The Cabot Trail

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
Trip End Aug 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Monday, August 25, 2008

The Lonely Planet describes the Cabot Trail as one of the best road trips in the world. None of our photos or write-ups will do the Cabot Trail any justice. This is one of those trips that you have to take for yourself to soak in and appreciate the beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands.

Rajiv made a ¨pilgrimage¨ to the Glenora distillery on our way to the campsite. The distillery produces Canada´s only single malt whiskey. It is aged 10 years, and, for people who enjoy a good whiskey, has a very smooth and refined taste.

We had a quick  tour of the distillery  that included a sampling of the whiskey  (can be skipped....despite the free whiskey). We had a good lunch in the pub while listening to live music.

It was a grey and deary afternoon when we finally made camp at Cheticamp in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It stayed like that the rest of the day and rained overnight. We woke up the next day to a light rain, and the clouds were hanging low with a thick fog slowly rolling in. We had planned to hike the Skyline Trail (approx 10km) but decided to spend some time in the morning in the village of Cheticamp, in the hopes that the weather will improve.

Cheticamp is a colourful village nestled in the hills and valleys of the Cape Breton Highlands. It even has a Tim Hortons! We stopped at Charlies Downhome Music - the largest Atlantic region Celtic, Gaelic and Fiddle Music Selection in Eastern Canada and bought a couple of tapes - yes tapes. The van has a tape deck only so we are somewhat limited in our music. For the most part, CBC is our radio companion on the road.

We hiked the skyline trail in the afternoon. It was a hike that promised wonderful views at the top of the mountain but the fog pretty much obstructed anything more than 200 metres away. But it was still a good hike - the fog created its own enchantment.

At one of the look-outs on the way back to camp, we saw moose munching away at grass. That evening we watched a very entertaining event at the camp theatre about wild cats in the park, put on by a park interpreter. She used cat puppets and characters such as ¨Fundyana Jones¨ to teach us about these animals that roam the park. As we left the following day, we sighted a black bear just by the road up the Cabot trail.

On our way to Ingonish (the other side of the Cabot Trail), we stopped at Pleasant Bay to go on a whale watching tour. The company guaranteed sightings and we did see some pilot whales . They usually swim in a pod and for the most part we saw them in groups of 3 or4. Very graceful animals and the pod would come up in unison and then a split second later, they would be back in the water.

Rajiv did try to take some pictures, but it was very difficult - with the choppy water, trying to balance on the boat was a challenge, and given the quickness with which the whales moved, it was almost a futile effort to try and capture them on camera.

It was more of a whale-chasing tour than whale-watching, as the boat raced to spots where the whales were sighted. Hopefully the whales aren´t too disturbed by the presence of the boats but I guess its better than what they used to face, as about 50 000 whales used to be slaughtered annually in whale hunts as recently as the 1960s.

We are now on our way to catch the long ferry to Newfoundland.
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frankandrita on

Hello from Almonte
Rajiv & Bobbie, just had some spare time to check out your travel blog. WoW, you have had some awesome adventures already ! Great pics and yes, you will have time to learn French for the the future. I thought you were heading West not East so I was surprised when I first started reading. I just came in from a Volkswagen camping trip to the Caves in Warsaw, ON. There were around 30 buses. Good weather good times. See Facebook for some pics. I was alone as Rita had to work the weekend. I simpathaise with you about the photo size and upload. We have been there and have not ever found a suitable soloution. They all need to be resized smaller before uploadng. Always a lot of time and trouble ! But folks sure appreciate seeing the pics ! So keep up the good work and enjoy yourselves.


bengalcats on

Thought you were headed west!
Glad to hear you are enjoying some down home treatment. I miss New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Beautiful scenary and great people. I'm really glad you are blogging, it's great for the rest of us to enjoy your trip of a life time.

Linda Larose

kalsi_kaur on

Re: We will head West...eventually
Hi Linda. thanks for your comments. We decided to head East first while the weather is good, before making it to the West Coast by the end of October. Hope things are good back in Ottawa.


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