Schiphol was not too busy at 7 in the morning. It only took us 45 min to get through security. A lot less than we expected based on all the horror stories in the press. So now we have to wait over 3 hours for the flight, and the flight was delayed further because the plane had to wait for other passengers from connecting flights too (some did not arrive on time). In Toronto we had to take all the luggage out and passed customs. We were also selected for random covid testing which took more time. Checking in, again took over an hour. Fortunately we booked a late connecting flight to Halifax. We arrived in Halifax on time at around 20:30 and took the (expansive) taxi to the hotel. The next morning the import agent produced the paperwork and said to walk some 15 min straight down the road to the customs office. Unfortunately I got lost and without local internet (to use google map) it was difficult to find the right office. There were at least 10 other people waiting for their clearance papers. The agent could have easily arranged some group transport for us all. In the harbour the collection of the campers went smooth. There was a large variety from small campers (like mine) to large overland truck campers and also 4×4 Sprinters. Back at the hotel we rearranged the storage in the camper. Put everything in the right place and did our first shopping at Wal-Mart.
Rather than staying in Halifax we decided to drive south to a recommended picturesque fishing village: Peggy’s Cove. We overnight on one of the large car park just outside the village with several other campers. In Canada there is free camping at most places. Again iOverlander helps us find the best spots. The next day we continued following the small coastal road south and made a stopover at Lunenburg. This fishing village is a world heritage site due to the many historical wooden buildings it has along the narrow steep streets running parallel to the seafront. After some searching for a parking spot (the big wharf parking lot was taken by a film crew) and having to change paper money to coins at a very friendly cafe, to pay the old fashion parking meter, we went for a walkaround. After lunch we drove on following the winding coastal road to the most southerly point of Nova Scotia at Cape Sable. We camped on a gravel parking lot in the sand dunes next to the beach. Many locals walk their dogs from here. One couple dropped by the camper for a chat. They lived close by. Later the husband came back and brought us some fresh warm spiced pumpkin pie with cream. It completed our evening meal which we had just started. The pie was delicious. This time we were the only camper there.
On Friday 3/6 we rounded the southern coast and drove, again over the small coastal road, north with a first stopover for self-made lunch at the lighthouse at Cape Forchu near Yarmouth. The rock formation is very different here. Up till then the coastal rock is granite. Here it is green volcanic rock from a volcanic eruption some 300 million years ago. There is a nice walk around the outcrop and the sea inlet. The area we were driving through was settled by the French speaking Acadians after they returned from their Diaspora by the British around 1755. We drove further North and then East along the wide bay of Fundy towards Annapolis Royal, a fort in the Annapolis valley. This valley was original settled by the Acadians in 1605. They lived for 150 year in harmony with the local First Nation people, the Mi’kmaq. Over the years the control of Nova Scotia and the fort in Annapolis Royal changed hands many times between the British and French pending the political state in Europe. The Arcadians managed to stay outside of this struggle till in 1755 when they were forced to swear allegiance to the British crown. They refused this and were subsequently deported by ships to many different British colonies along the eastern coast of America. Their land was taken over by the retreating United Imperial Loyalists after their defeat in the American revolution. Some of the Arcadians settled in Louisiana at the invitation of the Spanish, who at that time ruled the Southern part of the Mississippi river. These settlers are nowadays called Cajuns and still speak a dialect based on French. Some of the Arcadians came back to Nova Scotia after Louisiana was sold to the USA in 1764. Their land was occupied so they settled elsewhere along the coast.
The next day we drove further up the Annapolis valley to Grand Pre. The Acadians had reclaimed land from the Bay of Fundy at this place by connecting the main land via 2 dikes to an island and via a sluice system to drain the water into the bay. The reclaimed land was very fertile. Unfortunately all the people were rounded up and deported. To commemorate this, a world heritage remembrance park has been established.
At the end of the day we found a nice camping spot near the Fundy Tidal river. Two other Overlanders were already parked there. Dutch, French and German campers. The upcoming tide flows back up the river as a result of the shape of the Bay of Fundy and the narrow Minas Basin into which the river flows. The tidal wave is so high that rubber boats ride it up the river. The tidal surge is at 17 m one of the highest in the world.