...and welcome to Day 12.
Just hanging out a few days in Cheticamp. We really like the
town--friendly folks, beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, seemingly
more Francophones than we found in Montreal--but they're bilingual, so
that helps my tired pea-brain--and June berries galore. We're staying
near by, just inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which is
beautiful, and huge. So far on our trip, this place is, overall, second
only to the extra day we spent digging clams (I still have cuts on my
hands, and it was totally worth them) and wallowing in the
critter-filled mud during low tide at Five Islands Provincial Park.
However, it turns out the one property near by there that we could
afford, which seemed like a great deal, is a bit of a scam since it
floods big time whenever it rains, which we learned thanks to a history
lesson from an extremely generous neighbour there, and no thanks to the
listing agent. Rule One is now: talk to the neighbours.
Back to today, Cheticamp definitely seems like a place we'd like to try
settling in or at least having a sabbatical in. M, S, and I miss
everyone in Ontario like mad, but this is one place we think we could
slow down in, and recover from life a bit. So far we haven't
encountered anybody who changed their tune when we mentioned we were
from Ontario and looking to move here. Au contraire, if anything, folks
seem to be happy that young(-ish)'uns like ourselves would want to
settle here, since apparently most folks our age (and many of all ages)
head west in search of work, and don't return home while they have money
to spend. Also, our desire to beginner-homestead seems much more
acceptable in small towns here than in the city, so we don't necessarily
have to decide between raising chickens and having reasonably close
Hurdles, days 1-11? One thing (besides flooding) we learned to watch
out for is clearing. Some of these acreages are so thick that they're a
bit too much for us to take a good look at, and that's aside from rarely
being adequately marked. (Also some of them can't even be parked on
without filling in a roadside ditch with gravel first.) Clear-cutting
larger trees, which we'd be willing to do/contract a small amount of, is
not really our preference.
Another thing is water. It seems that finding an adequate water source
(i.e. one that could be filtered to potable most of the year) on cheap
land may be less straightforward than searching for "river" on
ViewPoint. However, thanks to an informative conversation with a real
estate agent, it may be more plausible than we had thought to find out
if it's likely that you could access a spring, which would be preferable
to actually drilling a well, which can be quite costly.
Anyway, we're going to tour around some places here again tomorrow, and
although none of them on paper seems to be ultra cheap and have
everything we need, we're optimistic about finding something that could
at least be tried on our budget. If that doesn't work out, though,
there are still plenty of options we haven't driven by yet west of
Halifax. At least we like the feel of the town here enough that we
wouldn't bother continuing to search for a cheaper-but-still-doable
option if we found the right place here.
Hugs to all our friends and family back home!
Kev & fam