More time away – including Puffins!

The weekend after I got back from Newfoundland I was once again heading away. This time to the area around Parrsoboro in Nova Scotia. As the crow flies this is really quite close to Wolfville but it’s about a three hour drive due to the Minas Basin getting in the way. I drove round on the Saturday morning and went to Thomas Cove and hike the trails there. Some nice coastal scenery which seemed really quite different to the coast on the other side of the Minas Basin. It bore some resemblance to the cliffs around Blomidon – not surprising given how close they are – but were generally lower and steeper. There was also a nice little estuary. Photos are here.

Next up I did the hike to Wards Fall. This trail was technically closed, and indeed many of the bridges were either out or very damaged, but it was still easily passable. The falls themselves are not meant to be as impressive as they once were since the rock shifted and hid half of them. I’d have to agree that I was certainly were not the most spectacular waterfall ever (photos). Having finished the hike I drove to my campsite for the night passing a small collection of old cars on the way – I think they were acting, at least in part, as an advertisement for a museum. That was even on old London Cab. And there are photos. Having brought dinner I went and ate it at a small park by a lighthouse. The lighthouse had been moved from several miles away to stop it falling into the sea but it was still all rather attractive (photos).

Sunday saw me hiking Kenomee Canyon. This was an enjoyable, if not spectacular, 11 mile hike that also included several stream crossing. Most of the crossing involved getting your lower legs wet but by the end of the hike all of me was getting wet as it had started to rain quite hard. Still it was nice to get another long hike in. I didn’t take too many photos but those I did take are here.

The following Saturday I hiked to Roxbury. This was an abandoned community about 5 miles down a dirt road. Technically I believe it’s still classified as a road but you’d need a pretty beefy vehicle to get down it. Most people, including me, walk. There wasn’t a whole lot to be seen of the old community although there were grave stones, an old dam and old wells. There were also turtles, butterflies and attractive lakes. All in all an enjoyable hike. Photos are here. The next day I did some macro photography at the research station (photos) and saw a wasp? that was half green. Which was odd. Still think I could improve my macro photography!

That week I remembered to look into Puffin tours and decided that I’d really have to go before I left for Europe as the puffins would likely be gone by the time I got back and could go on one. That left that weekend. So after some crazy organizing I left on Friday morning heading towards cape Breton. I took a rather circuitous route as I decided to explore the coast north of Halifax on the way – somewhere I’d never been before. My main stop was at Taylor Head Provincial Park where I did a hike recommended in the Nova Scotia hikes book. It was rather overgrown in places and having reached the end of it I realised I may have been better off doing one of the hikes that started from there. Still it was reasonably pretty (photos). Having got myself some dinner I drove to Cape Breton and camped for the night.

The next day I first headed to Baddeck where I did some shopping – mostly presents for my new niece before heading to the puffin tours. The puffin tour was pretty cool although the puffins were even smaller than I’d realised and quite hard to see. They also fed eagles from the boat and they took (dead) fish out of the water from really close to boat. They moved so quickly that photography wasn’t easy and indeed my best photo was a little out of focus. I also suffered from allergies for most of the trip but it was totally worth all the driving to see the puffins and the eagles. Oh, and the seals. Unsurprisingly there are a large number of photos.

After the Puffin Tour I hiked to Uisage Ban Falls and got, what in my opinion are, some really nice waterfall photos. On the drive back to mainland Nova Scotia I stopped to take some photos of the cool flowers I’d been seeing everywhere before going for a short walk just as the sun was setting (photos). I had some adventures finding the campsite where I was staying that evening but eventually settled down for the night.

The next day I explore more of the coastline north of Halifax, just this time further north. I did quite a bit of driving exploring but there was nothing two exciting – just some mildly interesting lighthouses (photos). By the time I got to the hike I intended to do it was already getting on quite a bit and so I turned round after about a quarter of the loop as the hike seemed hard going along the shore and not massively exciting. Things did improve a bit on the way back as the weather improved but I still think I made the right decision to turn around. Photos are here.

After that I headed along the shore to an old ship apparently abandoned on the shore that I’d spotted on the way up. It’d been mostly dark on the way so I decided to stop to stop on the way back to take some photos. The ship is apparently the Mary Joseph, an old coastguard ship, that was brought to be converted into a yacht. Then there was a fire on it so that put pay to that plan and so it languished in Halifax Harbour for some years. Eventually it was brought by someone and towed to it’s current location. Their plan was to scrap it but they didn’t realise they’d need permits and all sorts of training to do that so it just sits there while they sort all that out. All rather eerie. After that I stopped briefly at Taylor Head again to see a bit more of the beach area I’d barely seen on the way up (photos) before heading home.

The next Friday I started my trip to Europe and more on that in my next post. My elbow was still not better in case you were wondering!

2 Responses to More time away – including Puffins!

  1. Sarah Clough says:

    I think the flowers you photographed are Lupins.

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