Monday, 14 July 2014

Into Mac Land

On Friday 27th June, Lady and I set out into Nova Scotia or New Scotland, so called due to the numbers of Scottish immigrants to this part of Canada, and particularly to Cape Breton Island which I was due to cross first.   Gaelic was widely spoken here and the Scottish influence continued to be evident as I crossed the province.
Lady on the move with her  new saddlebag arrangement.
The Trans Canada Trail is only partly developed through Nova Scotia, so I followed relatively quiet gravel roads over a forested hill ridge before coming down Boisdale and the 233 road running along the side of St Andrews Channel.
In my pocket was a list of useful contacts, including Aaron Gillis who had promised to identify some suitable stopovers where I could safely tether/stable Lady. But she had since been incommunicado, so I was resigned to winging it for the first week or so. (I later had a very apologetic text from Aaron to explain she had gone on a weekend trail ride and had forgotten her cell phone, something I can sympathise with from experience!)
I had aimed to reach Beaver Cove  by nightfall (notice the name in Gaelic on the road sign)...

where I had been told there was a small cafĂ© with ample grass around. Perhaps I could tether Lady there and have a bite to eat. But I arrived to find the proprietoress uncharacteristically unhelpful, though she informed me there was someone with horses two kilometres down the road.  It turned out to be more like six and I ended up trotting along the narrow verge of an increasingly dark road, particularly worrying as I had forgotten to pack my reflective vest.
After asking further directions I turned down a driveway towards an outside light to find that word had preceded me and I was expected ..  yes I was most welcome and could tether Lady on the lawn, and of course I must use their guest room. What a relief!  Lady tucked into the excellent grass immediately while Marie Musgrave (I think I have the name right, I forgot to write it down so apologies if I have got it wrong) and family welcomed me into their house.  Here is Marie the following morning on the porch of their lovely home which enjoyed a stunning view out over the channel. 
  The house was home designed and built, as are so many houses and cabins in the Maritime Provinces, where planning regulations are much looser than in the UK.
 June 28th .

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