While on Cape Breton, I stayed at a sweet hostel in Pleasant Bay on the western coast of the island, and along the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. About 150 people call Pleasant Bay home, and fishing is the main livelihood.
The hostel is literally on the Cabot Trail, and a blink to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, one of the largest protected wilderness areas in Nova Scotia. The Cabot Trail is a scenic roadway that's 298 km (185 mi) in length with spectacular views of the coastline. It was known to me as a cyclist's route, and I did meet many Canadians touring the roadway. While I did ride short segments of it, there is little shoulder, winding turns, and hills with up 13% grade in many places to the north. In all honesty, it's NOT on my list, as I would be out of my comfort zone on this Trail.
I did enjoy hiking in the Park a few days, including the popular Skyline Trail, and the surprising view at the base of Fishing Cove Trail. The weather, however, is very much like Scotland, so cool, rainy and damp was on the agenda a few days. I took advantage of this to tour Gampo Abbey one afternoon, a Buddhist monastery where the residents are life monastics. It was interesting to see and hear what the daily life is like for these monks and nuns.
It was a good week of living with people from many parts of the world, testing my cycling stamina, hiking some gorgeous trails, and even relaxing with a book!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover