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North America

East, South, West, North – 18,068km through Canada and USA (Week 3)

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The following post relates to Week 3 of mine and Adela’s road trip from Jasper in the Rocky Mountains across Canada into America and back to Vancouver covering a total of 18,068 km in just 7 weeks.

Day 15 – 18/09/2010 – To the sea to the sea!  I have been having some serious withdrawals since we last saw the ocean as we flew over it on our way to Canada from New Zealand over 10 months ago.  I have never lived so far from the ocean considering that you can only get a maximum of 150 km from the ocean anywhere in New Zealand.  It was great being back near it again.  However, to get there we first had to spend the day driving across the width of New Brunswick to Nova Scotia.  We left Riviere-du-Loup Walmart (they are all the same even if they are in a cool little town) and unfortunately that was it.  We did come across a pretty cool sign as we entered Nova Scotia though and had to take a picture just for my lighthouse fanatic Mum.

KM travelled = 851 km.
Spending = $30 (food), $62 (petrol), $8 (Walmart supplies) = $100 total.

Day 16 – 19/09/2010 – Another town, another Walmart sleepover.  Adela is starting to get pretty sick of not having showers every day.  Had our brekky at Port Hood Beach and took some great coastal photos along the way after Inverness to Joe’s Scarecrow Theatre.  What the hell.  This guy has basically dressed up over 100 scarecrows in various outfits and poses.  Extremely creepy if you drove past at night time but quite funny to break up the drive during the day.

Spot the odd one out…


We drove into the Cape Breton Highlands Park where we had planned to do a wee 9 km hike along the ridge-line with views out to the ocean.  We had our fingers crossed that we would see some wildlife, although preferably it wouldn’t be bears as we had enough of being petrified in Jasper.  Adela was stoked when she spotted a rat, then it got better with a snake and finally with the last km to go we saw what I had been dreaming of.  
View out to the Atlantic Ocean

MOOSE.  And not just one but two!  A male, who had a massive rack of antlers and a smaller, but still humongous female.  They were about 20m away off the small path we were on.  The male was too busy trying to get the females attention to be bothered by us while the female just wanted to be left alone and have lunch.  Kind of typical behaviour I think…

Hope you can spot it!


I could have spent hours watching them but Adela was getting a tad nervous that the male would lose interest and pick on us so we ploughed on.  As we drove along the Cabot Trail a massive black bear ran across the road about 100 metres in front of us.  Luckily we didn’t clip it.  Found a camp ground at South Harbour and biked down to a deserted beach a couple of KM’s away with heaps of broken lobster pots and plenty of mosquito’s to keep us busy.  Spotted an eagle this time so pretty stoked about finishing the day with such an abundance of wildlife.
Exhausted after so much exercise we had a quiet dinner of fish & chips in what appeared to be someone’s lounge but was in fact Angie’s Diner.  Over battered but never mind.
KM travelled = 345 km.
Spending = $52 (petrol), $25 (camping), $40 (dinner) = $117 total.


DAY 17 – 20/09/2010 – A super stormy day today with strong winds and some rain.  Was cool driving along the coastline though up to Bay St Lawrence, a cute fishing town with heavy seas.  We had planned on camping up at the northern most point at Meat Cove camp ground and were glad that we had decided not to once we got there.  The sites were overlooking the ocean right above the cliffs and the wind was howling in.  Pretty sure we would’ve been blown away overnight.

Meat Cove camp ground

The local bridge had just been semi-repaired after previous storms had knocked it out a week ago.  A bit hair raising as we drove across but it held.  Since it was the first day of the Moose hunting season and we were located on the edge of the national park we also decided not to go for a walk up into the bush as planned.  The hunters were hooning around on their quad bikes up into the forest.  Spotted a lighthouse in Neil’s harbour so had to get the obligatory photos for Mum again.  I must say I am starting to become a fan myself and could imagine walking up the creaking stairs to light the lamp each night to guide the ships in to the harbour safely.  Pity its all automated now!

