Cape Breton Stories and Tips

From PEI to Cheticamp

Cheticamp Photo, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Up early today. Peter is cooking breakfast but has invited us to the restaurant where he's using the facilities there. It's not open for breakfast, so it's just us for a private dining experience with our eggs and bac'. I was sure the eggs were different somehow, they tasted so good but I guess it's just like that when someone else cooks it for you. In butter. The sunrise was beautiful and the day was going to be sunny and clear with a little cool breeze. Perfect for traveling.

Put in the tunes and away we go, taking the direct route back to the ferry which takes about 30 or 40 minutes tops. We made it with 13 mintues to spare, or so we thought. The boat was 9:30 not 9:00. Misread the brochure. Well it's better than missing it by a half hour! We paid our fare to return to the mainland and then headed left for Cape Breton up the Trans Canada Highway.

We crossed the Canso Causeway but took the wrong turn off the rotary. We'd wanted to take the 19 all up the western shore but instead found ourselves on the 105 Highway. There didn't seem to be a way to cross over so we stayed there until Whycogomah where we stopped for gas and had lunch. We bought fresh made sandwiches at a Farmer's market (bakery and deli) which were the size of doorstops! From there we sorted out the correct turn off to go over to the scenic route.

Mistake. There was construction in two separate sections and the road was a bit rough otherwise, too. The construction spots had us stopping to wait for a pickup truck that would escort us down the road to the other end of the sections. That was different!

We finally got on our way and out of the worst of the roads, heading through the beautiful Margaree Valley and around the coast into the Cheticamp area. We spotted Joe's Scarecrow Village and Flora's, noted for later visits. We found our motel, the Ocean View Motel and Chalets, at the other end of the village, checked in and headed for the wharf. We were hoping to catch a whale watching cruise, you see, and were told there was a 5 o'clock cruise going out. Unfortunately we were out of luck, because it's off season and if they don't have 6 people, they don't go out. They didn't. We didn't.

Instead, we drove back out of town to Flora's for a gander through the craft shop. There's all manner of hooked rugs, a local specialty, available in the shop from small things the size of bookmarks or coasters to large area rugs for the floor or to hang on a wall. There are lots of other nice things there too and we gathered up some items for gifts and souvenirs.

We headed back into the busy town of Cheticamp and stopped at the 100+ year old stone church, Saint-Pierre. It was open so we went inside to looke at the sunny interior. The walls and ceilings are all white and the light through the stained glass makes it glow. Very pretty church and it's spire can be seen for miles around.

Food was our next priority. There are quite a few places to eat and we chose what was probably a bit of a tourist trap, a restaurant (and pub) with a big lighthouse out front. They're large enough to cater to a bus group though it was mercifully quiet when we were there. The food was good, though our waitress had us a bit worried whether she would manage. She used a catering tray to hold on to as she walked around, with the drinks or the food on the tray. She was clearly a little unsteady but she was game to go! The service was, in fact, quite good! We had no room for dessert and headed back to the motel room. The motel offers dvds to borrow and play on the television so we looked through the list of titles and chose one. we had some snacks and settled in to relax and enjoy the movie. Tomorrow will be a long driving day around the Cabot Trail!

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