(Maritime Day31)

Day 31
This day, which I expected to be reasonably easy, turned out to be quite hard because of 50 miles of riding into stiff headwinds. I also rode in the rain for an hour or two, but compared to the wind that was no big deal. I had a mechanical failure, my rear derailleur cable broke for the second time (must be a problem in my installation), but that happened near the end of the ride and I was able to finish the day with 2 usable gears (my little ring for 10 -15 mph and my middle ring for 15 - 20 mph. Fortunately there were no steep hills in the last half a dozen miles.

The B+B I stayed at last night (Germaine B+B, Cheticamp) was quite nice and breakfast this morning was great. Not only the company, but the two full breakfasts that I was fed! It was a good thing too, because I ended up riding 50 miles into that damned wind before I found a restaurant for 'lunch.' That was about 3:30 this afternoon in Whycocomegh (spelled correctly, Gaelic?).

The place I stayed was so windy there are no trees, sort of like Port-aux-Basques, Nfld. I rode in 25 to 35 mph winds, coming out of the south as I was heading south east, till Belle Cote. It was difficult riding because of the wind and a narrow road with no shoulders and moderate traffic. When I had the opportunity to get away from the traffic at a fork in the road, I took 'the fork less travelled.' This is the road down the north side of the Margaree river. The Cabot Trail runs down the south side. The north side was much nicer!

When my road less travelled rejoined the Cabot Trail, I turned the wrong way and covered three miles or so into that wind before recognizing my error. The only riding with a tail wind I did all day was coming back over those 3 miles. At Margaree Forks I turned, into the wind again, on 19. At South Margaree I stopped at a farm house to get water because I was running low and it was obvious that I was going to be riding for a long time before I'd find any services.

I rode down route 395 to and along Lake Ainsle. There was a general store at Scotsville, but I rode on by thinking there would be stuff further on down the, rather large, lake. There was a camp ground where I got ice cream, but it was at the other end of the lake. I stopped near the middle of the lake to eat the other half of a candy bar - I'd eaten the first half just before I briefly got back on the Cabot Trail- and some raisin bread. I saw (and heard) two Loons and an eagle while I was there.

Lake Ainsle at the Loon Preserve
After the long ride around the lake, it was too late in the day to consider any but the most direct route to Port Hastings. After lunch I rode, in light to moderate rain and a gradually diminishing head wind, down highway 105 to Port Hastings. It had a good shoulder almost all the way and, although boring, it was the best way to get to Canso Causeway in the rain. The rain let up midway through the 25 or so miles to Port Hastings.

I stopped at the Tourism Place in Port Hastings and they told me my only on route and nearby option was the B+B associated with the Cove Motel on the other side of the causeway. I'm not partial to this setup, I'm much rather be in someone's home, and it is some what more expensive than a 'real' NS B+B, but it does have some of the advantages of a motel, like a phone in my room that I can use to call home. It also has the advantage/disadvantage of a motel in that there is no fraternizing with the host or other guests. This saves time, but isn't as much fun! The walls and doors are also too thin and I get to hear my fellow guests even if I don't get to meet them...

Tomorrow I'm heading along the north shore of NS towards Pictou.

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