Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cape Breton

Yep am here at the walking convention in Sydney on Cape Breton island in Nova Scotia and having a great time. Did a 10km walk this morning which was beautiful along the harbour and into a ravine through a forest, etc. This afternoon more meetings - I am on the Board of Directors so lots of meetings...oh well we do get to go for some walks!!! Staying at the Cambridge Suites with my friend Lea - I feel so pampered as it's lovely. Our room doesn't face the water but the hotel is on the water front. Tonight is our banquet. Last night was the meet and greet - we all got a bowl of mussels - I have had mussels before but I did enjoy them - sort of. Not something I'd want everyday. Before the meet and greet we went for dinner to a pub and I had some delish fish and chips.
Tomorrow another 10 km walk and another meeting...Then I hit the road Monday morning and will have the car until it's time to fly home next Saturday...will do the Cabot Trail, Louisbourg, Baddeck, Glace Bay. Lots of walking - and hopefully good food!!! Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Goodbye St. Johns

Lovely Jelly Bean houses in St. Johns
In about 15 mins. the taxi will pick me up to take me away from here...:( I love this little city - wish I had more time to explore. Oh well Cape St Mary's was well worth losing a day here and I can always come back. This morning turned out to be lovely so I had breakfast at a cafe on the water - baked beans and toutons with molasses. . Typical Newfie breakfast - it was good. Then I did a bit of retail therapy - found another pair of earrings similar (they are all unique) to the ones I bought last time and promptly misplaced one (my favourite trick) plus some hand made wooden coasters (am obsessed with coasters) and some Screech (dark Jamaican rum specially brewed as Screech) coffee beans!! Oh and some partridgeberry & Baked apple tea. I like things I can use - and also can fit into my backpack. Oh it's a tight squeeze!!! Once I get back to my suitcase in Halifax I will be fine.

Anyway I walked up the hill a bit to the cathedral and saw the fella from yesterday. Heard someone yelling "Laurie" which being as I don't know anyone in St. Johns had my head swivel a bit - it was nice to see him again. Wish I had more time here - if I had been thinking I would have tried to book a flight right to Sydney tomorrow...but this was a spur of the moment thing to use airmiles as they wouldn't let me put them back. Long story............

Who knows when I will have access to a computer again...hope to do laundry tonight but we shall see....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wild with the birds

It was a beautiful day. We headed out for Cape St. Mary's with a stop at Placentia on the way. The weather was beautiful - chilly but blue sky and sunny. We walked about a km to where the birds were nesting. It was spectacular. Blue blue sky - turquoise ocean and birds flying all over the place. I can't even begin to put into words what it was like. The photos and video can't even come close to describing it. Fantastic isn't a strong enough word! We (the other fellow on the trip who was from Toronto and me) stayed there about half an hour just drinking it all in. I will never go back there as it could never be that perfect again. There were about three different kinds of sea birds but the gammets were the prevalent ones. And all for $50!! It had to be hush hush as the other guy paid $110!!! And he said to me wow this is a good deal for the price and I said..'YEAH'!!! :) I felt kind of guilty but not too guilty - guess I got the discount for staying in one of the tour company's hostels... Afterwards we had cod chowder soup at a local restaurant which was fantastic and then back to St. Johns about 4:30. I got dropped at the Geo centre at 4:45 only to discover the place closed at 5 - the guide thought it was 9. Oh well he had long gone so I walked down the hill and along the Battery to get some photographs. I started along the Signal Hill trail but I hate heights and it got too much for me so stopped at about the same place I did last time!! Then went for a really nice dinner...okay Dena this for you....fillet of cod with brown sugar glaze baked in a lemon dill sauce with baby roast potatoes, steamed green beans, blackened red pepper & a grilled piece of pineapple. And a glass of chardonay. It was so yummy...I took a photo as you can see. One of those meals you'd just like to eat over and over again...sigh....I do love my food...and it shows unfortunately. Stopped off at my fave coffee shop here for a peppermint chai latte then weaved my way back here. Between staggering up the huge hill and the big glass of wine I covered a lot of the sidewalk. :)
Tried to check into my flight tomorrow on line but it won't let me. Funny as it woudln't let me do it at the airport either - wonder if it's because of the air miles thing and changing it from a Vancouver flight....anyway I head off at 1:50 tomorrow and back into Halifax by 3.
Tomorrow it's rain apparently - if not I will walk around and maybe go further up the hill (gasp!) otherwise will have a leisurely Newfie breakfast somewhere and try and find another pair of my jellybean house earrings. (I lost one of them) And some partridge berry tea leaves if I can. It's been a great mini trip to Newfoundland.

