Ever fancied doing a Thelma and Louise? Now’s your chance
PUBLISHED: 16:05 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 21 February 2020
Though not the film’s ending, obviously! Flora Baker and her friend Kim took to the roads of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada for a trip of a lifetime
Kim stood in the middle of an empty road, framing her scene through a Polaroid lens.
Yellow lines ran ahead and behind us, rolling towards the horizon before disappearing into the dark forestsof Nova Scotia.
There was a satisfying click and a film photograph appeared in Kim's hands.
"Shall we keep on driving?" she said.
I'd always dreamed of driving through Canada's Atlantic provinces. My imagination sped past coastal lighthouses and crashing waves, glimpses of moose beyond the trees, and many, many plates of lobster. But
like any destination, Atlantic Canada had some other surprises in store for us too.
Our first stop was Halifax in Nova Scotia, where we hired a car and quickly filled it with our road trip necessities: jackets and hiking boots strewn in the back, cups of fresh coffee in the front.
Hitting the road gave us our first glimpses of the South Shore's famous lighthouses under bright blue skies as we headed for Lunenburg, a seemingly pictureperfect UNESCO town which reveals its spooky side once the sun goes down.
The nightly Haunted Walking Tour took us through winding silent streets where coffins are carried through kitchen windows, shoes hide in chimneys to protect against the devil, and ghostly lovers wait for their dead sailors to come home.
Our return journey to the Brigantine Inn had us looking furtively over our shoulders, and I checked beneath the bed twice before clambering into it.
The next morning we went kayaking at Blue Rocks, a little cove outside Lunenburg. This is what I'd imagined Canada to look like: sparkling light on smooth ocean water, bright green banks of trees, no sounds except the occasional chirping of birds. Our kayak guides told us a highway secret - a tiny nearby cafe called 'Ploughman's Lunch' serving homemade moose-milk ice cream - so we jumped into the car and
set off, trading ghost stories in the sunlight.
Over the following days our tyres skittered across asphalt, gravel and pine needles as we drove past crumbling cemeteries in Annapolis Royal and through towering trees in Kejimkujik National Park, before finally
coming to a halt at Hall's Harbour for an al-fresco lunch of Canada's finest lobster.
A week isn't enough to see all Nova Scotia has to offer - but we already had a quick flight booked to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Driving through this rocky province was immediately more dramatic: thick fog appeared from nowhere and blanketed our car as we journeyed towards a new set of adventures.
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On board a rocky boat outside the capital of St John's, we jigged for cod with the fishermen from Quidi Vidi Charters before squeezing into a quayside shed to dine on our freshly caught beer-battered fish. Outside, the province's famously temperamental weather hailed down as we listened to our new friends tell us thought-provoking stories of Newfoundland's resettlement history.
A day's drive through the island's centre led us to Fortune Head. We jumped into an ATV with Brian Rose, a local hotel owner, who took us foraging for cloudberries and brewed up tea on a beachside campfire as the sun set.
The next morning we crossed the province again to reach Fisher's Loft, a homely heritage inn where a pile of books by Newfoundland authors waited beside my heavenly bed. We grabbed binoculars and battled
the sideways rain at Elliston to perch breathless on a rocky outcrop while puffins swooped around us and whales dipped their heads above the ocean below.
But throughout a fortnight of Atlantic Canada travel, the road remained our constant companion. Those wide expanses of tarmac which I'd dreamed of were always splayed out on our windscreen; handful of
Polaroids balanced on the dashboard and hundreds of memories swirling through our heads.
THREE THINGS NOT TO MISS
1.The Haunted Walking Tour in
There aren't many UNESCO sites which are adorably quaint by day and historically unnerving by night!
2. Sea kayaking at Blue Rocks
Prepare for a morning on the water surrounded by stunning island scenery with knowledgeable local guides - and keep your eyes peeled for groups of playful seals.
3. Cod fishing with Quidi Vidi
Charters Jigging for cod is a quintessential Newfoundland experience, and the Quidi Vidi fishermen teach you all the skills necessary to land your first catch.
HOW TO GET THERE
Flora and Kim travelled as a guest of Atlantic Canada Holidays (atlanticcanadaholiday.co.uk) to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Direct flights are available from London to both Halifax, Nova Scotia and St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador from £436 return.
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