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We by-passed the toll road where we experienced a little uncertainty but ended up with nothing to worry about. The toll road would have been a better surface – our road was very uneven and lumpy. Lots of speed limit changes. Stopped a couple of exits before Halifax turnoff at Stewiacke, where we bought chicken strips and fries from Dairy Queen. There was another moment of panic where the road suddenly divided and we had to decide instantly to head for Halifax or the other fork. But as we were actually by-passing Halifax it was the other route and Larry got it right. By now we were in Nova Scotia. We made good time. We sent text messages to Phil and Ruth (our next homeexchange hosts) as we were approaching to check on timings and hoping we would not make them late for their dinner engagement. We left the Halifax Airport turnoff at about 2.30 and we arrived at Lake View Road Granville Central just after 4.30. Ruth and Phil were just on their way out to dinner so it was a very brief introduction to our little "carriage house" and we were left on our own. Phil gave Larry a USB wifi dongle but it didn't work on our Mac. First drove the 6 miles or so to Annapolis Royal village to the Supermarket and wine store for essential groceries. Such friendly people – specially the girl in the wine shop. Wine and chippies on our deck. Home to cook chicken pies – not all that great – and salad and tomato. A bit of TV – not much of interest, but many, many channels, and in bed by 9.00p.m.
Saturday July 3rd
We woke to a bright sunny day, looking out through the trees to the river. So very pretty. The grounds here really are like a park – extensive lawns with garden plots dotted here and there and occasional stands of tall trees. A little bridge over a dried stream bed. Just beautiful. We hung washing out on the deck – over chairs etc. Then went over to see Ruth and Phil. They were sitting out on their deck in the hot, hot sun and we hadn't thought to bring our hats. We swapped their wifi dongle for their dial-up details. Lots of chat and lots of recommendations for things to do and maps as well as an invite to dinner on Tuesday night. We set off for Annapolis Royal and the Farmers' market at about 10a.m. It was opposite the bottle store. It was easy to find parking close by on the road. The market was lovely and not too crowded. Crafts, homemade produce, foods, buskers (3 in all). We bought a wee pot of rhubarb marmalade and some earrings (shaped like a cello!). Then off to find an ATM, the library for wifi and the visitor centre. We asked at the P.O. (nice lady drew us a map!) and then found the ATM at the Bank of Nova Scotia. It was placed inside the foyer to the building. Most ATMs we've encountered so far have been in an enclosed space. We wondered whether this was because of winter snow or simply for security. Drew out another $400. We walked up and down until we found the visitor centre in the Kings' Theatre where we picked up some maps and brochures. Then back to the car and parked outside the library. Tried the wifi. We received a good signal but had to have a password to access it. Back home again for eggs on toast and an afternoon nap. Phil was on the tractor mower doing the lawns. Tried the dial-up system and after several attempts succeeded in connecting. No important emails. Tried again later – more failed attempts – still no good mail. Then a wee drive along Granville Road. We didn't quite get to the end as we were running low on petrol so turned round picking up groceries and wine in case the shops are shut tomorrow. Also stopped at the bridge and the Tidal Power Station – gates to control the flow of the tide – quite a torrent as it comes IN with foam built up on the other side. Photos. Stopped for petrol 40.77litres @ $45. Then home for wine and chippies, diary and read. I started Joanna Trollope's "Second Honeymoon". Larry is beginning the "Dragon Tattoo" – I left it yesterday at page 95. We went for a stroll around the grounds here – there are little jettys all around – the river seems to almost surround this property – so pretty. So home for dinner. This time it was a chicken pasta heated in the microwave plus salad and tomato. Nothing much on TV. Usual orange. Bed again by about 9p.m.
Sunday July 4th
To to Annapolis Royal quite early (about 10a.m.) Drove a few yeards down Granville Road to take photos over the water of Annapolis Royal. From here we could see the tidal generator building and the gates - but now the tide was going out. Shot of the shoreline showing the variation between high and low tides. (7 metres!) (Also stopped later on to get close up photos.) There was a cute mini lighthouse where we parked – in a public parking area. We returned to Annapolis Royal where we parked near the Library. Lots of cars about – everyone at church. We walked along the top road towards the Historic Gardens, past the only set of traffic lights in town. Past the old disused railway station then back under the trees where-ever possible (it was very hot.) Greeted by the church folk – very friendly. One lady (from near Manchester UK, husband from Somerset and is the Town Crier) told us about the Band Concert at Fort Anne this afternoon. She plays percussion in it and her husband the trombone. Walked on through the cemetery then to Fort Anne where English defeated the French. Photos. Stopped on the way home to get more photos of the tide going out at the tidal generating gates. So home for an early lunch and nap till about 1.30p.m. Ruth was working in the garden and Phil was working on the back jetty. Found a lucky park near the library again.I took my umbrella (to use as a sun shade) but as it turned out we found a good spot up on the bank under the trees with a cool breeze coming off the water and a view of the "backstage" assembling area for the Halifax Scottish Guardsmen and their piper and drummer. After the Band concert (woman conducting) the Guardsmen gave an interesting display of marching (with commentary given by top hat and tails in both french and english) and bayonet handling and musket shooting. There were a selection of tunes played by the piper and drummer. Entertaining even for some of the dogs. On the way home we noticed that the supermarket was now open so we stopped for peas. Wine/chippies under the trees sitting at the hard picnic table/bench. Nice breeze from time to time but got sore bums. Both reading. Larry: Dragon Tattoo; me: Joanna Trollope. Dinner: chicken pies, peas, tomato and the last of the salad. More reading, some TV then a short walk down to the road. Photos. Email from Kim – he's now back home. Hot hot hot in bed. No air conditioning – not even a fan. Had both doors wide open and windows.
