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Day 19 – Cabot Trail

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There were storms on the island of Cape Breton. Lightning lit up our hotel room all night long. Cynthia slept like a log but I watched from the window for a while. It was pretty to watch, but was dashing hopes for a good day on the trail.

We got up and had breakfast and got on the road. We immediately hit some fog and also road construction.

Fog On The Cabot Trail

As we drove we went in and out of the fog as we went up and down the mountains. It was not encouraging. But we kept driving. Eventually we did clear the fog and the rain stopped. And the view improved.

Cabot Trail

We kept driving and decided to go ahead and take the entire loop around the Cabot Trail. That’s over 200 miles in total so it was a full day.

We had a good time, stopping now and again to see what there was to see

Inukshuk On Cape Breton Island

And even to goof around

Cynthia Moose

Jay Moose

It turned into a beautiful day and we had a great time

Cabot Trail

When we finally returned to the hotel that afternoon we took a hike on the Middle Head Trail that is on the grounds behind our hotel.

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

Middle Head Trail (Ingonish)

It was beautiful, but we were pretty tired so we only walked for a mile or so before turning back. This was a find end to this fantastic journey. Tomorrow we drive back to the Halifax area so we can pack up and get ready to catch our flight home.

Day 18 – Baddeck To Ingonesh The Long Way Round

Tonight we’re staying in Ingonesh, but Ingonesh is only 2 hours away from Baddeck so we opted to take a trip around the Cabot Trail via the western side.

Cabot Trail

We had to stop by the park office to get a pass to allow us to drive in Cape Breton Highlands National Park which contains much of the scenic drive.

Cabot Trail

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, stopping frequently to enjoy the scenic vistas and take some photos

Cabot Trail

Cynthia On Cabot Trail

We also took two detours to travel down some rugged gravel roads to see some waterfalls. Sadly, they were not all that spectacular and were not really worth the effort it took to get to them.

Mary Ann Falls - Nova Scotia

We took most of the day to make our way to Ingonesh and get checked into our hotel. This is the final phase of the trip and we will use tomorrow to explore the park some more before packing up and heading back to Halifax for our flight home.

Day 16 – Around Lunenburg

Today the weather was great to we set off to explore the area. The first stop was Blue Rocks which was recommended by our guide book. A small but scenic little village that offered some great photo opportunities.

Blue Rocks - Nova Scotia

Blue Rocks - Nova Scotia

Blue Rocks - Nova Scotia

We then proceeded to drive the Lighthouse Trail toward Peggy’s Cove. Stopping in the town of Mahone Bay we were met with more beautiful scenery.

Mahone Bay

We drove on toward Peggy’s Cove and made a few stops along the way

Sadly, by the time we reached Peggy’s Cove it was overrun with tourists and we decided to make it a quick pass and headed back to our B&B in Lunenburg. Once there we decided to call it a day and took the opportunity to rest up for our drive to Baddeck the next morning which was going to take us about 5 1/2 hours without much to see, really. This was the final step to position ourselves for exploring the Cabot Trail.

Day 12 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

I have to say, we are no longer fans of built up metropolitan areas on our trips so Halifax was met with some trepidation after enjoying the rural surrounds of a place like Newfoundland. Add to that the fact that it was a bit rainy and VERY foggy and we were probably a little less enthusiastic about this leg of the journey. Still, the nautical nature of this town encouraged us to make the most of it.

We woke up and had breakfast and set off into the fog that had rolled in overnight.

It was not long before we saw a Canadian Tardis flying through the air near the harbour.

Tardis?

We walked out to the waterfront and snapped a few photos of ships in the fog.

Fog On Halifax Waterfront

HMCS Sackville (K181)

We spent much of the day in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic exploring the Titanic and Halifax Explosion exhibits. We even met a woman who worked on the museum staff who was the daughter of a woman who miraculously survived the disaster.

Lighthouse Light

The weather continued to be rainy and foggy and drained us of much of our energy so we called it an early day and got some rest for our upcoming drive to Digby.

Newfoundland – Day 9 & 10 – Back To Gros Morne

Today we made the 4 1/2 hour drive back to Gros Morne. We didn’t do much on this day other than get back to our accommodations. It was important to get a little rest for the trip out to Western Brook Pond.

When visiting Western Brook Pond you have to drive to a parking lot and then hike in 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) to the pier to meet the boat.

We got an early start with the sun shining and blue skies blazing, but by the time we made the hike a bit of fog and gloom had settled in.

Western Brook Pond - Gros Morne

Undaunted, we boarded the boat and proceeded on a 2 hour tour of the fjord lake. It was impressive to see, but not the most photogenic outing of the journey due to the inclimate weather.

Western Brook Pond - Gros Morne

Toward the end the sun made an effort to come out, but it was ultimately too late to be of much photographic benefit.

Western Brook Pond - Gros Morne

We hiked out the 3 kilometers back to the car and then made our way back to the hotel. We needed to get organized for our flight to Halifax the next day so we took the rest of the afternoon to do that and then treated ourselves to a show by the Anchors Aweigh band who play Newfoundland folk music as well as some traditional Irish tunes. The show was amazing and we stayed for the whole thing, even though that meant that we were out pretty late and having to get up very early to make our flight.

Anchors Aweigh

Anchors Aweigh

New Zealand Day 21 – Lake Tekapo To Christchurch

jaycynthia

We made the drive from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch today. This drive was not all that spectacular. The landscape was pretty flat. The weather was very good and we made good time and were able to check into our hotel early.

We found some lunch and then went walking around the city center. I’d forgotten that Christchurch was hit by an earthquake in 2011. They are still restoring the Christchurch Cathedral and the repairs look like they will take another several years.

Chistchurch Cathedral Restoration

Chistchurch Cathedral Restoration

We fly home tomorrow and we’re looking forward to being home. We’re tired after logging well over 3,000 miles of driving. It has been an amazing trip.

All photos can be found on my Flickr page by clicking

    here

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New Zealand Day 21 – Dunedin To Lake Tekapo

We woke up to what looked like more rain, but as we drove on to our next destination, the weather turned fine and we had a glorious day.

Our first stop was to see the Moeraki Boulders, some unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the coast of Moeraki and Hampden.

I wanted to try some long exposure techniques so I brought out my tripod and filters and these are some of the results

Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders

I may have gotten a little wet in my efforts to get these shots

water

We continued up the coast and I spotted a sign pointing to something called Steampunk HQ in Oamaru so we stopped to have a look. It was pretty cool to see.

Steampunk HQ, Oamaru

From there we turned inland and drive to Lake Pukaki and followed the coast to Mt. Cook. The scenery was just spectacular

Lupins At Lake Pukaki

Road Near Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Mt. Cook was covered in cloud and fog so we didn’t really get to see it. We turned around and drove on to Lake Tekapo and found our hotel.

Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki are the most amazing shade of turquoise blue I have ever seen. It’s due to the the glacier run off…something called glacial flour which is a term for the byproduct of the rocks being ground to powder by the glaciers.

The Lupins here are in full bloom and all over the place. It really is quite beautiful

Lupins At Lake Tekapo

Tomorrow we drive to Christchurch for our final day in New Zealand before flying home on Tuesday.