Today we left New Brunswick and drove to the north end of Nova Scotia, known as Cape Breton Island and the famed Cabot Trail. The trail is marketed as one of the world’s most scenic destinations, with stunning ocean vistas, old-growth forests, prehistoric rock scarred by glaciers, and the mysterious Cape Breton Highlands.
Our first campground we stayed in was just north of Inverness at Dunvegan, MacLeod’s Beach & Campground. When we arrived, they wondered if we wanted to upgrade to the “million dollar view” site as it was empty. For the extra $10 we figured it was well worth it.
We situated our home on a 40m high bluff, so that our front window looked out to the west above the water, the view and the sunset’s were spectacular!
The quiet and beautiful beach at the campground was a nice kilometer walk down hill from our perch and boy, was the water cold! The only issue with the campground, if you can call it an issue, is that we were disconnected from technology.
No cell service, no tv service and no wifi! How will we survive!? When you park your home on a bluff looking out onto the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the spring time you might expect some wind. Our first day here we experienced wind, gale force wind to be exact. With the steady wind blowing at 60 kmh and the gusts hitting over 80 kmh, we were glad we had a nice view as we could not open our door without it being blown off its hinges!
The next day was much better, sunshine and no wind so we went for a nice cycle into Inverness and enjoyed the rolling coastal countryside. The scenery brought back many wonderful memories of Scotland and then to our glee we discovered Glenora Distillery, a rustic looking distillery which had good single malt scotch. We noticed that a ceilhidh was being held in the evening so we went back and enjoyed some lovely music. If you ever get a chance to try Glenora 17 year old single malt, do it!
Now it was time to start driving the Cabot Trail! At Dunvegan we started driving clockwise and took the whole day to get to the top where we were staying for 3 nights at Hideaway Campground and Cottages.
The trail was very scenic as we drove along the coast to Cheticamp where it starts to curve and climb as it goes from coast to cliffs to coast and back up the cliffs. It made our motorhome work, but nothing that the Rockies have not done in the past. From our location at the top of the trail we had the chance to explore.
First thing we did was drive up to Meat Cove at the top of Cape Breton Island. The road went from pavement to gravel for the last 8 km, and the views were so stunning we had to pull over numerous times to enjoy the coastline and watch the lobster fishermen checking their traps.
At the end of the road is a campground that has a handful of very spectacular sites, not designed for a coach like ours, but for smaller units it would be amazing. There was what appeared to be a nice little café but, unfortunately we were too early in the season and it was not open.
After returning home we went for a nice walk along the river behind the campground for sunset hoping to find a moose, no luck on the moose, but the sunset was beautiful! The next morning we went for a cycle that took us out close to White Point and then to Neils Harbour and then back along the Cabot Trail. The view was spectacular and the road went up and down for a great bike ride.
With some time left in the day we hoped on the Harleys and drove back out to do a lovely hike around White Point. We visited the grave of The Unknown Sailor, a monument to all those lost at sea.
With one last leg of the Cabot Trail to go we headed south down to Baddeck. This drive was spectacular with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. We stopped numerous times for lots of pictures and to pick wild lupins, that were HUGE!!! There were many cool funky shops along the way which we visited as well. The first one was, Sew Inclined or the Funky Hat. The owner was a very talented funky lady who has done work for the Stratford Festival and has been featured in Vogue and Time magazines.
Next was The Glass Studio, which had some amazing works of art made of stained and blown glass. Across the road was the Clucking Chicken, where Larry had an absolutely amazing lobster club sandwich made on fresh baked bread as well as an amazing view! One last stop was the Gaelic College, a non-profit educational institution founded in 1938, its focus has been on the perpetuation of Highland Scottish Gaelic culture.
Tonight was also a ceilidh so we made sure to come back for it which we did after getting set up at The Baddeck Cabot Campground. The ceilidh was amazing, fiddles, piano, guitar and singing, throw in some Celtic step and Highland dancing makes for a great evening. Oh, and some of the best oatcakes we have ever had!
We enjoyed a few days exploring the Baddeck town and area on our bicycles. From the Big Spruce Brewery, to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site and a few shops downtown, we thoroughly enjoyed our time here.
Exploring the Cabot Trail was a great experience, but now it was time to head back to the Halifax area. So, off Cape Breton Island we went and drove as far as Wild Nature Campground just north of the Halifax airport. We spent two days here getting ready for our trip to Chile for a solar eclipse. Once organized we drove to Corridor Storage and parked our motorhome and trailer in storage and caught a cab to the Halifax airport and on to another adventure!