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Cape Breton Island

Getting back to the hostel in Halifax had sort of a get back home feel, one should not underestimate the sense of homelessness that the nomad life can bring upon people that have been raised in a traditional home-school-work-home fashion. The fact that some familiar faces were there too made it all the better. I caught up with Steff and we had a lovely night out, beer followed by wine followed by beer again, and somewhere in the middle a great steak. All very easy and Sunday, thanks to the rain, even easier, with a diet of catching up on the computing a a coupple of great movies. I choose one of my all time favorite, “Almost Famous” and then Julia suggested “The Fundamentals of Caring“, WOW!

Had to try a poutine. Go look it up and tell me it’s not worth it.
Noce Sunday afternoon at the Jazz
And it was real good too.

Monday morning and all the bye bye done, amazing how hard it can be to say farewell to people you’ve only known for a few days, it’s time to head for the bike shop and get the service done. After that a few hundred kilometres stand between me and the Cape Breton Island, my next main destination.

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The route up from Halifax
This is what you have to have these days to get trade.
What antiquity looks like over here.

I have decided to stay in an hostel again, checking the weather forecast it looks like it might be raining and, given that the cost of a dorm is the same as the cost of camping, I cannot see the point in camping more than I have too. The Bear on the Lake is a great place, the owner comes around only at the week ends and the place is run by three WorkAwayers from Europe: Juliane and Peter (Germany) and Laurine (France).

After spending a lovely evening setting the world to right it is time to “do” Cape Breton. The plan is to ride around the Cabot Trail and stop for a hike at the Skyline Trail. The guys have the afternoon off so might meet me up there.

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The Cabot Trail, or most of it.
First ferry of the trip.
Views on the way up.
More views.
And more.
Now spoiled by me.
This is the colony in the background
They appear not to have cleaned in a while
Second hike, well, more of a walk really.
Path in excellent conditions.
Sometimes too good.
a very shy moose
And then wildlife.
And I thought Canadian squirrels were grey.
Down there the end of the path.
with stunning horizon.
Which changes colour depending on the angle.
Here are the happy workawayers
And then it’s time to go back
And a lady really wants to take a picture for me. I was not too convinced.
Not quite sunset
But still a good view.

I was planning to camp in Meat Cove, right at the top of the island, but I realised that it would leave me too much riding to do in one day on the exit and I elected to turn back down to stay at the hostel again. This, as well as offering me another night of good company, would allow me to get to the only Single Malt distillery in Nova Scotia on the way out of the island.

The only distillery in East Canada
Inside of the copper masher
Fermentation chambers
End products.
And of course a drink

With the distillery visited there is nothing left but starting the track west. I have to stop in Truro to get some stuff for the bike but then, only another 200 km or so separate me from my destination for the night. Not only I am getting out of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia but, after a brief ride in New Brunswick and a very long bridge ride, into a whole new province: Prince Edward Island, where I will spend the next two days.

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Getting to PEI

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