Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Mini Cabot Trail

29th August: Lower Barneys River to Antigonish

Odometer: 89 km, Start: 8.30am, Finish: 3.45pm, Avg: 19.6 km/h,
Weather: Sunny, Temp: 17-25°C
Road Conditions: #245/337 (known as "Mini Cabot Trail"), no shoulder, mostly reasonable surface, very light traffic. Small cafe at Ballantynes Cove (45km). Very hilly around Cape George. Ascent: 720m/700m

After my rather unpleasant night’s “rest” at the noisy campsite, I was keen to get away in the morning. I was to continue along the coastline on what a couple of people have told me is known as the Mini Cabot Trail. A sort of “warm-up” for the real thing in a few days time!

At first the road was kind of flat and uninteresting. The sea was hidden behind the trees even though it was only 500m away. Gradually, around Arisaig, the terrain changed character, becoming much more hilly. The road started climbing and then plunging down into coves and climbing out again the other side. It became a veritable rollercoaster.

Looking down at Arisaig

Around the headland at Cape George, the road and views of the coastline were truly stunning. Both took your breath away! At one point you could see Prince Edward Island to the NW and Cape Breton (where I’m headed) to the NE. Both were about 30km away.

Road going down steeply around Cape George

From the Cape George headland the road dropped away again steeply and the wonderful vista of Ballantynes Cove opened up before me. I took a couple of photos from different vantage points down the hill. I also had a lunch at the tiny cafe in the marina, after waiting 20 minutes for it to open up at midday!

Ballantynes Cove
Marina at Ballantynes Cove

The road then gradually flattened out as it followed the coastline southwards to Antigonish along St. Georges Bay. Cape Breton was clearly visible (and looking very hilly) on the other side of the water. It had been a nice introduction to the rugged and beautiful Nova Scotia coastline. I’m looking forward to the “full-sized” Cabot Trail quite a lot now, although I’m thinking it’s going to be tough…

Chairs facing out over St. Georges Bay towards Cape Breton


Martina said...

Hills :-) Pro. Mx

Bryan said...

Haha! After not doing *major* hills since the Rockies, even the small hills are a challenge, IMO!

If you're going thru Meat Cove, NS in Northern Cape Breton, you might want to confirm the status of the bridge there. It was washed out for a week and has just re-opened.


R & A said...

Hope you watched your speed going downhill