Good Morning from Newfoundland

Gorgeous day out there - blue sky. A bit nippy but can handle it. Off to Cape St. Mary's this morning. Should be a good day. If the weather holds and I am up for it may walk to the Battery tonight. My foot was still bothering me yesterday so I babied it a bit.

Tomorrow..rain. So will probably look in the shops - my flight leaves at 1:50 so not a whole lot of time to do sightseeing. I will wander around as the weather lets me.

Just had a bagel and coffee this morning - still full from yesterday's meal!!! Am hoping to have another traditional Newfoundland meal tonight as well as a typical Newfoundland brekkie tomorrow morning.

Monday, May 24, 2010

On the rock or in the foggy rock -not!

Well here I am in St. John's - ended up to be a lovely day. Was overcast when I arrived but not blue sky and cool. However I am trying to rest my poor feet today so didn't walk too far. I did walk in the downtown area and up and down hills (hard not to here..). Angela, the owner of the hostel (Foggy Rock hostel) met me at the airport. My room is huge with a TV and right by the bathroom. Plus access to a computer 24/7. Gotta love it! It is an old Jellybean house right downtown. I am here until Wed. afternoon.
I had asked about tours and Angela called me to say there is a tour to Cape St Mary's tomorrow and I will get it for $50 - half price. No complaints there! It is supposed to be a beautiful day..apparently it's been raining and dull for a while.
I guess I could tour the rest of the city but I love the downtown area - I am sure the rest of St. Johns is like any other Canadian city so staying in this area makes it special. Love the jelly bean houses, the harbour, the hills, etc.
I had a combo lunch/dinner - fish cakes (cod with potato) and an absolutely huge salad with loads of veggies. Then spotted dick (cake) with patridgeberry sauce for dessert. I am stuffed! I had it in a little restaurant overlooking the harbour - could not take my eyes off the view towards The Narrows and Signal Hall.
St. Johns has a working harbour - so loads of huge ships in right now. No icebergs unfortunately.
Yesterday I did the 10k in one hour 50 minutes and 20 seconds. It went well and I enjoyed it. The crazy part was we all got the same medal and t-shirt - from the 5 k up to the marathon. I must admit if I was a marathoner I'd have been really really annoyed. The bad part was I felt so good I decided to carry on and do things such as touring the citadel (highly overrated although I did get a pic of myself and my medal with some dudes in kilts) and walking over to Quinpool Rd to try the best fish and chips in the city. (if that's their best I hate to taste the worst...) By then I was hurting - I managed to get a bus (only had to wait three minutes for it too) most of the way back and lay in bed. My right foot was actually throbbing with pain - ouch! Serves me right. Anyway today I am resting it so there goes walking up to the battery. Oh well plan to do that Wednesday morning if the weather behaves itself.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hi from Dartmouth

Just took the ferry over here and low and behold there is a library! So thought I'd pop in and update my blog and check email.
This morning I did a 5 km walk over to Point Pleasant Park which is gorgeous. I enjoyed it last time I was here so made a "point" of going back. All sorts of paths and you feel like you are in the country - surrounded by ocean! Got my doggie fix as well. Then I walked to Lower Water St. and visited the Halifax farmers market. It was HUGE and would have been enjoyable but it was absolutely packed as in not being able to move. I treated myself to a veggie samosa and bought myself some wild blueberry tea (delish!) and carried on to the ferry terminal. The trip over was nice - it's another sunny day here.
There is a market over on this side as well but not as big or crowded so much more enjoyable. I sat and had a coffee (and something else...yeah I was naughty....) and listened to a couple of musicians. I will head back on the ferry and over to the Maritime Musuem then on to the pasta party.
Last night went to Durty Nellie's for dinner - had lamb stew and a drink called Whoa Nellie! - rum, orange schnapps and different juices. Yum! I now know why it was called Whoa Nellie as I lurched drunkenly around Halifax afterwards.
Tomorrow is the big race but not going to get uptight over it (so she says now) and will just think of it as a normal 10km walk except I can't sit down in the middle of it or go get a coffee...oh dear.
The pasta party is tonight - well it starts at 3 pm this afternoon actually but I don't intend to go until about 5 p.m.
Not sure what I will do tomorrow afternoon - recuperate gasping on my bed? (if I can make it back there).
Herring Cove is still calling me but not sure there are busses out there on Sunday...will see.
Off to Newfoundland for 48 hours on Monday...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hello from sunny Halifax

