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Off To Nova Scotia - October 1-21, 2016

Some time back before we even knew we would have the Roadtrek (RT) we booked a number of concerts from the Celtic Colours International Festival 2016 and were initially going to spend a week around Cape Breton based around Baddeck. Now that we have the RT we are planning to expand our stay.

The trip is under way. I have moved the planning ruminations to a separate page for now. Eventually, when fact passes intention, I will let it fade away.

Day 1 - October 1, 2016

In spite of the party put on to celebrate Rod's retirement by his colleagues on the afternoon of September 30th and another event that evening we managed to hit the road by about 09:00 this morning. Generally a pleasant and not terribly eventful drive. Given a raft of weekend bridge and road closings around Montreal Island, we head out over the Mercier bridge (which actually did not even have a lane closing), picked up A30 and followed it until we picked up the A20 east of St Bruno. After that it was a case of follow the TransCanada Highway.

Back in the planning stage we spotted Mariners Point RV Park and had determined it would be a good break point for the trip to NS. We had also confirmed that it would be open until the end of October so it had potential on the return trip. I had let the owner, George, of our general plan but had not booked since the departure date and time were still "fluid". As we entered NB we gave George a call and confirmed he had space and would entertain a late arrival. We had forgotten about the time zone change pinching an hour from us so we were landing after dark.

We arrived without incident and registered. We asked George where we might find a bite to eat since it had been a long day and we really did not want to start preparing a meal. After telling we missed the parks "Thanksgiving Dinner" by about an hour (he has to drive to Montreal for a wedding next week so Thanksgiving was advanced a week) and warning us about a couple of fast food offerings nearby that were below their chain standard, he recommended Saigon's Garden a Vietnamese restaurant which was about 1/2 a KM away. Since it was late, we did not even go to our site but rather beat a path to the restaurant. The bad news is that it had just closed for the day. The good news is that they were willing to prepare us something "to go" which actually suited us much better than sitting around for a meal. We ordered a number of dishes and, after a short delay, we were on our way.

Back to Mariners Point RV Park we found our site, had a good meal with ample leftovers and wound the day down after Rod did a quick email check.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:827 KM
Time On Road:9:37
Average Fuel:15.3 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 1.

Day 2 - October 2, 2016

We made a leisurely start. After enjoying a good "cup of joe" we hit the road. Whilst we had ample good options aboard for breakfast, neither of us were hungry so we decided to eat later.

As we cruised down the road we spotted some billboards for a restaurant called the The Blue Canoe. We decided to give it a look. It turns out to be part of an "Irving Big Stop". It also turned out to make good breakfasts.

The rest of the day was spent working our way to the Fundy Shore / Annapolis Valley. The only bummer for the day (besides some rainy weather beyond Truro) was getting a rock ding on the windshield. It is only a little one so hopefully we can get it repaired.

About 17:30 we landed at Highbury Gardens RV Park. It turns out they had room for us. The weather was mostly cleared so we made an excellent dinner from the leftovers from Saigon's Garden. We spent a quiet evening while I am doing these updates and planning tomorrow.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:578 KM
Time On Road:6:30
Average Fuel:15.1 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 2.

Day 3 - October 3, 2016

Monday - the first real day of retirement. We again made a leisurely start. After enjoying a good "cup of joe" we hit the road again postponing breakfast though we did hard boil a couple of eggs for later use.

Today is touring rather than travelling. We backtracked to Windsor to start our way down the coast. We popped in to the local tourist information center and collected some local information. We also asked about a good local spot for a breakfast and were recommended Walkers at 793 O'Brien St. An excellent suggestion.

We started our way along route 1 and made our first stop at Domaine de Grand Pré Winery where we sampled some of their product and came away with 3 bottles.

We then dropped in to the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. A nicely done dedication to the pain caused by "Le Grand Dérangement". Our Parks Canada Discovery Pass got us in without additional expense.

We spent most of the rest of the afternoon exploring along the coast including exploring along the Shore Road from Harbourville then jogging over to McNally Road as far as Victoria Road then along 221 to Stronach Mountain Road. We then went back to route 1. These were some challenging roads but some amazing views. Lillian took a couple of pictures which I still have to unload from her camera.

We then moved on to the Granville Ferry area and set up camp at Dunromin Camp Site for the night. We were greeted with a sign on the office door that said "Please take a map, pick a site and pay in the morning". We notes that there were ample sites so we headed over to Vicki's Seafood Restaurant on Highway 1 Outside of Annapolis Royal. Lillian had a lobster roll and Rod had pan-fried haddock. Both very enjoyable. Nice to be in NS.

