(Courtney) I wouldn't usually mind waking up to the sound of the rain pattering away outside on a Sunday morning. The perfect excuse to stay snuggled up in bed for as long as you like. Unfortunately that excuse doesn't seem to fly on this trip, it's full steam ahead, rain or shine. We left our dry cozy tent and were wet through pretty quickly.
After a few kilometers we stopped for a coffee at a gas station and plotted our route for the day. I'd heard good things about the Ceilidh Shores trail that runs along the coast all day today. We went to where google maps said the trail was meant to start but found no sign of it. After looking around for a bit we decided to just scrap the whole trail idea and take the road instead. We learnt later that the first four kilometers of the trail were washed out and we would been pushing out bikes over a rocky beach. Glad we missed that!
At 11am we rolled into a town called Mabou, just as their Sunday farmers market was starting! We had to check that out. It was an awesome indoor market complete with a Keltic band playing in the middle of the room. Back outside we were packing away our purchases when we got chatting with a local couple. We figured out we'd be staying at the same campsite that evening so they invited us to come over for a beer when we arrived.
With the promise of a cold beer and a beach the remaining kilometers breezed by. Oh except for Danica's flat tire. Classic flat in the last 20k just when you think you're almost there. At least it was a quick fix, didn't slow us down too much.
When we arrived at the campground the staff were expecting us. Our friends from the market (Mike and Francis) had came by the office and left their contact details for us. It turns out that there are two Macleod campgrounds, one in Inverness and one 10k further in the next village, and they were staying at the other one. Mike had left instructions to call him when we arrived and he would make sure we got that cold beer. We left a message on his voicemail then hit the beach.
It was a gorgeous afternoon. We all had a nap on our towels and worked on our suntans (ok sunburn in my case).
After dinner we were sitting around playing a game of crib when Mike and Francis pulled up with beer! They are from Cape Breton Island and have cycled and driven the Cabot trail many times. They told us what to expect for the next couple days; basically hills and more hills. They are both big skiers and had been to Big White and Sun Peaks. We stayed up super late chatting away - ok it was only 9:30 but all that napping had tired us out. As they were leaving the asked us what our plans were for breakfast the next morning. We told them about our delicious selection of oatmeal packets and they invited us over for bacon and eggs. We accepted.
I think we all fell asleep much happier than we woke up.