After the 3 days we spent in Halifax we were chomping at the bit to go once we had collected the truck. For the first day we decided not to overstretch ourselves and set off to Maitland just 1 1/2 hours away. Maitland is famous for its tidal bore. As the Bay of Fundy has such high tides you can see the water flow in the opposite direction in the river at high tide. We weren’t sure what it was going to look like but we’d been ready to get out into the beautiful wild woods of Nova Scotia since we’d seen them from the plane and this was slap bang in the wilds. As the truck does not need any electrical plug in, toilet, showers or water when we are at a campsite, we do not need to park in the busy RV section but at the first campsite we found we could park in a wilderness area. We were thrilled to see a deer making a swift exit as we entered the large empty clearing in the middle of the woods.
The tidal bore was in fact far more impressive than we had expected. We could hear the waves approaching the virtually empty river from the direction of the sea before we could see them. Not sure the photo below does it justice.
The girls soon got tired of waiting for the high tide so made themselves busy building fairy houses out of sticks and ferns.
Finally we were where we wanted to be, cooking dinner on the Cobb oven, nice bottle of red wine and out in the wilderness. Although in our dreams we imagined a beautiful sunset. Well, we did not get the sunset but at least it had stopped raining long enough for us to eat outside. The girls even went straight off to sleep without the usual nightmare battle …wonderful.
The next morning we set off to Cape Breton National Park and drove along the Cabot Trail. We were also starting to realise that the truck was becoming a bit of a “film star”. It is very different to what people have in North America and a number of people stopped to ask us about it and to take photos of it. At the National Park we camped in a delightful little spot.
Over the next few days we went on a number of nice walks with some great scenery along the way.
We even saw a moose while we were driving.
At our second campsite in the National Park there was even a small beach by the river inlet near the sea which the kids thoroughly enjoyed.
Mind you the weather was a bit hit and miss and unfortunately our whale watching trip was cancelled due to bad weather.
Cape Breton National Park was really beautiful but it was time to start heading west. We are heading to Quebec but as it is over 1250kms away (distances are big in Canada) it will take a few days to get there. Still there are some pleasant spots next to lakes to camp at along the way.
After all the planning and all the waiting we finally left for Heathrow on Sunday morning. The flight to Halifax, Canada was uneventful and the kids were really well behaved. Although this may have been due to them watching films all the way over. We breezed through Canadian customs, picked up our hire car, checked into our motel and went to a diner for dinner. As the ship with the truck was not due in until early Tuesday morning we spent Monday sorting a few things out eg Data SIM card for Canada. As the motel had a pool, the kids were also keen to try that out too. In the late afternoon we headed down for a walk on the waterfront and finished with lobster for dinner. It’s what Halifax is famous for so it would be a shame not to indulge.
As we were up early the next morning ( still not fully over the jet lag) we were able to see the ship dock carrying the truck.
We then spent the morning going around Halifax’s most famous site The Citadel which was very interesting and also the guides made it fun for the children.
The kids also enjoyed playing at changing the guard.
And then we watched the real thing.
On the way back we drove past the port and could see the truck had arrived but we needed to wait for it to clear customs before we could collect it.
In the afternoon we drove to a little fishing village. Unfortunately it was raining and foggy so we could not really appreciate it but we did enjoy the fish and chips.
On Wednesday we were able to collect the truck. This went really easy. First a trip to the shipping agents, then the customs office and then off to the port to pick the truck up. All in all it only took about an hour and a half. We then spent the rest of the day getting everything ready. Filling the truck up with diesel, water, food and gas as well as re packing everything. But now we are all set to go.
We’ve been back in the Uk 3 weeks now and we are off to Canada in less than 36 hours. The whole realisation that the trip, adventure, departure and whole new life is about to start hasn’t really sunk in yet.
We hadn’t really appreciated how much work our cottage in the New Forest would need before we could rent it out long term, so we’ve been really busy with that. We thought the letting and maintenance were far, far further on than we found they were. No matter a bit of DIY and cleaning never killed anyone……even Steve (although I think he would have been much happier back at work than sorting things out). It looks fabulous now and hopefully someone will snap it up soon.
We’ve been truly blessed with the weather in our time here, day after glorious day of sunshine has made the days here very pleasant. I’m not sure we could have coped with 3 weeks or torrential rain like last summer’s time back here. I has also been wonderful to see so many family and friends, although very sad to say goodbye. As well as seeing individuals, last weekend we did 2 days of goodbyes. Saturday was Steve’s old friends from primary school and their families with his mum and dad and on Sunday a mass gathering of both families. Chatting, lazing in the garden, eating and drinking in the sun was a lovely relaxed way to say goodbye. At the moment it feels like a normal summer meet up, living overseas for so long we sometimes only see family once or twice a year. But I think the reality will soon sink in….