Monday, 24 September 2007

Back on Scottish soil


Sorry for the Absence

Well it just didn’t happen. I had hoped to blog some of my holiday experiences on the way round but the truth is I didn’t want to spend time indoors, away from the glorious Canadian sunshine, to write this blog.

Canadian dream – revisited

Glasgow, Scotland to Halifax, Nova Scotia in less than five and a half hours is pretty good going and the time difference is only four hours. I walked out of Halifax airport into a welcome 27C into a sunshine I hadn’t felt for years.
But even though Nova Scotia experienced an Indian Summer over the last few weeks, their tourist industry closed on September 2nd.

The highlights

Peggy’s Cove - This neat little fishing village, with its granite rock formations scattered around timber fishing houses, form the backdrop for some stunning photo opportunities. A tall lighthouse perched on massive rocks give the tourist something to aim for. Peggy’s Cove gave me my first encounter with a ‘Fifth Wheel’, a motor home the size of a Double Decker bus, strapped to a truck. These monsters are trundled back and forth across this vast country. Why do folks find the need to carry their entire homes with them?

Caledonia and The Kejimkujik National Park - On the map Caledonia looks to be a significant town, in reality it is one street with a supermarket, a hardware store, a junk shop and a diner. It does however have one great little bed and breakfast.

Aunt Nettie’s is run by Cindy and dominated by Abby, the mad Jack Russell terrier who ensures that the premises is kept squirrel free by terrorizing the garden tree. As soon as the front door opens Abby tears across the lawn to her tree yapping like a raging… Jack Russell.

A few miles up the road from Caledonia is the Kejimkujik National Park. The walks presented by the rangers vary through high forests of old hemlock to loch side rambles. I am sure the best way to see this park is by canoe, but being a land lover I opted to chance meeting a black bear on the trail.

After a hard day on the trail Colin and I ate at the nearby diner M & W’s. This busy dinner is run by the wily Marilyn who tempted me with the mouth watering pastry of her home made blueberry pie. She worked the diner, May through to October from 8.00 in the morning till 9.00 at night as well as looking out for customers to her store next door. But even after closing and leaving for home, if a hungry body turns up at her door she will feed them.

One such hungry body I met was a biologist who had trailed through the park. He was studying the decline of loons, the result of mercury in the water and their food. It seems that even in protected areas pollution still creeps in by way of rain fall. The poor guy had been eating trail food for five days; all he wanted was a plate full of grease and a big piece of pie.
Tip - make the most of everything
When I go on holiday I always try to leave the house clean and tidy. I don't go mad with the cleaning, just enough to make a difference.
When I arrived home yesterday it was wonderful to walk through the door into a sweet smelling, bright, shiny house.
I then proceeded to erupt my rucksack all over the floor and make a complete mess of the place, but that was OK.

3 comments:

Tempest in a Teapot said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Nova Scotia— my husband and I live in Lunenburg, and were just marveling a few minutes ago at how lucky we are to have such a nice place.


There's a house for sale just down the road from the Keji entrance across from some convenience stores that I've always thought would make a wonderful B&B. I do worry, though about the isolation. As you say: one grocery store, one hardware store, no library....

It's funny you should mention rising mercury levels in the loons. This year I've noticed far fewer cormorants on the South Shore, and just in the past month the crows in our area seem to have developed a strange skin complaint that looks like feather mites, but is affecting too many birds to be that.

Anyway, it's good to stumble across your blog. I'll be back!

Moira McPartlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moira said...

Reply to Kristina,

Thanks for the comment.

Most of the folks we spoke to only live around the park in the summer, but I bet the place is jumping then.

And Aunt Nettie is for sale just now, which is a shame because Cindy was such a great hostess, but she wants to be closer to her kids.

I'm sorry about the birds. What are we doing to our world!