Greetings from Cape Sable Island: Nova Scotia Bike Tour Day 1
Our recumbent cycling trek around Nova Scotia has gotten off with some fits and starts, but after several days of dealing with some technical issues and unrelated complications, we're now one day in and 59.4 miles down the road.
We left New York on Saturday morning, drove to Portland, Maine, where we stayed with family, and then drove to Halifax on Sunday, just in time for the city's busking festival.
Halifax is a beautiful and booming small city, but we quickly hit the road on Monday for Lunenburg, a UNESCO world heritage site and small historic town down the coast from Halifax. We camped on the edge of town, ate local Indian food and tasted locally distilled vodka and gin.
From Lunenburg, we drove to Shelburne, where we stayed in a local hotel and ate at restaurant where we discussed the finer points of the virtues of donairs, the local cuisine, with the waitstaff of a local restaurant. Donairs are made of spicy beef and a sweet mayonnaise.
Finally sick of riding in the car, we wrapped up the business we needed to take care of and struck out on two wheels on Wednesday morning. The plan is to leave the car in Shelburne, then head along the Nova Scotia coast through Yarmouth and eventually to Annapolis Royal and the Bay of Fundy coast, where we'll turn south, cross back to the South Shore and return to Shelburne, where we'll retrieve the car and make our way back to New York City.
Total mileage for the first day on the road: 59.4. The idea was to do an easy first day, but services were nearly nonexistent along the entire route, and there are no places to camp until Yarmouth, another 50 miles down the highway. So, we worked AirBNB magic and ended up near the very southern tip of Nova Scotia — Cape Sable Island.
No short ride tomorrow, either. 50 miles or so gets us to a campground near Yarmouth. Or, who knows? Maybe we'll ride 100 tomorrow.
Finally, several generalizations about Canada: Everybody is insanely friendly; even when people are grumpy, they're nice. Unlike in NYC, litter is usually minimal, but you can follow the Tim Hortons cups scattered on the highway to find the nearest location. Canadian towns don't sprawl like US towns do. Yes, they have their commercial strips, but in Nova Scotia, there isn't much in between. Better fill up with gas and water or snacks while you can, in other words. And, everything is expensive. So expensive. But the quality of life? Pretty stellar up north, it seems.