SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
So another earlyish start to the day. I made fried potatoes and omelets for breakfast, after a quick shower and we were off down the road once again. Today we would be leaving the National Park. We made our first stop at a short trail at Ingonish Beach and hiked for about an hour. Carol found another souvenir rock to add to the collection. We each made a cairn on the beach out of the smooth round stones that the beach was made of. This was an awesome place.
Earlier we had visited the Keltic Lodge a huge resort and golf course out on a spit of land extending to the sea, we could see the entirety of the lodge from the beach. It is huge. Leaving the national park seemed a bit sudden, we will miss the highlands. We stopped at the final Cape Breton Highlands National Park visitor center for one last time, Carol got a hat and I found a t-shirt that actually fits. Yes ,we really are tourists, not adventurers.
The day moved on through long and winding roads and into Sydney where we finally had some real stores to re-provision, ice for the freezer and food and paper towels and bottled water and other things. Walmart, always a Walmart gave up some necessary things as always. Back on the road we made our way down route 22 to Louisbourg the home of the Louisbourg Fortress. We arrived in town about 5 pm and found our way to the Riverdale Campground. No one was there but the office had a phone number on the door to call - I did, and a man told me he would be right there. Well, he showed up in about 3 minutes and was he ever a rushed individual. “I Gotta hurry, I got 5 people lined up at my other business, we gotta make this fast.” That was the theme of the conversation and then he told us “The owners aren’t any help, I am running these two places all by myself. She’d dead and he’s at the funeral. That’s her picture there on the table.” Carol and I were at a loss as to what to say to that. He didn’t seem too broken up by the owners death, just inconvenienced. Odd we thought. We had arrived just at 5:00 and by 5:20 the camp was set up and we were back in town.
We stopped at the information center where a charming young lady gave us her talk about the town and told us about the ‘Playhouse’, a replica of the Globe Theater of Shakespeare fame, just down the road, and that they have concerts every night. We walked the waterfront of this quaint fishing village taking pictures of the boats and the town and came to the playhouse. We discovered that the Cape Breton Chordsmen were playing tonight and at intermission they serve complementary tea and oat cakes..how could we pass that up. We got tickets and made plans. After wandering back to the car we thought we would look for a grocery store to find a few things that we may have missed at the big city of Sydney. We stopped at Pecks Grocery only to find that the cashier was the hurried little guy with the ill temper from the campground. This must have been the business he left people standing in line to check us in… we left. We drove on.
We had a bite of supper and were at the playhouse at 7:45 as required. Parking was an issue as it seems that the whole town had shown up. We got our seats and met a couple from Vancouver Island and chatted with them exchanging stories of travel and adventure. He had made a boat delivery down to the Panama Canal, a 35 foot Silverton..if you know boats, this is an unthinkable decision, that is not a good seafaring vessel. We were amazed at how small the stage was as the lady that sold us ticked told us the the Chordsmen had 50 members and even she was concerned as to how they would fit. However, for the next two hours we were delighted by such a wide variety of harmony and song as to be amazed. Even the tea and oat cakes seemed exactly perfect. The oat cake were a tad dry and the tea a bit too hot but it seemed the perfect intermission. These guys were good. They are part of an international barbershop singing organization and they do allow women to participate as well, but we only saw one. . . We made it back to camp around 10:30ish and watched an episode of a tv show we had downloaded before we left.