We also had our RV silliness for the day. It was a chilly evening so we put the propane furnace on. Besides a quick check before we left to be sure it worked, it was new and unused. It worked well but after about 10 minutes running the smoke alarm went off. We already knew it was sensitive and had to be taken down for certain types of cooking but we were surprised that it was set off by the initial burn in of the heater. The problem solved itself by taking it down until the furnace had some time to burn off "the newness".

The Numbers For Today

Distance:225.9 KM
Time On Road:5:20
Average Fuel:14.7 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 3.

Day 4 - October 4, 2016 - Happy Anniversary!

41 Years! Time flies!

It was a cold night but the propane furnace keep us warm and cozy. We did wake up at a decent hour since we had crawled in fairly early. Lillian got a pot of coffee on and Rod made some bacon sandwiches. After putting on a second pot of coffee (its small) we set off about 9:10 for Port Royal.

We enjoyed a tour through the reconstruction of this settlement. We last saw this park more than 25 years ago when it was still a work in progress to some extent. I will try to get the pictures up soon.

We then wandered our way to Digby. After a wander through the shops (Lillian did the shops - the boys enjoyed the pleasant day) we put Weston back in the motorhome and went for an anniversary lunch at The Fundy Restaurant. We each had a scallop and smoked salmon chowder and we split an order of bacon wrapped scallops. They did Digby proud.

After a couple of other stops around Digby we hit highway 1 for Yarmouth. As we approached Yarmouth we stopped and checked out an RV Park in Darling Lake called Lake Breeze Campground & Cottages about 15:30. We met Debbie MacDonald, the distaff half of the couple that manages the park and decided to camp for the evening. We mentioned to Debbie that we planned to head into town for a nice anniversary dinner then come back to camp to sit beside a camp fire since it was a more pleasant evening that we have had for a bit. She said that she was not sure it would be permitted given the low rain situation they had been facing. She would check with "himself" and let us know.

Lillian treated herself to a free shower then we headed into Yarmouth to tour the shops and find some dinner. Someone earlier in our excursion had recommended Rudder's Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub and we rolled in there about 17:30. Lillian had a broiled Lobster with a nice Spinach salad and Rod had Pan-fried Haddock. Both were exceptional as was the bottle of 2014 Baco Noir from Grand Pré.

We headed back to Lake Breeze where Terry MacDonald dropped by to say he was bringing some wood on the house for our fire. He did exactly that and we started a nice fire, opened a bottle we had of 2015 Baco Noir from Grand Pré and spent a pleasant evening.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:208.7 KM
Time On Road:4:04
Average Fuel:13.6 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 4.

Day 5 - October 5, 2016 - Rolling Around the End

We hit the road about 9:35. This was a day mostly on the road exploring beautiful coast lines on a beautiful day. There was not too much to stop and explore but we enjoyed the scenery. A pleasant drive.

Rod's brother called late morning to check on our progress. I told time our rough location and said that they could plan on us for dinner on the 6th and that we may roll in to boondock later today. He called back slightly later to say that if we were in Shelburne for lunch that Charlotte Lane Café & Gift Shop would be a special place for lunch.

When we arrived in town we took a look and found a sign on the door that said "Charlotte Lane Cafe Will Be Closed Wednesday, October 5 (Lunch and Dinner Service)" with apologies appended (see picture).

Talking to some locals we discovered The Beandock.. A wonderful discovery. In particular, Rod had a bacon and scallop wrap that was beyond awesome.

We continued wandering up the south shore enjoying the scenery. For some parts we followed route 3 around the coast though at other points we got on 103 to cut some corners. We took the road into Kejimkujik National Park Seaside Annex only to discover that anything worth seeing involved a minimum 5 km hike. Given that Lillian's sprained ankle was still giving her grief after a couple of months, we head back on our way.

As we approached the Bridgewater/Lunenburg area Lillian asked if we were close to the place we were taken to lunch when we were in Halifax on the Celebrity Summit in October 2014. I recalled that it was on the cusp of Lunenburg County towards Halifax on route 3. We set off in search. It turns out it was in Hubbards which was a good stretch along route 3 - it also turns out that it was not open for dinner on Monday to Wednesday. After saying some "bad words", we hit the 103 back to Lunenburg where we had a nice dinner at the Docksider.

