Shrinking The Planet – One Ride At A Time

Archive for June 23, 2012

Transiting The Trans Labrador Highway & Canadian Atlantic Provinces (Part 8)

Before we could make it to Lunenburg, we had an intermediate stop in the small seaside town of Charlos Cove.  We were headed to a little inn called the Seawind Landing.  Right on the water with great places to beach walk as well as grassy lawns to sit and stare at the ocean it was a wonderful place to hang out.  To top it off, they had an excellent little restaurant with home cooked food and a nice wine selection.  This was definitely going to be our “high-end” stop for the trip.

Traveling over the very bumpy and sometimes grass filled roads, we made our way towards Charlos Cove.  The sky was bright blue with white puffy clouds seemingly racing us as we made our way to our destination.  Some were fairly low and as we made our way up and down ridges and hills, I could see their shadows as they floated and squirmed their way across the pavement.  They looked to be in a hurry to get somewhere but were relegated to moving in a straight lines.  Although they can fly, I wondered if they wished they could traverse the twisties with us instead of flying straight.  Were we clouds, it would a be a wonderful but tragic fate; to fly with the wind but be doomed to an unchangeable course set by it.

(By the way, if you click on any one of the pictures, a full size picture will open and you can then scroll through the entire gallery of pictures in full size in any direction.)

It was a long and bumpy ride, and by the time we reached our destination, we were pooped.  Saddlesore and tired, we were more than ready to get out of our gear and have a nice quiet dinner and grab some shuteye.  We unloaded our bags from the bikes and Kim normally quite resolute about long rides, said that the ride was so bumpy and filled with grass filled cracks, she’d almost have preferred to have ridden her dirt bike.

We were however, rewarded with a wonderful dinner, a room overlooking the ocean and a spectacular red sunset.  Thoroughly satiated, we hit the rack for a great night’s sleep and a lazy rest day.  We generally lay and sat about doing a bunch of nothing, reading, lounging in the Adirondack chairs in a grass covered field while taking in the sun and enjoying the day.  But it couldn’t last forever and around 2:00 in the afternoon clouds began to gather.  Shortly thereafter, the sky became grey and dark and a heavy rain shower began.

But it was just another beginning because it seemed like as suddenly as it had started, the skies began to clear and we were treated to a double rainbow and freshly scrubbed salty ocean air as the sun began to set.  In doing so, its light cast a warm golden glow upon a nearby island  and we sat and watched the end of a lazy perfect day.

The following morning we packed the bikes and headed towards Lunenburg for our actual destination, the Ovens Natural Park.  Owned by the Chapin family, (yes if you know of the singer Harry Chapin, it is indeed his family that owns the Ovens)  the Ovens is a combination campground (with rental cabins available), nature walk, sea cave exploring, and music wonderland.  Right on the ocean not far from Lunenburg, the Ovens allowed us to get to know a bit of Canadian life, enjoy the ocean, walk the beach and explore several caves that run right out to the ocean.

We took half a day walking the nature trails which wandered among the sea cliffs and led to the entrances of the sea caves.  There were beautiful views and paths that led directly into the caves for exploring.    The caves are called the Ovens, which is what they look from the outside from the sea; hence their name.

Around noon, we headed into Lunenburg and were lucky enough to arrive just in time for the arrival of a Canadian national icon, the Bluenose.  She was arriving into port with a full cannon salute and bagpipes piping.  A crowd was anxiously waiting on the dock for her arrival and many camera were raised to take photos of the Canadian icon returning to its home port.

We quickly parked the bikes and joined the crowd.   It was evident that there was a lot of pride in the Bluenose and it was great fun to be part of the crowd.  With the Canadian flag proudly flying from her middle mast she majestically glided into the dock to great fanfare.  Up close we could see that she was indeed a beautiful vessel, trim with sleek lines, a true portrait of the speedy racing ship that she was known and loved to be.

We took a few pictures of our own, chatted with a few people and decided to take a walk around Lunenburg to experience its sights and sounds.  Lunenburg is known to be a bit of an artists colony and it did not disappoint us one bit.  During its history, Lunenburg was a fishing town.  Although the fishing industry is no longer its main source of income, its heritage has not been forgotten.  As we walked down one of its main streets, we looked up at the street lamps and saw that they had been decorated with large, hand cut and hand painted metal fish of the Atlantic.  They were great.  Each light post had a different fish and they were in the fish’s actual colors.  It made us want to walk the length of the street just to see the different fish!

Wandering along the streets of Lunenburg, we were treated to many galleries, shops, restaurants and even a museum.  It was a grand afternoon of walking, visiting and just plain enjoying the sights, sounds and people.  But the sun was rapidly sinking and it was time to get back to the Ovens before dark.  We jumped back on the bikes and enjoyed a sea side setting sun ride back to our cabin.  It had been a great day and we were looking forward to tomorrow.  We had a fairly long ride to the tiny island off the coast Nova Scotia named Brier Island where we’ll take you in part 9.