After a hearty breakfast and coffee I was heading back to the trail a bit after 8 am. Since the day's heat was forecasted to be close (aka hot and humid to the non-Islander ;) again I figured it would be wise to get a slightly earlier start to the day. Honestly, it didn't matter too much because I still ended up exploring by bike for hours after I reached my destination... But there was a solid wind throughout so it wasn't too bad after panniers were dropped off in the afternoon. I should start from the beginning though...
I stopped a few times along the trail to read more information placards. Learned about salt marshes, the first white settlers and the Island's farmed shellfish industry history.
When I arrived in Morell I stopped at the cutest train station turned information centre with a coffee/ice cream shop/book store/canoe/kayak rental place called Kingfisher Outdoors. After I wrote about Day 5's adventures on the shaded deck space I figured an ice cream was in order. Of course, I get chatting with the lady working there, Donna, and find out she runs the place. We have a great chat and she asks me where I've been staying overnight along my trip. I mention all the family homes and cottages I've been able to include on this tour but that I was aiming to stay at the St. Peters campground. She then offers the yard of her cottage that is maybe few hundred meters west of the campground! Classic and heartwarming hospitality!!
I do get that ice cream cone and Donna shows me what her cottage looks like on her facebook page as it's available for rent through too (Will add the link once I find it again!). I eventually get on my way as the day's temperature is getting quite warm and the humidity is rising which made the whole day feel slow and tiring. Nonetheless I had a destination to get to and more exploring to do!
Along the trail between Morell and St. Peters is quite beautiful since a large portion of it has views of the bay to the north. I make it to the cottage at around 12:30 pm, set up my tent, and get prepped for an afternoon of cycling and exploring the Greenwich Sand Dunes National Park on the other side of the bay.
I start my journey to Greenwich and the wind is fierce... And I'm also hungry! Along the road to the park there's a small place called Lin's Take Out. Kinda like a permanent food truck style where you order at the window and have a number to pick it up once it's ready. I get the seafood platter which is all deep fried (usual preperation method on the Island) and a pickeled egg! I devoured nearly the whole meal too... Cycling calories, right?!
A couple also having lunch spark up a conversation with me as being a solo-woman traveller on a bike certainly piques people's interest. They recently moved to NS from Ontario, have family ties to the Island and love the East coast vibe. We chat about the pace of life here, the need for creative businesses to spark the economy and the societal issues of being "from away". They were so sweet wishing me well as we said our goodbyes before parting ways :)
I carry on with a belly full of grease and it's a hard push to the park with a headwind that won't quit. No matter though as I had no time limit and just enjoyed the views for the next few kilometers.
Upon reaching the park I notice that the entrance road is named the same as the lane that lead to my aunt and uncle's place from the day before!
I head further in to the park and find the trailhead to the floating walkway and sand dunes. Oh my... What a sight!!
I spent some time just walking along the water, taking photos and enjoying the sites. The wind didn't really allow much sitting on the sand time as it would sand blast everything in it's path.
I start to head back to my bike as I left it at the start of the floating boardwalk and find a note from a couple that I had chatted with on the way in to the dunes! We had crossed paths twice already (once at Emerald Junction and they saw me as I was cycling through Rustico area the day before!). They left me their names and address to keep in touch! Loving the travelling friend vibes and connections!!
I cycle around another trail at the park and read more information placards. A few of them actually included Mi'kmaq language translations! This Island has over 10,000 years of Mi'kmaq history so to finally see a few acknowledgments of their story was a great sight... But clearly more should be shared with locals and visitors alike.
As I was starting to feel tired I figured it was time to start heading back to St. Peters for some dinner. Happily though the wind stayed at my back and it was a quite whip back to town. Haha!
Made my way to the famous Rick's Fish and Chips but couldn't take anymore deep-fried foods... So ordered a marinated mussel salad with a side of oysters and a locally brewed pint to top it off. So good!
I head back to the cottage camp spot and meet the sweetest Aussie friend of Donna's who was staying there. She tells me that she was heading out shortly to meet up with Donna for wingnight at a local pub and asked if I wanted to join! Well of course!! So I get cleaned up from the day's riding and exploring and put on my best travel t-shirt and yoga pants (so classy, huh!) and we head out for the night.
We listen to some great local talent playing covers of classic songs, chat about travelling and brain-storm business ideas to get me back to the Island and making money! Great laughs with fun new friends :)
Back at the cottage camp spot I take off the tent's fly as it was unlikely to rain overnight and I was able to sleep under the stars again. Amazing end to another amazing bike touring day.