Public gardens in Halifax
Beautiful day here. Long day yesterday...flew to Calgary, then Toronto - luckily didn't have to change planes but was able to get off and walk around a bit. Arrived into Halifax on time and took the airporter in - the driver was very nice and dropped me at the university so it was a five minute walk if that to the dorm. Needless to say he got a tip! It would have been a half hour hour walk to the university - up hill. No probls when you have no luggage but otherwise it saved me a taxi fare. My room fits the bill. I share a bathroom with about six other rooms which is what I am used to. The bed is all university beds seem to be but I can live. Woke up to hear some guy saying loudly "Is this it" and his wife trying to shush him and saying I am disappointed too. I briefly thought "I'm glad I don't have one of those" and promptly fell back to sleep. I walked over to Spring Garden Road to get something to eat and then back to the room and crashed.
This morning up early (don't want to think of the time in Sask. but then again went to bed before 8 p.m. Sask time so...) and after a nice hot breakfast (included with my $42 room) I headed out on the 10km walk. The route passed right by the university. I did the water front which I love - was going to pop into the Maritime musuem but the day is so glorious decided to go later.
Picked up my race packet for the 10k on Sunday - felt a pang when I saw the Half marathon table but oh well. The t-shirt is a black tech shirt so am pleased. I nearly didn't get my pasta party ticket - that was a hassle getting up but I paid enough for the damn thing. It was fun browsing the expo - got myself a new pair of socks. I am obsessed with moisture wicking socks I must admit but hey I don't get blisters so there. I misplaced my lens cap and asked around but went back to St. Paul's church where I had stopped in and sure enough there it it was on the pew where I had meditated. I think one of my relatives up there is keeping track of me - or at least my lens cap. I have misplaced it so many times it's not even funny anymore but it always turns up. There was a camera sitting on a table as you went in the church - felt a pang for that person!!! Hope they can get back and retrieve it.
Popped in here to do a half hour on the 'net then on to the Public Gardens which I LOVE - tulips galore everywhere and sunshine. Woo hoo. I will carry on with the walk back to the dorm. Rest up a bit and dump my stuff then come back downtown to peruse Mountain Equipment Co-op and hopefully have an early dinner at Durty Nellie's.
It is supposed to be nice all weekend. Yay!
Tomorrow I hope to do a 5 km walk in Mount Pleasant Park and take a ferry over to Dartmouth just to take the ferry plus I've never been to Dartmouth except to drive to and from the airport. I will be walking over the bridge to Dartmouth on Sunday but a different area than the ferry goes. You know to explore!!!
Hopefully I will get to post tomorrow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Four more sleeps..

Until the next adventure...Thursday I fly off to Halifax. Yippee, can't wait. I love Halifax. I will be staying at the dorms at St. Mary's University - for $42 a night which includes tax and brekky you can't go wrong..Well maybe some people may think you can but I am used to staying in cheap basic places. If I didn't I couldn't afford all these trips. When I do stay in a nice place (such as The Cambridge Suites during the walking convention in Sydney - sharing a room) it makes it all that much more exciting.

I was registered for the Blue Nose Half marathon in Halifax a week from today but have had to downgrade due to not being in shape to do it. (no one's fault but my own) I should be able to do 10km and what's neat is that the 10k goes over the bridge into Dartmouth which will be so much fun whereas the half marathon didn't - it goes into Pleasant Park which I will cover on one of my own walks. Better to discover new places. I can't wait to attend the runners expo and attend the pasta party. I love all the hype of marathons but the best part is the MEDAL - yes even the 10k people get a medal. It's all about the hardware! I sure hope I do better next Sunday than I did on my 10k today - I feel like I got the shit kicked out of me. I think it's the heat. Just not used to it yet - I need to get my butt out the door earlier now.

Anyway back to Halifax I plan to visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic as well as do a couple of the club walks there - visit an Irish pub called Durty Nellie's and generally enjoy myself. Visit Cows ice cream....moooooo. Or should I say oink! :) Not too much time there...but I plan to hit the ground running. Ah the ocean the ocean...can't wait!

Anyway after Halifax or during Halifax I will be flying off to St. Johns Newfoundland for 48 hours...will be staying at a hostel called the Foggy Rock looks new and very nice. Looks like a B & B with the last B. Sadly the couple who run the B & B I stayed at two years ago have retired. They recommended another place but it was too much money for my budget. I love St. Johns and I love the people there.

Then on to Sydney for the CVF convention which will be fun - hopefully the meetings wont' be too long. When I left SaskTel I swore NO MORE MEETINGS but somehow meetings for a walking club aren't as dire and boring and shitty (can you tell I enjoyed my SaskTel meetings?) as the ones I had to particpate in at SaskTel. After the convention I will be renting a car and heading around the Cabot Trail staying in B & B's and hopefully weather permitting taking loads of photos and doing some amazing hiking.

Should be a fun trip.

Stay tuned!!!

Gallivanting around Guernsey - part 3 - a beach, a tower or two and a cream tea

Day three (Monday, March 26th) arrived and the weather was pretty darn good so once again I took my local bus into town and hopped the #91...