We decided to find our way to "Brudder's" (Rod's brother Daniel's place in Middle LaHave - aka "The Lighthouse" ) even though he was not due back for a couple of hours. For some "special reason" the GPS decided we wanted to go by way of Mason's Beach road which took us along a windy road past lovely scenery that was too dark to see. We arrived without incident only to find that his partner Charlene was already there. We parked the van on a level spot and wandered in for a "cuppa". Daniel arrived home a bit later than planned and we shared some fine malt whisky whilst catching up on some news. We then plugged in the "shore line" and wound down a fine day.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:472.8 KM
Time On Road:8:13
Average Fuel:14.0 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 5.

Day 6 - October 6, 2016 - Lunenburg - Happy Birthday Lillian

We had a leisurely start to the day. We contributed some fine smoked bacon from our butcher in Dollard des Ormeaux and some rye bread we picked up and froze from the Saylor House in Bloomfield, ON. They contributed the rest of the "fixin's" for a fine breakfast.

Daniel headed off to pick up Charlene's folks in Bridgewater and we headed off to Lunenburg. Our first stop was the Lunenburg Farmer's Market We picked up a few items and generally enjoyed touring the vendors. The folks from the Domaine de Grand Pré Winery so we picked up some more of their Baco Noir at the some monthly special price we paid at the winery to replace some that seems to have evaporated.

We then headed in to old Lunenburg where we found a good parking spot on Bluenose Drive near Duke. Lillian headed off to shop while Rod headed over to check out the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. We had last seen it about 20 plus years back and Rod was interested in seeing where they were in the never-ending work in progress. It was a nice exhibit and a good learning experience. The Bluenose II was moored outside the museum but it was not open for visits.

After the visit Rod took Weston for a tour of the waterfront until Lillian returned from her tour of the gift shops. We then paid a return visit to the Grand Banker Bar & Grill. We had been introduced back in May when we took a tour down to Lunenburg off the MS Veendam. Lillian had a lobster roll while Rod reacquainted himself with the fine "Po Boy Fish Sandwich" the core of which is a pan-fried haddock filet.

On our way back to "Brudder's" we went by the RV Park run by the Lunenburg Board of Trade. It is pretty plain but clearly functional and wonderfully located if one were visiting the wonderfully interesting town. For our purposes, boondocking at Brudder's is an even better value.

We found our way back to "The Lighthouse" to find that Daniel had returned with Lyle and Joyce (Charlene's folks) and the Charlene was well under way preparing a fine dinner as an early Thanksgiving (Canadian) dinner and a number of other October birthdays, anniversaries etc.

After a fine feast and much good conversation, Charlene headed off to run her folks back to Bridgewater, Lillian went to sort some things in the RV and the brothers had a nice visit.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:26.5 KM
Time On Road:1:03
Average Fuel:20.0 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 6.

Day 7 - October 7, 2016 - Celtic Colours Begins

Yet another leisurely start - this could become habit forming. Daniel and Charlene prepared a fine breakfast from some local sausage, a bit more of the Bloomfield rye bread and scrambled eggs. Rod finally had the full tour of "The Lighthouse" and we prepared to head off for Cape Breton.

We finally got under way about 10:15. Our first stop was at Canadian Tire in Bridgewater where we topped up the propane and discovered that the gauge on the main panel underestimated the available propane. In any case, we now have enough to keep warm.

We worked our way up to our planned camp site at Linwood Harbour Campground just short of the Canso Causeway into Cape Breton. We checked in and found our site and dumped off the box of hoses, wires etc. We then headed off for Port Hawksbury where this evening's big opening concert would be held. We picked up some food for dinner and headed off to find parking at Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. We parked and settled in to a nice dinner in the RV. We noticed a fair number of other RV's around including a good proportion of B-Class units. Most seemed settled for the night. We are getting the impression that the good folks of Cape Breton have a relaxed view towards boondocking especially during the festival.

After taking "The Gentle Son" for a bit of a tour of the grounds, we headed in to the concert. The opening concert was Forever in Our Hearts, a tribute to some fine Cape Breton artists who have passed in the years since the festival started 20 years ago.

It was a grand event! Scott Macmillan and Symphony Nova Scotia were tight and amazing throughout. The tributes were all spectacular. Ashley MacIsaac just smoked in his tribute to Buddy. In the second half Carlos Núñez Band combined with Scotty and Symphony Nova Scotia provided a wonderful look at Celtic music in the big international view. A spectacular evening overall.