Found a short walk at Ingonish Peninsular and trekked out for an hour on there.  We were playing the fun silence game (see week 2) again for this part but cheered up when we spotted the seals playing in the stormy surf at the end of the peninsular.  


Onwards to Louisbourg, which used to be one of the main ports in North America and home of the first lighthouse in Canada.  Bonus!  The National Louisbourg Fortress is also located on the point which we decided to head to tomorrow with our Parks Canada passes we had given to us by Adela’s parents back in Jasper.  That evening we were invited by the locals to a local fiddler…  Not quite sure what to expect we headed to the town hall and were pleasantly surprised and was luckily not at all what we had in mind.  We forgot her name but the woman was the stand-out as she rocked all the oldies, and us, playing traditional Celtic music.  Two other guys were on the guitar and piano as well and they had little backup tap dancers and the works.  Was pretty cool experience and one of the highlights of the entire trip.  And to make it even better they had cookies and a tea break at half-time.  Although I couldn’t participate in that as I was breaking into our car to get the locked keys out of it with a coat hanger in the pouring rain.  Managed to get them out and catch the second half of the show.  All in all a great evening.
KM travelled = 271 km.
Spending = $12 (food), $26 (camping), $33 (fiddling show) = $71 total.


Day 18 – 21/09/2010 – We were woken early in the morning with severe gusts of 80 km/hr and were thankful we weren’t in a tent.  Headed out to the 1700’s styled Louisbourg Fortress and National Historic Site which is the largest rebuilt fortress in North America.  So far they have only built 1/5th of it as well.  What is awesome about the site is that all the employees are dressed in period costumes and act the part of their ancestors.  You can imagine how hard it would have been in those days and Adela especially liked learning about the soldiers lives, especially the hierarchy systems they had in place between Officers and general footmen.  They can’t have been all that crash-hot though at being soldiers as they lost the fortress twice to the British invaders who gave it back to the French after the first time.



They had freshly baked bread for $2 a loaf so we mowed into that for lunch along with a big bowl of chilli in one of the local themed taverns as it was still howling outside.  We couldn’t afford the ritzy tavern where the Officer’s were hanging out.

Huge surf was coming in through the harbour entrance by this stage so we had to drive to the site of the first lighthouse to check it out.  Spectacular surf and spray coming up over the rocks and it made me really miss being back at the Mount surfing in New Zealand.  Would loved to spend more time in the old fishing village but as per usual we felt pressed for time and had so much more to see along the East Coast of Nova Scotia.
KM travelled = 293 km.
Spending = $13 (lunch), $67 (petrol), $21 (supplies) = $101 total.


Day 19 – 22/09/2010 – We had been planning on going for a surf or a sea kayak along the East Coast but it was still way too windy.  However it was not too cold to stop at Taylor Head Provincial Park and have my first ever swim in the North Atlantic Ocean.  Holy testicles it was freezing!  Excuse the language but it really was.  Jumped on the bikes to warm up but most of the trails were poorly maintained so unfortunately we didn’t get too far.  

Taylor Head Provincial Park.  Beautiful white sandy beaches.

Checked out the surf conditions at Lawrencetown beach which is widely known as one of the best surfing spots in North America.  Even though it was freezing and super windy I again wished I had my surfboard with me.  Its another regret, just like in Montreal, that I missed out on.  

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse – most photographed in the world – I wonder why…



We camped at Glen Margaret just along from the most photographed lighthouse in the world at Peggy’s Cove.  Not sure how we had come to be following the lighthouse trail but we managed to see an absolutely stunning sunset at Peggy’s Cove all topped off with scrumptious clam chowder for dinner.  No surprises that my favourite of the day was swimming in the ocean while Adela’s was dinner.
KM Travelled = 544 km.
Spending = $23 (petrol), $20 (camp ground), ($30 dinner) = $73 total.


