Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trip 2013

Gratuitous shot of Luna seen from Oromocto.
So I have finally finished transcribing the notes from my steno pad to the blog along with some photos mostly so that I can remember my trip to Cape Breton in 2013. Sadly this will not quench my thirst for visiting Cape Breton and another trip will be needed.

All the new entries have a Trip 2013 tag on them and are all in June 2013 for those interested :) 

How to be able to leave Dubai

Great article in Gulf news to those who go work in Dubai. It's way too easy to get caught up in the mirage that is Dubai.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Black flies and NOseeUms. Related but not the same.

Someone argued with me that noseeums are just younger bugs then black flies. I knew that person was full of crap. Well I did research today and I was correct. They are NOT the same bugs.

NoSeeUms are Ceratopogonidae or biting midges. 

Black flies are Simuliidae of the Culicomorpha infraorder

They are related but they aren't from the same family of bugs. 

They are not the same as mosquitoes or even deer-flies, both of which bite and cause pain!!!

Pride by Syntax

Fell in love with this song that I kept hearing in various of my favourite TV shows. This song has been haunting me for weeks.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Trip to Sharbot Lake - photos from the telephoto lens!

Pair of damsels
These photos were all taken on the shores of Sharbot lake. We found a spot where my friend went fishing and where the mosquitoes were absent because at our campsite the mosquitoes were voracious. So we spent 4-5 hours sitting along the shores of Sharbot lake, enjoying the peace while taking photos of the wildlife.


Bee on a Sumac tree


Ugly looking beetle

Pretty dragonfly

I got my dinner!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trip to Sharbot Lake provincial park - Day 2

Snake swimming in Black lake

Snake sunning near black lake

Fish in Black lake

View of black lake

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Trip to Sharbot Lake Provincial park - day 1

We had to tarp as it was raining
After arriving from Cape Breton, I was upset and didn't want to be home, especially since I'd cut my vacation short, so I met up with a friend in Ottawa and went camping at Sharbot Lake provincial park.

So in a span of 3 days I was in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

Some weird yellow and green bug
I figured going that far into Ontario we woulnd't get too many festive Quebequers. The park was busy but not that busy and we found a site overlooking Black lake with the portage access to Sharbot lake at the end of our campground.

Tiny little blue berry bush on edge of Sharbot lake
Dragonfly on the edge of Sharbot lake

Friday, June 21, 2013

Aw - Onwer and his cat make it safely out of flood waters in Alberta!

This is a sweet story. Man has to flee his pickup truck that is getting swallowed by the river. He brings his cat, and swims to safety with him. I thought it was incredibly sweet of the man to offer his coat to the cat, who I'm sure was not particularly happy having had to swim.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 11 and 12 - driving back to Montreal

Bridge on St John's river
Day 11, I drove from Mira River Provincial Park to Oromocto. Things were not working well with my companion and after 2 days in completely silence I decided we needed to head back home. I messaged my gf in Oromocto who was leaving for her trip on the Friday to ask if I could crash at her place that night.  She tried responding NP!!! for no problem, but instead her autocorrect made it in to NO!!!! Thankfully I did not see that until 3 hours later when I stopped to gas up again. She had then added the NO PROBLEM in words to make sure I didn't think she said no.  I think if I had just read NO!!! I would have responded "Ok fine I won't crash at your place, but could I spend the night?"  
St John's river at Sunset, seen from Oromocto

I had left Mira River at 7am, and we got to Oromocto mid afternoon. I was burnt from all the driving in the pissing rain in Nova Scotia. At least it was nicer in New Brunswick.

Went for a long drive with my gf that night. It helped me relieve some of the stress and I also vented at her some. We both needed to vent. About the dicks in our lives.  Yeah it sounds sexist, but when you act like a dick what can you expect?

Moon shines over Oromocto at dusk

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 10: Mira River Provincial Park

He was carrying either food or nest material in his mouth

Loon stretching her wings


Spotted Sandpiper
Clouds on Mira River

Posing with the tent, that is still holding up


Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 9: Mayflower Mall in Sydney and Mira River Provincial Park.

