December 30, 2009

005 - Hamilton to the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

This past summer my boyfriend and I decided that we would cycle from Hamilton, Ontario to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cycling across Canada has always been a dream of mine and it seemed like a good time to complete at least a small part of it.

We made it to Quebec City on our bikes, but took the train the rest of the way due to bad weather (rain all day and frost all night) and being ill prepared to tackle New Brunswick (no bike route map/extreme wilderness)! I was disappointed at first that we couldn't complete the entire trip by bike, but looking back on our decision to take the train, it was a wise choice.

We chose to combine cycling with WWOOFing, something I've done in Scotland and have been longing to do again, especially out east. WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms - is a wonderful organization that connects you with organic farmers who could use a little help on their farm in exchange for room and board. For the record, I love this organization and hope to one day be a host myself.

So after spending a few days in Halifax, and riding to Peggy's Cove and back, we moved on to the next phase of our trip - Noah's Place Farm.

This farm had every kind of farm animal imaginable. Goats, sheep, chickens, two donkeys, horses, cows, one lil piglet, Angora goats, two dogs, and a million barn cats. From the sheep and Angora goats we would harvest wool, from the goats; milk. And eggs from the chickens. The donkeys were used to scare off coyotes during the night, they were so cute! You had to tap their bums if you were coming into their pen to give them food. Otherwise you might scare them and lose a couple of teeth from a hoof in the mouth. At this farm we made our own cheese, tons of bread, picked wool (picking out all the vegetation from the wool before sending it off to the mill to be spun) and dyed skeins, harvested fresh broccoli, beets, and turnips, did some canning, fed all the barn animals and cleaned their pens, chopped wood and built fences, and other random house chores throughout the day. It was wonderful!

Needless to say, we came home with our pockets full of goats milk soap, about $70 worth of wool, and rolls upon rolls of film. Really though, the entire experience was pure magic and I was so fortunate to have had such a great partner with me. I can't wait for the next segment of our Canadian cycling tour!


  1. These photos truly are beautiful, I so desperately want to go to the east coast! I've been wanting to go WWOOF-ing for awhile now myself, I'm thinking I should get on that and plan a summer trip now that you've inspired me.

  2. wow - what a way to holiday! sounds like such an inspiring way to see the countryside. Did they teach you how to do all those things there, or did you know already? I guess what I mean is, was your work supervised? I'd love to try something like that but have little experience!

  3. Sara - yes, they supervised and taught me how to do almost everything there! The amount of experience you have doesn't matter in most cases. What matters is your attitude and having a willingness for honest, hard work. It's definitely worth it though, tons of fun!