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Published: September 7th 2013
I left Gros Morne for JT Cheeseman Provincial Park. It's right by Port Aux Basques and the ferry. By crazy coincidence, I met Jacob and his dad on the highway so I got an early hug in. Sometimes, I believe that I am just going to cruise through a place, do chores and nothing will register. The campsite was really great, big sites, hardly any people. My site was on a loop where no one else was camping and a stream bordered one side with a huge brook and water fall bordering the other side of my site. I slept well to the sound of running water, even though there was also torrential down pour over night. By morning, the winds had picked up; the rains had not stopped and the ferry was cancelled. I was going to be there another day. It's good to have a flexible schedule. The two days there, I went into the village and took care of laundry, and read a lot in my tent. The rain never did stop. The village is very fishing town, with church on the hill, winding narrow roads and beautiful coloured houses clinging to steep slopes.
The ferry ran
the next day, and I was back in North Sydney at the Heritage Homes BnB. This time, I got to enjoy the breakfast, complete with fresh baked muffins, banana buttermilk pancakes and bacon, plus to top it off, warmed up bread pudding. It was awesome and Juana the same generous hostess. The other true gift of a BnB breakfast is the company of the other guests. One couple was there from Boston, who had shared the camp ground with me at Gros Morne, and another couple were born and raised in New Brunswick. We got carried away talking about travel, my work and our families, and ended up exchanging hugs, contact information and a really strong sense of having met truly good people.
After packing up my now dry gear, getting the new load of groceries and ensuring that I took care of the car, I was off to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. I choose to go to the Cheticamp side due to the advice of Audrey. She loved the cultural aspect ofCape Breton here. This campground has sites way too open and close together for my tastes, but I found a corner with trees and so far no one beside me. I set up my characteristic tarp city, since it was pouring again. Today, I went to town to find a small backpack for short hikes and to check out the folk art scene. I had forgotten to bring a toque and the nights are getting chilly, my out back hat wasn't cutting it. So, I hound a beautiful knitted hat and wandered back and forth amongst millions of tiny hooked rugs, the specialty here. The woman running the store was Acadian, so we spoke in French and she showed my her loom and how the hook the rugs. She also gave me the low down on where to go for Acadian music this week. I then left for a short hideout to the sea. The trail follows the old wagon route out to a small community of four families that were out away from the main town. It was wide enough for two and was mown grass the entire 5 km. The alders met over top my head and I thought the I was in a fairy tale. Near the ocean, markers at the old foundation stone of the four families homes spread out along the road, give the man's name and father's name, then the woman's first name, the family name and then the number of children, 10, 11, 9. The ruins were tiny, they couldn't have all lived there. Then you come around the corner to the water, great breakers rolling in, Cheticamp in the distance, and the huge Grand Falaise behind me. Once returned from this hike, it was too early to go back to camp so I drove to a picnic spot right on the beach. I munched my granola bar face to the wind and wave, very glad for my new knitted hat. I walk the beach, thinking about the possibilities of beach combing, and found a huge pair of modern binoculars. There was no one else on the full km of beach, so the must have fallen off someone while whale watching and washed to shore. I couldn't believe it. Time to return to camp and cook a meal.
Good night and Sweetdreams.
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