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Bye Bye Breton

• Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia •

Waking up to an air of silence, sprawled on a spacious king bed, in a cabin that might as well be in the woods, with no plans but to explore the rest of the Highlands… it felt too good to be true.

While I would have liked to relax all day in the cabin, we spent our last day quite productively, driving through the national park’s route in its entirety. In a clockwise direction, we began at the fishing village of Chéticamp, and ended up driving in the dark, back to our cabin in Boularderie.

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A View from Military Bunkers

• Duncan’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada •

With sturdy shoes and a couple of hours in your day to spare, immerse yourself in the remnants of Nova Scotia’s history as you walk through the gorgeous oceanside trail of Duncan’s Cove.

A little ways from downtown Halifax, you start off by parking in one of very few (like four) spots available near the trail. A short, uphill walk on a gravel road to an unknown house (signs are posted by the owner, probably due to a lot of hikers accidentally trespassing) leads you to the trailhead.

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Being Touristy

• Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada •

Seeking silence amongst the hustle and bustle of small tourist communities isn’t too difficult if you have a sense of calm within, and the ability of a long exposure at hand.

As much as I try to distance myself from touristy areas, I somehow was able to mould myself amongst the throngs of people entering the village, one charter bus after another. I thought that the amount of people and the dark, gloomy skies would dampen my mood, but perhaps my skin had thickened from the constant exposure to people that it did not bother me one bit.

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Eastward, Again

• Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada •

A single dose of the east coast blues was warrant enough to return. Little did I know what was in store when Patrick and I visited Nova Scotia, just one day after returning from Newfoundland.

After a 12 hour shift (yes, I worked right away the next day after returning) and another two hour flight (I know, I could have just flown from Newfoundland), my boyfriend (Patrick) and I landed in Halifax, a destination he had visited via bus tour in his childhood. But oh, the places we’ll go; I’d show him a different side of Nova Scotia, with a more realistic itinerary, even though I’d never been.

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Mainlander Blues

• Gros Morne, Newfoundland, Canada •

Lush green peaks, mysterious waters, the feeling of being so close to the sky… Not to mention the colourful row houses, boreal forests, local vegetation and produce, and a different dialect.

Newfoundland felt like I was in an entirely different country. Undergone the rain and enjoyed the sun, as we neared the end of our trip and having written Away from the Mainland and Coastal Views and Good Food, I realized there is so much from the island to be taken in.

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Coastal Views and Good Food

• St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada •

Seven hours is what it took to drive through the fastest route with varying levels of rain and fog from Gros Morne to St. John’s, North America’s most easterly city.

To think that St. John’s was merely a side trip; the east coast trails, numerous lighthouses, the shopping, and seafood options for dining… Our time there passed by in a blink of an eye, and we realized the city deserved more than the 48 hours of rain and fog we spent.

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Away from the Mainland

• Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada •

Almost every trip I have been on with friends has been “blessed” with some level of rain. This does not exclude my adventure in Newfoundland (not Labrador), a part of Canada’s most easterly province, and as I’ve recently learned is a translation of Terra Nova in Portuguese.

The experience has taught me a few things: (1) ye shall not brave the winds and water if both conjure a Mordor-like environment, (2) never trust the skies, and (3) if you want to travel during rain, prepare yourself robustly for Newfie rain. Just as day one was doused with rain, so were we.

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