Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lunenburg - town of music, scenery and adventure

Our stay began with the Lunenburg Folk Festival.  We made two days of a three day festival - full of traditional folk and fiddle music.  Some musicians we recognized, many we experienced new.  Two full days of good music, and a fine introduction to Lunenburg.  The town was full of photo ops.

We booked into a wonderful Airbnb, with our host Jill, who gave us the home away from home that we had wished had been our home.
Jill's home.

We felt both comfortable, relaxed and enjoyed our stay at Jill's, a warm and lovely host, with loads of info and ideas for our visit.

Like most of the area, Lunenburg grew up with the fishing industry - and the culture, people are all based in, and around, the sea.  Taking advantage of being on the coast, we kayaked (and stayed in the boat), biked, hiked the coast, and visited several small villages along the way.

Karen surrounded by Cairns on the Crescent Beach walk.

I finally got Ron to slow down.

 Art studios and galleries are everywhere.  Here was a very charming one in the village of Petite Reviera.  We found a whimsical piece for our apartment.  Now we just have to figure out where we have space to hang it.  Also an interesting park - The Ovens, partially owned by the Chapmans (as in Harry Chapman) , and they (of course not including Harry) were in Lunenburg for a concert.
Great bakery.  Worth the detour to Le Have.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Power to the Devices

It has been a while since we blogged, and we have some wonderful times to share, and wonderful scenery.

But this entry is about what happens when you travel with all your devices.  On our six hour drive from Gros Morne National Park which is on the bottom of the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland to the Central section to Terre Nova National Park, we were powering our devices.

Plugged into the car:

1)  Ron's cell phone
2)  Karen's cellphone
3)  Additional cellphone battery
4)  Ron's electronic toothbrush base
5)  Ron's kindle fire
6)  Karen's Kindle e-book
7)  Ron's fitbit
8)  Large battery for juicing up devices during the week camping.  Particularly our electronic air mattress which replaced our battery run mattress which sprung a leak in our first night in Gros Morne.

Still to be charged:  a) Karen's fitbit; b) Karen's toothbrush base; 3) Karen's tablet.
So much for the simple life out in nature.

So much for the simple life out in nature.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Met A Brave Sailor Along A Halifax Pier

From the north shore's tidal shoreline we drove swiftly to Nova Scotia's south shore. Home to Halifax, maritime traditions, and mile after mile of rocky coastline. Our first AirB&B stay, on Duncan's Cove, a short 20k down a peninsula from Halifax.

And to our amazed good fortune, aside from the incredible deck view on the cove, a coastal trail set out just across the road (so that's what all the cars are doing down this remote road!).  in comparison to our hike on Cape Split, this coastal route was entirely in the open, a mile plus out, and back again. spectacular vistas the entire route.

Yes, accommodations and trailhead inclusive of seal rocks.

As well, we arrived just in time for Halifax's 'Busker Festival'. Full with high anticipation we set out to see Halifax on Natal Day weekend, the province's birthday, heading for the waterfront and hopes of grand entertainment.

Well, maybe a bit more carnival than expected. This circus, while entertaining paled in comparison to the busker fest we bumped into while in Victoria a couple of years ago. Tourists, maybe locals, on the harbour front were fairly thick as well. Back to the coastline....

Aye, its a foggy business this day, clearly not a good day for a kayak launch. so off to plan B, Crystal Crescent Provincial Park for an extreme coastal route....

'Extreme', you bet, two hours into this foggy, muddy mess, the trail markers were no more. The path ahead was along bouldered coastline, heavy fog and chancing mist. All alternate route options being less appealing we chose Plan C, head back the way we came. Arrrgh! Safe and sound, under nearly sunny skies we returned to our car in half the time expected. Still, incredibly gorgeous coastline.

With another foggy day set upon us we did what any holiday maker might, we sallied forth and drove to Peggy's Cove (only Peggy hasn't been there in over a century). In case you missed the Nova Scotia highlights review, Peggy's Cove is the number one tourist attraction in the province. A beaut when the fog lifts.  Just not today. Altho that didn't slow down the steady stream of tourists arriving...

Alas a clear blue sky, and time for a maiden paddle for this trip. Off to Sambro Harbour, where we'd scoped out a boat ramp and a nice sized inner harbour...

A fine start, suited up, warm, paddling smooth....

