Again, we did a separate post about the trail, and you can read it here.
Nice view of the Keltic Lodge and golfcourse. Sherman is parked down near that little white church.
It was just after 12 noon by the time we finished the hike, and our first stop was at the Visitor Centre to pick up our prize for completing the 75th Anniversary Hiking Challenge. Because it is the 75th anniversary of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the deal is that if you complete 75 kms of hiking trails in the park between May and October then you win a commemorative prize. So we did it, just to say we did.
Everyone who completes it gets a gift bag with an aluminum water bottle, a frisbee type of toy, a couple of pens and a bunch of paperwork and flyers about the park. All of course emblazoned with the park logo. So as expected, this was kind of a worthless prize, but we realized at the start this was not the reason to complete the challenge.
However, it turns out that we were the first visitors to complete the challenge, and so we also got some special prizes, and they gave us some choices. We were allowed to choose two items. The most valuable choice was a National Parks Discovery Pass, valid at all National parks and Historic Sites in Canada. Worth $136. However, we just bought one last week, in order to do all these hikes! And no, they wouldn't issue it as a gift to someone else. So that was pretty much useless to us. There was also a very nice hardcover coffee table book about the National Parks of Canada. And a two night camping pass. And a $20 gift certificate to the gift shop which is located on the other side of the park where we were at the beginning.
So we took the book. Not that we have a coffee table to put it on, but it's still a nice book, value of $34.95. There was no point in taking any of the other prizes, although in hindsight we probably could have sold the camping pass online for $20 or so. But there was a lineup of people behind us and we were trying to rush our choices a little, so that's what we got. Still, we enjoyed the hiking and are proud of ourselves for completing the challenge.
Then, we did our drive to Louisbourg. The road from Ingonish down to Highway 105 is in overall terrible condition.
The view down from Smokey Mountain is beautiful, but very steep. Sherman did the whole thing in first gear, very slowly!
The road is in bad shape! Sherman is looking forward to getting his new shocks installed!
But Highway 105 is in excellent condition. Nice view of Bras d'Or Lake
We arrived at the campground at around 3:30pm. I had to argue with the lady in order to get the $13 advertised price on their website, she wanted $20 a night (unserviced) and then another $10 to dump. This campground is owned by the local business association, and if this is the way they do business I'm not impressed. After phoning the manager, I ended up getting the $13 price for two nights, and having to pay another $5 to dump. Then, after all this she says that if you pay for two nights, you get the third night free. So we are paying a total of $31 for three nights. Where we are parked in the unserviced section, we have no neighbours. However if you park in the full hookups section the sites are packed together, and there's not even room to put a picnic table in between the units. I'll try and get a picture of that for tomorrows post.
Lindsey, Justin, and Cameron arrived and we had a late supper. Today, we are off to visit the Fortress of Louisbourg, so we're looking forward to reporting to you about that!
Yesterday's drive, 158 kms (98 miles)