Trip days: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8-9 | 10-12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
The trip from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia was absolutely calm for the extent of the eleven hour trip and I slept well thanks to the gentle rocking of the ship. I awoke to my cell phone alarm at 5:20am, or 6:20am in Atlantic Provinces time. I blindly fumbled around for my clothes, and once I shook myself awake I hurried to get dressed and run up to the deck with my camera in hopes of catching the sun rising over Nova Scotia. Unfortunately the sun was already at a good angle in the sky and I had missed the hues of an atlantic sunrise. After feigning an attempt at capturing some interesting images of nothing but water, I sulked back to my cabin and got my luggage reassembled and ready to load on my bike when we docked.
Fifteen minutes before docking at Yarmouth I took all my gear down to the vehicle area and loaded up the bike, then waited until the front of the boat folded open and the vehicle ramp was lowered to the dock. Canada, sweet canada.
I was questioned for a couple minutes by a flustered canadian customs agent who made it clear it was most likely her first day on the job. To my suprise she pointed me off to the side so that another agent could ask me more questions and rummage through my stuff to make sure I wasn't carrying some thermonuclear device or a large supply of apples or some such rubbish. After looking through half my stuff the agent was content that I was who I said I was and seemed confident that I wasn't going to wield a handgun at some helpless moose, squirrel, or other resident of Nova Scotia. All in all the scenario was quite calm and relaxed. At no point did the canadians make me feel like a criminal, they were just being thorough at their job.
A quick stop at the Nova Scotia Visitors Centre in Yarmouth, and I left town east on highway 3 running along the south eastern shore of Nova Scotia towards Halifax. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but southern Nova Scotia was a little bit bland. The most interesting sights, to me at least, were the abundant white community churches of all shapes and sizes, and the lighthouses of which there are many on highway 3 or route 103, aka the 'Lighthouse Route'. I jumped back and forth between highway 3 and route 103 as I got tired of one or the other. The run mostly parallel to each other with route 103 being the 3.5 hour direct way to Halifax and highway 3 being the 7 hour slow route that follows the peninsulas and coves of the coast.
A few days ago I noticed an intermittant creak coming from the rear end of my motorcycle as I got on and off of it. I was a bit worried about it because I had read somewhere that the noise was not simply a creaky bushing but was actually the sound of wear in the final drive pivot bearings. So after putzing along on highway 3 for the first half of the distance to Halifax I decided to get onto route 103 so that I could get into Halifax by early afternoon and visit Halifax BMW to have the sound diagnosed and to, if need be, arrange to get my bike in for warranty service. I arrived at Halifax BMW around 2:00pm and got the service manager out to listen to the noise. We sprayed a lubricant around the rear paralever arm bushing in hopes of quieting the noise, but to no avail as we discovered that the sound was indeed coming from inside the final drive unit. Their single motorcycle mechanic (Halifax BMW is predominantly a BMW and Mini car dealer) had his hands full with a few bikes for the next couple of days and so I arranged to have them service my bike on thursday. No problem, as I was planning on staying at least one night in Halifax already and I could easily extend that an extra day.
After dealing with the bike situation I decided to meander around the Dartmouth and Halifax area and get a vague feel for the area. I managed to end up across the inlet from Halifax in Dartmouth hanging out in the sun watching boats go by and listening to the noises of the city echoing around the inlet. Quite peacful. My initial impression of Halifax is that it has a distinct likeness to areas of Vancouver, B.C. without the density of population.
A few days ago at Ron's house in Methuen, I had received an email from Kara Lee Ruotolo, a girl who I met in Seattle just weeks before I had left for this trip, saying that she would be staying with her aunt and uncle in Halifax during this week! What a coincidence. So I called her up at her aunt and uncle's house and she invited me over.
I really didn't know Kara Lee very well at all, ie. I had only talked with her for an hour or two at a friends house in seattle. I rode out to where she was at and met her aunt and uncle, Barb and Boyd Slauenwhite. They were really welcoming and after a couple of hours and a great dinner it seemed as though we had know each other for years. Kara Lee, Barb, and Boyd are all exceptional people and are really enjoyable to spend time with. Kara Lee is a counselor at a middle school in Seattle, Barb is an Estetician (I don't know if I spelled that right), and Boyd is a house builder and woodworker who is making exceptionally nice one-off peppermills in his spare time.
After dinner we drove down to Peggy's Cove south of Halifax, which is fairly near to the Slauenwhite's home. From what I understand Peggy's Cove is the most photographed cove in Nova Scotia and I can see why. It's extremely picturesque with rustic looking hand built docks, small fishing warehouses, and very sightly small boats lining the cramped rocky cove. Perched above the cove is the white eight-sided Peggy's Cove light house. The sun was just getting low in the sky and we spent an hour or so standing on the rocks of the cove taking photos, watching a couple of minke or pilot whales roaming around the point, and watching the sun disappear over the horizon. It was an extremely magical (I hate using that word but it's fitting for this occasion) evening and finished off a great day with great new friends.
I was hoping I might be able to plant my tent on Boyd and Barb's lawn or that maybe they knew of a good local campground, so I was quite suprised when Boyd offered me the bed in the loft above there living room. I felt like I was imposing having only met them a few hours before, but they insisted so I gratefully accepted.
Total Mileage for Day: 252
©2003 John Meloy <firstname.lastname@example.org>