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Author Topic: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia  (Read 3824 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: July 26, 2005, 12:15:38 PM »
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There are quite a number of them, depending on how long you have and what route you're taking.  Covering an awful lot of ground in the process.  Montreal to Cape Breton takes you through three provinces.

One recommendation (if you have the time) is from Montreal, rather than taking the big four-lane highway, there's a small two-lane highway that follows along the south shore of the St. Lawrence and around the Gaspé peninsula.  Percé is at the easternmost tip of the Gaspé, but there are a number of sights from small, picturesque towns to the St. Lawrence to the ocean to the mountains to...

You can cross from Quebec into Campbellton, New Brunswick, and there again there's a small highway that follows the shoreline around the hub of NB and down into Nova Scotia.  New Brunswick is well known for its covered bridges, but it also has some wonderful geography.

Nova Scotia is no slouch when it comes to beauty, either, and Cape Breton is Canada's version of Scotland.  How many months did you say you had?

The last time I did that trip was on my honeymoon, in October, 2002 (today is our 33rd Monthaversary).  At one picnic spot along the St. Lawrence we pulled over for a stretch, walked down to the river and encountered literally thousands of snow geese with hundreds more arriving all of the time.  Amazing, and more than a little loud!

I must warn you, though.  The first time I did that tour, about 13 years ago, I stayed overnight in Campbellton and left there early Sunday morning.  As I was driving the back highway around New Brunswick, I found some great shots and finally used up the last of my film.  Got back in the car, drove a few hundred yards, and came across a small lagoon with 37 - THIRTY SEVEN - Great Blue Herons in it.  I left with the memories, but no film to record it all, and finding a camera store in rural New Brunswick on an early Sunday morning was too much of a stretch.

Mike.

P.S.  Drive around Cape Breton counter-clockwise.  That way you'll be on the ocean side of the highway.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2005, 02:19:05 PM »
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The highway from Quebec to New Brunswick that skirts the Matapedia (#132) river is a nice drive. There's a museum in Restigouche that's worth a visit and there are some riverside picnic/viewing/hiking spots along the way that are worth stopping at. I know this has nothing to do with Cape Breton itself but it's on the way if you are taking the Campbelton/Miramichi route.

When you leave Miramichi to go south, go east first and drive south as close to the coast as possible.  The inland southern routes that lead to Moncton are flat and boring.
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katemann
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 04:34:38 PM »
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Thank you all. I have noted your recommendations in the trip log, and will take care to travel the coastal route in New Brunswick.

1hart1, thanks for the images. Young love. Nice.

See you all in three weeks! Off in the morning.
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katemann
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2005, 02:56:24 PM »
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Heading off to Cape Breton next week via Montreal, Rimouski, Miramichi, Cheticamp... any suggestions for photographic opportunities?
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katemann
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2005, 03:41:45 PM »
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Thanks so much for the reply Wolfnow. I truly appreciate the advice. I will see if my travelling companions will consider driving the Cape Breton backwards. I have been around a few times, but so long ago I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say that it is measured in more than several decades. I was using a Brownie Box camera at the time.

I don't suppose we will have time to take the beautiful old highway along the shore of the St Laurent, but we do intend to drive as far as Riviere-du-loup and jump off the express highway to a more scenic tour of the rest of the river before turning down into New Brunswick and through the mountains to Campbellton. I have never taken this route, nor travelled to Percé, though I will some day. I am looking forward to the east coast of New Brunswick, also terra incognita for me.

I am taking a laptop with 4 gigs of space, 1.5 gigs of smartmedia and my Canon 300D, a Canon 10-22, a Canon "painterly" 70-300, and the wretched but serviceable 18-55 that came with the camera. It will have to do. Now I have to manage to access enough AC to keep the batteries in good shape.

Any particular spots on the Cape Breton trail that you might recall?

Congrats on your monthaversary. I am impressed that you are still counting.
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1hart1
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2005, 01:29:24 AM »
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Just about 35 years ago I went Nova Scotia and to Cape Breton. I remember some small 'fishing village' brightly painted cottages on a bluff. They were wooden and close to the ocean, what isn't?! DUH!!
What really caught my eye was that their age belayed co-existence with the elements; that is, they were leaning to the wind. Catching the lean would be wonderful. Big sky, simple small colored cottage and catching the lean..... big and small tension?

Have a great time!
I did it on a Norton motor cycle, met a woman from Holland and spent the next 10 years together.
Thanks for the memories, sweet very sweet.
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HiltonP
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2005, 03:52:38 AM »
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My wife and I toured through Nova Scotia and PEI just two weeks ago and spent two days on Cape Breton.

We drove it clockwise (as recommended by the tour guides and the locals) but felt afterwards that anti-clockwise might have been better. Two things stood out . . .

1)   the condition of the road is terrible (pot-holed, rutted and broken edges) and required careful driving. In fact throughout Nova Scotia if you get off the main highway be ready for poor roads.

2)   the excessive, cheap roadside billboards give it a tacky air, like they'll sell you anything for a buck.

The scenery was beautiful, but not mind blowing. The previous week we'd driven the Icefield Parkway in Alberta. Now that is mind blowing!

I'd have to say I enjoyed PEI more than Cape Breton or Nova Scotia. The PEI'ans appear to have more pride in their island, its clean of litter, houses are well maintained, the roads are in better condition, and the roadside signage is kept under control.
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Regards, HILTON
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