After the concert we headed back to our camp and crashed.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:410.9 KM
Time On Road:6:40
Average Fuel:15.1 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 7.

Day 8 - October 8, 2016 - Celtic Colours Continues

Today we are off to Sydney for our second concert. We took a slow start and eventually hit the road north. We stopped at Baddeck to look at The Silver Dart Lodge where Rod had book reservations many months back when he booked some of the tickets. We adjusted our reservations a bit to at least return on October 10th. That would turn out to be a brilliant decision.

We then headed off to look at the venue for many of the late night events at The Gaelic College in St. Ann's. We continued for a stretch along the Cabot Trail eventually taking the Englishtown Ferry to get our way back to the TransCanada Highway and find our way to North Sydney / Cabot Trail KOA which Rod had targeted for our Sydney stop. We checked in and had a nice chat with the folks that ran the camp. It was located at the base of these impressive cliffs at the base of Kelly's Mountain.

Our concert was at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion on the Sydney waterfront which we were familiar with from our visit last May on our cruise on the MS Veendam. We headed in and parked in a large lot just outside of the cruise terminal along with some of the usual other RV's.

We then headed off for some dinner to Governors Pub & Eatery which we had spotted back on the cruise and now could satisfy our curiosity. We shared an order of their calamari and their ribs accompanied with some fine local brews.

Our concert for the evening was The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours which was a delight. It would have been improved by a 10-15% cull but was still excellent and an amazing achievement given the number of varied artists assembled to work together. The Barra MacNeils were excellent as usual whether performing themselves or part of the greater group.

We headed back to the KOA after the concert and called it a day.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:273.9 KM
Time On Road:4:21
Average Fuel:14.7 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 8.

Day 9 - October 9, 2016 - Celtic Colours Continues

We took time to have breakfast in the RV this morning. We made French Toast with the last of the rye bread. An interesting coincidence - our music playlist has some 11,000 songs on it and it happened that J. P. Cormier's Kelly's Mountain came on as we were making breakfast at the base if Kelly's Mountain. To further the coincidence, J.P. is on the schedule for this evening's concert. What are the odds?

We finally hit the road about 11:30 and set off to check out the venue for the concert Riverdale Community Centre in Lower River Inhabitants. It had a nice large parking lot. We spoke to the gentleman who takes care of the hall and he said we were welcome to spend the night and showed us the best place to park. He has his own A-class so is quite sympathetic to RV folks.

We made a quick shopping run into Port Hawksbury then made our way back to the community center and relaxed for a bit before making some dinner.

As concert time approached we were asked if we could move the RV a bit to allow for more general parking. We were even told we could move onto the paved tennis courts if we wanted a good level surface. We took the suggestion which turned out to be an excellent move. While waiting for concert time we took Weston for a bit of a wander and chatted with the folks arriving.

The concert for the evening was called Lappin' it Up in Lower River. The show opened with a young sibling group called The Broussards followed by Daniel Lapp. The second set started with J.P. Cormier and Tony McManus amazing us with their guitars. The evening wrapped up with Barrule an interesting group from the Isle of Man. We had already see their fiddle player Tomas Callister at the Unusual Suspects concert but we did notice what a big lad he is. When he was on stage with J.P. at the end he made J.P. seem small which he definitely is not.

After the show we chatted with various and sundry. J.P. and his brother Joe dropped over to the van for a last beer before hitting the road.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:162.2 KM
Time On Road:3:21
Average Fuel:15.8 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 9.

Day 10 - October 10, 2016 - The Downpour

The day was dominated by rain from the dregs of hurricane Matthew which were hitting most of the Maritimes.

As the night went on we could hear a lot of rain any time we woke up. When we finally crawled out it was still raining steadily. We looked down where we were originally parked and saw that it was pretty waterlogged so it was a good thing we had moved on to the tennis court.

We decided to pack up and head off towards Baddeck. It was not pleasant driving though not terribly difficult or hazardous at that point. We stopped at a place called Vi's Restaurant in Whycocomagh and had a suitable breakfast for a cold and very damp day.

Many months back when owning an RV was in the early discussion stages and we were booking tickets for Celtic Colours we also booked a week at the The Silver Dart Lodge. We released most of those dates but we kept a couple. One of those happened to be October 10th. We had also reserved dinner at McCurdy's and a bottle of red wine for the room so, after breakfast we moved on to Baddeck and headed for the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site to explore around and pass time until we could check in at the Silver Dart. We found a place to park that seemed to be aside from the main "rivers" of water flowing down the hill and headed inside. Our "Discovery Card" again gained us entry and we wandered through the exhibit. We also caught a bit of the event that was being held there that day connected with the Celtic Colours.

