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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well guys, I'm almost ready to launch on my Epic adventure from New Orleans, LA to tour Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and back. I will be leaving July 21 2012. If anyone on here is already there, going to there or has any good "Pearls of Wisdom" to share please jump in.

I have created a blog so my friends and family can tag along: http://www.shutterball.wordpress.com Wold love for everyone here to follow! Gonna be a Hoot! for sure!

Also, if anyone on here lives in Nova Scotia, drop me a line i wold love to chat with you! I will be taking my '99 K1200LT along for the ride. I do plan on trailering up to Boston so my very lovely and understanding wife will be "Comfortable"! From Boston it just me and my Nomad spirit! Ride on...................

Cheers!
Jason :bmw:
 

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That looks like a memorable trip you have planned. My wife and I are going to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland starting about a month before you and will be home again before you start out. Last year we travelled New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I rode out to Moncton and Cherie flew to Moncton and we then travelled for 3 weeks on the bike. One suggestion for your trip is to take the ferry from St Johns NB to Digby NS it takes about 3 hours and a great way to meet fellow bikers.

Have fun

Gerhard
 

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Don't miss the Cabot Trail. I have ridden it both ways many times, but like the CCW direction as it puts you on the cliff side of the road :). I would suggest you try both CW and CCW. It will take you a good day to do each direction

Garry
 

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How long do you plan to stay in NS and PEI? There's a lot to see and many people mistakenly believe they can do it all in one week. If you're thinking of one week in NS, then do the northern half and ride the Cabot Trail around Cape Breton. If you've got two weeks, then you can pretty much cover the whole province. PEI can be explored in two or three days. Caution! High winds on the bridge to PEI can be quite interesting, if you catch my drift (Pun intended).

I am 1/4 Nova Scotian. My grandmother was from Mahone Bay and my older brother lives in Pleasantville, just south of Bridgewater along the LaHave River.

FWIW:
1. Place names. They look easy to pronounce but visitors always get them wrong. I've found that if I deliberately mispronounce the name, I'm pretty close to getting it right. For example - the ferry from PEI to NS, docks in Pictou (Pick-tow). The ferry you're on is probably the Caribou (Cari-boo). Go figure.
2. Food - as my brother suggests, "You can't go wrong with anything served out of an old school bus." My advice is to check the license plates in the parking lot. If they're all from the states, it's tourist fare. If they're all NS plates, then it's local fare with local customers. I tend to pick eateries with hand painted signs on sheets of plywood. They spend their money on food, not advertising. If the menu says "fish," it's cod. Any other species will be named, i.e. haddock, flounder, swordfish, etc. If you see that a local fire department is having a clam bake or doing planked salmon, follow your nose.
3. Routes to ride - the ferry from St. John to Digby is the way to go. The scenic rides (trails) are all named for local features: Glooscap, Lighthouse, Cabot, etc. I've ridden them all and they are all top notch in my opinion. You should be able to find a brochure at the visitor's center in Digby. At one time there was one devoted to motorcycles.
4. Since you're from Louisiana, you'll be retracing the ancestral steps of the Acadians (Cajuns). If you're not familiar with their journey, brush up on your history about their forced migration and subsequent return. It's quite fascinating.
5. Places to see: In Cape Breton a visit to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell museum is worth the time. Fortress Louisbourg is incredible. The dirt road to Meat Cove, the northernmost point, is doable, but not for the faint of heart. (I did it two up on an '02 R1550RS.) If you're into birdwatching there are several tour boats leaving from nearby English Channel.
Halifax harbour is a great place to walk along the docks and enjoy the food and festivities. If you have a chance, check out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and learn about the Halifax explosion in December of 1917.
Along the south shore head for Lunenburg, Mahone Bay and the Ovens. The museum in Lunenburg is great and the shipbuilding history is phenomenal. My great uncles worked on the Bluenose II and replicas of the HMS Bounty and HMS Rose. (The Rose is renamed and was the ship used in the movie Master and Commander. Alas, Peggy's Cove while still scenic, has become too touristy with overload tour buses for my likings. Head south through Bridgewater along the La Have River and make it a point to stop for coffee and fresh baked goods at the La Have bakery.
If you're into UFOs, continue south and head for Shag Harbour.
Round the tip of the province a spend a night on Brier Island. (Southernmost point on the province. Excellent opportunity to go whale watching.
Head north through the Annapolis Valley and you're on your way back to Digby.

Where to stay? B&Bs and provincial parks are my usual choice. My preference is B&Bs, the owners know the lay of the land and can usually direct you to select points of interest. Note! Do not ask them, "Where's a good place to eat?" They'll direct you to the usual tourist eat it and beat it joints. Instead, ask, "If you were going out to dinner, where would you go.?"

I know I haven't given much devotion to PEI, but IMHO, there isn't much there since it seems as though 80% of the provincial economy is geared toward Anne of Green Gables. (My apologies if you're a fan.) But is is a lovely province and the southern beaches are about the only beaches where to water is warm enough to go swimming in the Maritimes.

If you're time is limited, remember this dictum, "See enough to say you were there, but leave enough so you have to go back."

Have a great journey.
 

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One more thought, I remember meeting a fellow from Louisiana on the ferry he rode a R1200GSA solo. I corresponded with him after the trip if you like I could look for his email address when I go home later as he might be able to give you some insight on his travels in Nova Scotia and his trip to and back home. I think his name was Nathan and he was a Professor or Doctor that was employed by NASA, he was a real down to earth easy to talk to kind of guy though.

