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FURTHER DOWN THE COAST

Next morning I was up and about quite early as this was another day with a great deal to do. And it was a Saturday too, so I was told. I've been losing all track of time.

old road to sherbrooke nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Not too far away from the bed-and-breakfast there's a sign telling me that there is the "Old Road to Sherbrooke". This sounds exciting and so I'll go for a wander up there.

Ooooh look! A gravel road! Now isn't this just like old times? It brought back a few happy memories of a couple of weeks ago up on the Trans-Labrador Highway , I can tell you. It was gorgeous. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, is it?

Unfortunately it doesn't last too long and peters out after 7 or 8 kilometres and we are back on a paved highway again. And who am I to say "unfortunately"? How times have changed!


old buildings sherbrooke nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

The paved highway brings me into the town of Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke is something of a well-known place in Canadian tourism circles as it possesses what is called a "Pioneer Village". Part of the old town has been restored as to how it used to be 100-150 years ago and not only that, other historical buildings at risk of demolition elsewhere have been brought here in order to save them.

Somewhere on my travels I was told that this was an initiative started by the townspeople themselves, and aided by the Nova Scotia museum and if so, that's quite impressive.

old buildings nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

When it all started there were just a dozen or so buildings that were part of Historic Sherbrooke but, like Topsy, "it just growed" over time as you can see.

I was tempted to go for a wander round for half an hour but as you know, having worked as long as I did in the tourism industry I have no empathy whatever with tourist traps and secondly, the $10 admission fee put me off. That's a lot to pay for a half-hour wander around when one is on the Economy package and short of time as usual.


road sign arm brooke nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

I must admit that I had quite a laugh at this road sign, and so I had to stop to take a photo of it.

You probably know that I am one of those people who think that the American Constitution contains a really famous misprint and that what it meant to say was that the American people have the right to arm bears. And having met a bear the other day, I concur wholeheartedly with that idea.

One day, I shall put up a sign about it, rather in the same fashion as in the story of the woman pushing a pram containing infant through an industrial estate in Crewe a few years ago. The occupiers of a new factory there were busy erecting a sign on their premises "Thompson's Tool Works". She shouted back
"So does my husband's, but I didn't put up a sign about it"


mailmans point nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

A short while further on I came to yet another shuddering stop - this time excited by a view down some kind of cove just along the coast here.

It wasn't actually easy to see either and I noticed it by accident. It involved taking a photo right down someone's driveway and that involved waiting until the lady of the house had finished hanging out her washing. And so in a brief pause during which she went inside to fetch some more pegs or something I managed to take the photo.

And it was worth the wait as well, as I'm sure that you'll agree.


mailmans point nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Not 50 yards along from the above was a turning down onto the headland, and a sign indicating that this was Mailman's Point. From what I had seen in the photo that I had taken 30 seconds ago, I didn't think that I would be disappointed by driving down here for 5 minutes, and I was right.

I can't now remember in which order I took the photos but I would imagine that this one is looking to my left back along the eastern side of the point


mailmans point nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

This is the second photo of the series and I would think that this may well have been taken from the same place as the previous photo but looking in the other direction, westwards along the coast in the vague direction of Halifax, which is hopefully my destination for this evening, by the way.

If I'm right, then on the skyline is the main road and it was from up along there somewhere that I took the very first photo.


mailmans point nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

This is the third photo of the three and this may well have been taken from the end of the road and I really can't remember now in which direction I was looking. I must organise myself better than this.

But there were several things that intrigued me about Mailman's Point. Mailmen, or postmen as we Brits know them, are only a comparatively recent phenomenon in the history of the western world. And this headland was probably here long before they had mailmen, so what was it called in those days? And what is the story behind them changing the name to Mailman's Point? That must have been something. And why hasn't the Equal Opportunities lobby called for its name to be changed to Mailperson's Point?

All kinds of ideas sprang into my mind of course and I ended up with a load of wordplays depending on the word "point". I shan't bore you with them as I'm sure you can think of just as many.


While we are on the subject, I am of course reminded - "ohhh no!" ...ed - of when I worked as a chauffeur in a pool of chauffeurs in a major Pan-Governmental organisation. One day, one of the Italian chauffeurs brought his young daughter, a pretty little kid, into the office. I took one look at her and said
"by God, Enrico. You must have a beautiful postman!"


spanish ship bay nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Back on the highway and still driving south-westwards, the next place to catch my interest was a bay called Spanish Ship Bay.

