The wind was doing its level best to rip the maple leaves off the Canadian flags, blasted straight out and trembling in its mighty fist — a fist that repeatedly and unexpectedly sucker-punched us with invisible body blows, rocking the bikes again and again, forcing us at times to lean them over (as if making a turn) just to keep moving in a straight line. Into this maelstrom of wind and rain we slowly proceeded south from Cheticamp.
It was a day of intermittent heavy rain as we left Cape Breton Island and worked our way back west. For some reason, Route #4 was much easier to find than it was coming east, and we spent very little time on the Transcanada (to my infinite delight). After reaching Antigonish we turned north on the Sunrise Trail (#337) to Cape George and the Northumberland Shore.
This would probably have been a very scenic route in good weather, but today there was very little visibility with the fog and rain. We climbed up the cape and then continued west along #245 (still on the Sunrise Trail) into New Glasgow. After a bit of mucking about, we found ourselves in the yard of Adventure Motorsports, a motorcycle/ATV/powerboat dealer, where a helpful employee gave us directions to Pictou.
We chose Pictou because it is in the central part of the Northumberland Shore, which is itself known for its beaches, advertised as having the warmest ocean water north of the Carolinas. We have had no real “beach” days on this trip, but we thought we would like a chance to at least check out the claims and see if they are true. We had reserved a room last year at the Auberge Walker Inn, on the trip that was re-scheduled by Hurricane Arthur; so we had the helpful concierge at the Port Hastings visitor center call them and make us a reservation for tonight.
The Inn was built in 1860 and retains much of its original charm, with high ceilings and antique fireplaces. On the way to dinner we passed one of Pictou’s main attractions, the replica sailing ship “Hector” which commemorates the arrival of the first Scots in Nova Scotia. The ship is open for tours and we will see if we feel like exploring it tomorrow.
At dinner Robin decided to sample the local delicacy, snow crab, which she found quite satisfactory.
I was too tired to play with my food and so ordered the haddock instead.
It is our hope to proceed west past the Minas Basin tomorrow and get as close to Digby as we can. That will give us Friday to explore the Digby Neck and travel to Yarmouth, which would put us back on the Novastar Saturday — and home! We’ll see how it goes!