to St Barbe
Up early on dull morning and quick breakfast before getting shuttle
to airport to pick up car. Back to hotel, packed car and had
second instalment of breakfast before setting out for hard drive
along 102. Grabbed cup of tea at Tim Horton's at Canso Causeway
before crossing to Cape Breton Island. Called in at St Peter's
Canal then on along Highway 4 on south side of Bras d'Or Lake.
Few views of lake but mainly boring forest with a lot of roads
works. Arrived in Louisbourg and had wander around looking at
interesting old buildings. Poor on food shops but Pecks at far
end of town had something to keep us going for a couple of days.
Good liquor store with local wine. Midtown Cottages, Louisbourg.
Large unit, comfortable but cooking equipment limited. Internet
didn't reach our cabin (again).
Grey, miserable, slightly damp day. To Louisbourg for opening
time and got first bus into site. Amazing place with really excellent
staff with deep knowledge of subject. We didn't take a guided
tour but felt it better to make our own way round and natter
with staff. There all day and got last bus out.
Dull and horrible morning. Went to Louisbourg lighthouse, pleasant
barrens country with what looked like nice walks (on a better
day) along coast. Drove Marconi Trail via Main a Dieu and Mira
Gut with some nice coastal views. Back through Sydney commuterland
to 22 then 223 along Andrews Channel, mainly deciduous woodland.
Beaver Cove was first place to get a cup of tea. Crossed Big
Narrows on what was now a glorious day and on to Highland Village
at Iona, interesting information on settlement development from
knowledgeable staff. Scenic drive round Washbrook Peninsula with
some reasonable views (although they didn't live up to hype in
literature). Used Little Narrow Ferry (cheaper to buy ticket
at Highland Village than on ferry). On to Baddeck (tourists,
gift shops and eateries) on rapidly cooling evening. Dinner at
Village Kitchen, slow (coach party in) but good. Auld Farm
Inn, Baddeck. Large house, well beyond Baddeck, with friendly
owners and tea/coffee available all day. Large bedroom but short
on useful furniture, rather cramped bathroom. Very good breakfast.
Hard frost as precursor of lovely day. North on TCH then 312
via North River Bridge through pleasant woodland with autumn
colours coming in. Indian Brook full of touristy things then
succesion of crafteries as we went along Cabot Trail. Cape Smoky
viewpoint busy. Number of small viewpoints, some better than
others. Ingonish another tourist trap but pleasant round harbour.
Little trail at Green Cove nice. Did scenic tour (good) round
Neil's Harbour which is pleasant place with excellent, if basic,
Chowder House on headland. White Point interesting with track
with good views over barrens to headland. Went down to Dingwall,
quiet place nice for a wander on both sides of river. Through
Cape North to North Harbour with lovely views into Aspy Bay on
a fantastic evening. Getting late so back to Cape North. Dinner
at Angie's Kitchen (only place open) for reasonable meal. Oakwood
B&B, Cape North. This is a stylish 1930s farmhouse tucked
away at the end of a side road a little way from Cape North.
Bedroom snug but comfortable, big bathroom. Comfortable lounge
with tea/coffee, computer and internet. Good breakfast.
Low cloud, steady rain. Drove through mountainous country to
Bay St Lawrence (nice settlement with landlocked harbour) hoping
weather would improve. It didn't, it got worse. Down west coast,
stopped at Lone Shieling Trail and wandered in forest in full
waterproofs. Pleasant Bay a dump packed with gift shops and whale
watching trips. Would probably have been some good views on a
nice day with variety of scenery. At Belle Cote took side turning
to Margaree Harbour and went over dunes to explore beach as rain
had stopped, two bald eagles at end of breakwater. Turned onto
road along west side of Lake Ainslie, in poor condition with
a lot of roadworks. After what seemed a very long way through
forest got to our destination. Tulloch Inn, West Lake Ainslie.
Large, modern in traditional style, purpose built house tucked
away in forest. Big, comforable bedroom and bathroom, internet.
Excellent dinner available (just as well as no eatery for a long
way). Breakfast a bit thin.
Cloudy day with varying amounts of rain. Fast drive to Canso
Causeway then round Chedabucto Bay on 344/16/316. A number of
nice spots with pleasant views along here which would have been
much better on a dry day. Guysborough had a number of interesting,
old buildings. Tor Bay picnic site provided a brief wander and
would have been nice on a good day. This is a very quiet area
which seems to get few visitors and would have been interesting
to explore in good weather. On to Sherbrooke and managed to get
some food for evening meal from Clover Farm Supermarket before
it shut at 6pm. Days Ago B&B, Sherbrooke. Large
house, we were the only people in as owner lives elsewhere. Could
eat in kitchen as long as we did not cook. Good sized, old fashioned
bedroom. Shared bathroom, comfortable louge. Good breakfast.
Cloudy, hot and unpleasantly humid. Went to Sherbrooke Village
which was a disappointment. High staff presence but not particularly
enthusiastic with a definite end-of-season atitude, tended to
get set spiel, found it hard to get answers to our questions.
Sawmill interesting. On along coast to Sheet Harbour with a number
of stops and wanders on way, pleasant scenery but now quite misty.
Sheet Harbour long and bigger than expected. Back in Thyme
B&B, Sheet Harbour. Originally a sea-captain's house.
Very much a family home with a warm welcome, sat in kitchen and
ate our salad from supermarket while nattering with owners. Bedroom
snug with small bathroom. Good breakfast.
Fine, sunny morning for nice drive to Jeddore Oyster Pond and
Fisherman's Life Museum. Got there and dismayed to find coach
but fortunately it was just leaving. House seemed to have full
complement of staff to deal with the coach party, interesting
place to visit. Long chat with staff about NS, fishing, Christmas
Dinner in UK and all sorts of things. Headed on to Musquodoboit
Harbour with a few detours then turned inland via 357 and 212
on our way back to Halifax Airport to drop car. Flight late so
had long scamper for connection at Toronto.
London at midday, picked up car and to Premier Inn, Hayes.
Early departure from Hayes and back home 1000.