Train bridge near Grand Narrows
It rained all night and we packed up in the pissing rain. Drove around the Bras d'or lake going by Grand Narrows, to reach Sydney. Wanted to check out the biggest Mall, most likely one of the few malls in Cape Breton, the Mayflower Mall in Sydney.

IT's a big sprawling mall and like malls in other parts of the country, there were a few unrented shops. And while it's small compared to say Carrefour Laval, it is a good mall considering the size of Sydney :)  I spent 2 hours in the mall and didn't buy anything. I wasn't in a mood for shopping. I wasn't in the mood for much after driving 4 hours in the rain and being told I was impossible to be in a car with didn't improve my mood either.

View on Mira River from our campsite
We then drove to Mira River provincial park, where I was told "Welcome to camping in the pissing rain". The irony was that it was NOT pissing rain, but sunny at that point. I took advantage of this, and lay the tent fly on the ground for about an hour to completely dry it.

My only complaint about Mira River Provincial park was the lack of adequate showers for women. Despite there being 2 women's bathrooms with showers, one bathroom was completely closed for renovations, and the other only had 1 of it's 2 shower stalls working. However if you hung anything on the door it got soaked. The water just sprays the entire stall. There is no place to put your clothes nearby. I had seen the spray on the damn shower and left my clothes on the counter next to the sinks. I was able to do that since I was one of the few people camping. I would hate to see it filled to capacity like this week-end with 250 sites and only ONE SHOWER!!!!! Here's hoping the staff had all the plumbing fixed for Canada day

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 8: Baddeck and Whycocomagh provincial Park

Today we stayed put, and drove around Whycocomagh and went to check out the scenic village of Baddeck. We spent about 2 hours wandering around Baddeck but left a touch disappointed. For starters there isn't much opened on Sunday's in Cape Breton other then some tourist shops.  The tourist shop with the most unique merchandise had NOTHING my size.

We came back to park to register for a second day, and then went for a wifi lunch. It's only a few metres on the main road to get from Whycocomagh provincial park to Charlene's Bayside dinner and nursery.  But on that short stretch of road I saw another bald eagle. While I was driving of course. By the time I parked at the dinner, it was gone!!!

Twice in 2 days, what are the odds? The chowder at the dinner and the fries were awesome. Service was slow, and we ended up waiting more then 30 minutes for our food, but I'm guessing since it was mid afternoon they might not have expected so many patrons. The place was absolutely full, as soon as a table would clear it would fill.

So far I've seen 2 bald eagles and 2 hummingbirds but I can't prove either.

Day 7 Whycocomagh provincial park

Over looking bras d' or lake

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 7: We leave the cabot trail and to go Whycocomagh provincial park

Broadcove, where sea meets river.
This blog was first written in a steno pad I had with me in the tent. Well when I woke up this morning, I found it wet with tea. The plastic bag I had been keeping it in had been compromised and apparently I spilled tea.

Last night I had put my sony battery in a battery charger and left it to charge in the women's bathroom around 9pm. THere was also two mobiles left to charge as well as a Nikon battery in a charger.  I come back 2 hours later, all that is left charging is the Nikon. Mine is gone. My gut told me that someone had picked up the wrong battery charger. I went back around 5am, and still my charger was missing. By 9am it had re-appeared but I had to keep it there till 10am, for the battery to be fully charged. So I was correct that someone had made mistake and at least I had my charger and battery.
Bras d'or Lake seen from Whycocomagh provincial park

We went back to black brook and spent maybe 45minutes there in hopes of seeing an eagle but no such luck. So I started driving towards the Ingonish entry to pay my last night in the park . Just before we got to the chalet to pay, we saw a bald eagle swooping by very close to the car.

We then drove from Ingonish to Whycocomagh, making a pit stop for a lunch in a restaurant at the Lobster Galley Restaurant and Gift shop.  Their Aspy Bay mussels were delicious.

