Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA – First Port of Call
We skip Peggy’s Cove (where the ‘tourists’ from the ship are heading in buses), and drive to Unesco heritage protected Lunenberg. Lovely route along the seashore – fog stills hugs the tops of the spruce and the pines that come down to rocky beaches along a stretch of small coves and larger bays on the Atlantic Ocean, known as Queensland; little black and white churches alongside colourful clapboard and shingle houses dot very green stretches of countryside and tidy streets of little towns.
Lunenberg in time for the much touted, freshly caught lobster, straight from the fishermen, only to find that the restaurant will open for the season in two week’s time!
Do my friends give me grief (as they settle for fish and chips in one of the many o-so-touristy seafood places that dot the colourful Lunenberg waterfront)? There’s no thought of the hundreds of dollars I’ve saved them by booking the shore arrangements ‘on line’ instead of through the ship.
My greater pain is heading back to Peggy’s Cove and finding lobsters and crabs swimming in tanks in the restaurant where those ‘tourists’ from the ship stopped for lunch.
PICASA WEB ALBUM – Click on photo below to view
|Halifax, Nova Scotia|
Click here to read about my last Visit to Nova Scotia - in 1998
After suffering an overnight ferry, Scotia Prince, from Portland Maine to Yarmouth Nova Scotia with a whole bunch of obesely overweight loud American yobbos, we finally make it. In Halifax, Mick gets an unexpected upgrade to a Ford Explorer 4 wheel drive vehicle, which later he doesn`t want to take ‘off road’ for fright of getting it dirty or bogged, and “we might get trapped”.
We then proceed to drive up to the Normaway Inn, Margaree Valley on Cape Breton Island, set on 250 beautiful acres where we have a little cabin with fireplace, and sunshine finally, after a whole week of fog and rain in Maine.
We have spare time on our hands, so on the recommendation of the Innkeeper, we go to the Beverage Room (Pub) to watch some fiddling and get a taste of the Arcadian culture. The locals are entranced sitting with undivided attention to what I think sounds like two cats fucking, repeatedly.
My main mission is to see a Moose whilst on the Cabot trail. During lunch of seafood in another small fishing town, a Mountie at the next table recommends we drive to Warren Lake to begin our search on foot. While following moose tracks and droppings in a stunning setting of pines and birch surrounding the lake, I hear a loud rumble from Mick`s tummy. He needs to heed an urgent call of nature and starts to panic because the loo is a half hour walk back at the car. I tell him to do as the bears do, so in a practice run, as he has never done this sort of thing before, the log I tell him to sit on disintegrates and makes his urgency greater. I am “dispatched” to find smooth leaves. So much for the moose hunt if they hadn`t heard my laughter, they would certainly have been able to smell Mick, who now doesn`t want to walk any further. My hunt for moose is over.
It is a very lovely stay in the valley for two days but time is pressing. Mick has planned a picnic lunch on the way to Charlos Cove. I think what a wonderful idea, as I know that Mick prides himself on this sort of thing. So that he could watch the ocean and smell the sea, we end up having to be content simply eating a turkey roll behind a bush to protect ourselves from the Arctic gale off The Gulf of St. Lawrence.
On arrival at The Sea Wind Landing Country Inn, totally isolated on 25 acres of private land across a causeway surrounded by the Atlantic, it’s recommended we do another walk, this time to an abandoned Arcadian fishing village. A little way into our walk we realise we have only half the instructions. Mick`s enthusiasm falls dramatically as he has to navigate his way across a stony beach with crooked glasses, “I can`t see David, Lets go home”. I want to press on. Whingeing every step of the way, Mick suffers from a humiliating fall over a broken old Lobster pot to find himself lying face down in the low heath with a splinter in his palm. Again he makes me laugh hysterically; too bad no one was around to see the spectacular fall but me. After assessing his wounds, which he blames me for, and helping him to his feet, we proceed home (again!)
The patient bathes his hand in hot salty water to soften the skin for the operation to remove the splinter embedded in the palm. I have to burn the tip of the needle to sterilise it before he allows me anywhere near him. Before I even touch him with the needle there are cries of agony, and finally, after many tries and his snatching the hand away, I remove the splinter without drawing blood. Mick then treats his hand with antiseptic cream but the bump on his shin goes untreated with no surgery.
An outdoorsman, Mick is not. But despite being the ‘odd couple’, we’re having lots of fun.
Oh the memories… The memories….
Please find that moose for me Mickey!