Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Crossing the Canso Causeway

Thursday July 1st and Canada Day!  Cape Breton is in fact an island, and was only joined to the mainland of Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway in 1955.  I was glad to find accommodation in Port Hawkesbury a short ride away, as I planned to cross the causeway early in the morning before the traffic built up.  Michelle kindly volunteered to get up at the crack of dawn to drive me to the stables, which meant I was able to sleep in a comfortable bed rather than doss down in a corner of the barn.
Crossing the Canso Causeway Canal bridge which is the official dividing line between Cape Breton and the Nova Scotia mainland..
 As I had hoped, the traffic was very light on the causeway ...
The ship on the left hand side is loading gravel from a rock quarry to supply construction projects.
Breakfast stop at Tim Horton's in Aulds Cove on the other side where there was a there was lush grass and a convenient sign to tether Lady to while I had a coffee and bagel..
...but Lady had only just begun tucking in when she was moved on by a jobsworth workman who needed to mow the grass NOW!  
I had planned to take a southerly route more or less following the proposed Trans Canada Trail route. But this took me through more isolated country where I could not guarantee finding overnight shelter for Lady.  It had become evident that camping outdoors was not an option for Lady with the biting bugs, so I changed my plans and decided to follow the more populated northern coast where I was more likely to find barns.
With the construction of the new Trans Canada Highway, the old road has become a quiet backwater - not quite the remote forestry tracks I had imagined I would be following in my original plan, but pleasant nonetheless. 
Some of the houses here have immense lawns - apparently a leftover from when people owned smallholding plots large enough to accommodate livestock, such as the ubiquitous horse now replaced by mechanised transport. 
Canada is a BIG country with lots of space, as born out by the house numbers!...
Nova Scotian flower bed....
 Something tells me it is Canada Day....
A rest stop on the shore of an inlet at Monastery and Lady has a good roll..
The decision to follow the north coast was turning out to be a good one, as a sea breeze helped to keep the bugs at bay. However not all the time, as can be seen by Lady's attempts to rid herself of mosquitoes.
 But it also proved easier to find barns along the way, and I was thankful to be taken in by Dan and Thelma MacGilvray at Tracardie, who provided Lady with a loose box and a large feed of hay.
 On top of this they generously included the last minute foreign gate-crasher in their Canada Day BBQ celebrations, of which I was most appreciative. I have to say Thelma's peanut butter and chocolate sweets were particularly scrumptious!
Dan, Thelma and son...
And true to Canadian form, I was provided with a bed for the night.

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