After a rare sunny day, and approx 230 miles, riding gently along the south shore, from Halifax, through some very pretty coastal villages such as Lunenburg the home of the Bluenose Schooner, and Mahone Bay we ended up in Yarmouth, at the southern end of Nova Scotia. As is often the case, when you arrive knackered after a long ride, all the places to stay go into hiding. Nevertheless after turning up a side street we saw a dubious looking Motel with a few shady characters hanging around outside. Just as we resigned ourselves to a night in a hostel for the homeless, we spotted across the road a rather imposing property advertising B&B. A quick toss-up and I jumped off the bike to find out how big a mortgage we would need to stay there the night. Not that it mattered, it was 19.30h and we were desperate. And so we found ourselves in the very splendid Guest-Lovitt House B&B in Yarmouth courtesy of our hosts Twyla and Bruce. A quick tour around the rooms on offer and we, or should I say I, chose the Queen four-poster bed, complete with foot stools from which to launch ourselves onto said bed. Apart from the opulent decor, I cannot describe the anticipated bliss of a night without sleeping in my Merino wool leggings and top thermals and Icebreaker socks, Rab jacket, for those extreme conditions, and hat, and having warm toes. You have no idea. I clambered up onto the bed, wriggled around a bit, just to check it met my expectations. No time to dally though. With David's stomach grumbling like an old drain in the background it was time to eat. The Nova Scotians are not known for their raucous late night revelling, the eateries close at 20.00h out of season, so to avoid going without food we headed off to the local hostellary Rudder's Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub for fish and chips and a Rudder's Red beer. We know how to live it up! By 21.30h we were diving into that scrummy bed. Pure unadulterated heaven!!
The following morning after a wonderful breakfast feast of fruit salad, cereal, poached eggs and thick wholemeal toast with lashings of butter and preserves, we eyed a plate of freshly baked homemade muffins, a piéce de resistance proudly gracing the middle of the table. Hunger defeated, we asked if we might take one with us. Without further ado, Twyla enthusiastically loaded them all into a small parcel for us to take away to enjoy for elevenses, twelvses and oneses! Back in our Queen size bed room, we piled on the motorbiking layers, and resembling Pilsbury dough men, we set off into the rain heading back along the north shore to Halifax. But not before Twyla & Bruce took a photo of us and printed it off as a post card, which was a lovely gesture. It's difficult to look feminine dressed like a biker bloke with helmet hair!! Not sure the lipstick helped!
Back at the campsite and the harsh reality of a travelling motor-biking camper. In the cold and damp we cooked our frugal fayre of pasta and cheese sauce with of all things salad, topped off with yet another lovely Twyla muffin and hot tea. Then we heaved ourselves into our respective sleeping bags, wearing pretty much every item of clothing we possess-apart from our helmets and boots. Another night to test my endurance. Meanwhile David is in motor-bike heaven.
As a footnote, David has planned and executed this trip with the precision of a finely tuned engine (motorbike of course). I am not sure what I add to this adventure apart from companionship, and on a good day the attributes of female company, but the rest of the time merely indecision, fickle behaviour, and a sense of profound disengagement, causing deep frustration, such that I need constantly directing, prodding and cajoling to go in the direction I'm supposed to be going in. There is more to travelling than being here in body. The spirit has to come along too. Right now the only spirit I can muster can be found in a strong Gin & Tonic, or increasingly a glass of full bodied red wine (not too fussy which), sitting somewhere or anywhere (where the sun is shining and it is warm) in the South of France, accompanied by a bowl of plump olives and a fresh baguette (and David of course), soaking up the riches of a culture suffused with the bounty of good food and wine. So far Canada sadly does not do it for me. But it is a large expanse to explore-lots of trees (many half dead) and lakes (cold and grey), complete with swarms of black flies, that as son as you lift your visor, fly up your nose and in your mouth: a few hardy people dotted about amongst the trees, with varied ancestoral beginings from the Vikings to the Irish, French, Scottish, Dutch, Danes, indeed anyone who has a particular yearning for cold, wet grey weather. Though why come here and name your new land after Plympton or Plymouth, or even Truro or Liverpool escapes me. In fact we are not in Canada at all, we are just touring the UK :). But perhaps who knows there may be lurking somewhere a sense of who the Canadians really are and the joys to behold in this so far bleak land. Onwards and upwards Montgomery!!