Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A few days in Nova Scotia

Jenny was invited to give a presentation at the opening of a new exhibition in the Joggins Fossil Cliffs centre in Nova Scotia on Saturday, so we've spent the past several days in Canada. We flew out on Thursday, landing at Halifax airport at about 1.30pm, hired a car and drove about 180 km to Amherst, where our hosts had booked us excellent accommodation in the Regent B&B, run by the delightful Jim Kerr and his wife Gwen.

On Friday, Jenny had arranged that we would visit Chris Mansky and Sonja Wood at the Blue Beach Fossil Museum, which they run, near Hansport, about 250 km away.  The fossils from Blue Beach are comparable in age to the ones we found in Burnmouth, so Jenny is looking to include Chris and Sonja in her mega-project if she manages to get the funding.  It was a long day and some of the roads were pretty rough, as Nova Scotia winters really hammer their highways.  Temperatures alternate between frozen and thawed, which allows water to penetrate the cracks in the surface,  then expand when it freezes, enlarging the cracks.  End result, you have to drive fairly slowly sometimes!

We ate in the Old Germany restaurant in Amherst, which was pretty good.  I'll spare you their website, which is dire.

The next day was Jenny's talk, which went down well.  There were about 100 in the audience, and the new building, opened about 3 years ago, is an impressive place.

In the evening we were invited to the director's parents house, along with about a dozen others, mostly staff and their relatives, where we were treated to a mountain of lobster, along with turkey, ham and a variety of other dishes. I'm not that keen on lobster, mostly because it seems to always come on its own, and I find a big pile of meat rather hard work unless accompanied by some sort of stodge.  Fortunately I was able to lay  hands on some mashed potato, so survived the ordeal.  The rest of the food was fantastic.

We also saw a pileated woodpecker, which obligingly landed on a tree not 5 metres away, and posed for me to take photographs, and this really brilliant child's swing made from an old car tyre.

On the Sunday, we took a scenic drive to Cape d'Or, where Jenny was a miserable killjoy and wouldn't let me play sideways games with the car on this most excellent dirt road.  Boo!

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