Church by the Bras D'Or inland sea

Day 26
The first 40 miles of this ride, the part along Bras d'Or Lake, was the best riding I'd done in NS. It is hilly, with many climbs of several hundred feet, and it is quite beautiful. My ride was improved by the best tailwind I've seen in NS, 15 to 20 mph coming out of the southwest I rode north east. Nice, although traffic was sometimes annoying. I was riding though/to a popular tourist and recreational area on a beautiful Saturday at the beginning of tourist season.

After route 4 leaves the lake, I still had the great tailwind, but not the scenery. It was fun riding and there was a good shoulder on the section from East Bay to Sydney Forks. Traffic was moderate, increasing as the route approached Sydney. I saw a 'only in NS' event as I was riding this section. Coming into Sydney Forks, there was a cross walk. As I came pedaling up at 15 mph or so, an older dog walked to the edge of the road, looked both ways, and procedeeded across the middle of the cross walk. I, treating the dog as I would a person, continued on through the intersection on the shoulder. I almost hit the dog when he freaked at my passage and ran back to the side of the road. It was my fault. I should have stopped. Since the dog was old and since he was obviously used to using the crosswalk, I believe NS drivers (and bike riders!) stop when he is in the crosswalk. In most parts of NS there are no crosswalks because none are needed. I saw my first cross walk when I was less than twenty miles from Halifax. The Sydney area is another major urban area of NS. Away from the 'big' city, if you stand at the side of the road and look like you want to cross, traffic from both directions stops. Note also that there is almost no road kill in NS. Traffic stops for animals too.

Before Sydney, I left 4 and took 125 (Trans Canadian Highway at that point) to North Sydney (NS has a lot of North X, South X, East X, and West X; where X is the name of some city or town). This was less fun because I lost the tail wind and gained a lot of noisy traffic. Still, it was relatively easy because the shoulder was usually pretty good.

I rode to the Newfoundland Ferry terminal in North Sydney, arriving at 3:15. The ferry was leaving at 4, so I went to the Nfld tourism office at the ferry terminal and booked a room at the St Christopher Hotel in Port-aux-Basques ($55 a night). Since I was arriving in the dark I went for a prominent hotel. As it turned out I still got lost, but only for a few kilometers.

Bras D'Or inland sea - the road runs over the bluff you see at the right

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