Rather more than I was expecting

Well it turns out that I got rather more done before my parents turned up than I was expecting, including a new crag point and some more exploring of Nova Scotia. The first weekend after Cape Breton was not so exciting but I still wasn’t idle. I ended up staying local all weekend and on the Saturday went for a walk where I worked. Now I should explain that this isn’t quite as strange as it may seem as the research station has a rather large wooded area that is open to the public. I went walking in the afternoon and was really not that sure what to expect but I ended up being rather pleasantly surprised as it was really quite an attractive wood to walk through. As is normal I took some photos. I also met an old man that had originally been from England. It was obvious he’d lived here for some time as I would never have guessed from his accent.

Next day I finally walked the whole of the dyke between Wolfville and Port Williams. I had started out to do this once in the winter but the snow and cold wind made me give up. I’ve wandered along the Wolfville end of it several times now but this time I started in Port Williams and intended to walk back to Wolfville. When I reached Wolfville I started to walk back towards Port Williams along the old railway line. Turns out that just outside Wolfville this is no longer a path and gets stupidly overgrown so after a detour through a farmers field and someone’s garden (yard) I eventually made it back to the main road and then my car – in the rain as it had started raining when I reached the main road. Still wasn’t a bad way to get some exercise. It would also appear that, for once, I took no photos.

After work the next weekend I went to one of my favourite spots in Wolfville and took some photos as the sun set. The rest of the weekend I spent climbing with Dan and Emily south of Digby. They picked me up in Wolfville Saturday morning and we headed South. Saturday we spent bouldering by the sea. Yes, I know, I bouldered outside and even rather enjoyed myself. The bouldering isn’t really described in any guidebook but I feel like I wasn’t doing badly. Photos are here. That evening we camped on the beach which I believe is a first for me – although I’ve camped in many places I don’t think I’ve ever camped on a beach before.

Next day we headed to the nearby sports crag. This only has about ten routes, only a few of which were within my grade. I led two routes and top-roped a third – we all top-roped that one as the bolts looked a bit exciting. My first lead I found quite difficult but so did everyone else – at least for it’s grade – so it seems it was a bit of a sandbag. The top roped route was meant to be a bit harder and was definitely somewhat overhanging. Given that I was rather pleased by my attempt even if I did, just, have to take one rest. The last route was definitely the easiest but still quite steep at once place and I have to rest on the rope while working out the move. Photos from the day are here. We were done climbing quite early so after getting dinner in Digby I was back home at a reasonable time.

The next weekend I was unable to arrange any climbing so instead went off exploring more of Nova Scotia. This time I headed more south, towards Yarmouth. After a not particularly early start on Saturday I headed to Thomas Radall Park where I went for a about 5 mile hike. The park is by the sea and I enjoyed walking along several beaches and generally close to the shore. Completing the loop through the woods was considerably less fun as it was obvious the path wasn’t used that often and so there was a fair amount of vegetation in the way. I also saw a part of the park’s campground and as a result decided to camp at the park that night rather than another park I was considering. Photos from the hike are here. After completing the hike, and getting a camping site, I drove along the coast for a bit before a short hike along an abandoned railway line (there are a lot of these in Nova Scotia). After grabbing some food I headed back to my campsite. The site next to me was running a generator outside of allowed hours but I’ll assume it was unintentional as they turned it off as soon as they were told and were pretty quiet after that. Definitely one of my favourite camping sites so far.

The next day I explored further along the coast heading towards Yarmouth. I was a little disappointed as I did not find this bit of coast was not as scenic as the coast further north and by about lunchtime I was in Yarmouth. I did however take a few photos of the coast. In Yarmouth I first went to the Firefighter’s museum which had some cool fire engines (photos) but was otherwise a bit disappointing as it didn’t really have much information for you to read. After that I headed out to Cape Forchu Lighthouse which was certainly in a reasonably scenic locatiion – much more scenic than I’d been earlier in the day – but was a little let down by the commercialism and the recent (1960’s) lighthouse. Photos are here.

After seeing the lighthouse I started to head home but first stopped off for a rather enjoyable short hike at Chebogue Meadows. After this I decided to head inland a bit and try to fit in another quick hike before the final drive home. This was, again, along an abandoned railway line but it went past a couple of really pretty lakes. I also hiked at a speed I’ve not been able to hike at since before I did my ankle, which was really pleasing. Together these two hikes turned what had been a slightly disappointing day into a really good day. I took photos at both Chebogue Meadows and along the railway line.

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