It became obvious when we had entered New Brunswick because most of the street signs were also written in English. Campbellton, New Brunswick is situated on the south bank of the Restigouche River opposite Pointe-a-la-Croix, Quebec. We found a perfect spot to camp, located on the top of a hill, overlooking both coasts. Eastern Canada has no shortage of great spots to camp.
I contacted a guy, named Ryan, on couchsurfing.org and he welcomed us to stay with him in a small suburb of Moncton, New Brunswick. The Petitcodic River separates Riverview, New Brunswick from Moncton. In the late 1960’s, a controversial rock-and-earth fill causeway was build between Moncton and Riverview to prevent agricultural flooding and to carry a crossing between the two communities. Before the construction of this causeway, the river had one of the largest tidal bores, which ranged 1-2 meters in height and moved at 5-3 km per hour. Ryan’s backyard had a beautiful view of this chocolate coloured river.
The day after arriving in Riverview, Rocky and I made a coffee run in the morning while Ryan was at work meetings. About 300 meters from us returning to the house, the motorcycle lost all power and Rocky had to push it the rest of the way. After spending some time problem solving through the electrical, Rocky noticed that the exhaust had melted some wires. We were lucky to have been such a short distance away with a nice large garage to do the repairs.
Ryan is a charming character with an abundant storage of information. As the CEO/owner of Chatham Biotec and Mega Chaga, his background is in innovative forestry products. He lives with his dog Mocha, a pretty Shepard/Boxer mix. The four of us took a ride down to Caladonia Gorge, a protected natural area. We hiked through the forest until we reached a creek. The water squeezed and crashed down through a narrow slot, it’s wake churning into a deep cold pool.
Ryan told us we’d be swimming at Crooked Creek, so I came prepared with my bathing suit. Although, I didn’t come prepared to jump off a cliff into the water. I’m such a chicken. It took me quite a few minutes to mentally prepare for my pathetic attempt of a jump. But, I did it, and after I did, I realized that in order to get out of the cold water, I was going to have to climb up the cliff I had just jumped off of. Ryan made fun of me. He said that I was hugging the cliff all the way up, holding on for dear life. I’m such a coward.
Spending a few days at Ryan’s was a lot of fun, but we needed to get back on the road to maintain some sort of schedule. We were on our way to discover Nova Scotia. Rocky’s friend Kathy, who he had lived with in Taiwan, now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband Ryan. The both of them live with a few roommates in North Halifax, a great area named The Hydrostone. The moment we arrived, Kathy greeted us outside and embraced me with a big hug.
As I began unpacking the motorcycle, Rocky noticed a hissing sound coming from the front tire. It had a strange hole on the wheel wall where the air was escaping but after removing the tire, no hole was found on the inner tube. The tire was placed back on and seemed OK but we weren’t comfortable keeping it. We had planned on getting a new rear tire because ours was low on thread but we then decided that a new front tire was also necessary. Although the front tire was fairly new, it was the same tire used when we were in our accident. Rocky and I agreed that there was a good possibility that the tire was unsafe and should be replaced.
We had planned to spend the long weekend with Kathy and Ryan. Ryan is in a band called Three Sheet and was booked to perform at a few venues throughout Nova Scotia. Ryan also owns a motorcycle and had the weather been better, the four of us would have gone on a great little camping road trip. Instead, Ryan went by van with his band members because the weather called for heavy rain all weekend. Rocky and I couldn’t do much but wait for the sky to clear up. After relaxing all weekend, we finally decided to take our chances against Mother Nature and our faulty tire. We took a short road trip to Peggy’s Cove and it was well worth it. The rain had stopped for a short moment and the scenery was incredible. It was definitely one of the prettiest coasts I have ever seen.
The following day remained somewhat dry as well. Rocky and I rode to the motorcycle shop to pick up our tires because they had finally arrived. Without any other choice, I placed each arm through a tire and held on tight as I sat on the back of the bike. We rode from the shop for just under one minute before lights began flashing behind us. We were being pulled over by an undercover cop. He asked us where we were going and said that carrying the tires wasn’t the safest idea, we could get charged. He then asked for the tires, said that he would place them in his car and he would follow us to where we were going. Amazing! I laughed the entire ride. Especially at the thought of the paranoia Rocky must have felt from a cop following behind him for 20 minutes. Once we arrived at Kathy’s home, we enjoyed a good chuckle with him. We exchanged info and he told us to call him if we had any troubles. In case you are reading our blog, Mr. Detective/Constable Upshaw, we did not inhale. 😉
Rocky and I spent a while changing both tires. With the bike ready, we were excited to get back on the road. It had almost been a full week spent with Kathy, Ryan, their roommates Andrea and Adrienne and the household dog, Jetson. The night before we planned to leave, Jordie Lane, an amazing musician from Australia, came to stay at the house with his beautiful girlfriend Clare. Although it was nice to relax and spend time in such an interesting household, we said our goodbyes and got back on the road the following morning. It was too bad that we didn’t stick around to watch Jordie on stage. He is extremely talented.
Our next destination was Cape Breton Island. Although it is physically separated from the Nova Scotia peninsula by the Strait of Canso, it is artificially connected by a rock-fill Canso Causeway. We rode until we found a place to camp in a field near an industrial section of Port Hawkesbury. Just as I was setting up the tent, I began to realize that we were in the center of millions of Mosquitos. I tried to hurry but it was futile, I felt as though I was getting eaten alive. I was happy once we were in the tent, but I still spent a long time killing the mosquitos that snuck there way in. I don’t like to kill anything but I felt no guilt as hundreds of them pressed against the mesh to watch the bloody massacre.
Located in Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail is considered one of the world’s most scenic drives. It truly was gorgeous. After riding for most of the day Rocky pulled over for a bathroom break. A gravel driveway led us to an outhouse but to our surprise, it also led us to a beautiful place named Neil’s Harbour. A small river found its way into a larger body of water. A few meters away was a sandbank that separated the freshwater from the ocean. We set up our tent in the small, designated picnic area along side of the Harbour and listened to the ocean waves crash against the opposite shore. I didn’t imagine it could get any better until some of the locals lit up some fireworks visible from where we camped. When the fireworks were over, the black sky was filled with billions of stars. It was a perfect place to admire.
We packed everything up the next morning and headed towards Sydney, Nova Scotia. We camped in a large field and planned on taking The MV Blue Puttees Ferry to Newfoundland the following afternoon. Everyone kept saying how amazing Newfoundland is, but I get really seasick and was not looking forward to the long Ferry ride.