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Report 1902: A Quick Scamper Round Nova Scotia

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

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Page 14 of 16: From West Lake Ainslie to Sherbrooke along the Eastern Shore

photo by Michael

Coddles Harbour

There was drizzle, rain and heavy rain for most of the day, with a thick layer of cloud. We drove along the rest of West Lake Ainslie to pick up route 105 at Whycocomach. There were a few good views of the lake but otherwise the view was trees which were beginning to change colour quite quickly, with oranges, browns and reds. This had been farming country and we could see the remains of old fields.

At Canso Causeway, we picked up route 344 round the coast and then route 16 at Boylston. This would have been a nice drive in good weather as there were views across to Port Hawksbury and the flat, low lying coast with a rocky shore. Boylston was a pretty, small settlement of well spaced out wooden house and nice views of the Milford Haven River.

We stopped to have a walk round Guysborough, which is a heritage town with a lot of old houses, each with a plate giving their date and previous owners. It was a planned town built on a grid pattern. There was little left of the waterfront. There is a small museum in the restored courthouse.

In good weather it would be an attractive run along the coast with views across to Queensport Lighthouse. There was little settlement. No gas, no shops and no craft shops. This is not tourist country.

We picked up route 316 which cut across the peninsula to the Eastern Shore. In sunlight this would have been an attractive and photogenic coastline of rocky shores, small bays and inlets surrounded by trees. On the landward side were reedy lakes, trees and boggy areas. There was little settlement. We did a short detour down to Larry's River. This would have been a poor harbour with little shelter. All the services had gone and there was no fishing left. Many of the buildings were looking unloved.

We drove down to the picnic site at Tor Bay Provincial Park. A plaque commemorates the first direct commercial cable between England and North America from here. The cable station was built as a rival to those in Newfoundland. There were sand dunes backing a nice sandy beach and a boardwalk across a boggy area through the trees. In nice weather it would have been worth spending time here.

We had a brief stop in Goldboro, once an important mining town which still has some large houses dating from that time built along the shore and a pretty church. Apart from the small Interpretive Centre there is nothing to hold the tourists.

From Isaccs Harbour North we drove down a long side road on the other side of Isaacs Harbour to the end of the road. There were nice views across to Goldboro. There was a small semi derelict wharf and a general air of neglect everywhere. In its time this must have been an important place as there were some large houses. It still has a post office and small medical centre in the same building but nothing else.

The cable ferry across County Harbour wasnít doing much business. One vehicle came off and it was us and a camper van on the return trip, with another car waiting on the far side. There was very little traffic on the road and no lorries. There were no gift or craft shops. We couldnít find anywhere for a cup of tea. Tourists donít seem to get here.

We did a detour down to Port Bickerton, but not as far as the lighthouse. This had a very different feel. The houses were better maintained and felt as if there was more money around. Many newer buildings were appearing.

It was a nice run to Indian Harbour and along the river valley to Stillwater and Sherbrooke. The road ran along the river which was broad and shallow with wooded banks which looked attractive with their autumn colours.

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