I am in the beginning stages of planning a month-long touring trip along the entire coastline of Nova Scotia. 950 miles R/T. I am going to be doing this trip with support from The Surfrider Foundation, while bringing attention to issues that the organization promotes. This will be my first long distance touring trip and was curious on what kind of budget I would be looking at. This will be a dirtbag/shoe string trip. Camping, with an occasional hostel stay will be type of shelter for the trip.
Just a rough estimate would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!
2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Would have more bikes if I had time to ride them all. Previous bikes: 1968 Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fav), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.
I can't imagine what you would spend $30-50 per day on, unless you eat in a restaurant each meal. I always combined some cooking with supermarket bread/cheese/meat etc. and buffet restaurants on long tours. I don't know about Nova Scotia prices but I should think it would not be a huge challenge to hit the $20 per day mark. Just find friendly places to camp free or share a site. I guess budgeting $30 would give you a cushion.
I am planning on September and maybe into October. I am trying to time the trip around the peak hurricane season so as that I can guarantee myself at least one good swell for surfing.
Since I may potentially get some press on this trip from the Surfrider Foundation, I am going to invite people to join me on certain legs of the trip. Plus I want to set up a blog so as that friends and family can track my progress.
The trips main objective is to raise awareness for the environmental issues that Surfrider promotes and of course surfing as much as possible.
rhm, I did this tour on my motorcyle. There are a few ferries from Maine to N.S. We took the Cat High Speed Ferry to N.S, and there are other cruise ship type ferries, that take a loooong time to get there. The Cat runs from either Bar Harbor or Portland Maine to Yarmouth, N.S. On the way out, we rode out of N.S. back to Maine via New Brunswick.
If you all are going to N.S., I suggest you get their free visitors guide Doers and Dreamers: http://www.destination-ns.com/forms/guide.asp At this web site you can also get a Scenic Trailways map. I am not familiar withit, but it sounds like it could be a useful resource.
Another suggestion I can make is to do the trip in a counter clockwise direction. This is especially true if you're doing the CabotTrail.
1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
Originally Posted by Hasek
rhm, I did this tour on my motorcyle. There are a few ferries from Maine to N.S. We took the Cat High Speed Ferry to N.S, and there are other cruise ship type ferries, that take a loooong time to get there. ....
Thanks! I was going to look into a freighter from NYC to Halifax-- apparently it's a common voyage so there are ships leaving every day or so, and if there's room, it's pretty cheap. I'd love to try it!
I would also be tempted to do Prince Edward Island if you have the time. There is a ferry from NS to the east side of PEI. I would probably do a loop of the island, rather than come over Confederation Bridge. Not sure they even allow bicycles on Confederation Bridge. Its really high and around 13 miles long as I recall. Rode it on my motorcycle.
NS is one of my favorite touring areas, traffic is very light, people are friendly. October may be a little late weather wise.
First, you can hit the $30-$50 mark if you add up accommodations also. I've done the Cabot Trail, parts of NS and the eastern half of PEI. It's a lot more settled than most people would have you believe so you're more than likely going to be paying for accommodations.
Second, the Doers and Dreamers' guide is excellent.
Third, for Cabot Trail, it's recommended to do it clockwise. I also think it would be better to do the eastern half of PEI clockwise since we encountered some stiffish winds along the north coast there.
Fourth, you cannot take your bike on the Confederation Bridge between NB and PEI. There is a free shuttle service consisting of a pickup truck with racks on it. Make sure to strap everything down because the crossing is VERY windy.
The north of Nova Scotia is unbelievably hilly. They are small mountains. But the guys that made the roads were Scots. They didn't waste perfectly good money on switchbacks. No sir. The bloody road goes straight up and then straight down. Some of the toughest climbing I have seen.
There is a ferry from Caribou, NS to PEI, so there's no need to worry about the Confederation Bridge. From Souris, PEI, there is a ferry to the Madeleine Islands, which were a wonderful archipelago to visit. The Madeleines are usually extremely windy, however. FWIW, I didn't have significant wind on PEI, including the north coast. Maybe I was lucky.
I biked the Cabot Trail clockwise and loved it. Cape Breton was by far my favorite part of NS.
Regarding costs, I found NS to be less expensive than most other parts of Canada. Since you're American, one of the biggest cost factors will be the exchange rate, and that has been jumping all around during the past year.
As I understand it, there are anywhere from one to three ships leaving every day at this time of year, and the voyage takes about one day. Fares on such ships are typically calculated by the amount of time spent onboard; last I heard it was around $100 / day. You can see why I thought it sounded pretty cool!
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I've cycled around Nova Scotia and my average cost was under $20/day. Restaurants are uncommon and inexpensive along the coast so the temptation doesn't arrive that often. Free, semi-stealth camping on crown land or other open private land never posed a problem, even when camping seaside. If you're cycling with a support vehicle it might be slightly more difficult to find a roadside place to park the vehicle at night.
If you're into waves, try riding the tidal bore on the Shubenacadie at Maitland. It reportedly doesn't work very well for surfing either a board or a kayak, but standing 8-14' waves occur daily. There are a few companies that take you out in Zodiacs that fly off the top of the waves. It was one of the better rushes I've had. You can find videos on YouTube, but they don't do it justice.
Good luck on the freighter idea - sounds like a good one.