Day 28: Cornwall to Kingston (by car) .
Wednesday, September 16.
We had a relatively short drive today to the family cottage in Kingston. We’ll be here for the weekend and we’re being joined by a bunch of family for a final farewell to summer.
Hope that you enjoyed following along with our adventures. Until next time…
Day 27: Levis, Quebec to Cornwall, Ontario (by car).
Tuesday, September 15.
From Levis we drove to Trois Riviere this morning. We decided to search on Kijiji for the kayak that Mom was looking for and it turns out that there was one for sale in Saint Thomas du Caxton – only 30km away. So we sent off an email and drove out to the sellers house which was also for sale. While we were waiting to be contacted we drove to Shawinigan for lunch and to buy rope and supplies in case we ended up getting the kayak. We also stopped in Canadian Tire to look at the kayaks there and they had the exact model we were looking for. It was also on sale.
We named the kayak the Shawinigan Shark. We haven’t heard back from our Kijiji seller.
It was getting on in the afternoon and we still had a stop we wanted to make in Terrebonne. This is where Marinoni Cycles is – where my bike frame was made. We arrived there just before closing time at 5pm. There is a small retail section and we got a quick tour of the paint room and where the frames are made.
The guy who showed us around looked at my bike, found the serial number, and was able to produce what is essentially the birth certificate for my bike – a hand drawn diagram with notes and measurements – circa 1986.
After our visit at Marinoni we found our way around Montréal during rush-hour. We crossed back into Ontario at Hawkesbury and continued on to Cornwall for the night.
Day 26: Sainte Flavie to Levis, Quebec (by car).
Monday, September 14.
Lots of rain. 14C.
We had big plans to visit all of our favourite bakeries along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence today. What we didn’t take into account was that it was Monday.
The Basques Fromagerie in Trois-Pistoles was open – they are open 24 hours – but we didn’t buy any bread there because we were planning on visiting 3 or 4 boulangeries along the way. We did buy cheese and smoked fish.
Next stop “Bis a Boulange” in Riviere du Loup – closed.
Bakery in Kamouraska – closed.
Bakery in Des Aulnaies – open, but no bread. Only cookies and cake. They have their own mill where they make the flour.
“Boulangerie Gosselin” in L’Islet – closed.
We renamed our bakery tour the low calorie bakery tour.
It rained all day and it was a treat in itself to sit in a car all day and watch the world go by. We took turns driving each time we stopped and that made things a little more interesting.
After a quick stop at the grocery store in Levis we were back in our room for supper. No bread though.
Day 25: Sackville, NB to Sainte Flavie, PQ (by car)
Sunday, September 13.
Cloudy with a little sun. 17C.
We are taking our time driving west back to Ontario. We each drove for an hour before switching with one another. We stopped in Rexton for gas.
We topped up the fuel in Campbellton before crossing the border into Quebec. We stopped for lunch in Amqui at Le Captive. In no time we had arrived in Sainte Flavie.
We paid a visit to our favourite restaurant and are having an early night.
Day 24: Port Hood to Port Hastings 46km.
Onto Sackville, New Brunswick (by car) .
Saturday, September 12.
Cloudy with rain. 19C.
Rain moved in overnight and it was still raining when we woke up today. With only 46km to ride today until we arrived back at the car we decided not to wait around. From the motel, the trail is only 400m, but it entails riding down and get up a fairly steep dirt road.
The Trail was still in pretty good shape, but we got covered in wet sand trying to navigate around all of the puddles.
When we stopped for a break along the trail we got ambushed by mosquitoes that were hungrier than us. They chased us back on the bikes and we attempted another continental break at Michael’s Landing.
Despite all of the clouds and rain today, the landscape here is utterly inspiring. When the coastline came into view we knew we were close to being done.
The final 6km back to the car were on highway 19 and it was smooth and predominantly downhill. We rode through the roundabout and then “Kia” was in sight.
We both were relieved to be back at the car. It was still raining as we loaded the bikes and all of our wet gear. We headed into the tourist office with a set of dry clothes and changed in the bathroom.
In total we pedaled 566km around Cape Breton including the Ceilidh Trail and the Cabot Trail. It has been a memorable ride, one that will be etched into our minds forever.
Now we will make our way back to Ontario, but we still have a few stops t make along the way.
Day 23: Margaree Forks to Port Hood 74km
Friday, September 11.
Cloudy, rain then sun. E wind. 23C.
When we left the motel this morning we were officially finished riding the Cabot Trail. We left Margaree Forks on highway 19 heading towards Inverness and it started raining almost immediately. It was enough rain to get us wet, but it was warm out and didn’t last long.
In Inverness we stopped in at the CO-OP for some lunch supplies. Waiting in line at the checkout we joked about wanting to be first in line for Saturday’s “chase the ace”. Then we walked across the street for a photo in front of the legion.
After lunch at the Ceilidh Trailhead in Inverness we went into a second hand shop to look around and then into a bakery that was closed last week when we were through.
Once we started riding on the trail we were able to just relax and pedal. We were sheltered from the wind and in the shade too.
Even though we had pedaled this trail on the beginning of our Cape Breton adventure, it seemed totally new to us. The trail is mostly inland from Inverness to Port Hood but there are gorgeous river views, valleys, forests and small bodies of water.
The trail was in great shape despite the overnight rains.
The final 20km always seem to take the longest and today was no different. Thankfully the final few kilometers into Port Hood were downhill and we were able to almost coast until we came to the crossing where we exited for town.
We are staying at the Hebridean Motel again and it feels like home. Supper from the CO-OP and now we’ve got our feet up. It feels later than it actually is and we’ll try our best to stay awake until bedtime.
Day 22: Baddeck Bay to Margaree Forks 60km
Thursday, September 10.
Cloudy and humid. SW wind. 23C.
After chatting away the morning at the B&B with folks from Texas, Hawaii and the Scottish proprietors, our tasty breakfast of scones and apple strudel was all used up. When we finally hit the road we were riding into the wind and our legs felt lifeless. It was warm and humid and our chains were squeaky. At least it wasn’t raining.
We followed along Baddeck Bay into the town of Baddeck.
Once we reached the town centre we picked up some chain oil and then some groceries from the CO-OP.
Leaving Baddeck we traveled on the Trans-Canada 105 highway. It was loud and moderately busy, but with wide, paved shoulders.
After about 10km we were back on the Cabot Trail and heading north with the wind at our backs. The road went up as we were climbing Hunters Mountain.
From what we had climbed in the past few days, Hunters Mountain was manageable. The nice thing about this climb was that the majority of the rest of our ride would be generally down hill through the Margaree Valley. We stopped for lunch in a large clearing before black flies chased us back on the bikes. We took another break at a park by Lake O’Law.
At the Dancing Goat bakery we bought more oat cakes and maple shortbread cookies. That inspired us to keep on pushing. Margaree Forks was another 8km and with a few more hills. Finally we raced down one last hill and then the motel was in sight. Of course the motel is situated at the top of a hill and a steep driveway leaves us huffing and puffing when we check in. There is however a great view and looks like the sun will come out again.
The CO-OP grocery store is a short walk away and we spoil ourselves with super-sized salad and soup with dessert after each course. We finally have a TV at our disposal, but the only channel we get is CNN…