Finally, we stopped at their coffee shop for a cuppa and headed back to the Zion. The "rivers" were flowing even faster now and it was a challenge to get back to the RV without getting soaked. We skipped any idea of taking Weston for a walk on the grounds and headed for the lodge. We arrived there to find they had their own "rivers". We managed to park the RV such that we could navigate our way to the office to check in.

We were unable to get a "pet friendly" room so Weston got to spend the night in the Zion. This worked since he was familiar and comfortable there and we did not import any "eau de wet dog" to the room. We did feed and visit him and even got him out for some very quick walks.

We relaxed for the afternoon with the help of our bottle of wine and eventually made our way to dinner which was excellent. After dinner Lillian crashed while Rod worked on updating this log until about 2 AM. By then the rain was easing.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:110.1 KM
Time On Road:2:06
Average Fuel:16.6 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 10.

Day 11 - October 11, 2016 - The Cabot Trail

The day dawned slightly overcast and breezy but dry. We took a leisurely start including a nice breakfast at McCurdy's. We decided to at least give our original plan a try and head off on the Cabot Trail. At least we could check out the venue for our last concert which was St. Peter's Parish Church in Ingonish.

We hit the road about 11:00 and started our way up the TransCanada and over the Englishtown Ferry to pick up the Cabot trail towards Ingonish. There was a bit of "rock and roll" on the ferry and there were points where is was a bit gusty but the skies were clearing and it was a magnigicent day. Rod noticed some signs for "The Chowder House" in Neil's Harbour and filed that away as a late lunch possibility.

As we headed up we ran into Leather Works By Jolene where we spent some some and came away with some lovely purchases.

We made it to Ingonish Beach without much effort and stopped in at the visitor center for the Cape Breton Highlands National Park where we made some enquiries about the camp grounds near Ingonish. We found that both were open and largely empty so we went on a took a look at the Ingonish Beach campground which seemed adequate for our needs. We then checked out St. Peters which seemed shy on parking but an interesting venue none the less.

Around this time I mentioned my idea of the Chowder House for a late lunch. She thought the idea was inspired so we pressed on. We made it to Neil's Harbour in not too bad time and found our way to the Chowder House which was by a picturesque lighthouse. The problem was that it was closed for the day due to damage from the storm and would be opening tomorrow. There seems to be a pattern here. Does someone tell them we are coming?.

We scrounged some nibbles from the galley and headed off over the top of the trail. The driving was slightly challenging so progress was slow but the scenery was amazing. I will post some pictures as soon as I get better Internet.

We made our way around to Cheticamp where we set up camp at Plage St-Pierre then headed off for a fine dinner at Seafood Stop Restaurant & Fish Market which we had passed on the way in. We both had "bugs" - Lillian a lobster and Rod some snow crab legs.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:230.8 KM
Time On Road:5:21
Average Fuel:17.5 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 11.

Day 12 - October 12, 2016 - The Cabot Trail & Louisbourg

We head out at about 8:50 to continue the trail then work our way past Sydney on to the The Fortress Louisbourg which is a National Historic Site. We were last there more than 20 years ago and were amazed and the progress made in the reconstruction which is now the largest such project in North America. The road in to the site, however, was a challenge due to extensive reconstruction. The Parks Canada folks were a delight as usual and we took advantage of our Discovery Pass yet again.

After a good tour we headed back down the road to the North Sydney / Cabot Trail KOA for the night. We stopped at the Atlantic Superstore near North Sydney Mall and picked up a BBQ chicken for dinner and some other bits we needed. Upon arriving at the KOA we were greeted like old friends but given the news that they had no power thus no running water etc. That did not distress us since we were well self-contained so we settled on a $20 tent rate and we claimed our old #5 site and enjoyed a fine dinner and a quiet evening. I am writing this in our comfortable motor home but will only upload pictures when I have less expensive internet than Bell Mobility.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:300.5 KM
Time On Road:5:38
Average Fuel:14.9 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 12.

Day 13 - October 13, 2016 - Back To Ingonish

We were greeted in the morning with the news that the power was back. Lillian celebrated by heading for the showers while Rod took advantage of the restored Internet to upload some pictures for the last couple of days. Since it was a slow day we took our time and had a nice breakfast before finally packing up and heading back north about 11:40.

