A long hike, whales and running

The first Saturday after I got back to Canada I went for a hike at Blomidon. This was more by accident than design as I’d originally planned to go on a hike nearer Wolfville but ended up here when there were signs asking you to keep off the dykes. Due to not originally planning on going anywhere exciting I didn’t take a camera but it was all still rather enjoyable.

The next day I headed down to the Bluff Wilderness near Halifax. As the hiking guidebook suggests it is indeed a bit of a surprise to find somewhere so remote so close to the city. My plan was to hike all four loops. And I managed it… just! It turned out to be a really hot day and I ended up drinking about 4 of the 5 liters of water I’d taken with me. Still I was proud of myself for doing the 15 miles in 9 hours. It wouldn’t have been easy hiking in any temperature and in the heat of that day it was very much hard work. There was also a lot of nice scenery, especially towards the end. I had had a vague plan to go for a swim in the lake at the end of the hike but the fading light and slight chill as the day ended put an end to that plan. Photos from the day are here.

The next weekend the weather wasn’t so great and I didn’t get up to anything too exciting. On the Monday evening I went for a hike at the Wolfville Watershed Nature Preserve with the Scouts. It wasn’t a regular meeting but was instead meant as a goodbye to one of the other leaders who was going to college in PEI. Only two scouts turned up but I still enjoyed myself. I never knew the place existed and it is pretty cool – especially the old dam. I hadn’t taken a camera so no photos but I returned a couple of weeks later so there will be a link to photos below.

Much as I did with Puffins it occurred to me that I might need to get a Whale Tour in quite soon if I were to see them before they left. Turned out there wasn’t a huge rush but as the weather was looking good for that weekend I decided to do it then. On the Saturday I went for a hike in New Germany along an abandoned railway line before heading to a campsite which was about half way between home and the whale watching. Most of the hike was, frankly, a little boring although it got much more attractive for the last mile or so. Photos are here. That evening I had a barbeque for dinner – my first really successful one I’d done in Canada! The next morning while striking camp I found a cool creature on my tent and took a couple of photos.

After a bit of a lazy start to the day I headed down to the Whale watching. It was a bit foggy near the coast and at sea but it was still a magnificent experience helped by the fact that the fog was patchy. We were lucky enough to have some dolphins join us on the way to the Whales. This only apparently happens once a week and definitely added to the whole experience. The first whales we found were in the fog and it was rather choppy so we only briefly saw a tail before the captain decided to go and find some more. All the captains were in touch with each other so he knew where some were. The new whales weren’t in the fog and were a sight to see – they were probably longer than our boats and when they stuck their tails in the air it was amazing. I took lots and lots of photos. On the way home I stopped off for a short hike at Belleisle Marsh. There are a few photos but nothing exciting to report.

The following weekend was a long weekend and on the Saturday I went to a bouldering friends party and had an enjoyable evening despite not feeling great. The Sunday was nicer so I went back to the Wolfville Watershed. This time with a camera. I’d intended to hike a slightly different route to that I did with the scouts but missed a turn and pretty much ended up doing the same route only in reverse. The old broken damn was still cool and the bigger reservoir was also still pretty. Photos are here. I ended up working the Monday so I could take a long weekend on a quiet weekend.

This weekend I headed to Halifax on the Saturday to do some shopping and visit a museum as the weather wasn’t meant to be that great. I visited the Pier 21 Immigration Museum which was quite interesting if not very big. I’d always planned on going for a short hike for some exercise afterwards but thought it would be in the rain. Instead it was actually quite nice and I had a really enjoyable time enjoying exploring the old Shubenacadie Canal. Photos are here. Today I’ve not been up to much at all – apart from updating this blog.

The only things left to comment on are running, swimming and my elbow. I did one run before I left for Europe as a means of getting exercise while I couldn’t climb and it went better than expected. Since I’ve been back I’ve done quite a bit and my best so far in 5km in 37 minutes. Not the greatest but I’m still rather pleased given that I haven’t done any running in about 10 years! My elbow is still not right, although a lot better and heading in the right direction, so I suspect I will be doing some more over the next few weeks. I’ve also found a local place to go swimming outside which I’ve done a few times on nicer days. I do enjoy open water swimming and suspect I’ll also be doing some more of that.

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