Thursday, September 08, 2016

GTT Days 37-38

September 6 - Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Ingonish Beach campground.
Well, I wasn't able to send my last post at the ferry terminal in Argentia. The wifi suddenly decided not to connect anymore. Grrrr...
Anyway, here's our ferry, Atlantic Vision:
It's a biggie! The ferry ride was a long one. We started loading at 3:30pm and finally left at 5pm. We had a nice little 2-berth stateroom so we stashed everything in there and then headed for the bar area for a Quidi Vidi Iceberg beer. At least this boat didn't stink like Highlanders did! Atlantic Vision is a much nicer vessel but definitely geared for overnight passengers. Anyway, after we got underway and finished our beer we had dinner in the a la carte restaurant, Flowers. There's also a buffet but we decided that it was too busy. Flowers was a great choice since we got a great table by the window and had a nice meal and bottle of wine with attentive service.
Here's our teensy little room with a perfectly teensy little bathroom that even included a shower! I wanted to take the bathroom along with us but unfortunately it wasn't detachable. Sigh. This wee space even has a desk, tv, closet and a hairdryer. Amazing what you can fit in when you try. We made good use of the electrical plugs to charge things up.
Next morning we showered, packed up and sat in the bar area again and drank tea and coffee and ate muffins while we waited to get into North Sydney dock. It's a good thing we liked this ferry because we were stuck on it until 9:30am. And this time we ended up being the first vehicle off instead of nearly the last. We had to hustle down and get stowed quickly while they waited for us to go!
Happily the weather in Nova Scotia is a lot warmer than Newfoundland has been. We drove around to the Cape Breton Highlands and up to Ingonish Beach. The top of Smoky Mountain was nearly as foggy as it was the last time we were here. They don't call it "smoky" because of fire but because it's nearly always covered in fog:
The resort up there on Middle Head is the vintage red and white Keltic Lodge. We ended up walking up there but didn't take the trail out to the end of the head this time.  
Here's the other side of Middle Head from yet another bunch of the Red Chairs. We were also able to get some fresh water at the campground and refill the water tank again plus fill all of our water bottles. They have plenty of hot water on tap at dish washing stations too so I did a little more cleanup in our increasingly grubby van. It's hard when you don't have free access to plentiful hot water! Good because our next stop doesn't have water at all.
September 7 - Cape Breton Highlands NP, Corney Brook campground.
When we were last here 3 years ago we had very foggy and rainy weather but this time it's perfectly sunny and warm though fairly windy. We drove around the north section of the park. North of Ingonish we stopped at one spot and watched seals (probably gray or harp seals) play in the water near rocks covered in drying cormorants. We got to see the Aspy Fault and the viewpoint above Pleasant Harbour:
We were able to get a great campsite in the glorified parking lot that is Corney Brook overlooking the St Lawrence. The stony beach here has pink and grey granite and some really sparkly rocks along the red sandstone headlands. You know me - I would bring home the whole beach if I could!
We watched a fabulous sunset from our campsite, complete with decorative paddle boarders and a kayaker:
Tomorrow a big jump off Cape Breton and across Nova Scotia.

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