We got a campsite at Whycocomagh provincial park that did not have a view on beautiful Bras d'Or lake but rather that was surrounded by trees for shelter against the wind for our tent. THe bugs here were ferocious. THere was mosquitoes, black flies and noseeums.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 6: We drive along the Cabot Trail towards Ingonish

So after spending the evening ignoring a too-friendly neighbour at night at Cheticamp campground, we woke up at 9am.  The tent survived the night and it actually didn't rain. We packed up and drove first to Benji's lake where we saw a female moose eating along the side of the trail.

 We also stopped at most lookouts to check out the various views, we also walked to Macintosh falls. Despite the warnings we didn't see Moose, bears or coyotes. Of course it probably helped we had bear bells and made a lot of noise. We did near 1 dragonfly near the Macintosh falls.
Next to Macintosh falls

We had lunch at Pleasant Bay, and I spotted a hummingbird at a feeder in the restaurant window.
View of Pleasant Bay

We also stopped in Cape North to check out a few gift shops. We stopped at one lookout near black brook, and after talking a bunch of photos, I went to the bathroom. Right after  I left, my companion saw a bald eagle that swooped inches from his face. Pity I wasn't there.

We then continued to drive up until we got to Broadcove Campground. By the time we got there it was raining. We waited for the rain to slow down and put up our tent, then we put up a small tarp to cover the back door of the tent and most of the sleeping area of the tent. We used our large tarp folded over a rope on one end to cover over the picnic table as we only had 2 tarps. At least it gave us a dry area to be able to cook with. 

Macintosh falls

It was weird, when we got to the camping area, there was a weird older creepy guy driving a gray/blue Eldorado pick up truck with red plates that kept going around the parking lot over and over and over. Like he was stalking someone. Then after he finally left, the RCMP went around the campsite as well. This is found strange as I've never seen police in any provincial or federal park I've ever been to camp in. Made me wonder if someone else found him creepy and complained.

I've got 2 swelled up black fly bites, and tons of mosquito bites that haven't swelled.


Where river meets sea!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 5: We drive around Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Don't think I've ever been this annoyed and scared in a while. It rain and it was so windy that the mother of all tarps, the big tarp to cover our big tent, is destroyed. Also our tent has 3 broken frame posts. Rather all 3 poles have at least 1 broken piece that I taped together with some duck tape so that I could finish the trip with this tent.
Our tent was in the location of the white camper when it was destroyed

Because I'm highly paranoid I spent half the night worried the wind would lift our tent and ditch us in the middle of the gulf of St Lawrence. In the end we survived if not a bit traumatized with the experience.  Note to self , when camping somewhere really windy, use a low tent and lots and lots of pickets.

We went to the information center at the park at Cheticamp and the lady allowed us to change campsites, to one in the woods, far from the Ocean and the gale force winds for no extrsa fee. Pity though. The view at Corney brooke was spectacular, but with the force of the wind today our tent would just keep on breaking, it just didn't make sense to stay there. Now we are stuck inside a forest where there will be lots of bugs.

Neither one of us slept so we were pretty crabby. Typical maritime weather of storms. Everything that could go wrong did go did last night. So at least we had a bit of luck today. We were able to change campsites for no extra fee. Showers are free here and it was nice and hot. That was good since I was so fried and frazzle, from not sleeping and fearing hte tent would become airborn. At least it was warm in my sleeping bag!

Carnivorous flower Purple pitcher plant.

But I'm used to it raining whenever I camp. I always try to bring sufficient rain gear. Including my rain boots, raincoat, rainpants and jacket. Between all that I managed to say somewhat warm and dry.

I messaged my eldest daughter but did not get an answer. I do not get any reception in the Park except at the information centers where there is wifi.  She messaged me back later to say that while she could get leave she was still duty ready so could not leave Halifax.

We went to visit the bog and saw a Moose on the way back.