Posted by: glenswatman | July 19, 2007

200707-1-July CANADA New Brunswick, Nova Scotia Quebec

200707

 

SUNDAY 1 JULY 2007 – It’s Canada Day and we
wear the new maple leaf flag pins that we were given at the tourist
office.  Around 10am we have breakfast
at the cottage.  It’s a cooked breakfast
and includes French toast topped off with homemade maple syrup.  Cory also introduces me to coffee sweetened
with maple syrup.  Steve potters down at
the waterfront with George & Adam and enjoys a ride on their small sailing
boat.  Cory cracks on with sewing some
of the hammocks that he sells at markets. 
There’s one strung high in a tree and Steve climbs up the ladder then
entertains us with his antics trying to get himself into it.  Diana has invited lots of friends and
relatives round to celebrate Canada Day with a “pot luck” lunch.  I do a roast vegetable tray bake and top it
off with a slice of pumpkin cut into the shape of a maple leaf.  There are too many people for us to get to
know them all but we have a lot of interesting conversations and enjoy the
food, especially the “skor cake”, a soft chocolate sponge filled with cream and
crushed “Dime” bars.   By evening there
are just Diana, George, Cory and ourselves left and after a dip in the hot tub
we sit down by the lakeside watching the fireworks.  George has a boxful and impresses us with his pyrotechnic skills.  A nice finale to the day is sitting round
the bonfire chatting.

WASHADEMOAK LAKE 2

 

MONDAY 2 JULY – It’s a cool start to the day after a very cold night.  After joining the family for breakfast we
return to show George and Diana the van and for George to look at a rattle over
the cab.  It turns out that most of the
screws are missing or lose where the motorhome is joined above the vehicle
cab.  He helps us to fix them up but we
leave the plastic cover off to see if they stay in.  Return to the house for a tour-planning meeting with us receiving
lots of tips for the Mexico leg of our trip. 
Late afternoon George takes us out for a ride on the trailer behind the
tractor.    Opposite their property his
brother John has 600 acres and this is where they collect the maple syrup.  We see how a permanent network of pipes
drains the sap into a huge tank after a hollow peg is tapped into each
tree.  Further into the property is a large
lake stocked with trout and they are really jumping.  On the edge is a beaver’s lodge and after the others have walked
past I stop to take a photo and then notice a snake sitting on top.  Turns out it is the rarely seen “guarda
snake” but luckily all the ones in Canada are harmless.  In the pond George points out some “Polly
wogs”, a sort of enormous tadpole, and a few recently hatched frogs.  Cory’s girlfriends Donna arrives and joins
us all for an evening meal after which George & Diana return to Saint John.  We join Cory and Donna for a soak in the tub
before a relatively early night.

WASHADEMOAK LAKE 3

 

TUESDAY 3 JULY – Our last breakfast down at
the cottage after a wonderful long weekend. 
We’ve felt privileged to share such an experience with the family and
can’t believe how much the Hospitality Club has changed our travels.  Driving through Sussex we spot many of the
new murals on the walls.  Just north is
the entrance to Fundy National Park. 
It’s $6.90 pp for the day but we know we are going to visit many more
Parks and Historic sites whilst in Canada so opt for the 1-year family pass at
$155.50 (£75) as this will get us and up to 6 other people into both types
throughout the whole of the country. 
It’s very pleasant driving through the park and we make a lunch stop by
Lake Wolfe.  Out at Point Wolfe we must
park before the covered bridge as only vehicles less than 25’ are allowed
beyond.  By walking the Ship Haven trail
we reach the Coppermine and Point Wolfe Beach walks and do a total of almost
7km without any problems from my ankle. 
The walks are pleasant and the views are good but not outstanding.  Out of the park we take the coastal road and
find an overnight stop at the beach by Cape Enrage.  This area has the highest tides in the world, up to 55’, so we
should see some variation to the beach during our stay.  Steve walks up to the lighthouse area, again
pleasant but not quite the attraction it is billed up to be as the best scenic
spot in Canada. 

