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  • Niki Harry

Canada Road Trip - Nova Scotia

Halifax, NS was home to me for a little over 11 years. Some of my youth and my teenage years. I loved Halifax and still do. This is our family home where I lived most of the time. I had to do a drive by as I do every time I go home to visit. It just feels very strange to see it now.

We spent the week visiting friends and family whom we hadn’t seen in many years. It was non stop visiting, eating and wine of course! It was wonderful to reconnect again.

My god-daughter Courtney was getting married. That was the reason of this trip in the first place. Her mom Christine and I go back 44 years. She’s one of the first people I met within 2 weeks of moving to Halifax from Croatia. We have been great friends ever since. Christine, Courtney and I spent a little girlie time together the day before the wedding. We had a lovely lunch at il Mercato and then treated ourselves to pedicures.

Finally the day arrived. Beautiful Courtney being walked down the isle by her proud mom and dad. Unfortunately the weather turned and it poured rain (all week as a matter of fact!) and so the wedding had to be moved inside at the last minute. But fortunately all turned out beautiful anyway.

And finally, Mr & Mrs Tim Lynch! Married!!

​On our last day, the sun finally came out and we ventured out to the valley with Christine and Jody. We had a lovely day, wine touring and tasting, driving and seeing the sights and a walk along the Bay of Fundy during low tide.

​After leaving Halifax, our next part of the journey took us through Dartmouth and along the eastern shore all the way over to Cape Breton. I have never driven that part of the coast so really wanted to do it this time. We drove all the way to the end of Cape Breton, to Sydney that first night.

We went to fortress Louisbourg and did the typical touristy tour and then headed out for a nice long hike along a rocky shore which then brought us through some beautiful wooded trails. The smells again were so intoxicating; pine trees, moss, forest plants, ocean. Medicine for the soul.

We continued our drive along the coast to Glace Bay and back around to Sydney for another night.

The following day we drove to Baddeck and then backtracked up to Ingonish where we spent 2 nights. I loved the town of Baddeck. Perfect. It has lakes, oceans nearby, mountains, the cabot trail, wilderness but yet is large enough that you have everything you need for a town. I could easily live there. Ingonish area was really pretty as well, just a bit more remote and not as much available there for amenities. We stayed in the Skyline Cabins which were really nice and inexpensive. The gorgeous Keltic lodge is here as well where you can go golfing and enjoy a nice evening dining or listening to local musicians perform usually for free.

Our first hike on the Cabot Trail was the 7.4 km Franey Trail hike. It was an immediate climb up for about 2.5 kms through beautiful hardwood forest. Lots of warnings about bear, coyote and moose but of course we did not see any. I saw 5 snakes in total, a lot of bear and moose poo and some tracks.. but no actual animals.

The view from up top was absolutely beautiful. 360 degree view of ocean and park. We sat up there for a while and just took it all in.

After the hike we continued to drive and explore. We went to Neils Harbour & then to South Harbour and looped back to our cabin.

​Later in the afternoon, we did another 5.5 km loop hike around Warren lake. So peaceful and serene. I was hoping to spot wildlife but no luck again.

​The following day we checked out and headed towards Pleasant day where we would stay 2 nights. Our first must do was to drive right to the tip, to Meat Cove. We took all the back roads which weren’t in the best of shape . The area is very rugged and not much here but a campground and a bunch of hiking trails. It’s a beautiful secluded spot though.

Later, we decided on a 9.5 km hike on the famous Skyline Trail. The hike was gorgeous and with quite the surprise at the main lookout spot. What an incredible view! A part of the coastal road below us winding along the mountain towards the ocean. The sun was almost too bright. If I had known this I would have gone a little later for a magnificent sunset view.

Once again, no moose or coyotes even though there were a ton of warning signs. There’s even a rogue coyote here that the park ranger warned us about as he’s been giving them some problems of late but luckily we did not see him.

The famous coastal Cabot Trail drive.

The next day we drove to Cheticamp and checked it out, then back to the start of the trail where we did another gorgeous hike on the Acadian Trail. We had a gradual incline along a river and then through a beautiful boreal forest. It was a 9km long loop with more stunning views from the top. I can’t get enough of these trees! I LOVE trees and forests!

The view from the top. I love how they have these red chairs placed everywhere so that you can sit and take it all in for a while.

​And on our last day, as we were leaving the park, dont I finally see a moose! But it was only a baby. I still couldn’t believe it. I so wanted to see a big bull with large antlers as September is the time to see them as they are in rut. And what place to see them but in Cape Breton! There were signs and warnings everywhere so I was so sure I would be in luck. But no luck for me and so my quest for photographing bull moose continues!!

We made a lunch stop at Jost Vineyards. I did some tastings and we toured the grounds. Beautiful vineyard and beautiful food!


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