Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1902: A Quick Scamper Round Nova Scotia
By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010
Page 10 of 16: To Baddeck
Grand Narrows Bridge and Bras d'Or Lake
Rather than taking the main road from Louisbourg to Sydney, we followed the Marconi Trail to Main a Dieu and Mira Gut and then cut back to route 22.
It was a narrow road with a poor surface but some nice views of the coastline. Main a Dieu was a long settlement around the bay, with a long sandy beach reached by boardwalks over the vegetation. There was a large, well sheltered harbour and big piles of crab and lobster pots. There was continuous scattered settlement along the road back to route 22. This is Sydney commuter belt with a lot of money.
We followed route 223 along St Andrew’s Channel and Bras D'Or Lake. Settlements marked on the map were a concept. The houses just got a bit closer together. There was no gas, no shop, no school and no church. The road ran through trees, mainly deciduous, with the railway on the lake side of the road.
We visited the Highland Village Museum in Iona, (see next page) and then continued the scenic drive round the Washabuck Peninsula. Plaster Cove is very pretty with white gypsum cliffs and a small island with causeways to the mainland. McCormick Provincial Park is a pretty setting among the trees and has picnic tables with views across the cove.
The rest of the drive was through trees with a few nice bits along the shore with distant views of Cape Breton Highlands. Nova Scotia tourist board describe this as having “some of the most captivating scenery to be found on Bras d’Or Lake drive.” Compared with other drives along the lake this may well be an accurate description, but we thought it was an over hype. We would have described it as a nice drive but nothing special.
Little Narrows Ferry is a short ride on a rope ferry. Staff in the Highland Village Museum sold us a ferry ticket for $1.25CAD. To pay cash on the ferry is $5CAD.
It was a fast drive through more trees to Baddeck, which was very touristy with lots of accommodation and gift shops. We had fish and chips ($7.95CAD or $9.95CAD) in the Village Kitchen. It was busy with a coach party. Food was freshly cooked and the batter light and very crispy.
We had booked to stay the night in Auld Farm Inn, which is well beyond Baddeck on route 205, just before it rejoins route 105. It seemed a long drive but there were plenty of signs to encourage us onward.
It was a large wooden building with a veranda and eight rooms. Entry is into a large open plan area with wooden staircase, dining room (with tea, coffee and biscuits available) and lounge area with private quarters beyond. The bedroom was large but characterless with a rather cramped bathroom off.
A good, filling breakfast was available from 7:30 with fruit, yogurt, cereals, fruit juice, Spanish omelet, different breads and sweet stuff.
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