Day 20 – 23/09/2010 – We started the morning back down at Peggy’s Cove (not actually sure how it got its name) as it was a beautiful blue sky morning and we wanted to get some more pictures of the lighthouse and fishing village.  Very quaint.  



Halifax was only a short drive down the coast and we felt like we needed to see some civilisation and Adela was hanging out for a Latte.  I stumbled across a secondhand book store and picked up a few more to read.  The only pain with the car was that we had to park under street lights most nights if we wanted read as it was dark by 8pm and we only had a small wind-up torch that would last 2 minutes before dimming slowly and needing rewinding again.   A bit of pain when you are in the middle of an epic book or a juicy tale.  We jumped on the trusty bikes down to the historic district and on to St Marys Cathedral Basilica.  Still not as good as the Basilica in Montreal and I don’t think we will see a better one until we are travelling in Europe.  



Visited Pier 21 which is where all the immigrants first arrived in Canada.  Although most of the waterfronts in North America are way nicer than any in New Zealand, including Wellington waterfront which I love to bits, all the water is pretty scummy so it detracts from the niceness.  Definitely a shame.  Last stop in Halifax was the maritime museum with a really moving exhibit on the Titanic as Halifax was one of the closest ports to the Titanic at the time the distress call was made so a lot of history involved there.  Also some amazing wooden boats and a bit on the Halifax bomb disaster.  We sure love to learn.  
KM Travelled 178 km. 
Spending = $68 (petrol), $9 (parking and showers), $8 (books), $18 (museum) = $103 total.


Day 21 – 24/09/2010 – One of the amazing features, and I really do mean amazing, are the tides in the Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and Newbrunswick.  The tides reach insane levels of variation with an extreme range of 16.3m!  The boats will often be left high and dry on the shoreline when the tide goes out and as you can see, the docks are on massive stilts.  

This was about half tide and the wharf deck is already higher than the boats

So we spent most of the day in Truro as we waited to watch the tidal bore come roaring up the channel.  It basically results from the Bay of Fundy narrowing and the tides just being pushed higher and higher.  When its big enough you can actually surf it and I had been looking forward to seeing this the whole trip across Canada.  Unfortunately it was only 30 cm high this time but so powerful and you wouldn’t be able to standup against it.

The tidal bore definitely looked more dramatic in person



Drove on to Cape Chignecto but again couldn’t again kayak due to the poor and misty weather so settled on another lighthouse journey at Cape D’Or.  Spotted a small black bear up on the rocks but decided not to get any closer after living near them in Jasper all year.  Tonight ended up being our last night in Canada until we returned to Vancouver in a few weeks’ time on the opposite side of the country. We are really looking forward to getting into America and checking out New York for 5 days. 
KM Travelled = 197 km.
Spending = $33 (food), $30 (camp ground) = $63 total.


Week 3 KM Travelled = 2,679 km total.
Week 3 Spending = $628.00 total.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. saurabh

    January 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    this is all fabulious photo vry nice ex.. pec sir and mam

    • Cole

      January 13, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Thanks! 🙂

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North America

Top 3 Biking Adventure Destinations in the US

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Bike holidays are not only becoming more popular but are also more accessible to many. You no longer have to invest a lot of money in good bikes and other equipment to enjoy a good biking adventure. You don’t even have to do downhill biking or explore mountains to have a fun adventure; you can have as much fun in cities with their unique charms and attractions.

There are some interesting destinations to visit too, especially in the United States. We are going to look at three of the best destinations you can explore on your next holiday.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is one of the best destinations to consider if you want to enjoy a more relaxing biking experience. The city has everything for everyone, from the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the outdoor adventures it offers, to the galleries and restaurants just waiting to be explored in the city.

Santa Fe is also home to some remarkable roads that are perfect for bikers. On top of that, there’s the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. It is one of the best trails in the world and a definite must-visit if you enjoy bike holidays and good adventures.

