….with sandy shores and loads of lobster.
Email is such a wonderful way to get things done. I bought a car from 1200 miles distant.
My new (to me) 2004 Ford Focus station wagon puts the thought to rest that you can do most everything on the internet.
After much to and fro by email and a thorough inspection by my compatriot on the scene, David from near Mahone Bay, we and the owner struck a deal through Kijiji to keep this little bundle of motion with 250,000 Kms on the road for a bit yet. It is blue, grey or green just like the last one and has plenty of room for my camping gear and kayak. Nova Scotia Adventures ahead.
Each year the pile is less than the year before and if I don’t wear the stuff out, moving it all the time, it may just disappear after a few more moves. My new wagon moved everything back to a permanent storage unit in the valley where it will stay until spring when, if all works out as planned, I will be finally moving to Halifax to some comfy spot in a seniors complex.
A recent visit to the doctors indicated I will be dependent on needles for the rest of my days, which have been keeping my prostate cancer in check for the past 10 years, and although this was expected it has warned me to check some my wandering ways and at least put my drawings and photos back up on a wall and finally organize a kitchen. It is hoped that I will still be traveling south in the winter in future for at least for a few of the colder months but I am prepared for whatever direction my health takes me and so grateful for past 15 years plus, I still have so much to look forward to.
The past several months has seen me resettle here in Nova Scotia applying for licences, health cards and the seniors pharmacare program all with the help and generosity of meals and accomodation of my friends Ron and Gail Rogerson in the valley, Robyn Stadnyk and David Etter in Mahone Bay and Eva Rogerson and Dave Hoskins in Halifax. Others, and you know who you are, have also been generous with their time and resources. They have all taken me in and made me feel welcome in my transition time. For various reasons I have had to stay in different parts of the province and because I have chosen to leave for Costa Rica again this year for up to 6 months, beginning in November, I have put apartment hunting on the shelf till my return in the spring when I shall have more doctors suggestions and be more inclined to set up house.
Robyn and David left for the Stan Rogers festival just in time for tropical storm Arthur to arrive, putting me and the Buddies in the dark for 4 days while leaving me guardian of their amazing unique home and gardens in Middle Cornwall, just outside of Mahone Bay Nova Scotia. Rains and high winds had the generator running to keep the freezers cold and the water running, me earning my keep for a change. Thanks guys for your generous contribution to my summer, I loved it.
What are the chances of getting both and a cat from the shelter and them both named “Buddy”. These guys gave me a run for the money as they escaped several times form my distracted custody only to be returned by some great neighbours and with just a few ticks which of course would just have to develop into scabs and infections. Ah yes, my charges seem to have got the best of me, maybe I will get a chance to redeem myself in the fall after I return from the valley.
As August arrived I journeyed to the coast for some days of camping starting the town of Annapolis.
My journey began at the Annapolis Farm market on the waterfront and in the oldest European community in Canada. Huge Belgian Waffles and German Pancakes as well as local farm products and artisans with pottery and weavings were among the large number of vendors in the square. I had visited this market several years back and it has grown, along with many other farm markets in Nova Scotia, with many more participants proud and successful at selling their wares.
There a number of bakers throughout the valley who have brought their talents to the shores, both south and west, of Nova Scotia and this market is the best place to sample truly delicious stuff.
Moving around the Acadian Shore
With the sun shining and the beaches stretched out along the southern shores of the province it is hard to imagine the dark foggy winter months that keep the population indoors for 6 months and to not think that a perfectly good house, listed at $55,000 wouldn’t be a great buy, studio? B&B? rental?, out of my mind?
Yes, it sounds great and I did entertain the thought for several hours but the reality of it all sunk in and in my state, with few resources, that would be a ridiculous option. I think my ongoing imposition in other peoples lives is in part responsible for getting another place to live but this option slid from my radar and motored on up the south Shore near Tusket where I stopped to eat a Sobeys’ salad and watch the deer in the salt flats. That’s what I want to do, wander around looking for food and a place to sleep.
In the many inlets of the Tusket peninsula there is abundant wildlife, few tourists and some very exclusive properties. With remote land ownership still rolling around in the back of my head I imagined the lush landscape with some old classic motorhome poised with a fabulous view and me cooking dinner on an old log with my new wood burning stove, which also happens to charge my cellphone, if I had one.
Here you can see it in the ember stage sending smoke plumes into the campground. It does more than it professes and will grill a steak with an added bit. Combine a roasting over the open fire with boiled noodles or potatoes and you have a kings banquet as you can see here later in the trip in Cape Breton. An infusion of Guinness brought much glee to the occasion.
Weaving up the Atlantic Coast to Halifax
The South Shore is a myriad of inlets and bays with an exhausting array of sights. Small towns, beaches and historic properties dot the trail to peggys’ cove and they encourage you to stop and linger in the martime hospitality and a taste a variety of food from the sea.
My good friends Dave and Eva in Halifax took me on the Tantallon trail letting me join in on the ride with a spare bike from their garage. Beautiful afternoon and the first time I had put 30 Kliks on a bike for some time. The Scones at the Bean and Bike were altogether worth it.
Arriving in Halifax in time for the Jazz Festival which on this featured Big Bands all day from noon till midnight. Here, my favourite small big Band “Gypsophilia” took bows for an upbeat swinging performance.
I have watched this group for 10 years now and they have polished themselves into a bright, tight group that I eagerly applaud. Many performers, without professional guidance, too often come on stage believing the audience has come there to listen to them stumble through sentences to provide background on the success they think they have achieved. Wrong. Get to the music and cut the chatter, everybody can talk but not everyone can perform.
These performers have now earned their reputation and are always ready to give all to the show. Thanks to all the other bands as well for a great no charge afternoon and evening.
A quick trip to the valley
Where the SnowBirds put on a spectacular but deafening display at 30 year celebration of the 14th wing air base in Greenwood. In formation and low to the ground they were much more spectacular than I had seen before, sometimes so close you could see in the cockpit, if your head moved that fast.
I left for the solitude of the Morden Shore where the monument “French Cross” commemorates the escape of a group of Acadians running from The British troops who had expropriated them without cause from their homes along the southern shore of Nova Scotia. Local interests have made this excellent place to spend the afternoon on your way up or down the Fundy shore.
On to the Zoo
No self respecting traveller could visit the Annapolis Valley without a day at the Zoo.
My other home for part of the summer was here in the farmhouse headquarters of OakLawn Farm Zoo run by my friends of nearly 50 years, Ron and Gail Rogerson.