Day 4: Western Nova Scotia
Can I just tell you how lovely it was to start day 4 clean? I can go 6 days without a shower at home and think nothing of it (you’re welcome for that Anna trivia), but a couple days in a camper and I’m uncomfortable.
Jaggar’s campground is the kind of place that is packed with kids and activity, so not exactly my cup of tea. That being said, it was by far the best campground shower experience.
By day 4 I knew I would start slowing down on my journey. I scheduled nothing and just had a list that I may or may not get to complete. If you are a major planner when it comes to vacations, I think it’s important to include a down day right around day 4. It doesn’t mean do nothing, but it can mean catching up on some sleep and granting yourself some grace to re-energize.
Today’s drive has me planning this section of the trip again, but on the roadie. Smooth coastal roads with respectful, few vehicles has me kicking myself for not bringing the bike along!
I rolled out of Digby around noon and had a short drive to Smuggler’s Cove Provincial Park. Large, porous rock meant it was a breeze to wade into the clear Atlantic Ocean without fear of slipping. When the tide is out, you can explore a cave (seen in photos below), however I happily enjoyed the beauty of the ocean-filled cove and cool breeze.
It’s namesake is on the nose, as this was a popular place to smuggle rum and other liquors during the prohibition era. The drastically high and low tides would make it easy to pass off contraband without ever having to leave your boat!
If you don’t want to walk the 60 or so stairs down to the water, the views from the cliff-side picnic tables are just as lovely, and the breeze is welcomed in the heat of August.
Time for a mini history lesson.
At just under 7,000 residents, Yarmouth is a quaint, old fishing town at the heart of the world’s largest lobster fishing grounds. Back in the 1755, the British kicked out all the Acadians (Acadians were French settlers that melded with the Indigenous peoples of the Atlantic region of Canada) which freed up land to gift away. Offering it to any colonia lists, many New England family’s from Yarmouth, Massachusetts accepted the offer of free land and requested the town be named after their previous home.
A ship-lover’s dream town, in the 19th century Yarmouth was the second largest port in Canada, and built ships that were found across the globe. It was here that the first screw propeller was invented, the first woman ship captain (of the Western World) was granted papers, and some controversial proof that Leif Eriksson landed here well before Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Today, you can walk down Market street and see all sorts of colorful fishing vessels, gorgeous Victorian inspired construction, and Cape Forchu.
I popped into Gaia Global Kitchen for lunch and Sip for an iced tea, which also served pastries, gelato, and a funky, modern ambiance.
(above left: List of Yarmouth residents lost at sea. Center and Right: Sip Cafe)
During non-COVID times, you can hop a ferry from Maine directly into Yarmouth. I'll be returning for that trip next year.
Gaia Global Kitchen (Yarmouth)
I never expect to find vegan/vegetarian options on my travels to remote little towns, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Gaia Global Kitchen find! Parking the camper down on the waterfront, it was a lovely walk among the Victorian styled building to this charming, bright restaurant.
In small, rural towns, it's easy to find poor customer service, but that simply wasn't the case here. The waitress was helpful, quick, and positive. I would say she was happy and smiling, but, ya know, masks.
Not vegetarian, nearly their entire menu can be adjust with the use of tofu and jackfruit (one of the few places I have actually enjoyed jackfruit).
I ordered (and demolished) tacos with tofu, jackfruit nachos, and veg chocolate cake along with a great cocktail.
Their Lazy Fisherman is a fish and chips done with beer-battered Tofu and looked like a phenomenal vegetarian option to their fish-based fish and chips.
Cape Forchu and Bluenose II
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe filmed The Lighthouse (2019) at Cape Forchu, but you wouldn’t know it. This little fishing down cares less about celebrities and more about its fishing and boating history. Arriving, I was surprised at the number of cars parked; but quickly discovered why: The Bluenose II was making its rounds and I caught it right at Cape Forchu at sunset.
What a gem.
The Bluenose II is a replica of the Bluenose, a schooner named after the nickname given to Nova Scotians. It won multiple international schooner & fishing races, was used during WW2 to carry supplies, and met its end hitting a reef in Haiti.
You can find the Bluenose on Nova Scotia license plates, Canadian Stamps, and the dime.
Cape Forchu gives you the freedom to roam and explore the rocky cliffs. It has a flat, gravel walking trail but you're welcome to meander the entire premises. Beware of high tides!
Camper’s Haven Campground
Camper’s Haven Campground is a convenient spot, just outside of Yarmouth. Keeping Day 4 more relaxed, it seemed like an appropriate spot to call it a night. With large lots separated by trees, a lake, and the Yarmouth County Rail Trail (87km multiuse gravel trail), it was easy to wind down and stretch the legs. During COVID-19 their pool is open, but the washrooms and laundromat are not. For this reason, they are only accepting RV/Campers with water capabilities.
Off to Shelburne, Liverpool, and Lunenburg.