CAPE ENRAGE

 

WEDNESDAY 4 JULY – Our first stop is at
Hopewell Rocks, $8 (£3.90) pp and the ticket gives you unlimited admission over
2 days.  We’ve arrived just before low
tide and once we have done the coastal walk we descend the steps to the beach
where we walk on the seabed.  Tree
topped flowerpot rocks abound and we can see how the rocks were formed with
conglomerate rock.  The high tide mark
is many metres above us and to view them then you must be in a kayak.  It’s very interesting and unusual and even
the mud flats hold a certain appeal. 
Cross the Chocolate River to Monkton where we visit a couple of RV
dealers to learn that the problem with our over cab creaking is common and that
we must put self tapping screws in at 1” intervals and secure them with
caulking.  In Sackville we have seen a
free walking tour of the Waterfowl Park advertised for Wednesdays at 2pm and we
time our visit to coincide with this. 
Staff at the visitor centre were not told about it but are happy to take
us once we have shown them the brochure. 
There are many inter connecting boardwalks and we cover a small area of
the wetlands with our guide and see a few birds including the ring necked
duck.  Nearby Fort Beausejour,
$3.95pp  (a National Historic Site of
Canada so free with our pass) has an interesting museum, remains of the fort
and superb views over the bay.  It’s at
the village of Aulac where we park up at the 24-hour Irving fuel station. 

AULAC – IRVING BIG STOP

 

THURSDAY 5 JULY – Just as we are leaving we
find that there is free wi-fi so put in time on the Internet before finally
leaving.  As soon as we cross into NOVA
SCOTIA we find a huge tourist info centre complete with a piper in Scottish
kilt playing the bagpipes outside. Near Stewiacke we see a sign advising us
that we are exactly half way between the North Pole and the equator.  Stop for lunch at a shopping centre giving
me chance to check out a Canadian supermarket and purchase the elusive custard
powder.  By the time we get to the
capital of Halifax it is pouring with rain but we have good directions to reach
our host Ruth’s house.  She invites us
into the house and we spend the afternoon chatting about her recent trip to
Crete, a tourist guide she has just had published and other travel related
subjects.  Return to the van for tea and
find rather unsurprisingly that we have a leak in the shower.  We were pretty sure that there was a leak in
the roof but Moturis assured us this was not the case.  Having had this problem with Charlie we at
least know how to deal with it, initially with cloths on the floor to deaden
the dripping!   Ruth’s partner Bill
arrives home just after 9pm.  He’s a
pharmacist and in great demand so often does relief work in more than one
place.  We are invited into the house
and chat until after midnight.

HALIFAX

 

FRIDAY 6 JULY – Bill is out at work but Ruth
is staying home and offers us use of her car. 
First we call at the RV dealer to pick up the special tape and silicone
for the roof repair.  We continue for a
drive out anti clockwise around the nearby peninsula.  First stop near Tantallon to enjoy “Fredies Fantastic Fish House”
fish & chips and it’s good.  It’s a
drizzly misty day and very atmospheric traversing the coast.  We pass dozens of picture perfect coves with
the road often right on the waters edge. 
The scenes are just beautiful and we can’t stop ourselves from
commenting on how nice it all is.  Just
outside Indian Harbour we visit the memorial site for when a Swiss Air plane
crashed near here in 1998 killing all aboard. 
Peggy’s Cove exceeds our expectations and is the only place in the world
where the working village Post Office is located inside a lighthouse.  It’s the prettiest little arbour village
that we have ever seen and we spend time walking to the lighthouse, past the
harbour and out to admire a Fisherman’s Sculptured mural.    By far the nicest thing we have seen so
far on this trip.  Even the journey back
to Halifax scores superb views with many families of Canadian Geese on the
waters.  It has stopped raining when we
get back and also getting a bit warmer, that figures as we have just invested
in more warm clothing.  I invite Ruth
& Bill to dine at Harry’s restaurant. 
It’s the first time I’ve used the oven to cook a roast dinner and the
amount of pre dinner drinks and nibbles consumed testifies to the fact that the
oven cooks slower than anticipated. 
However the roast pork dinner comes out a treat and is enjoyed by
all. 

