Days 22 – 24 (June 19th – June 22nd) The Cabot Trail north & east

Continuing to the northern tip of Cape Breton island and then down to Ingonish on the east coast, where we would stay for 3 nights.

The top of the island is split by an enormous fault line which runs in a south-east to north-west direction, seen by the diagonal split ending at Aspy Bay. Back in the day, before plate tectonics ruined everything, this fault was supposedly continuous with the fault line within which Loch Ness currently sits. The road crossed the fault, seen below from one of the many viewpoints. Note the wild lupins which grow wild across Nova Scotia.

Going off piste we headed up north towards Bay St Lawrence, a beautiful little harbour.

Returning via Cape North, we stopped briefly at a convenience store/liquor store and onto Ingonish, not realising that we were heading into a culinary dead-zone…. Our accommodation for the next 3 nights was a small cabin overlooking the sea, fully equipped with internet and barbeque. The owners of the site were either self-isolating or just hated people as they asked us to email or text them if we needed advice on restaurants or walks or, as it turned out, on why the internet had stopped working…The views were tremendous, especially on the first night when the sun went down on the other side of the island.

We arrived in Ingonish, Father’s Day in Canada. Surprisingly, most of the local restaurants were either closed completely or shut by 6pm, meaning we had to act fast to avoid a night eating digestives and chocolate. Luckily we managed to book a table in the nearby pub, which was heaving and yet still closed at 8pm. In contrast to restaurants, which all seemed stuck in the past with identical fried food menus and huge portions, we found some delightful cafes with interesting and varied fare, albeit closed in the evenings. Food became an issue (or obsession, some might say), such that on night 2 we actually cooked in the cabin and night 3 we were reduced to our cheapest night ever!

The eastern coastline is beautiful, the best place being a headland behind the Keltic Lodge, the more scottish than Scotland hotel & restaurant complex associated with the local golf course. Middle Head was apparently discovered and bought by the eventual owner as he was out walking with Alexander Graham Bell. Behind the greens and golf carts is a superb walk out to Middle Head

On the second evening we ventured by car to Warren Lake where we had been told we might see moose at dusk. All we saw was 1,000’s of black flies and mosquitos and a sign warning there was a bear in the area. We stayed in the car and saw nothing!