The big item of the day was the The Hills are Alive concert to be held at St. Peter’s Parish Church in Ingonish so it was back up to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We found our way to Ingonish and had a good lunch at Coastal Restaurant & Pub "the home of the Ringer". Lillian had to test out their famous (Food Network - You Gotta Eat Here) Ringer Burger. Rod had something more boring like pan-fried haddock. We then went to the Parks Canada Visitor Center and paid a night at the Ingonish Beach camp site which was walking distance to the evening's venue.

We spent a leisurely afternoon and had a light dinner from our galley before heading off to the concert. It was most enjoyable though we would like to have heard more from Archie Fisher who we have followed for some 30+ years.

After the concert we walked back to the camp, took the hairy dog for a walk, drank a shot of Bowmore to Archie's health and in sympathy to the water we were all limited to an the church and hit the sack.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:88.4 KM
Time On Road:2:07
Average Fuel:16.1 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 13.

Day 14 - October 14, 2016 - Back To Baddeck

All of our tickets for Celtic Colours International Festival 2016 have now been used. Tonight we are heading for Baddeck to use the other date we kept at The Silver Dart Lodge.

We took our time and had a nice breakfast from our galley and enjoyed a nice, sunny and relative warm morning. We eventually packed up and got under way back down the Cabot Trail to the Englishtown Ferry to pick up the TransCanada south.

Since we had plenty of time before checkin at the Sliver Dart, we decided to head over to Mabou since we had not been in that corner of the island all week. We arrived in town in nice time to stop for lunch at Red Shoe Pub, a great music venue owned by the Rankin Sisters. We both had a fine seafood chowder with a couple of glasses of wine followed by shared piece of amazing hoemade gingerbread. We picked up a couple of CD's of Jimmy's that we did not have as well as a new one by Heather.

We headed on down the coast with a stop at The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in the village of Judique to check for any hard to find CD's. No luck.

When we reencountered the TransCanada we headed back up to Baddeck and checked in to the Silver Dart and book dinner at McCurdy's. After dinner we took the "Gentle Son" for a walk and Lillian relaxed while I caught this up and captured some of the CD's we had purchased to add to the iPad we play in the RV.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:297.9 KM
Time On Road:4:38
Average Fuel:14.9 L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 14.

Day 15 - October 15, 2016 - Farewell to Cape Breton

Our tickets are spent so it is time to head back to "Mainland Nova Scotia". We headed out about 9:30 and stopped for another fine breakfast at Vi's Restaurant in Whycocomagh.

From there we moved on to New Glasgow where we spent a couple of hours exploring Nova Scotia Museum of Industry. They have done a lot of work since we last visited in 2003 or 2004. Lot's to learn. See the pictures for a peek at some of the exhibits.

We then headed down to the Halifax West KOA in Upper Sackville. We will probably put roots down here for a couple of days while we explore locally. We had a nice chat with some folks from California in a Winebago Era class B motorhome who had been on the road since June.

We built a nice fire and used it to warm over some left over chicken from the other night. We enjoyed some "yeast-contaminated grape juice" and packed it in after updating this.

Life is Good!

The Numbers For Today

Distance:363.2 KM
Time On Road:4:23
Average Fuel:13.8L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 15.

Day 16 - October 16, 2016 - A Day In Halifax

Since it was Sunday we figured it would be a good day to head into Halifax for the day since the traffic should be lighter and the places we wanted to visit were open.

After a nice breakfast at camp the we cleaned up and headed for town after booking another night at the KOA. We set the GPS for Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada and found our way there without incident. Admission was included in our Discovery Pass but parking was $3.15. We were there in time for the noon cannon firing. We spent a pleasant time wandering the various exhibits before heading down to the waterfront Historic Properties. We parked down near the visitor center and wandered our way to Salty's where we ordered a "Salty's Seafood Chowder" and "Breaded Sea Scallops" and split them between us.

Lillian wanted to spend an hour at the Casino so I walked her over there, we set a pickup time then I went back to the RV enjoying the scenery and taking some pictures. I then took His Hairiness" for a nice walk and did a bit of planning before heading back to pick up Lillian.

We picked up some dog food and some people food on the way back to camp, had a nice simple dinner then sat around the fire for a while before getting a good night. Weather feels warmer and drier.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:88.3 KM
Time On Road:2:16
Average Fuel:17.2L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 16.

