As I wrote this travelogue update on August 10th for my tour around Cape Breton back on July 12th, I was sitting at the desk in my motel room in Surrey, BC, near Vancouver after a fun ride during very nice weather. More about this day’s journey in a future report.
In my previous update late on Thursday (8/8), I mentioned taking my motorcycle on Friday to Bentley Motorrad, the Triumph, BMW and Ducati motorcycle dealer in Kelowna, BC, to resolve an electrical problem. After some troubleshooting, the mechanic determined that the culprit was a loose bolt on the positive battery terminal. Apparently the mechanic at one of the previous dealers neglected to tighten the bolt properly after disconnecting the battery. Thankfully it turned out to be a simple fix. Additionally, the mechanic lubricated the windshield mechanism for better operation. Although not as good as new, it’s definitely improved. Overall I was quite pleased with that dealership. They accommodated my service needs in their busy schedule and even washed off the accumulated bugs and dirt from my motorcycle, which I hadn’t yet done. Using their WiFi I was able to pass the time on the Internet while sitting on a very comfortable sofa and watching some of the PGA Tournament in HD on a very large flat-screen TV in the waiting area. I wish other dealerships made their customers’ waits so pleasant and comfortable!
Now back to Friday, July 12th, when I made my tour of Cape Breton via the Cabot Trail. The day started out a bit drizzly and with some light fog. Thankfully it began to clear as I travelled west away from Sydney. This map shows my route for the day, starting in Sydney on the right side of the map and ending in Amherst on the left side.
Although I took several photos despite the dreary conditions between Sydney and Cape Breton, the first interesting one is probably of the cable ferry to Englishtown. For some reason that I don’t now recall, I decided to cross over St. Anne’s Bay by ferry rather than ride along the longer Hwy-19, a part of the Cabot Trail, around the Bay. The ferry is attached by cable from the east shore to a jetty spanning much of the channel. This panoramic photo shows the ferry approaching the east side.
Since Cape Breton was inhabited by both French and Scottish immigrants as well as by native tribes, the signage often shows multiple languages. When I later came to the bridge over the French River, I took this photo of its sign in both English and Gaelic. In other areas the signs are in English and French or English and Mi’kmag.
Personally I wouldn’t think there would be enough snow during the winter to support a ski resort operation. Apparently there actually is, judging by this rather nice-looking ski lodge with both chair and tow lifts and sporting the large sign “Ski Cape Smokey.”
During my travels around Canada, I have seen very few police, nor been stopped by any, although I am assured by some local motorcyclists that they do in fact patrol. As I passed by the substation for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Ingonish, I snapped this photo of it.
Shortly after passing through Ingonish, I came to the small toll booth for the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. As I expected to visit several national parks in Canada, I opted to buy the yearly senior pass for $34, although thus far I’ve only been in two where I actually needed to pay anything. This sign lists the various options:
As I approached the area of Black Brook Beach on the Cabot Strait, I took the opportunity to stop at an overlook to take several photos to create this panoramic photo of the shoreline. The quite modest Black Brook Beach is the rather straight section on the left side of the photo.
By 12:40 ADT I was not quite halfway across Cape Breton and was feeling hungry. After seeing several signs advertising Angie’s Family Restaurant, I decided to stop there for lunch of Lobster Roll and iced tea. It’s a small place, but the food was good. While there I met a couple from Ontario who ride a Yamaha FJR motorcycle, but were in their car on this occasion. We had a very nice chat and he graciously allowed me to access the Internet through his iPhone so that I could check my email and the weather.
About an hour later, I arrived along the northern shore of the Cape overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The coastline was more ruggedly impressive than I’d seen thus far on the Cape and it reminded me of Hwy-1 along the California coast. While moving, I took this next photo towards the west. A few minutes later I stopped at an overlook to take several photos to create the following panoramic photo.
Whale watching is a popular tourist activity along the northern shore of Cape Breton. There are several businesses offering their services to do that, including the one whose sign I photographed.
Although I took several more photos during my trip around Cape Breton, this travelogue report is getting long enough. The extra photos will eventually be added to my website.
I will close with this sunset photo I took behind the hotel in Amherst where I stayed for two nights. Several wind turbines were installed not far from the hotel to capture the frequent winds in the area.
That concludes my travelogue report for July 12th. The next day I visited Prince Edward Island and returned to the same hotel. More about that excursion in my next travelogue report.
Now that I’ve reached the Vancouver area, tomorrow (Sunday) I will take a ferry ride across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island, visit Butchart Gardens among other places, and stay a night in Victoria.
Best regards from Surrey, BC.