HALIFAX 2

 

SATURDAY 7 JULY – Ruth again kindly lends us
her car so that we can explore Halifax. 
It’s very easy to drive into the city centre and the parking meters are
free for street parking at the weekend. 
There’s a comprehensive walking tour in the tourist brochure so we join
it at the nearest point to our parking spot and venture to the Public Gardens,
which are very nice.  In the ground of
the nearby citadel they are holding the “highland games” and we had thought of
attending but soon realise a/ all the bagpipes would drive us crazy and b/ we
can see it all for free from the citadel. 
Another National Historical site we save the $10.90 admission and
immediately join one of the free-guided tours inside.  It takes us over 3-hours to visit the many museums, watch a
couple of movies and the live re enactments and it’s all good stuff.  The rest of the day is spent on the trail
where we really enjoy the free tour inside “Providence House” mainly because we
have an excellent guide who keeps telling us about funny things that have
happened there.  It’s very busy but
pleasant down at the waterfront and we enjoy almost everything we see and
finally get back to the car after a 7-hour visit.  Back at Ruth’s she has her friend Linda visiting and we join them
on the deck making the most of the sun. 

HALIFAX 3

 

SUNDAY 8 JULY – By the time we get up Bill has
already set out on a 25km walk but Ruth is there to see us off.  We are heading to our next host Wayne in
Dartmouth and feel confident enough to take the short cut through town.  All goes well until we approach the Angus
MacDonald Bridge and find we are way over their weight limit.  Make a quick turn and head out to the ring
road to cross on the Murray MacKay bridge, $1.75 (85p) toll.  Reach our pre-arranged rendezvous where
Wayne is parked up to escort us to his home just a street back from the
waterfront.  Along with his dog Missy we
are made welcome.  He’s now retired from
the Navy and has been working in the book trade and flea markets so his house
is crammed full of stock.  Every wall of
every room is lined with bookshelves with each room dedicated to a different
subject and there’s more in the sheds in the garden, approx 40,000 in total.  Wayne was out in Margaret’s Bay on a Navy
ship when the Swiss Air plane went down and was involved in the salvage
operation so is able to tell us more and show us pictures in some of his many
books.  He’s also a “jack of all trades”
and offers to help with the leaking van roof problem.  In no time at all he is on the roof with a hosepipe whilst Steve
watches inside. It doesn’t take too long to trace the fault and put more
caulking around to seal it.  I cook up
stir-fry for a late lunch in the van. 
Wayne drives us down to Fisherman’s Cove where Steve can’t resist the
lobster on sale at $7.99 (£4) lb.  The
vendor says he will cook them for us so we order one each for Steve and Wayne
and the total cost is £16 (£8).  I’m not
thrilled with lobster so am happy to settle for a local homemade ice
cream.  Whilst the lobster is being
cooked we stroll the boardwalk then collect the lobster to take back to eat at
Wayne’s.  Steve says it’s a very tasty
and certainly good value.  Again I pick
up wi-fi Internet and just as I “skype” Claire she is on the phone to David so
we have a 4-way family chat.  Down in
the basement Wayne has a lounge with huge colour TV and pellet burning fire
(wood chippings forced into a pellet shape). 
It’s really cosy and we are happy to while away the evening watching
videos and DVD’s from his huge collection.  

DARTMOUTH

 

MONDAY 9 JULY – Wayne invites us in for bacon
and eggs after which we head off to the beach. 
He’s a fellow naturist and Crystal Crescent Beach has a nude
section.  Its a pleasant drive past lots
of small fishing coves and even the walk along the boardwalk to the beach is
nice.  Manage a couple of hours of warm
sun before clouds stop play.  Call in to
sample another variety of ice cream on the way back, may have to stay here
longer to work my way through the different flavours.  Wayne cooks us moose steaks for our evening meal, brought back
from his home province of New Foundland. 
Great to try something different and we found them tasty but a little
dry.  Not only does he collect books and
things for the flea market but seems to attract anything and everything that
other people are throwing out.  He fixes
us up with lots of bedding for when we have visitors plus numerous other items,
brilliant.  Another evening in the
basement lounge watching movies.

