Most of Nova Scotia’s roads are named “Something Trail”; they are the scenic route, an alternative to the federal highways. South of Halifax (perhaps the greatest little city on Earth?), you find yourself on the Lighthouse Trail. Aptly named.
Halifax was bright and shiny, and twenty kilometers south, Peggys Cove (notice, no apostrophe – must be a Canadian thing?) was foggy, misty, and absolutely freezing cold. However, it was an amazing sight. The lighthouse there is among the most famous of the Maritimes, saving sailors from the treacherous rocks and from getting lost in the ubiquitous fog. Oh, and did I mention that it was cold? It was at least thirty degrees cooler and with a very “nippy” wind coming off the ocean. [More Peggys Cove photos]
Further down the coast, the weather magically warmed. The sun was out and it turned into a beautiful day. Nova Scotia weather seems to be this way! We visited Mahone Bay, an amazingly quaint seaside village, and Lunenberg, a historic fishing town.
Mahone Bay has a good yarn shop and a good tea shop, practically side by side, so we sampled the goods in both places. We ate a light dinner in Lunenberg at a little deli, visited a used book store, and then headed out to The Ovens Natural Park, just south of Lunenberg. First night of camping!
As you can see, we were pretty excited to camp. Our campsite was premium – those trees right behind the tent were barrier for the wind right off the ocean. Just a few feet away from our tent was this amazing scenery:
…Pebble beach and seaweed on one side…
…huge amazing rock on the other!
And can you believe that we were the ONLY people at this site? Even the campground owners were absent! The night was chilly – I wore two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, three shirts and a cardigan, mittens, and a hat to sleep in WITH my subzero proof sleeping bag! – but it was worth it. Nothing like being lulled to sleep with ocean waves! or waking up to an amazing sunrise. The Ovens is so named because of the sea caves that are on the property of the park. We took a walking tour the next morning.
Stunning – carved out by millenia of wind and water. Very elemental
Next, we headed inland to one of the two Nova Scotian national parks. Kejimkujik (ke-jee-muh-koo-jik) National Park is based around the series of glacial lakes in the south central province. We hiked several trails in the park – my favorite was through the old growth hemlock forest.
After seeing so many beautiful trees, Kris and I were inspired to try the tree pose for ourselves (well, that, and it was Yoga Wednesday when we were there) on the shores of Lake Kejimkujik.
We spent the night in Liverpool, and then headed to the Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct, the second part of the park, located on the southeastern Atlantic coast. Again, we had the park (virtually) to ourselves. Just us and the seals and porcupines, that is.
Adorable little lump, isn’t he? Harbour Seal just sitting on the rock.
We hiked all of the trails that were open (some were closed because of nesting seabirds). Keji Seaside was one of the most memorable places in the province. The water was so irresistably blue – it looks like the Caribbean, doesn’t it? [All Kejimkujik photos here]
Next up: boat rides, seabirds, historic villages, and meeting knitters on the Acadian Shore!