It's exctly the kind of place where you really could imagine a Spanish galleon fetching up back at the end of the 16th Century and it's one of those places where you would love to know whatever might be the story behind a name like that, because I'm sure that there must have been one, and I bet that it was interesting too.


spanish ship bay nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

A short way further on around the bay I stopped to take another photograph of the area. This is at the head of the bay where the road curves round and across to the other side. But as for the name of the bay, bringing a Spanish galleon up here wouldn't look to be a task for the faint-hearted skipper.

This particular area really was beautiful and never mind two photographs - these are just two of any number of photos that I could have taken and of course, like most photographs, they can never do justice to the actual views. You will have to take my word for it.


liscomb river waterfall nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Back in the car and back on the road, but we don't travel very far. Our next stop is at the Liscomb River, which has a delightful little waterfall for us to see.

It wasn't as impressive as some that I saw on the Labrador Plateau a couple of weeks ago - nothing can be as impressive as anything up there - but it was certainly beautiful enough for around here.


Now here's a thing. You might remember that the other day I was at Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, at the Bell Museum. And there, parked on the car park, was a Volkswagen Microbus type of camper, pale green in colour and with British Columbia licence plates. I remembered it particularly because I was thinking that that was how I had really wanted to travel on this journey, and if I had found a company that would have hired me such a vehicle at a reasonable price, I would have been away.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - "thank you" ...ed - the aforementioned has just this minute driven past me as I was taking the above photograph. How bizarre - I wonder where I'll encounter it next.


ecum secum bay derelict fishing boat nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

We've been discussing after a fashion the collapse of the fishing industry along the maritime coast following the closure of the Grand Banks in 1992 and everywhere that you seem to go, there is some further reminder of how badly this area has been affected.

Here at the rather romatically-named Ecum-Secum Bay there are yet more examples as you can see. It's been a while since these boats put out to sea and I doubt that they will ever be going out again.

south shore road mitchells bay derelict house nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

And that isn't the only thing around here either.

Here I am just a little further along my route on South Shore Road at the Mitchell's Bay turn-off and the whole area seems to have been hit pretty badly by the moratorium in fishing, although whether moratorium is the correct word instead of abandonment is a matter of some dispute. You can see that this place has seen better days.

south shore road mitchells bay derelict house nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

And derelict as the last place might have been, it's nothing like as bad as this one just here a little farther on. And this is not necessarily the worst example either - there's plenty of them all along here.

As I have said before, you would think that the Canadian Government would put much more effort into attracting more employment opportunities into the area. These days you don't even need much in the way of infrastructure either. I remember an experiment where a telephone company in the UK outsourced all of its directory enquiry requests to a network of outworkers working from home in some of these remote Scottish rural areas. That's just one example, and many more spring to mind. All kinds of economic activity could be undertaken in places like this with a little goodwill.


Something else that is ticking over in the back of my head at the moment is that while I was at the Bed-and-Breakfast this morning the guy there, who was extremely knowledgeable, was telling me that the area around here was known for moose, coyote and bear. I've just seen a warning sign for coyote, and moose I can readily understand (do I not have one of that ilk - or I should perhaps say "elk" sitting right next to me?), but bear? That's difficult to understand

I did mention this to Darren, my niece's husband, a little later. He does a little hunting every now and again in a relatively rural but nevertheless quite settled part of New Brunswick, and he says that he wouldn't be at all surprised to see a bear around there.

Well, I shall just have to grin and bear it.


And so having finished all of my musing I can take the road down to Mitchell's Bay to see what's afoot - "it's 12 inches" ...ed - and believe me the road down here is just like some of the good parts of the Trans Labrador Highway between Churchill Falls and Goose Bay - I'm actually travelling as fast as 60 kilometres per hour down here.

What is even more astonishing is that there's a sign telling me that I have arrived in the Municipality of Halifax. According to my best estimates, I reckon that I am about 150 kilometres away from the city itself. How about that for urban sprawl?

Just out of interest, you might like to know that over one-third of Nova Scotia's population lives in the Municipality of Halifax.