Day 17 - October 17, 2016 - Back Down To The South Shore

We woke up to a cloudy but warmer day than yesterday. It was a 2-pot (coffee) morning. We made a nice breakfast and took advantage of the pleasant morning to give Weston a good, thorough grooming since he was getting a bit "smelly". By the time we were working on "the 2nd half" we noticed it was getting close to checkout time. Even though most camps were not pushing the issue, we got the job done and we got under way only a little late.

We topped up the tank and set course for Peggy's Cove. We stopped at the Swissair Memorial Site and took a nice walk around the site which was very picturesque and pleasant in spite of the tragic event it remembers. This is our second time visiting the site. When we were leaving we passed a couple who briefly greeted us giving us the distinct impression by their accent that they were Swiss. When we got back to the RV there was an interesting class B parked next to us - a PÖSSL on a Citröen Jumper chassis that looked a lot like our Promaster from the back. It had Swiss plates which would indicate that it had been shipped here for some touring. The would seem to support our hypothesis about the couple we met.

We then gritted our teeth and headed for Peggy's Cove in spite of the countless massive busses we had passed on our way to the site. We actually drove all the way out to the end of the road, took a picture from the window (using Lillian's camera so pictures not posted yet) and beat a path back out and found our way back to route 3. We wondered aloud why we went so far out of our way to visit this over-hyped tourist Mecca and rationalized it was either to revisit the Swissair memorial or we were fogged by our memory of Peggy's Cove some 30+ years back when it was a working fishing villiage with a couple of gift shops.

Just as we were getting back to route 3 we stopped at the Acadian Maple Products store where Lillian ran in to pick up a small bottle of "dark" maple syrup for later consumption. We like the "amber" and the "dark" for the more intense maple flavour.

We made it to The Trellis Cafe in Hubbards in time for a late lunch. Lillian had a bowl of chowder and Rod had Crab Cakes. Excellent.

From there we continued down the shore road to Lunenburg and from there up to Middle LaHave where we set up camp again in "Brudder's Back Yard". After some visiting we headed into Lunenburg for dinner at Salt Shaker Deli. Rod's turn for a Chowder and Lillian had a Lobster Roll. Daniel had a Smoked Salmon Club and Charlene had a Mushroom Pizza. All great!

Back to "The Lighthouse" for some visiting and an early night.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:181.3 KM
Time On Road:3:20
Average Fuel:13.6L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 17.

Day 18 - October 18, 2016 - Wandering The South Shore

By the time we crawled out Daniel and Charlene had headed out to some appointments. We knew they had plans for us for lunch so we took a relaxing morning having a light breakfast and killing a pot of coffee while starting the plans for the trip homeward.

Daniel returned home to let us know that we were to meet with Charlene and her folks in Bridgewater then head off to the Riverbank General Store and Restaurant in Mill Village. It was an excellent lunch all around. The place, the food and the company were all special. It was nice seeing Lyle and Joyce again.

After lunch we (Rod & Lillian) headed down to the shore road (Lighthouse Trail) and worked our way back towards Lunenburg. Amongst other places we stopped at Petite Rivière Vineyards, sampled some wines and bought a couple of bottles for "further investigation".

Our next stop was the LaHave Bakery where we picked up a loaf of their potato bread and a couple of coffee's to go. We also picked up the news that the ferry was not operating so we had to go up the LaHave river to the appropraitly named Bridgewater before heading on to Lunenburg.

We finally made it about 4 PM which still left time for Lillian to do some shopping while "The Boys" went for a walk on the water front. When we met back we discussed dinner possibilities. Our first choice was to try for Oh My Cod Restaurant in Mahone Bay which had been our first choice last night but discarded when it was closed for the evening. A quick check told us that it was to be closed today and tomorrow as well. Since we were parked almost on top of the Salt Shaker Deli and remembering that they had some interesting pizzas and also had St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout on tap we headed in and split a pizza and salad.

After dinner we headed back to "The Lighthouse" where refilled the fresh water tank and spent a nice evening with Daniel and Charlene.

Tomorrow we head towards home though we plan a leisurely wander along the Northumberland shore on through Miramichi, NB then Bathurst and Campbelton eventually crossing into Quebec and picking up A20 at Mont Joli. As usual all plans are subject to change depending on weather and inspiration.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:172.0 KM
Time On Road:3:13
Average Fuel:14.2L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 18.