The San Juan Islands

Planning a biking trip in the summer? Then the San Juan Islands in Washington is the perfect destination to consider. You should visit the Emerald Isle, also known as the Orcas, for its long and beautiful biking trail. It has roads that go across forests and big, beautiful fields. In short, it has everything for those really enjoy an adventure.

You can also challenge yourself and conquer the trail that climbs Mount Constitution. Be sure to have your camera with you as the view from Constitution is unbelievable. Even better, the Orcas and the rest of the San Juan Islands are easily reachable; you just have to take the Washington State Ferry.

Los Angeles

For the best variety, however, it is difficult to beat Los Angeles. The city has everything for every type of traveler, including those who love bike adventures. Michael Palance, an actor, and producer who lives in the city, shared some of his favorite spots with us and we love them all!

The Lake Hollywood Park is one of the best places for seeing the Hollywood sign. You can also take your bike to Mount Lee and reach the Hollywood Sign directly. Biking in the city is just as exciting, especially with landmarks like the Griffith Observatory, the Amoeba Music and Capitol Records Building all offering unique takes.

 

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North America

Top 11 Things to Do in the Okanagan

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If you’re looking for a breath of fresh adventure, packed with sports and activities for all four seasons, the Okanagan is for you. This region, located in the southern interior of British Columbia, draws people from across the world to spend their holidays and enjoy Canada’s natural wild beauty.

The city of Kelowna is the largest between Vancouver and Calgary and lands smack dab in the middle of the Okanagan. From humble beginnings in 1879, this modern city is now a star vacation destination. There are various hotels in Kelowna that offer an array of Okanagan tour packages including: romantic packages, leisure packages, wine-tasting packages, and more to cater to the distinct demands of tourists. This place is a treasure of natural wildlife and a famous tourist destination throughout the year.

Here are the top 11 things to do in the Okanagan Region:

Lake Okanagan: Come learn why this area is often referred to as Canada’s Hawaii! With a deep centre and shallow beaches, this narrow mountain-fed freshwater lake spans over 135 kilometres. Enjoy lakefront activities in Canada’s best summer weather. The Okanagan’s high desert climate provides vacationers with beautiful blue skies and hot, dry sunshine.

Knox Mountain Park: Take a hike up the most well-known natural mountain park in the area. Knox Mountain is undoubtedly the largest natural park nearby, covering 766 acres. A breathtaking panorama of mountain ranges and the city await.

Myra Canyon Park: Hike, bike, or take a horseback ride over the famous Myra Canyon Trestles in Kettle Valley. This historical railway site is a popular tourist attraction that spans 24km (12 miles). If you’re not up to hiking alone, most Okanagan tour packages include this natural park!

Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad: If you don’t want to worry about the weather, this is a wonderful place to visit year round. This family-built attraction features 4,000 square feet of family fun and more than 45 computer-controlled trains. Also included on-location is an extensive gift shop and starter train kits.

Wine Tours: With more than 60 wineries in the Okanagan, you’re guaranteed to find a wine tour that will wet your whistle. Ask any of the knowledgable staff at the hotels in Kelowna for one of their famous wine tours and discover the joys of wine tasting. There is a plethora of options to choose from half day to full day wine tours with Okanagan Wine Country Tours.

Skaha Lake Park: If you are looking for a patch of green to relax and unwind with your family, then the Skaha Lake Park in Penticton is a great stop for a picnic and family fun. This 21 acre park has year-round recreational opportunities and a gorgeous red sand beach.

Kangaroo Creek Farm: Have a taste of the outback at the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake Country. Animal lovers can meet a multitude of marsupials and cuddle with a swaddled joey! With wide open spaces, this farm holds hours of entertainment and photo opportunities. Don’t forget to bring some cash to donate and support the farm!