Paddling into an inner cove connecting to a long lake, this lighthouse sits on a small island off a lakeshore residence.....

Shortly after leaving the lighthouse, and some time before this ready-to-drive-away scene, Ron and Karen took an agility swim, swamped kayak in rushing waters beneath a bridge, swam 50 yards or so with kayak, made it onto rocks, bailed kayak, set out to retrieve one lost paddle, found a boat ramp on other side of lake, hauled ashore, retrieved car, and dried up. Did I mentíon that Ron lost one bootie and a water bottle?  Brrrr.

On to Lunenburg next for a folk festival this weekend.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tides, Lobsta, And Of Course Wines

When travelling Nova Scotia , as in Maine, there is no lacking in either signage or anticipation of our beloved sea critter the lobsta'.......
Halls' Harbour, where a moderate lobster fleet brings in the catch. And, being on the Bay of Fundy the tides roll in and out, in a big way!

On an historical note, even before Bostonians were considering tea with their lobsters, brave French Acadians on lands to become known as Nova Scotia became entrapped non-participants in battles between British and French empire builders. The Acadians, farmers in the New World, were eventually evicted by thee British with a majority being forcefully transported to either Louisiana (nnow known as Cajuns) or Quebec. Longfellow's Evangeline tells a dramatic version of their gruesome exile.  Here is a statue dedicated to Evageline.
A hiking we go, gotta earn those ice cream and local brew goodies. Today, off to the most popular north shore hike on Cape Split, located betwixt the Bay of Fundy and Minas Basin. And if the hydrologists are correct, more water passes between Cape Split and its opposing north shore each day than flows down the sum of all global rivers. Wowsa.

As the surge toward low tide begins again.

Hike completed, exhausted after our five hour return walk out the cape and back, our final day on the north shore deserves something a bit more refined. Something aged in oak perhaps?

Ok, a bit of British influence. But it was a  real phone box, sans Dr Who, sitting in the middle of a vineyard and offering free phone calls at Luckett's Vineyards. Sorry none of you were home to take our calls.

And the double decker, now in its second life after serving the streets of London.  See, safe wine tasting, we left the driving to the Magic Winery Bus.

But alas, I beg your patience with one more scene from the vineyards. This one L'Acadie, an organic operation, with our host being the most dynamic,effervescent presenter we've met in a long time.

As for the wines, some enjoyable crisp and floral varietals, particular 'Tidal Bay' from Gaspereau Vineyards.  Some very pleasant reds as well, darker, blacker blends.  will all be worth a revisit in another five years.

And so au revoir north shore, off to the big city on the south shore, Halifax.

Our ship (ferry) is in - Bay of Fundy

Twelve days after leaving Hollywood, multiple stops & visits, it is time to drive on to the ferry which will take us from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

After a night's sleep in our berth, we drive onto our first stop - the Blomindon Provincial Park on the north side of the island.  First of several campgrounds.  Did I mention it was pouring by the time we got there?

But finally we got set up.  Our deluxe campsite.

Where's the toilet?  Closest one is down the hill, but no running water.  A bit further uphill, with flushies and sinks.

Even so, we managed some amazing days -  the home to the highest tides in the world.

And the difference on the shore between high & low tides is phenomenal.  Boats seen in mud,
are hours later are at level with the pier.  And the beach shore is very different between high & low tide.  Theses photos are taken from the same spot hours apart.

Effort to see Last Week of Jon Stewart in Canada

Wonder what will happen when we try to see the Fox presidential free for all? 😃

Monday, August 3, 2015

Nova Scotia - New Scotland

Our trip to the Canadian Maritimes.  The car is packed for all options - camping, biking, kayaking, and all between.

Like all driving trips, it first requires a days drive out of Florida - but then the visiting began.  First a night in Asheville with Esther Colliflower - always a joy to see.   Then a few days at Barbara and Mike's North Carolina retreat in Tuckasegee  -  good company, hiking, and lots of good memories of past Highland, NC trips with Barbara and kids.

Then our drive took us to visit family - Kimmie's house in Falmouth Maine.  First tasty lobster, some lovely hiking.

And of course, what trip to Maine would be complete without a stop to LL Bean.

Did I mention that we had a major car repair, and dental repair in our first three weeks?

Our packed car and us drove onto the ferry and the overnight drive ride to Nova Scotia.  Let the adventures continue!