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Saturday, May 6, 2017

LOVING NOVA SCOTIA


Finally, T day has come (as in T for Travel) and we are packing our bags, well John is, and hoping that everything else at home is finalised. We have 2 large packages, one suitcase & a carryon that we will check in. Of course, we have bought really cheap tickets and discover at the airport that we are only allowed one bag each! So, a quick trip to the gladwrap man to make 2 packages one, and the carry on will become an extra carryon! All good, and bags checked through to Toronto. The carry on has oil & fuel filters for GR2 in it, so at every check customs want to open it and fossick through it!

Many hours later we arrive at Abu Dhabi. Thank goodness we don’t have to collect bags, we merely exit the airport, collect our car and head to our hotel, which is actually attached to the airport, so pretty easy for me to navigate to!

After a shower, we head off to explore.  Naturally John has found a great road up in to the mountains – first to Al Ain for lunch, then up the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Rd road right to the border with Oman. Magic. But stinking hot. Must be over 40 deg. Head back to Abu Dhabi via a different route, but I keep nodding off, so we decide to head back to the hotel for a snooze before exploring the city. Woops, we sleep too well and wake after dark, so we see the city full of twinkling lights. Time now to drop the car back, shower and queue up for the next long flight to Toronto.

The previous leg was a Dreamliner, but this one is a much older plane, and it is full of Indians. They cram the overhead lockers until no more can be squeezed in. Guess they all bought cheap tickets like us. Finally, Toronto! And what a grey bleak day it is. All our bags arrive and we change to the domestic terminal to catch our next flight. We cut it so fine we don’t even have seats together, although we do swap…..and finally Halifax. It is a relief to see Chris waiting at the airport, and an even bigger relief to see GR2 sitting waiting for us.

After unpacking etc it is shear bliss to fall in to bed for the night. By midday the next day we are done and hit the road. Once we have food & diesel we are really on our way. Nova Scotia watch out, here we come. The plan is to follow the South Shore on the Atlantic Sea, which is the coast along the bottom right hand side. Remember on our last trip we explored the lower right hand side. The weather just keeps getting better, so we just keep exploring, after all who knows what tomorrow will be like. Peggy’s Cove is a real highlight. Worthy of the stroll we have around the famous lighthouse & very cute fishing harbour. We can’t resist overnighting in Queensland – right on the beach (just a tad chillier than home)

Sunrise over the beach is lovely, but sadly the weather doesn’t hold, and we end up with a grey drizzly day. Lots more meandering along the coast. Some tops picks today are Chester, Malone Bay, Blue Rocks and the truly gorgeous Lunenburg. Here we indulge in their famous scallops (well John does). More coastline meandering before camping at a breakwater. It rains all night. The joys of travel out of season. It really doesn’t feel like spring here yet. At least there aren’t crowds of tourists. In fact, there seem to be none. Most things are still closed – museums, attractions, restaurants! A lot don’t open until June.

Another grey morning and countless more villages. We are on the hunt for water, but all the taps are closed off because they freeze. At least the weather clears and again we have a magic day. Coffee stop on a fishing wharf is very productive – John chats to a local and we fill up with water from the fish plant. Lobster season has just started & all the boats are frantically busy. It only lasts 2 months. And of course, we stop at lots of lighthouses! Can’t resist a good lighthouse photo. End the day on the waterfront at Salmon River watching a gorgeous sunset over the water. Of course, it is way too cold to sit outside.

An early start as the day promises to be another beauty. We have reached the Acadian area – mainly noticeable by the red, white & blue, with the addition of a gold star, flags everywhere.  And of course, all the signs are in French. We have now rounded the point of the island & head towards Digby Neck which sticks out into The Bay of Fundy (very famous for its massive tides 10 metres!)  We race down the peninsula wondering if it is really worth the drive as there are trees on both sides and the day has turned grey. At the end are 2 islands with ferries running every 30 mins.  We decide to get to the tip before exploring lots of the side roads. Well it is so definitely worth the drive. Briar Island, at the end is gorgeous. The sun is shining & there are lighthouses & cute fishing ports to photograph.  Even while we are here the change in the tide is enormous. Then more of a meandering drive exploring side roads before reaching Digby itself to try some of their famous seafood.  It is nearly dusk when we leave – so I head us to the nearest lighthouse at Port Prim for the night – and yet another magic sunset!

We continue following the Evangeline Trail or French area, stopping to explore the gorgeous grounds of Fort Anne as the interior is closed until summer. Then there is the Tidal Project to look at where they harness the huge tides to make electricity. We had hoped that we could do the boat ride that runs the tidal bore, but that too is closed. Anyway, it would have been a mite chilly. At the river mouth the tides are enormous. We haven’t the patience to sit all day watching the rise & fall so we head on to the northern side of the Bay of Fundy and find a spot right on Partridge beach for the night. In the morning, we can see that the tide was up on both sides of us. Luckily, we were on a ridge.

More beaches, more cliffs & even more lighthouses. On to the famous Joggins. Not much there except a very fancy museum about fossils – open! We give it a miss. Can’t even look for fossils in the cliffs as the tide is full in! Oh, so sad! Not.

The day is still grey & drizzly so we flick back to the motorway & head on to New Brunswick. A new state, therefore we need a new no. plate for Johns ever growing collection!








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