A Slice of Paradise

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 39: Sydney, NS to Ingonish, NS.  What a difference a day makes! We awoke to beautiful blue skies and puffy cumulus clouds today in Sydney.  As we were packing to take our leave of this fair city, our hotel room window provided a view of a Holland America Cruise ship sailing into the Sydney harbor-- er, harbour (pictured above).
Having never partaken of a cruise ourselves, we are astounded at the size of these behemoths. The Maasdam, dedicated in 1993, is 715 feet long with a capacity of more than 1,250 passengers, served by 580 crew members. It's like a floating town. 
Holland America's Maasdam
And the locals were taking advantage of the economic injection the cruise ship was delivering. As passengers disembarked for a day in Sydney (pop. 22,789), signs near the port offered an arts and crafts sale, a lobster dinner at a local church, and many more activities obviously geared to these visitors. What a boon to the local community when 1,000 extra people arrive in town for a day!

After finding a couple of letterboxes in Sydney, we set the GPS for Cape Breton Highlands National Park in northeastern Nova Scotia. Everything we've read and heard suggested that this was a land with a heart-stopping view around every corner. Crossing the Seal Island Bridge, we thought that the hype might not be exaggerated.
Seal Island Bridge
Highland hills towering above the clear blue Atlantic provided the backdrop for a spectacular ride, with the sun contributing beautiful blue skies.
Lucky us!  Cape Breton might not look as scenic in fog.
Our destination, the village of Ingonish, was simply icing on the proverbial cake. With the summer season still a couple of weeks away, we were able to rent a fabulous two-bedroom seaside cottage on a private beachfront for a fraction of what it would cost in season.  Indeed, they're sold out for the entire summer season beginning the first of July.
Our cottage by the sea in Ingonish Beach
Only one other cottage of this little village of beach homes is rented, so we have both breathtaking beauty and peaceful quiet. A walk of a hundred feet takes us to the sandy beach.
Ingonish Beach sunset
And as the sun sets over this little slice of paradise, we're wondering whether we'll want to return to Georgia or not.
  • Miles driven: 101
  • Floating dandelion seeds:  89,251
  • Roadside wildflowers:  23,137
  • Oohs:  45
  • Ahhs:  56
  • Letterboxes:  2
  • Englishtown Ferry:  C$5.00, 5 minutes
  • High temp:  66° F
  • Special cousins with anniversary today:  2