After a few weeks, my original adventure buddy, Ricky, arrived to Halifax. As his first stop in Canada, it was straight into rural life where bands of racoons roamed the streets and Coyotes could be spotted whilst brushing your teeth. We found a porcupine nestled in an apple tree, presumably in a food coma judging from the remains of chomped apples discarded beneath him.
In the weeks since the hurricane, our work was turned to the trails. Here the damage was impressive. Huge, hundred year old maples and aspens had crashed down wiping out use sections of the path. A trail making challenge. We set about mapping the damage, surveying where the trail now needed to be rerouted, and created several new sections of trail. We used fallen wood to create drains to prevent future deluges from wiping out the path again in the next storm. Heavy work of building and chainsawing was celebrated with evening trips for ice cream and beach excursions. Whilst the ocean was on the horizon, we walked the ocean floor looking for the creatures that spent their time submerged.
On the south coast, the sun shone. Jim, Lisa and I explored Lunenburg, which sits across the peninsula from us, closer to Halifax. Here, the harbour has made its mark, even as far as Canada’s 10 cent coin, as the birthplace of the ship, the Bluenose. Bluenose was once the nickname of Nova Scotians, who now wear it with pride after this fast and prestigious fishing vessel. It eventually sunk in 1946 and now the Bluenose II in all its glory makes journeys in and around Lunenburg’s gorgeous setting. We walked the waterfront, nosing in lots of its nautical themed shops, visited the Fisheries Museum as a makeshift ‘family’ and then took our adventurous day out as far as Blue Rocks for an ice cream from the Point General Store.
I was lucky enough to visit Lunenburg, with Ricky, a few weeks later for the Documentary Festival. Over three days the town screened movies covering many topics. We watched short clips on the Mars Mission, life with a Rooster and the work of an eccentric inventor. Other films were an emotional rollercoaster exploring the cycle of prison and reoffending in woman convicts. The touching movie was followed by a powerful Q&A in which local authories called for help for change. The final movie we saw was a thrilling battle for the Sea of Cortez between the Mexican Cartel and Sea Shepherd. Whilst environmental groups fight to save the last of the Vaquita Whale, Mexican fisherman are caught in the middle of the devastating harvesting of the swim bladders of the Totoaba fish to sell to the Chinese mafia.
In the onset of autumn, the leaves began changing colours. Even so, Wolfville was in festival mode. Ricky and I volunteered at Deep Roots Music Festival which in this small university town made way for folk and country, dancing and instrument making. It was a privilege to linger a little longer in friendly Nova Scotia.
Next up, Newfoundland, my tenth and final province.
A few things to check out in Kings Country, Nova Scotia;
- Tangled Gardens
- Grand Pre, Parks Canada Historic Site
- Many wineries; Luckett Vineyards & Lightfoot and Wolfville are some of the biggest
- Church Bar
- Saturday Morning and Wednesday Evening Farmers Markets
Along the Coast
- Kingsport Beach
- Halls Harbour
- Baxters Harbour
- Blomidon Provincial Park
- Cape Split Hike
- Ross Creek Centre for the arts – there is always something happening!