Day 2: August 24, 2006
The main goal for this day was to travel from the Halifax area to the Ingonish area, where we would be staying for the bulk of our trip. We had decided to take a slightly scenic route passing through Cape George, where there is a lighthouse. Along the way we found a provincial park near Arisaig. It has a nice hike and a little bit of rocky beach along the Northumberland strait.
The beach itself is pretty rocky, but the views and the rocks are magnificent.
The park also has a most pleasant little brook which empties into the sea along the beach. The brook has a nice waterfall and a pleasantly cool pool to rest your feet in.
Down the road in Arisaig itself is a small wharf. Arisaig also has a good sized church. It seems that every small town in Nova Scotia has a good sized church. A majority of them seem be Catholic, but a sizable minority are Anglican.
Cape George has a nice lighthouse with an excellent view out into the Northumberland strait. From here you can see Prince Edward Island in the distance.
The Lighthouse itself is now fully automated, so there is nothing to see except for the outside. Nearby are a large number of wild roses. Wild roses grow very well in Nova Scotia. We saw them all over the province, and many of them were covered with rosehips, like the ones pictured below.
After lunch in Antigonish, we crossed the Canso causeway to Cape Breton Island. The causeway was very anti-climatic, as they built a jetty almost all the way across the strait of Canso and then finished the job with a small bridge. As a result, no ships much larger than a row boat can go through the strait.
Driving across Cape Breton finally leads us to Ingonish. We stayed in the Goodwill House Bead and Breakfast, which is in Wreck Cove, just south of Cape Smokey. From there it is a short drive to Ingonish Beach, where you can see the nearby Keltic Lodge. It is the premier place for golfers to stay, as it adjoins a golf course. It is on Middlehead, which is a peninsula jutting out into the sea. We will hike the Middlehead trail another day.
Ingonish beach is a great place to take your shoes off and stroll through the surf. You can also watch the Avon Spirit whale watching schooner return to Ingonish Harbour from the beach.