Kelly’s write up about cycling Nova Scotia during our 7000km cycle tour across Canada in the Autumn of 2016. Michael’s write up will be available soon.
Cycling Nova Scotia and the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton was going to be a challenge, and instead of feeling like strong cyclists we were feeling a bit worn down.
The ferry from PEI to Nova Scotia was great! I’m always excited to be on a ferry and this one was no different. Once we made it to Nova Scotia, we headed towards Pictou, made a quick stop at the supermarket, and then headed down the cycle path to look for a camp spot. Our plan was to set up camp before the rain hit. What was left of hurricane Matthew was passing through Nova Scotia. People had told us to be prepared for lots of rain.
We discovered an awesome spot next to the river, set up camp early and started to cook dinner. The rain started as soon as we jumped in then tent, and it didn’t stop.
At some point during the night, we woke to discover water was leaking through the bottom and sides of the tent. We moved our important things and tried to get back to sleep. Neither of us got much sleep that night. Michael had already been having issues sleeping as his mattress had ‘exploded.’ The foam had come away and bloated out, making it a very uncomfortable to sleep on. He ended up just deflating it and sleeping on it like that.
When morning came it was still raining and it didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon. We waited a little while to see whether the rain would ease off. It didn’t. Eventually, we made a run. Packed up our stuff and the tent quickly, and headed off into town to take shelter in the Tim Hortons. We arrived 10 minutes later looking like drowned rats. The locals even took pity on us. One lady mistaken Michael for a homeless person and offered to give him money for coffee.
When I checked the weather forecast the previous day, the rain was supposed to clear up in the afternoon. The rain however decided to stay, along with winds exceeding 160km per hour. There was no way we were cycling!
An hour later we were checked into a downtown B&B, warming up with some tea and a hot shower. We spent the rest of the day there, sheltering from the storm.
It was Thanksgiving, and the winds were getting stronger. Half the town lost power, trees were blown down everywhere and there wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it. We headed out to find somewhere to grab some dinner, and ended up eating a “vegetarian” Thanksgiving dinner at the local pub. It was yum!
Change in plans
The following day we heard that Cape Breton had been hit pretty hard by the storm. Most places had lost power, roads were washed out and things were closing early for the season. That along with our leaky tent and Michael’s exploded mattress would mean a rather uncomfortable 2 weeks cycling the Cabot trail. So we changed our plans for cycling Nova Scotia and Cape Breton! We decided to head to Halifax early.
Cycling Nova Scotia: the final leg to Halifax!
From Pictou we had less than 200km to make it to Halifax. We could easily do that in two days. So off we set. The following few days after the storm were lovely. If it weren’t for all the fallen trees, it would have been hard to believe the storm had even hit.
The following two days were great. The autumn colours were out, so the valley took on a beautiful red, orange and green colour. We couldn’t move into our apartment in Halifax until the end of the month, so hit up a couchsurfer to help us out. Jeff kindly offered to put us up until we could move into our place. Thanks Jeff, you’re a total legend!
We’ve spent the past week in Windsor Junction, about 30km from Halifax, and tomorrow we will move into our apartment in Halifax! Exciting times!
We made it coast to coast across Canada
7000km on a bike, from Vancouver to Halifax – we made it! The trip we talked about doing 3 years prior, was finally complete. To give you some perspective on the distance we covered – our last cycle trip from France to China was 8,500km. We cycled through 15 countries. This trip we cycled 7000km in one country. Canada is friggin’ huge!
We now have 5 months to save up some cash, survive a Canadian winter and prepare for the next leg of our world cycle trip: cycling across the USA to Mexico!
Cycling Nova Scotia turned out to be only a short stint of the entire coast to coast trip, however we will spend the first week of the next cycle leg cycling Nova Scotia, before hitting up the USA.
Thank you Canada!
Thank you to all the amazing people we met on our trip across Canada. It wouldn’t have been such a great experience without. It truly is the people you meet that make a trip memorable, so thank you for being apart of our cycle tour. If you happened to be in Halifax over winter, then please let us know!