Friday, July 31, 2009

Halifax, NS to Whitehead, Cape Breton

Today was a good day. We slept late (I woke up, the first awake, at 8:30am. Slept well, but it was somewhat drug-induced. Had the free breakfast and packed the bikes. Packing was a bit of an ordeal for Gary and his wife; they had to leave some of Gary’s things in order to have space for her things. They had arranged with the hotel in advance to leave a suitcase of unnecessary items there so they could repack when we return to Halifax next Thursday.

After a bit of negotiations, the bikes were packed and we hit the road, headed northeast towards the coast. Initially the roads were busy and tricky, but soon we found the road we wanted and rode along at speed limit speeds (which are in Kilometers per hour here).

The road was good; curvy and up and down, making the riding interesting and preventing sleepiness that sometimes encroaches. Speed limits ranged from 50K/hr to 90K/hr, depending on where we were. Generally those speeds correspond to our 35 to 55 miles per hour, and seemed reasonable for the surroundings. An easy riding day.

The temperatures were wild on the ride. Initially I was almost hot wearing the mesh suit. Not too far along, we noted fog coming in off the water, and the temperature plummeted about 10 degrees in a matter of a couple of miles. Then in just a bit, we ran out of the fog and the temperature started rising again. Essentially what I learned from observation is that the closer to the ocean, the more likely it will be foggy and cool. Move inland off the water, and it was very warm. Interesting…

The roads we used generally followed the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. A few times, we cut off the “bigger” road (equivalent to a state road in NC) and took a smaller road towards the coast, hoping to find something interesting, like a cute village. Usually, we ended up on a dead-end road!

Found a good lunch in Sheet Harbour. We all had a steak and ale pie, which turned out to be delicious. It was a dish with a baked pastry top and stew beaf/gravy/beer stock under the top. Sounds weird, but it was very good. Probably the third-best meal of the trip!

We continued northeast following the coastline. We noted a lighthouse along the route, at Port Bickerson, so we headed off to find it. We did. Off the main road off a secondary road at the end of a dirt road! The road was right along the shore, at times the ocean was 20 feet away from the road.

The lighthouse was so different from ours in NC. It was a building on top of which is a light. We toured what they had there and took some pics. A neat place!

At one point we were riding along, and I could see on the GPS that we were approaching a ferry that crossed an inlet or a river. So, we pulled up to the landing, rode onto the ferry and paid the attendant $5 for the ride to the other side.

It was beginning to get late, so we started thinking about dinner and a place to stay for the night. We passed one lodge, thinking another would be just up the road a bit. After some riding, I spotted another place, a B&B with cottages off the main road. Just a bit down the road a sign pointed to a dirt road and we found the Foxberry B&B at Whitehead. They actually had one room (the green-floor room) with a single and a double bed.

Unfortunately there was no place for dinner, so we had a diet coke, cheesecrackers, peanuts, and a small piece of raspberry Danish for dinner. But breakfast will be great tomorrow morning!

Today’s ride was about 180 miles.

Tomorrow—north to Cape Breton.

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