Day 81. Friday, 19th July. From River Ryan to up in the Hills above Wreck Cove on the Cabot Trail

It wasn’t a good night. It seemed an ideal peaceful spot at the rear of the campground, next to an inlet. There was a road bridge across the water, not far away though, and the noise carried across the water. Not helped by boy racers and noisy motor bikes. 

Today has been quite eventful. In a more unusual way. When we were in White Rock staying with our friends, Bill and Joan, we had promised to visit Bill’s Mum. Bill comes from Sydney, Cape Breton Island. Mum, Mary, is in a nursing home in Glace Bay, which is just outside Sydney. Bill had let Mary know we were coming to see her  and she was quite excited to have visitors from far away New Zealand. Mary is 99, 100 in October. Still able to get around with her walker and fully with it. Once she had managed to get her hearing aid in, we had a lively conversation. Mary insisted we call Bill, which we did. I’m not sure Bill was quite so enthusiastic to receive the call, as it was only 7.15 am in Western Canada and I fear we woke him up. Sorry Bill! A remarkable lady.

Marvellous Mary Jones Nearly 100!!

Before setting off for the Cabot Trail, we filled up with fuel and did a bit of grocery shopping. We had to drive back through Sydney again. It is the second largest city in Nova Scotia, after Halifax. It has a population of around 30,000, so isn’t large. We let the Sat-Nav take us the shortest way and she took us through some lovely leafy streets with pretty clapboard houses. Nice residential areas. 

The Sat-Nav wanted to take us from Englishtown across St Ann’s Bay by ferry. We ignored her, as we had a reason for wanting to go to St Ann’s. St Ann’s has a historical connection with New Zealand. Dennis mentioned yesterday, that he would tell you more about some settlers from here.  So, I will let him finish the story tomorrow.

The Cabot Trail is really scenic and follows the coast all the way around the northern part of Cape Breton Island. Winding roads, but well surfaced, pretty bays, dotted with art galleries, potteries, shops selling local crafts, such as pewter jewellery and sea food restaurants. Lots of advertisements for lobster, which we have yet to sample. Thickly forested over the hills, on the landward side.

We stopped at Wreck Cove to visit the General Store for an ice cream.

Wreck Cove, named because of the number of ships that foundered off the coast here. Some from Scotland. Dennis asked the young lady in the store if she knew anything about the local history. She didn’t but another customer had come in behind us and he did and so struck up a conversation with Dennis. His name is Greg and he is a paramedic working for B C Hydro. He asked if we were interested in camping up in the hills in an area where B C Hydro have damed a number of valleys to create storage lakes. We followed him to a road that turned off into the forest, after he had given us instructions and found  us a map

The road almost immediately turned to gravel and we climbed up away from the coast and into the hills. we passed a number of lakes and after driving across a dam we found a small, level spot where we decided to camp. We passed some other campers on the way in, beside two of the lakes. It feels nice and isolated up here though, a bit like being back in Siberia!

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