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Part 2: Cape Breton, Reaching Meat Cove and Return Via Halifax

Today was the start of the last leg of the trip and the “starting point” for my Patagonia-bound journey.

 

The plan was to head up to Meat Cove, the furthest point north on Earth I would go in this particular journey.  I have already seen sights to treasure a lifetime, but I also feel like I’ve missed too much.

 

Everyone I’ve met so far has been very friendly and welcoming.  I really wished I’d been able to spend more time knowing the people in addition to the places.

 

In future trips, my aim is to “slow travel” the world and leave the red-eye flights and jet-setting to others.  Life is much more enjoyable when you slow down and focus on the journey, not just the destination.

 

Morning started with a trip to the Barn Bean Cafe for breakfast, located next to my hotel at Ingonish Beach.

 

 

Once the cup of strong, hot coffee kicked in, I started the trip back to Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

 

 

Beautiful drive.

 

 

I did a quick stop at the Lakies Head look-off point.  Pilot whales are known to make appearances here.

 

Unfortunately, I was a little too late in the season to catch any on my brief photo stop.

 

 

 

 

I continued heading towards Meat Cove, on the northern side and past Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

 

According to guidebooks, the last stretch of road would be unpaved.  Meat Cove is not a mass tourist attraction and not too long ago, signs were nonexistent.  It is a small fishing village with less than 100 residents at any given time.

 

 

The views along the way are great.  Pretty awesome all the time since I entered Cape Breton, really.

 

 

Love the style of the houses.  They remind me of the houses I’ve seen in small fishing villages in New England.

 

 

 

I finally found the sign for Meat Cove.  After turning, the road got narrower and twistier.  Still didn’t see the dirt road I was looking for.

 

 

There’s the dirt road!  I knew then that I was still on track… sort of.

 

 

And just around the bend, I spotted the cove.

 

It is pretty remote but the roads are in great shape today.  In 2010, a rainstorm wiped out the road and damaged some bridges leading to the cove.  Tourists had to be evacuated and locals provided emergency aid until the road was reopened almost a week later.

 

Not a chance of that happening today, as the weather was just right.

 

 

Getting closer…

 

The view from Meat Cove was magnificent.

 

 

There are cabins available for rent at the Meat Cove Campground.  The sunrises are amazing from here I’m told.  I believe it.

 

In what’s becoming a recurring theme, I’m kicking myself for not having enough time to stay here at least a couple of days and explore the nearby hiking trails.

 

 

I had planned to eat lunch at the Chowder Hut at Meat Cove, below, but I found out it had been recently closed for the season.  Bummer.

 

 

Very hungry and without a backup plan, I had to leave Meat Cove and search for some food fast.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I found another interesting place on the way out of Meat Cove.

 

I came across signs for a restaurant in Neil’s Harbor, another scenic fishing village.

 

 

As I said, I found this restaurant by chance.  Very casual, affordable prices for seafood, and a great view of the harbor, right by the lighthouse.  Filled up with a lobster sandwich and other fried seafood.  Delicious.

 

 

 

After lunch, it was time to head back.  I had a long drive since I planned to reach Halifax before nightfall.

 

I enjoyed driving the eastern side of Cape Breton one last time.

 

 

Next morning, I walked around Halifax a little bit just to get a glimpse of the city.

 

I took the very inexpensive Halifax Harbor Ferry (only C$2.25 [worldcurrency curr=”CAD” value=”2.25″] each way!) to get a glimpse of Halifax’s skyline.  The sky was overcast and fog was thick, but I can’t complain since the weather had been great the entire way, up until today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an early lunch, I drove that same day non-stop (except for fuel), until I crossed the Canadian border and into American soil again.  Pulled over onto the first motel I found (recommended by a friendly US Border Agent) and crashed for the night.

 

The next two days were stops along the way, visiting friends and family until I finally reached home.

 

The trip was a success based on what I set out to do, which was test out the car and get a feel for logistics and what I’d need during a long trip.

 

The vehicle held up without a problem, which was the big question mark.

 

Can’t wait to start the second part of the trip and head South of the border!

 

I hope that this visit to Cape Breton wasn’t my last.

 

For Part I of my trip to Cape Breton, click HERE!

 

Keep it tuned here and check back Mondays for business building info, Wednesdays for content related to expat life, and Fridays for tons of travel pictures as I do an on-the ground report spotlighting a travel destination.

 

I’d love a shout out on Facebook and if you sign up for e-mail updates.

 

Also, check out my Pinterest page about Antigua Guatemala, one of the prettiest colonial cities in the world and my latest digital nomad destination I’m trying out.

About Rich Polanco

Fan of dogs + all things tech. Love a great pizza. My goal is not to travel to every country in the world. I only want to get to know my favorite ones REALLY well. Check out the big bio here. Follow @RichPolanco and connect on Facebook.
Currently exploring: Guatemala.

Comments

  1. Great trip!

  2. Daisy says:

    what a great trip! I’m sooooooo jealous lol. Love the pictures. Cape Breton is amazing.

  3. Love it with all the beautiful fall colors! You chose a great season to test your vehicle there :)

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