Farewell To Nova Scotia 

Are all endings bittersweet?

I write this in North Sydney, hours from boarding the ferry for Argentia, NL. In three days, I’ll arrive in St. John’s — bringing my cross-Canada trek to a close.

It’s been a long haul: two wheels, three months, and five time zones (and counting). I’ve been rain-soaked, bug-bitten, and wind-chapped. My clothes and bike have been through the ringer a few times. I suppose I have too.

On the other hand, what a journey it’s been. I’ve swum in oceans, lakes, and rivers. I’ve seen sunny days and starry nights. I’ve pedalled the width of a continent, made friends all along the way, and amassed enough stories for a lifetime.

That should be enough to make any man happy.

A few stories from the past while:

1. I’ve come across some more noteworthy town slogans in my travels. My new favourite? Stewiacke: “Halfway between the Equator and North Pole.” Tourists must be coming in droves.
2. After holding up so well for so long, my body is showing signs of weariness. I was hit with knee troubles en route to Sheet Harbour, forcing me to hitchhike the remaining 20 kilometres into town. Thankfully, I’ve had several strokes of luck. The first time, a good-natured mechanic named Ken offered me a lift without hesitation. The next day, I arrived at my host’s house in Sherbrooke — again, hampered by knee troubles — only to learn that she was making a quick trip to Antigonish that evening. Just like that, I had a ride to my best friend’s house, where I could rest and recover.
3. People in Antigonish are serious about their pizza — and fiercely loyal. I’ve learned you are either Team Wheel or Team Kenny’s — or, if you’re a renegade, Team Snappy Tomato. Choose wisely.
4. Cape Bretoners have a name for the rest of Canadians: mainlanders. The sense of hometown pride on the island is strong.

Things I’ve seen:

1. Splendid harbours.

Lunenburg is a national treasure — not to mention a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The splashes of colour along the waterfront give the town a postcard charm.

Halifax is a wonderful place in the summertime. The boardwalk bustles with life, as speedboats and ferries dance through the Halifax Harbour. You’re never far from a spectacular view.

2. Coastal cliffs.

This shot comes from a trip to Ovens Natural Park, just south of Lunenburg. The Ovens are a series of sea caves, some so large and deep that local legend tells of a man entering one and emerging on the other side of Nova Scotia.

3. Rugged wilderness.

This kind of view is surprisingly common in Nova Scotia — the two days’ ride from Halifax to Sherbrooke was brimming with them.

Distance travelled: 6,892 km
Donair sauce consumed: More than enough.

5 thoughts on “Farewell To Nova Scotia 

  1. Well done, Martin! Enjoy the finish line!

  2. Fantastic post Martin!! You’re almost there! CMHA can’t wait to welcome you home on September 14th! All the best on the remainder of your journey!

  3. You are one amazing guy – or maybe a machine!! Very proud of you and looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

  4. Great blog Martin. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Dave Jaworsky 08/26/2016 — 8:21 pm

    What a trip Martin….what a trip….congratulations

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