DARTMOUTH 2

 

TUESDAY 10 JULY – Wayne would have us stay
longer but we really must press on and leave after a bacon and egg breakfast
sends off.   The Titanic went down off
the coast of Nova Scotia and most of the victims are buried here.  We visit Fair View Lawn cemetery with
informative plaques and headstones lined up to form the shape of the bow of a
ship.  Heading south on the “lighthouse
route” the weather is pool with drizzle and mist.  In Chester we can’t find anywhere to park so press on to the
pretty Mahone Bay and after our lunch break the weather has improved.  A stroll around takes us to the Settlers
Museum (free) with quite a few items of interest about the original immigrants,
mainly from Germany.  Next stop is
Lunenburg with some outstanding architecture in it’s old buildings many with
unusual bull nose style windows.  After
wandering the steep streets we drop down to the harbour where we go on board
the “Bluenose 11” to look around.  One
of its claims to fame is that it is depicted on the back of the Canadian 10c
coin.  Also in port is “Picton Castle”
recently used in the reality TV series “Pirate Master”.  In Bridgewater we stop at the Irving truck
stop to check it out for a possible overnight stop.  We could stay overnight but it will probably be noisy but we stay
long enough to make use of the free dump station.  Cutting across country we keep an eagle eye out for tracks into
the forest large enough for Harry to get in. 
Near Colpton we find just the think and drive far enough in not to be
noticeable from the road.  Having just
manoeuvred into a good position a truck comes past and pulls up.  Think the driver thought we were in trouble
because once we explain what we were doing he tells us we will be just fine
here overnight.  There’s been a big
change in the weather and it’s now so hot that I need the fan on in the
evening.

NR COLPTON

 

WEDNESDAY 11 JULY – We have a very quiet night
and wake to the seemingly normal dull damp drizzly morning.  It’s not far to Kejimkujik National Park and
National Historic Site of Canada   The
pass saves us the $4.75pp admission and we stop at the visitor centre to view a
brief film about the area and to look at a few displays.  There’s a very short walk to the nearby
falls on the River Mersey and we’ve time to do it before catching the 10am talk
at the Mi’kmaw encampment.  This
involves a 10km drive through the park passing many viewpoints alongside the
river.  The informative talk is given by
Cathy, a member of the Mi’kmaw first nations tribe, and she tells us all about
how they used to live in this area.  
There are 4 car parks in the area and we move to the one behind the
beach but then find that although the water is warmer than the air temperature
it is still to cold at 18C.  At 2pm we
join the Petroglyph Tour and Donna spends 1 ½ hours taking us back over 5,000
years of history and takes us to rocks on the lakeside where we can see ancient
carvings.  Cathy is also there and we
manage to chat to her about how the first nations are treated in Canada and
it’s quite an insight.  Leaving the park
we pick up the main road toward Annapolis Royal and our eagle eyes spot an
interesting logging track.  This one is
even better than last night as it comes to a dead end by a lake.  We opt to stay above the lake as there are
lots of bugs down there and we only want and overnight stop.  Early evening a caravan arrives with a
family who have come to camp for a few nights. 
Neither the muddy lake edge nor the water temperature deters their
grandchildren. 

BY A LAKE JUST WEST OF KEJIMKUJIK

 

THURSDAY 12 JULY – We get heavy rain in the
night and again the van is tilted so the drips are by Steve’s head.  He pops out and puts a towel underneath but
eventually moves into the lounge.  At least
the shower roof repair seems to be holding. 
Approaching Annapolis Royal we see loads of RV’s coming towards us and
find out they are on a touring rally and heading for Halifax.  Glad we are not going in their direction, as
parking must be a nightmare.  We visit
Fort Anne (£3.95 without a pass) and find the locally sewn tapestry
amazing.  Over 200 locals spent 4 years
depicting the history of the area and whilst visiting the area Queen Elizabeth
sewed a few stitches into the part depicting Queen Victoria.  Our tour around the fort is curtailed by
rain but after a drink in the van it is dry enough for a stroll through town to
admire the historical buildings. 
Further up the coast we visit Le Pre ($7.15 without pass) and finally
get a very good insight into the history of the Arcadians.  Basically immigrants from France who
established the Arcadian community here but were run out by the British.  This is the exact spot where they used to
live and a memorial church has been built with more info inside.  In the grounds they are now excavating for
the original church and its fascinating talking to them and learning that
thermal imaging now plans the digging locations.  Head on back into NEW BRUNSWICK to the truck stop just over the
border where fuel is cheaper than Nova Scotia.

