Monday, August 27, 2012

The Long Way to Halifax

Yarmouth, Barrington, Port Medway, and Black Point, NS - August 24 to 27, 2012 Our Current Location

EJ is quite tolerant when I express my desire to travel in a certain direction even when it looks like an index finger going around an elbow to touch the thumb.  I had expressed my desire to circumnavigate the whole of Nova Scotia and so for the time being, she is humoring me.

This next section traveled through a whole lot of “not much” before we reached Yarmouth where we settled into the local Walmart campground for the night. There was a big music festival going on at the wharf which we could hear from our location.

The next day found us traveling to Barrington where we parked at an Irving filling station and disconnected the Element to explore Sable Island. As we approached the causeway to the island, there were car and trucks parked all over. Turns out they have boat races there every weekend. It was a beautiful seaside island and we found the perfect boondocking spot big enough for just two RVs right on the beach but it was already occupied.

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After spending the rest of the day exploring the island, we moved up the road about 5 miles to the Barrington Visitor Center for an overnight stay.  We tried to maintain a small profile as we found ourselves in the middle of a softball tournament. There were lights on the field, so we knew they would be playing late.

While we were in Barrington we visited another lighthouse

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and the Woolen Mill Museum where wool was carded, yarn was spun and material was weaved.  It was an old factory and when it was shut down  everything was left in place. One loom was set up with the start of a length of fabric and the spinning machine looked like you could start it up.

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We took a long walk in Shelbourne through town and along the waterfront.

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In Liverpool we stopped by the Old Burial Ground and marveled at the tombstones and wondered how they dug graves in such rocky soil.

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For the evening we settled in at the Port Medway lighthouse where I think we were the town attraction.  There was a constant parade of traffic turning around in the parking lot where we set up.  Then we figured out they were coming to watch the sun set, not us. The lighthouse was set in a nice park right next to where the lobster boats tied up.

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The next day found us in Lunenburg, a world heritage site due to the preservation of all the historic buildings.  There we found the Amos Pewter factory and enjoyed a demonstration on pewter molding and sculpting.

St. John’s Church was beautiful.

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The Bluenose II( Nova Scotia’s famous sailing ambassador) was in port for a major restoration, but unfortunately had stopped doing tours as it was getting ready to go back to sea.

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Of course we had to stop at the Ironworks Distillery. It was located in an old marine blacksmith’s shop and now hand distills apple Vodka, light & dark ruhm, and several local berry liquors.

For the evening we decided to get closer to the campground where we knew we would be spending several days.  We stopped at a roadside pullout in Black Point where we camped right next to St. Margaret’s Bay. That leaves us with about 20 miles to go tomorrow. Great sleeping hearing the waves lapping the shore.

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Black Point Route

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thar' She Blows

Digby, Nova Scotia August 20 - 23, 2012 Our Current Location 

Seeing a whale rise up out of the ocean and fall back in a tremendous explosion of water is awe inspiring.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself.  While in the Digby area we did travel to Annapolis Royal where we played Croquet at Fort Anne;

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Annapolis Royal Light House
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An Annapolis Royal House           

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Climbed through the innards of the only tidal generation station in North America;

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Played Indian at Port Royal;


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Reconstructed town of Port Royal       

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Sampled the offerings of two wineries near Bear River;


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Nova Scotia’s only solar powered winery

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And wandered the streets of a tidal river town.

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Bear River, Nova Scotia

We ate a scallop dinner in Digby, the scallop capitol of Canada, they were so good we went and bought fresh ones to cook for ourselves. Sooo delicious.

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Wednesday night in Digby (Pop. 700) and the town is hopping.  Car show and live band on the waterfront.

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Fresh from O’Neil’s Fish House

We hiked out to St. Mary’s Bay to see a forty foot high balancing rock then had to run back to the car to catch a ferry back to the mainland.

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But the highlight of it all was watching the whales. It started with us waking up at 5am to extremely dense fog. We had to drive 45 minutes to catch a 7am ferry and then drive to a second ferry at 7:30am.  The timing between the ferries allowed for no sightseeing as if you missed the one, you had to wait an hour for the next one. And finally breakfast on a tiny little spot of land called Brier Island where breakfast service was so slow we wondered if we would have to walk out in order to meet the boat on time.

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We did make it and got on board as the boat slipped away from the dock and into the fog.  It was eerie listening to the mournful sounds of the fog horns around the boat.  Thank goodness for GPS, we were soon out of the harbor and on our way. They would stop the boat, shut off the engine and everyone would listen for whales coming up to breathe.  We repeated this process numerous times before we finally zeroed in on one.

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When we first saw the whales, they were dim shapes in the gray fog. But as the morning wore on, the fog lifted and then we could see the antics of the whales under the clear sky.

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So far this has been the most fascinating day of the whole trip. Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy, what an adventure.

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