After Carla dropped me off with my sign and my lunch, I waited for 15 cars and then a very nice lady picked me up. A mother of 3 boys who just got her landscaping license. She drove me to Clare and told me all about Frappe Pie and dropped me off at the place to get it. Frappe pie is made with potatoes, they grind them up, then run them through the washing machine spin cycle to get all the water out of them, after this they cook chicken, quahog, or beef with broth and then make a pie. Lynn, the lady who drove me there, told me it looks like snot but tastes delicious.
Inside, they were out of small pies but the owner gave me a free sample of a chicken one…Lynn hadn’t lied, it looked like snot and it was delicious.
My next ride was a guy who only drove me 2 km but smoked two cigarettes in that distance. He told me about how much he loves the strip bars in Montreal and how he thinks most Quebecois are ignorant.
Then I had to walk for 5k or so. My next ride came out of his house and picked me up at the end of his driveway. He was a wheeler dealer Acadian who mows grass, buys houses, and makes all kinds of deals. He bought a house for $4000 yesterday! Paul drove me almost to the Long Island Ferry intermittently speaking the Acadian language with his lawyer on the phone. Acadian is like French with a Scottish brogue. Interesting language and hard to understand.
It was getting cold and foggy by this point and there was almost no traffic…I thought I had made a mistake and maybe should turn back to Digby but I kept going figuring I would regret not knowing if I would have a great time more than having a bad time…c’est moi.
Next a 74 year old retired fish cutter drove me to the ferry, he slit fish for 46 years! Now he splits wood to keep busy. He said he wouldn’t live in Yarmouth or any town if someone paid him, he hates towns. He pointed out his house and there was a veritable mountain of wood in front of it all apparently split by the axe that leaned against his house.
At the ferry I walked on and rode off with a science teacher who recently retired and now is the eminent environmentalist of Long Island, he told me about geography, flora, fauna, history, and the effects of climate change. He has spearheaded a project called the anti-idle campaign to discourage folks from leaving their cars running.
He dropped me off at the Brier Island ferry where I walked on and met a couple from Ontario, David and Mary, who came here to bird watch, they told me about lots of birds and also that there were no restaurants open on Brier Island. They were right, every restaurant has closed for the season. I was thankful for the lunch Carla had packed for me.
I got to the hostel afraid it would be closed but they gave me a bed, and I had it all to myself. It’s the first time I’ve ever stayed in a hostel where there was no one else. No workers, no attendant, no nothing. Just me. It was like having a great big vacation rental with a big living room, scenic views from the window, and a big private veranda. I checked in at the store and they just let me in and then they left. Not bad for $18. Only down side is no wifi, but what the heck, who needs it! It was nice to have the chance to just sort of sit.
Of course part of the joy of traveling is making friends and so I decided that rather than taking a whale watch cruise by myself and spending $50, then spending another $18 to stay another night, I would head on the next morning. I went, I saw, I slept, and I left.
Beautiful little island. Lots of nature. Not terribly different from the San Juan Islands or the Queen Charlottes on the West Coast though and to be honest, I don’t really have the money to be taking whale cruises. Keep in mind that I’ve seen whales in Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska from yachts, fishing boats, the shore and once even snorkeling…so I skipped it and set out this morning.
I met David and Mary on the way to the ferry and the agreed to take me up to Digby where I could catch the 101 freeway to Halifax or points along the way. They were looking for a little place to buy for a summer house and so I got to spend the morning house hunting with them on Brier and Long Islands. It was fun. I saw parts of the islands I would have otherwise missed…
For instance…I’ve always heard of the Bay of Fundy, but I never knew I would visit it. Now I have. Ah, yes, the Bay of Fundy!
In Digby I checked my email and then caught a ride to the highway from a nice woman named Carolyn. Since no potential hosts had replied to my CS queries along the way, I opted to try to make it to Halifax…I admit it, the countryside was beautiful, but I was bored. I wanted to hang out with people and dig into Nova Scotia’s biggest city.
I’ve found a host starting Thursday. I figured I would find a hostel if I made it to Halifax.
(Originally published 23 SEP 2009)