow.
 Apologies for not describing the individual trails in more detail but I will let the photos do the talking.


A young Moose grazing on the Skyline trail, Cape Breton

Monday
.- The lack of tea in the morning and no shower, results in a grumpy Englishman and I was not in a negotiable mood. On the drive through the park we stop at some lookout points at Katrin request along the northern parts of the Cabot Trail where we were fortunate enough to come across a tree covered valley occupied with hawks and eagles. Since we were going to stop where I wanted to stop today, we ended up with a walk along the beach somewhere near Neils Bay. I even found a romantic waterfall hidden away metres from the ocean but that once again that failed to impress Katrin and I couldn't even talk her into joining me for a shower beneath the falls. A 30 minute drive south and we ended up at a freshwater lake near Ingonish beach or trek No.27. This lake is famous for its wildlife especially its beavers, but to keep the trend of the last few nights going I saw no beaver but we did see some cute chipmunks. Continuing south on the Cabot Trail we did see a Bald Eagle perching on a roadside tree however passing it at 90km/h we never got a photo. It not difficult to miss its big white head sticking out of the trees and despite the protests from Katrin I had no intention in reversing back 100 metres on a main road to get a photo.

We continued for a few hours south before stopping in a provincal park where things came to a head and I told Katrin I wanted a break from her and told her to go for a walk on her own for an hour. That must have had some effect as she admitted that she had been a bitch over the last few days and begged me not to drive off and leave here stranded in the middle of nowhere. Of course that idea had crossed my mind but I am not an asshole in leaving a young girl stranded in the middle of nowhere. 
The rest of the drive to Pictou was more enjoyable and Katrin became alot more friendly, the kind of way she behaved on Friday when I originally thought she was sweet and cute. Since she was also going to Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island (PEI) I was stuck with her for the rest of the day. We caught the 6pm free ferry trip to PEI where the 75 minute duration was spent witnessing the beautiful sunset, the rising of the moon and the appearance of a few stars. All would had been very romantic if I had been there with a girlfriend although that didn't stop some old lady taking a photo of us two standing side by side admiring the colourful skies, probably picturing us as some romantic couple, if only she knew the truth. 

Although it has been an interesting few day a have learnt one valuable lesson - don't go chasing skirt when you should be watching the World Cup Final. Eventually Found out 48 hours late that England had lost a competitive final to the the eventual champions, South Africa. 
Sunset at Pictou, Cape Breton, Canada
Sunset at Pictou
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