Mosaic Books: Bookworms, look no further! Mosaic Books is the Okanagan’s largest independent bookstore. Located in the heart of downtown Kelowna, this vibrant bookstore has friendly, knowledgeable staff. Filled with books, cards, journals, games, gifts, and more- this shop is a worthwhile stop!

Davisons Country Village: Located in the picturesque town of Vernon, this orchard village is a hidden gem in the Okanagan. There is something for everyone at the farm. Meet friendly farm animals, take a tractor tour, and eat fresh at the Deep Dish Café. Give yourself an afternoon because there is much more to explore!

Waterfront Park:  Craving the beach, play, and food? This park is a tourist attraction all throughout the year. Sandy beaches, a broad boardwalk, skating/rollerblading rink, food trucks, and more! Not too far from your Kelowna hotel, this park is a great for kids to play while the parents unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

Big White Ski Resort: It’s not Canada without snow! Big White Ski Resort is a must-go place for all snow sport lovers. Experience world-famous champagne powder snow across 118 ski runs, shop the village, and relax in the day spa! They have various packages for amateurs as well as experts to explore. If you’re visiting during the summer, they also have extensive bike and hike trails.

See why Kelowna is the best vacation destination, no matter what time of year you visit. The BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites has been offering guests a convenient launching pad to all there is to enjoy in the Okanagan. Best Western Kelowna’s amenities and extras include fibre optic internet, a mineral pool, hot tubs, free hot breakfast buffet, fitness centre, spa, a restaurant and pub and more. With dozens of eco-tourism awards and a LEED Silver environmental wing as well as a sprawling, grassy courtyard surrounding its 176 rooms, this Best Western Plus has become one of the most popular ‘green’ and pet-friendly Kelowna hotels.

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North America

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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The Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking for adventure and challenging hikes. The place is filled with gorgeous trails, amazing landscapes, and some of the most challenging hikes in the world. To make it even better, the national park is also home to an amazing sunrise and sunset.

There are several hiking trails you can try if you are up for an adventure. There is a hiking trail for everyone too, regardless of your experience level and the kind of challenge you want to face. Here are the best ones to consider.

The Rim Trail

The Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park is perhaps the easiest hiking trail to try. This hiking trail is perfect for those who simply want to enjoy a nice walk while absorbing the majestic scenery of the national park. You can start the trail from several points since the route forms a loop that takes you all around Bryce Canyon.

If you’re staying in the Bryce Canyon Lodge, Sunrise Point is a good place to start. As the name suggests, this is the perfect starting point for early risers who want to enjoy sunrise in Bryce Canyon. Make sure you have your camera ready for a spectacular photo opportunity.

From this point, you can see the Bryce Amphitheatre clearly. Make your way to the Boat Mesa and you will walk past places such as the Mormon Temple and Queens Garden. With just 200 feet of elevation to deal with, this is an easy hike that you will certainly enjoy.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the other end of the scale, we have a fairly challenging hiking trail to conquer. The trail starts from Sunset Point, just south of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Again, this is the place to be if you want to enjoy a nice view of the sunset in this area.

This trail involves visiting the Silent City, a gorgeous combination of limestone and urban sprawl. You will also be walking past Wall Street, Bryce Canyon’s signature attraction. The narrow walls are just too good to miss.

From this route, you can choose to return to Sunset Point or explore other short hikes, including the Queens Garden route and the Peekaboo Loop Trail. Both of these routes are equally challenging, but very enjoyable to try.

Mossy Cave Trail

The Mossy Cave Trail offers something entirely different. You can see the spires of the park up close without having to go down the amphitheater when you choose to walk this hiking trail. That said, the trail starts 4 miles past the park’s entrance. Nevertheless, it is an interesting hiking trail to try, especially if you visit Bryce Canyon often and want to enjoy something entirely different on your next trip.

These hiking trails are all worth trying. They offer adventures like no other and will help ensure you enjoy your trip to the Bryce Canyon National Park.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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