Day 19 - October 19, 2016 - Turning Towards Home

As mentioned yesterday, today we slowly begin the return to Montreal. We had a couple of cups of coffee and a bite of breakfast and packed up for the road. Daniel and Charlene had an early appointment at the bank so we waited for them to return before we made some final farewells and hit the road about 9:35.

We moved steadily across to the Northumberland Shore. The overcast we started the morning with settled into steady rain. We were giving serious to just sticking on the TransCanada and heading back west. As we moved away from the Bay of Fundy the skies cleared so we went back to "Plan A" and stopped for lunch at Chowder House on Main in Tatamagouche. Lillian had a clam chowder and Rod had a Seafood Chowder and we split a BLT. Enjoyed all.

Before heading toward Amhearst and New Brunswick we backtracked to The Country Bread Basket Bakery & Coffee Shop where Lillian went in to pick up a couple of goodies. We then headed to The Pork Shop in Denmark but found it closed. We had hope to pick up something from dinner.

We finally got headed the right direction on route 6 but then detoured up the Malagash for a quick revisit to Jost Vineyards. After a couple of quick tastings, we picked a couple of bottles for "further analysis". We headed off as we usually did in the past to pick up route 6 a bit further down the road only to find out just before we rejoined the Sunrise that the road was closed so we had to backtrack back by the winery all the way to the original turn off to the Malagash. The really need to work on road sinage in NS - not the first bunch of lost time that could have been avoided.

We were planning to continue along the coast but we had consumed sufficient time with our various sidetracks that we rejoined the TransCanada at Amhearst and headed more directly to Shediac. We arrived at Beauséjour Camping about 18:00 where we assembled a spaghetti and meatballs dinner that hit the spot.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:500.2 KM
Time On Road:7:07
Average Fuel:14.0L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 19.

Day 20 - October 20, 2016 - The Next Leg Home - Quite The Day

The day started off fine. The weather was nice to we had a snack at the RV and hit the road about 9:35. We made it to Miramichi in good time and decided to press on to Campbelton for lunch. We took route 8 over to Bathurst then picked up 11 again to Campbelton.

By the time we got there shortly after 13:00 ADT we happened across Cafe Chez Wes. After a good feed we set sail for Mont Joli by crossing tip of the Baie de Chaleur into Quebec and following the 132 until it meets A20. So far, so good though the sky was getting pretty overcast.

We finally made it to Rimouski and headed to the RV Park where we planned to spend the night around 15:30. It was supposed to be open to November 15th. It wasn't. The information we had was probably in error and they had closed October 15th like so many others in the area. We checked our various resources and nothing much was open for some distance so, after a call to check if OK for late arrival we decided to advance the trip plan a day and head for our planned Friday destination Camping Québec en ville. It was about a 300 KM run but we were feeling good so decided to give it a go. The roads were mostly pretty good but the weather was getting a bit wet. It rained most of the way but we still made it in by about 7:40 PM.

We got our camp site and, since it was still raining, we did a quick set up and headed inside to cook a light dinner and relax. That hour we reclaimed as we returned from ADT to EDT was handy.

Unless the weather improves (and probably even if it does) we should be home tomorrow.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:849.4 KM
Time On Road:10:19
Average Fuel:13.8L/100KM

Click for pictures from Day 20.

Day 21 - October 21, 2016 - The Home Stretch

It rained all night and was still raining as we got up. We could not even bother with breakfast before hitting the road at 8:30. We head out along A40 towards home. The rain was continuous and it seems all the trucks with heavy wide loads use the north shore route since it is quieter. Passing some of these was a wet affair.

Every time we considered stopping for a break or snack the rain picked up so we kept rolling. As we approached Montreal we headed up on the A640 to pass over the islands. We finally stopped at boul des Entreprises in Terrebonne about 0.5 KM from the dealer where we purchased the Roadtrek. We grabbed a snack and filled the RV tank.

We turned down A15 to A440 and stopped at le Marché Public 440 while we were in the area to pick up some meat at the butcher and get our fall supplies of potatoes, onions, peppers and some other veggies.

We finally went back out in the rain and headed home arriving at 1:03 PM.

The Numbers For Today

Distance:304.1 KM
Time On Road:3:37
Average Fuel:13.5L/100KM

The Numbers For The Trip

Distance:6,672.1 KM
Time On Road:103:31
Average Fuel:14.7L/100KM
Average Speed:64 KM/H