Along the coastal road

76 km, 4h45 min

We took the minor road along the coast today, partially because we were told it was flat, but also because we both find riding on the highway boring. The road certainly had very little traffic, but it was not what we would call flat. Ontario was flat, this had many small rolling hills and at least two steep climbs. We have heard many times now drivers saying that a road is flat only to discover that it has many gentle hills. The perspective is very different when you are pedaling, especially with loaded touring bikes.

One observation that we made is that there are many “towns” shown on the Nova Scotia map, but many of them don’t have “townsites”: they are just a collection of homes along a road. There are no services associated with the town. This is a huge change from Newfoundland where the towns usually had a post office and a convenience store at a minimum, and often a café. This may be because of the larger population, which results in concentrations of services in places like New Glasgow and Antigonish. Scott theorizes that with the services concentrated, people from smaller towns stop using the local services, and they close or move.

We are finding that the pace of our travel isn’t giving much opportunity for slowing down. It always seems there’s another place we need to be on our schedule, and we need to ride directly to get there. This leaves little time for side trips and spontaneity. Somehow we need to change our pace and leave time for other things.

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