Located on the southern most tip of Cape Breton Island, Isle Madame is a cluster of islands. It offers some of the most captivating scenery along the Fleur-de-Lis trail which loops around the main island. The village of Arichat is one of the oldest communities in Nova Scotia, dating back to the 1700's when tall ships ruled the seas. It was known as the most important shire town (a city from which authority is exercised) of Richmond County
Before I get into this story I have to point out a few upgrades on Alfred and Donna's car. First the wind block mounted behind the seat. A great addition to any convertible as this will block a lot of the wind turbulence that we all endure on our runs. These do block the turbulence and helps keep the cockpit warm on those chilly days. Also, Alfred replaced that white metal emblem on the front bumper with one from an MGA, much more eye pleasing then the original. I opted for the emblem from a T-car instead, this has gold color lettering that matches my MK lV stripe.
Getting to the story. God I love Cape Breton! Regardless where you go there is always some great scenery around every bend. Today Lee emailed about a run, no destination, just a run. I replied with perhaps a run to Marble Mountain and stop for lunch at the Cape Breton Smoke House. The downside to this run is the 5 K of dirt road. It was decided before we headed out for our run that maybe Arichat might be a better destination, the dirt road in Marble Mountain was the deciding downfall to that run. With new paint on Donna's B and Lee's B I totally understand them wishing to stay on asphalt, so away we went. The #4 highway is always eye pleasing and what great roads to take these cars on and with the weather being as warm as it was, you couldn't help but have a great day.
Arichat is on Isle Madame on the southern part of our island and it's only access is over a draw bridge. Also connected to Ilse Madame is Petit De-Grat, another great place to explore. This area is full or history and well worth the time to explore. This trip was a little quicker then I would like, so we will surely be back to explore again.
This whole Island has a deep rooted French background and when we pulled in for a pit stop, (to check our Saturday Night Lotto Tickets), I was surprised to see "Car wash" why not "lave-auto". From here Alfred and Donna took the lead. I was hoping they were more fimiliar with Ilse Madame then I was, turns out none of us knew where a restaurant was. This is great, now we get to search around for one, while sinking in the sights.
We searched and we searched for a restaurant but to tell the truth, I wasn't really looking for one, I wanted to see all that I could sink in. In the back of the pack today we have Bobby and Julian in "the Focus", they left the BMW at home. That's Ok, Ford does have their hand in a few British car makes so this is totally acceptable. It says a lot when one takes the grocery getter when their British Car has an ailment, it just shows that some members want to come regardless, just for the laughs.
There is plenty to see here and I am sure we missed a lot. For a community on an island, kind of in the middle of nowhere, it sure looks like this place is flourishing. There are plenty of large new homes and the roads were in great shape. It surely appears that the secret to success lays upon the shores of this great little Island. I would have to say that this is a great tourist destination.
There are areas on the island that appear a little windswept but sticking out into the Atlantic, it's a wonder the whole island isn't completely void of trees. The above photos of Alfred and Donna as well as Lee and Sheila in their great looking Bs cresting and descending a couple of great hills on the island showing that this is no boring drive.
I lead the crew down a few dead end roads but sometimes these roads offers up the best pictures. Alfred and Donna passing stacked Lobster traps is a true Cape Breton Photo and this pic was taken on a dead-end road. At the turn-around I snapped this pic of Lee and Sheila, Sheila looks very comfortable nestled in their B.
With the "Focus" at the rear we continued or search for a place to eat. We did pass a few takeouts and we ended up stopping at on of them. "Shirley's Spud Wagon" was one such takeout. Alright folks, this place is more then a takeout, there is a lot of indoor eating and the service was amazing. We waited no time for our delicious food.
I am sorry I didn't get a better picture of the large menu hung on the wall, I have eaten at many restaurants that didn't have a menu as complete as this place. Above Donna and Alfred placed their order while Lee studied the menu. Last to order was Bobby and Julian and as they ordered my food was ready. There was a steady stream of customers here and that says a lot about the place. It's early in the tourist season so you know all the customers are locals. If the locals frequent this place, then it has to be good.
You can eat inside, outside, in the shade or in the sun, either way this was a great place to stop. Shortly after we ate Alfred and Donna had to go, we departed shortly afterwards. The drive back through Isle Madame was just as pleasing as when we first drove through and once again the #4 offered up some great views and wouldn't you know, the roads were in very good shape. With the good roads, beautiful weather and great friends, this was a fantastic day. You know how it goes ... If you weren't there you missed it. Come along next time.