There has always been something mysterious about eastern Canada. We grew up in the Northeast of the United States, not far, yet we very rarely hear people talking about Nova Scotia, never mind Newfoundland. As the summer was slipping by us, we thought we’d try to slow things down by road tripping through Nova Scotia and staying on an island off the coast for a week. The key was that we would not try and see too much, something we are usually guilty of. We even had an Airbnb booked in a fishing village on The Magdalen Islands ( Îles de la Madeleine) for a whole week, which looked absolutely incredible. And then we started researching Newfoundland.
Pace is one of the most difficult parts of any adventure to get right. We had three weeks total for the adventure which seemed like plenty of time so we kept looking further and further north, wondering how far we could make it without missing a very important (1st!) birthday for Sarah’s niece. What started as a simple plan to road trip up to Nova Scotia and stay put for a week quickly turned into a 5,000 mile adventure of a lifetime.
We were so excited by the time we left that we drove all the way to Nova Scotia in the first day. For the next few days we explored brightly colored fishing villages and quiet coves along the eastern coast of NS. We traveled from south to north, eventually making it to the northern tip, Cape Breton National Park. The landscape quickly changed to a dramatic coastline (think California RT 1) with hiking trails and campsites left and right. We continued due north to a place called Meat Cove. Rumor had it that there was a single campsite just past Meat Cove, but we stumbled across a perfect spot and had it all to ourselves. What was left of an old foundation on a cliff’s edge was the perfect place to park the truck and watch bald eagles swoop as the sun set over the Northern Atlantic. After hot showers, we cooked local chanterelles and salmon that we had picked up at the farmer’s market earlier that day. The next morning we rose early to hike the Skyline Trail, and from there we made our way to the ferry that would take us and our truck 6 hours north to the southern coast of Newfoundland.