Amherst, Nova Scotia. Mile 2619


Nova Scotia. Its a place which always sounded impossibly far away to me as a kid; only slightly south of the North Pole, treeless and windswept with a population of about nine if you included the huskies. I was therefore hugely put out to discover that it is on about the same latitude as Marseille for goodness sake. Really how can that be? Its green and lush and the people are charming and so probably, are their huskies (I’m sticking with that one).

We struggled with the time difference this morning as Tom got up and started clattering about. Hearing our groans he came to tell us that it was “EIGHT o’clock – look it says so on my clock”. Seven year olds don’t really understand that in your head its still seven… The same beefy clouds were still patrolling the otherwise bright blue sky in a menacing sort of way but there was no rain so we went to explore Kiboughdshgjhawaggggghh.

First stop, the bog. And quite a bog it is, rising in the middle to over six meters and gradually eating away at the forest around it. A grey wooden boardwalk runs across it through green and red mosses, blueberry bushes, orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants. They eat insects of course but I always half hope to see a moose leg or something sticking out of one. We saw moose prints and that was as close to widlife as we got, but that wasn’t the point really. The bog had an other-worldly feel to it like a single giant organism sitting quietly in the midst of coast and forest.

From there we went to the park’s other main attraction. Kelly’s beach was described in the Frommers as the best beach experience in Eastern Canada, but curiously it didn’t mention the jellyfish which render the sea a no-go area for much of the summer and were floating about in the surf. It was a nice enough sandy beach I suppose but it did make me wonder how many Eastern Canadian beaches the author had actually been to.

Rather meanly the Park insists you are out by noon, or pay another $20, even if you have also paid a further $30 to camp there. They are not cheap. We lingered obstinately and left sometime in the early afternoon back on the anonymous road which cuts straight through New Brunswick’s eastern flank. I’m sure New Brunswick has its moments, but we didn’t really find them and to be fair we didn’t really look, but instead pressed on to the land of the husky and the nine people and the midnight sun and, oh never mind. Nova Scotia is still pretty special. We crossed the border to find an immaculate tourist information place with a forest-load of pamphlets and a lady playing the bagpipes outside. Well you can’t have everything I suppose. It was nice to feel wanted though and we had ice-creams on a bench in the sunshine and mapped out our next few days.

The Loch Lomond campground was just down the road and for $28 we have lekky and water and about a bit and a half of wifi. Tomorrow I’m going to find those huskies.

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