On that note I arrive in Mitchell's Bay and I have to say that it was certainly worth the trip. As an aside, just in case you might be interested (which I am sure that you are, of course) the road that I am on is called Marine Drive.


spanish ship cove nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Just here though is Spanish Ship Cove or whatever it might be. And right now I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with this area, because every time I come round a cove into a bay in this area I'm half-expecting to find a Spanish galleon anchored up here, or to be attacked by Bluebeard and his pirates or something or someone loitering in the undergrowth and its a bit of a disappointment that nothing like this seems to be happening.

But how about this for a whizz of an idea? You could make a wonderful Piracy theme park all along this coast - its just that kind of area.

In fact, I have quite some kind of empathy with 17th and 18th Century pirates.

In my self-employment as a free-lance writer and desktop publisher I was working on a contract in connection with a Work-Life and Diversity Conference for the European Union in 2005. We were discussing all sorts of opportunities for employment for "differently-abled" people in the workforce. And, amongst all the interesting job opportunities that they considered, most people missed out the obvious one.

It was left for me to pipe up with
"piracy".

They all looked at me as if to ask what kind of tree I had just fallen out of.
"Think about it" I urged. "Take Blind Pew. He was visually impaired. Then there was Long John Silver. He was mobility-challenged. Then there was Captain Hook. He was dexteriously-challenged. Then the crews of the ship were totally drunk as newts half the time. But they coped with alcohol impairment. It is also well-known that one of Blackbeard's crew was a woman dressed as a man, so there was even a role for the transgendered. They were all financially-challenged yet they carved out a career all the same. And they were extremely good at it, that's why their names have gone down in history."

"Yes, there's a lot to be said for piracy as a career involving a great deal of Diversity in the Workplace. Let's hear it for the pirates".

It goes without saying that my ideas were not adopted by the European Union. But I feel that they missed out on a golden opportunity to help out the differently-abled and promote a new career.

Put it this way - let the Americans fight all the wars for oil that they want to fight. Let them ship it all on these supertankers back to the USA. We just send out a few environmentally-friendly sailing ships manned - "personned" ...ed - by the differently-abled to capture the tankers on the high seas, and ship the oil back to Europoort. I think there's a lot of mileage in this idea - it's plain sailing as far as I can see but the European Union has completely missed the boat.

And while we're on the subject, it is also a fact that some matelots are described as "able-bodied sailors". This implies that the remainder are otherwise. So there you are. If you are differently-abled, go ahead and take the opportunities that a nautical life as a pirate has to offer. Next time that there is a meeting of the Equal Opportunities Committee of the European Union, stick your oar in and have a row with the officials.


moser river cemetery nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Ths was a sign that stopped me dead in my tracks, if you pardon the pun. I'm here at a settlement called Moser River and I am invited to stay awhile.

And if you peer through the trees to the left of the image you can see quite a crowd of people, all of whom are indeed staying for awhile, and quite awhile at that. I'm not sure if the irony of the wording of the sign has totally escaped the people who installed it, or whether they have a subtle sense of humour around here. "Stay awhile" indeed!


quoddy river nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

And so not having been tempted by the delightful idea of staying awhile in my own two metres of Moser River soil, I move on a little farther along the coast (luckily the road continued on out of the town of Moser River - I was worried in case it was a dead end) and my next stop is the Quoddy River.

This is the aforementioned just here and that nice little village settled up there on that bank close to the shore may well be the picturesque village of East Quoddy. I wish that the weather would improve so that I can take photos that would do justice to the photos of the area around here.


I'm having another right good muse around here as well. Looking at all the place names around here, such as Smith's Cove, Allens Point, Mitchell's Bay and the like, you can have a good guess as to the names of the members of the crew of the first ship to visit this coastline.

The most prominent place would more-than-likely be named for the owner of the ship, the second-most for the captain and then filtering all the way down to the cabin boy. I'll let you know if I see a place called Roger's Inlet.


port dufferin nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

For the last I don't know how long, I've been following a network of small coves and inlets but here at Port Dufferin or whatever it might be, I leave the coves and inlets behind and for a brief moment hit the open sea.

Once again, the influence on the sea in this area is very noticeable. In every possible place there is some kind of jetty or slipway for boats and just here is no exception. This particular one is in surprisingly good condition - on our travels we've seen plenty that are little more than ruins

You will also have noticed the village in the background. All of the urban landscape is particulary picturesque. It would be wonderful if every other urban landscape looked like this.



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