Gerhard
 

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Interesting thread. What is the advantage of the ferry from St John to Digby?. When I mapped out my trip to Halifax from St John it is about 4 hours. If the ferry is a 3 hour crossing plus slush time on each end of loading and unloading. At $94 for a motorbike plus $40 fuel surcharge ($20 each way) is there another reason to take the ferry??
 

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The reason I recommend the ferry is strictly social aspect, we met fellow motorcyclists and car drivers that we bumped into days later. One couple I bumped into on the 1,000 island Parkway in Ontario about 2,000 km away from the ferry terminal. As a result we shared experiences and learned about things we missed or should yet do. From an economic or time stand point the ferry doesn't make sense but for us it was three hours that are part of our cherished memories. Think of it as an experience and not transportation.

Gerhard
 

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gerhard said:
The reason I recommend the ferry is strictly social aspect, we met fellow motorcyclists and car drivers that we bumped into days later. One couple I bumped into on the 1,000 island Parkway in Ontario about 2,000 km away from the ferry terminal. As a result we shared experiences and learned about things we missed or should yet do. From an economic or time stand point the ferry doesn't make sense but for us it was three hours that are part of our cherished memories. Think of it as an experience and not transportation.

Gerhard
+1
 

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gerhard said:
The reason I recommend the ferry is strictly social aspect, we met fellow motorcyclists and car drivers that we bumped into days later. One couple I bumped into on the 1,000 island Parkway in Ontario about 2,000 km away from the ferry terminal. As a result we shared experiences and learned about things we missed or should yet do. From an economic or time stand point the ferry doesn't make sense but for us it was three hours that are part of our cherished memories. Think of it as an experience and not transportation.

Gerhard
I hear what you guys are saying. I had a simular experience in outer banks NC, but that was also a shorter boat ride and a certain time saver. My Wife and I will be staying in Lubec ME do the boarder crossing there on our way to Halifax, I think we will ride and see the country side. We will have to take a couple ferry boats from Campobello Island to Deer Island to Letete NB.
 

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Two more chips to the log pile:
1. The weather in NS - It isn't unusual for a fog bank to hug the coastline for several days. This can make riding a bit interesting with wet roads and poor visibility. Do not despair. If you head inland you can usually find your way into clear, blue skies. Of course heading back to the coast you again ride into the same dark, grey mist and fog.
2. Riding around the Cabot Trail. A yellow sign with an arrow and speed limit is a suggestion to slow down for an approaching curve. However, if the yellow sign is bordered with a yellow and black checkerboard pattern, the speed isn't a suggestion, it's a mandate. It's been a few years since I did the trail, so it's possible that the signage has changed.

Have a great trip.
 

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Tracus said:
Two more chips to the log pile:
2. Riding around the Cabot Trail. A yellow sign with an arrow and speed limit is a suggestion to slow down for an approaching curve. However, if the yellow sign is bordered with a yellow and black checkerboard pattern, the speed isn't a suggestion, it's a mandate. It's been a few years since I did the trail, so it's possible that the signage has changed.

Have a great trip.
Very Good info. I have ridden in Canada many times but not NS. Being from ME I am familiar with the coastal fog, I even miss it now that I live in PA. The Speed Signs i do not recall and will most certainly be looing out for the variations!

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the wonderful advice, will use every bit of it!!! Just Added to route, Newfoundland for three days, to view Icebergs in St. Anthony, and ride through Gros Morne National Park.

Gerhard, keep me posted on your Newfoundland experience, I am really curious as to how it goes. I met a fellow rider on line, cabotrailbiker, he has a blog titled this and has lots of GREAT info!

Again thanks all for advice!!

Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride W.F.O.!!
 

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drstat said:
Just Added to route, Newfoundland for three days, to view Icebergs in St. Anthony, and ride through Gros Morne National Park.
Excellent decision to continue on to Newfoundland. I assume you are taking the ferry from North Sydney to Port aux Basques. Be careful leaving town and rounding the bend to head north on the western side of the Long Range Mountains. The curve is known as Wreckhouse Pass due to the high winds that can come ripping down along the range. On my first visit in 1976, I rounded the curve in my car and suddenly found myself on the left hand shoulder. It took a lot of effort to open the driver's door so I could take a picture of the scenery.

Gros Morne is my idea of Yosemite with beachfront property. The Tablelands is worth a visit and if time allows take the boat tour of the Western Brook Pond (a freshwater fjord). Heading to Saint Anthony's you'll be passing L'Anse aux Meadows and early Viking colony that makes Columbus a "Johnny Come Lately."

Note! Nobody, with any sense, drives at night due to the moose. With their long legs, your headlight shines beneath the massive body and you don't know they're there until your windscreen vanishes into a furry mass.

Now this may have changed but I had an interesting trip several years later when I did have to drive at night from Port aux Basques to Corner Brook where we had reservations. A car came up from behind and then paced me for over an hour. I thought it was one of the Provincial Police cars. I pulled into a gas station (They are far a few between.) and the car, it turned out to be a pick-up truck, pulled in with me. The owner got out and apologized for scaring me. As he explained it, "We rarely travel alone at night because if you break down or have an accident it might be quite a while before anyone finds you."

I have found Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians be be some of the most generous and polite people in North America.

Keep us posted on your journey. I'll probably be heading up that way next year.
 

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We are heading up the Western Peninsula as well, we are spending 3 nights at two different B&Bs in Gros Morne and the are spending two nights outside of St Anthony at the Tuckamore Lodge http://www.tuckamorelodge.com/

From there we head back south and then as far east as possible and leave on the ferry from Argentina which takes about 14 hours to return to Sydney.

Gerhard
 

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Give my regards to Cape Spear, you'll be closer to London than Toronto. The pubs on George Street in St. John's are great and the music is fantastic.
 
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