Monday July 5th
Cool to start but soon VERY WARM.
We called in to see Phil and Ruth to check on the route. Queried fluorescent lights in the flat which we were advised could be fixed by rapidly switching on and off. Seemed to work. Ruth was off to the dentist. And this was my first time behind the wheel. Left at about 10a.m. We took the road on the south bank of the river on the 201 till Bridgetown (a bit tricky but Larry negotiated me through.) We couldn't see across the river at all because the road was too far inland. I had trouble keeping left – as had Larry. Then back home for coffee, biscuits, read under the trees, lunch (soup) then nap. Off out again this time with Larry driving. Very hot 29 degrees. We headed for Digby and stopped there, parked on the sea side but quickly crossed the street to get out of the sun. We walked along the street beside the waterfront. Seafood abound – this is predominantly a scallop industry area. Looked inside a "treasure shop". Found an ice cream place (huge ice cream!) and kept in the shade where-ever possible. I sat down in the seats reserved for the next door shop but Larry wasn't comfortable sitting there without permission. We were also looking for a toilet but didn't find one. It was 29 degrees. On the way there is a long curved bridge, undergoing repairs and the traffic was down to one way and there were lights to control the traffic. We were stopped for a good 5 minutes. Next to the curved bridge was an old bridge, maybe a railway bridge but assume the rail disappeared some time ago. Not many people about in Digby. We arrived back at about 5p.m. Stopping for cold meat, green salad and potato salad at the supermarket. Drinks etc. under the trees – this time used the table but sat in a double swing seat which was very comfy. Larry has nearly finished Dragon Tattoo already and I've nearly finished Second Honeymoon. Too hot inside. Had our dinner 7.00ish on our balcony where it was marginally cooler. Really hot again at night. Both awake till 2a.m. Larry went outside to do a bit of star gazing and left the screen door open – allowing a little gang of mozzies in! Kept the light on and read. I didn't get to sleep till after 5a.m. Lots of mosquitos – we caught at least 4! I have a little crop of bites on my knee – don't know what: fleas? Mozzies?
Tuesday July 6th
Last Day here. Overcast and cooler. Hint of rain. Predicted high of 24 degrees. Much more bearable. Larry wrote an email to Judy, who was to be our "tour guide" in Midland. Laundry which didn't dry during the day. We decided to explore the other (North) side of the peninsula and at 10a.m. drove to Parkers Cove, west to Delaps and East to Hampton Cove and back via Bridgetown, checking out the route to take tomorrow. At Delaps we stopped and looked at the wharfs. The tide was out so there were 7 metres of wharf piles (and rocks) down to the water line. Rather a scarey place but obviously a little fishing village. There were several similar wharf stops. The road was dotted with houses of a wide variety of ages and styles, usually spacious lawns in front. Mostly very tree lined each side of the road. Just 2 lanes and hardly another car in view. Back in time for morning tea (late) and chatted to Phil and Ruth who were struggling with the floating ramp/tractor etc. They were dealing with a wasp nest that they had managed to disturb. Out again to find a place in town for lunch. First we parked by the Town Hall/Library and walked along the sea front boardwalk at low tide. Came out at the King's Theatre where we crossed the road - not on a zebra crossing but the cars still gave way to us. As we reached the other side a man leaning against a bus stop commented: "You wouldn't find that in New York." We replied that we wouldn't in NZ either and that started a conversation with him. He is coming to NZ soon for a 3 week visit. He is a retired Professor of romance languages. As we left him he recommended "Leos" for a nice place for lunch. We went there. Rather a long wait. First we lined up at the counter, when we got served we were told to find a seat. No room outside so found a place inside – quite warm. After some further wait we were served - then a table was vacated outside so we promptly grabbed it. It was still a good while before our meal arrived. It was quite nice. I had beef noodle soup and ½ sandwich and Larry had a whole sandwich. At the counter to pay – another long wait. 3 or 4 people in the queue but they seemed to be having trouble with their credit cards. When we did get there the girl kept adding up the wrong things – finally got it right: our total $16 something. Didn't tip. Back home for a nap before getting ready to go next door for dinner at 5.30. Stopped at the supermarket for wine and tissues. Sleep. Afternoon tea inside. Read until 5.30 then went next door. Cool, comfy, glass of wine and an assortment of nibbles. I found it too tricky to fiddle with cracker and dip. Lots of travel talk . . . . then moved to the dinner table for delicious meal of pork fillet and gravy, potatoes, salad (in individual salad bowls) plus a dish of brocolli/cauliflower in a cheesy sauce and one of carrots in a sweetish glaze (everything from their garden.) Followed by rhubarb strawberry crisp (crumble). Very delicious. Very filling. Then maybe coffee. Talk some more, then rose from the table to find that my white pants had stuck to the chair. Fortunately not too much damage (I only discovered the marks later but they just washed out.) We eventually said our farewells but not before they gave us a fan to cool our room (what a shame they didn't think of that before!) Also I took a sleeping pill – so after basically packing up and tidying the place I slept well! Phew!
Wednesday July 7th
Annapolis Royal to Halifax.
Packed and ready to go by 7.45a.m. Waved to Phil as he drove out on his way to golf.
Next: Halifax (Canada)