Day #209 – Paradise in Cape Breton

LOCATION:  Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia – in West Central part of Cape Breton
CAMPGROUND:  Whycocomagh Provincial Park. 
WEATHER:  Crisp and  sunny.  High 66

Tony, Jenny, and I started the day with a challenging hike up a mountain in the park.  The guide map said the slope is 56 degrees.  It seemed straight up and slippery.  I chickened out about halfway through, afraid that I would slip and fall, so we returned.  Going down was even scarier.  But – it was a good workout.

Then, George and I were off for a day on our own to explore more of this area of Cape Breton.  We started by searching for Nova Scotia’s northernmost winery.  It is very remote. We traveled on poor paved roads, some gravel roads, and a few one-lane wobbly bridges.

We almost missed it, as there was no signage except for a small hand-written post saying “vineyard” and “closed”.  We entered anyway!  It was up, up, up.  Once we got up to the top, we could see a bunch of women picking the grapes.  We spoke to the vineyard’s owner’s mother.  She told us the name of the vineyard is Eileanan Breagha which is the Scottish Gaelic term for “beautiful islands”. Indeed, the views of Bras D’Or Lake below and its islands live up to the name.

She said they were closed for tastings, as they are busy picking the grapes and making wine, but that we could go to the winery and buy a bottle if we wanted.  So, we stopped at the winery and talked with the owner’s father and crew.  They were in the process of crushing the red grapes that the women  had just picked.  The white grapes will be picked in a few weeks. 

We asked about buying some wine.  The owner’s father went through a few boxes in the back and picked out 2 reds for us – a 2014 and 2017.  Then, he gave us a free one that didn’t have a label on it.  Cool!

On our way back,  we stopped at a scenic lookout for this photo.  This part of Cape Breton is very sparsely populated, but the people who do live here seem to live in paradise.

We stopped for lunch at “Charlene’s”, with a sign saying she makes world-famous seafood chowder.  We split a bowl which was chock-full of seafood and fish – halibut, haddock, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and even a lobster claw!    You could almost eat it with a fork.

George just had to have one of Charlene’s homemade desserts, too – pumpkin cheesecake.

We continued our outing by driving to one of the smaller islands within Cape Breton.  We took this rope ferry to cross the lake.

We made a circle around the island, almost devoid of people.  Someone has beautifully kept up this little wayside…

While we were gone, Tony and Jenny tried that hike again.  They made it to the top from which they could see for miles.  You can see Joy, our Airstream, sparkling below.

Back at the park, George built a fire.  The sun was shining, so we ate “al fresco”.  It was Tony’s turn to cook and he made some tasty turkey chili.

As soon as the sun went down, we headed indoors as it cooled off quickly. 

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