So, our plan to do the Cabot Trail on Canada Day was ill-planned.
Firstly, I got the day of the week wrong. I originally thought Canada Day was on Tuesday when we were planning to start the Cabot Trail (thanks bro’, for the heads up). Turns out Canada Day was on Monday after all (who decides these things?) I thought we might have started it that day but we decided to stop in Port Hawkesbury instead, the gateway of Cape Breton.
Secondly, I found out that John Cabot wasn’t really called John Cabot at all. This history major should’ve known better that John Cabot wasn’t a 17th century French settler at all but a 15th century Italian explorer. His birth name was Zuan Chabotto but today he’s known as Giovanni Caboto. All these names, what do we really know about the guy anyway? Heck, the Spanish even had their own name for him – Juan Caboto. Seems like a shifty dude to me.
Thirdly, the Canadian government (and Britain’s) agree that he never set foot in Nova Scotia at all. So, why the ‘Cabot Trail’? While I didn’t expect that the pony trail would still exist, I assumed that we were following the path of the sacred pilgrimage of an early Canadian settler who suffered the unimaginable obstacles of the Canadian elements while slaughtering the local native populations. Isn’t that what they all did?
Not so. Turns out the Cabot Trail was devised as a tourist destination by early 20th century Nova Scotia Premier, Angus L. Macdonald. Hmmm.
Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful place. There was almost no traffic around the 300 or so kilometre circumference and plenty of places to stop and take in the breathtaking vistas. Whether or not John Cabot or Zuan Chabotto or Giovanni Caboto was there, it doesn’t matter. Take this drive.