AULAC – IRVING BIG STOP

 

FRIDAY 13 JULY – Wake to a foggy morning but
by the time we have had breakfast and checked our E-mail it has burnt off.  Pick up the Trans Canada highway heading
west on our journey to Vancouver, a mere 6000km to go!  It’s lunchtime when we reach Fredericton and
26C.  Enjoy an interesting buffet lunch
at the “Delta Fredericton Hotel” sat by the swimming pool on the banks of the
river.  $10.95 buys you a soft drink,
soup, salad including mussels, pasta where you choose the ingredients and sauce
plus lots of desserts.   Walk some of it
off doing the town trail including catching the unimpressive 4pm changing of
the guard.  Our journey follows the St
John River and is very pleasant.  We’ve
been invited to visit Cory’s brother Adam in Woodstock and soon find his
house.  It’s on a bit of a slope but a
neighbour gives permission for us to park on her spare driveway.  The neighbour is a sister in the McCain
family as in the McCain food products that make all the chips for MacDonalds.  Adam has invited Monique and their friends
Wendy & Laurie round.  Wendy &
Laurie work on the 3 over 4 programme sacrificing 25% of their wages in order
to have 1 year off in every 4 with the same income.  Their last trip was around North America, Nepal and
Thailand.  Needless to say we find
plenty to chat about.

WOODSTOCK

 

SATURDAY 14 JULY – Join Adam for a cooked
breakfast in the house.  Adam spends the
morning working with Steve fixing up Harry’s problems.  Adam comes up with the brilliant idea of
using rivets to hold the luton onto the cab and it seems to work really
well.  He goes out to play golf in the
afternoon so we head off to USA, Maine just a few miles away for a
booze-shopping trip and to buy fuel, as both are much cheaper there.  We are questioned about beef and certain
fresh fruits that cannot be taken from Canada into America.  I conveniently forget the big juicy steaks
sitting in the freezer but we bought them in America anyway.  Re-entering CANADA border security notice
that our passports we not stamped on our first entry but once we have been
checked out on the computer we are stamped up ready to go.  Adam has left the house open for us so I
make us of the computer and Steve the TV. 
Stay chatting for a while after he returns.

WOODSTOCK 2

 

SUNDAY 15 JULY – After breakfasting with Adam
he and Steve put the final touches to replacing the shower dome and fixing down
the TV.  Couldn’t have done it without
Adam’s expertise and tools so it’s a real bonus.  Pick up the main highway heading north but leave at Hartland to
admire the longest covered bridge in the world.  It was built in 1901 and is 390m long so quite a feat of
engineering and really impressive.  At
Florenceville we are disappointed not to see the famous Hunter Brothers corn
maize but we do see photos of ones from previous years. Each year they plant
the crop in a fancy design, this years is “Cat in the hat” but it’s only
recently been planted and won’t be ready for viewing until September.  Chat to the brother who does the design and
he tells us we can see more on their web site www.hunterbrothers.ca.   Florenceville is also famous as the
hometown of McCain.  There’s a museum
called “Potato World” $5.  We thought
the museum would be free and that there may also be factory tours with samples
of the various products and maybe a shop selling them.  Instead there is an expensive café, art
gallery and souvenir sales.  We don’t
stop long.  By the time we reach the
town of Grand Falls we are having some of our own whilst driving through
torrential rain.  The front of the van
is like Niagara.  We park by the falls
and gorge for lunch and take a peak once the rain has eased off, nothing
spectacular as the water is held back by a dam.  Just north of Edmunston we check out the Botanical Gardens and
take a picture of a hand sculpture covered in plants and flowers.  Pass into QUEBEC province and it’s like
arriving in France with all the signs in French and no one at the petrol
station able, or willing, to speak English!      Get another real downpour with traffic either pulling over or
slowed to less than 30mph.  It’s made
for a tiring driving day so we call a halt early at the Irving Truck Stop,
Saint Antonin then realise just how early we have stopped as our watches say
5pm but with it’s really now 4pm as Quebec is on a different time.  No sooner have we settled in than the sun
comes out. 

ST ANTONIN IRVING BIG STOP

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