Though we usually like to keep our schedule flexible, we had pretty firm plans to be in Tatamagouche by the coming Friday, which left us with a two day window to make a short exploration of another part of Nova Scotia. We narrowed it down to Lunenburg and Peggy’s Cove, two high profile tourist areas on the coast. After checking the caravan itinerary of our new friends Roy and Theresa, whom we had met in Newport, and seeing that they were in Lunenburg, the decision became easy.
Roy and Theresa are on a 49 day guided caravan tour of the the eastern provinces. These sorts of things involve paying a set, nearly all inclusive fee, with the organizers defining the route, making all reservations, and coordinating most of the activities in each location. The number of rigs participating (over 20) meant that the municipal park right in Lunenburg was completely booked, so we made reservations at Little Lake Family Campground just a few miles outside town. It seemed a little pricey by Canadian standards, but it was a nice place with very friendly owners in a key location, so paying $39.50 (USD) a night for a fully serviced site is not too bad.
We arrived mid afternoon in the rain, and as the weather showed little sign of abating we mostly stayed inside the first day. Things were better on day 2, and we were able to meet up with Roy and Theresa at Saltbox Brewery in nearby Mahone Bay. We had a great couple of hours catching up over a couple of pints. They are truly “our kind of people,” and hope that our travels put us back together many times in the future.
We also owe them for introducing us to Nova Scotia’s Good Cheer Trail, very similar to the beer and distillery program we stumbled into in Maine. Essentially, a “passport” with a region by region list of all of the participating Nova Scotia breweries, distilleries, cider houses, and vineyards, with a spot for a stamp at each one you visit, and the promise of a Good Cheer t-shirt if you go to 15. Game on! The Good Cheer Trail would turn out to have a big influence on the direction of our daily outings for the rest of our time in the province.
We had just on afternoon to explore the town, so we made the best of it. First, a geocache took us to the Lunenburg Academy, an impressive structure holding both historical and architectural significance. Built between 1893 and 1895, it still functions as a school for primary age kids, but also as the local library. The geocache took us to a clue outside of the building, and the clue led us inside to a specific book. Neat!
We headed downtown to enjoy the harbor, gift shops, and galleries. At one of which, Coastal Reflections, we discovered some incredible jewelry at surprisingly affordable prices. Since our anniversary was quite close, we splurged for this one of a kind bracelet “Triton’s Domain” by the artist Marina Smith. Stunning!
And wouldn’t you know it, Lunenburg had not one but two stops on the Good Cheer Trail! We had a flight at Shipwright Brewing Company, a tiny little place attached to a larger restaurant. Good beer, and a friendly server who provided some recommendations for other spots to hit once he learned our our travel direction. Then it was on to Ironworks Distillery for some samples of rum, gin, and liqueur and a peak at their impressive equipment. Oh, and they had a geocache inside as well, so bonus.
That’s it, we only had two days and only one with decent weather. Lunenburg is not a big town, but another day would have been worthwhile to more fully explore some of the nearby areas, but as mentioned at the top, we had plans to return to Tatamagouche, one of our favorite towns from last year.