Juli and I made it and survived the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada :-). Wondering what this is? Well, Alexander Graham Bell described it perfectly:
The Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail is a highway and scenic roadway in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in northern Victoria County and Inverness County on Cape Breton Island. The route measures 298 km in length and completes a loop around the northern tip of the island.
It is passing along and through the scenic Cape Breton Highlands: the northern section of the Cabot Trail passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the western and eastern sections follow the rugged coastline, providing spectacular views of the ocean and the southwestern section passes through the Margaree River valley before passing along Bras d'Or Lake.
Clockwise or counterclockwise? Counterclockwise!
Since neither Juli nor I have had any experience with cycling before, we split our tour into 5 days having a 6th day as a fallback. But even for me, as living mostly from coffee & cigarettes for years now :-(, 5 days worked out perfect - and we still had lots of time to do stops in between, check some smaller hiking trails, do whale watching or simply enjoy the landscape (which you should really, really do).
If you are planning something similar, check Brian Hedney's page on "Cycling the Cabot Trail" which was of great help to us upfront! The following links consist of my mini diary, some GPS info (yes, I like my gadgets ;-)) plus pictures, pictures and even more pictures.
Last but not least: Some places special to us...
Although friendliness and feeling welcome was the main tenor for all places & people in Cape Breton, some places I will remember a tiny little bit more. Can't really say why, but here they are:
Restaurant "Flavor": Actually not on the Cabot Trail but in Sydney where I rented my bike for the tour. Gordon and Bev from the Colby House B&B recommended it and I can only agree: We had a very delicious dinner at the Flavor!
The Maven Gypsy B&B: This was our first evening out on the road after cycling 62km...so, we were not sure what we could expect. But Christine & Devin made our day! If you are ever around Wreck Cove make sure you stay (at least) a night and enjoy their hospitality.
Restaurant "Rusty Anchor": Having left North Mountain behind us on Day 3, we arrived in Pleasant Bay and really needed dinner. Elizabeth, our host at The Poplar B&B, recommended it and we enjoyed a scenic sunset as well as fresh seafood in all kind of variations.
"The Red Shoe Pub": On our last day back to Antigonish we drove by Mabou late in the evening. Not only serving delicious food and good beer...Monday night also spontaneous fiddling by people from Mabou as we coincidently learned. If you go there, try Monday night!