|We went to the Antgonish Highland Games today it was very enjoyable. It is said that the origins of the Highland Games can be traced to antiquity when Scottish clans came together regulary to trade the surplus of their harvests and other goods. At these gatherings, which certainly had an excess of spirits that had to be expended, the steam was blown off through competition.
One clan mioght boast that one of their men could toss a tree trunk further than anyone else. Another hero might challenge a rival strongman to a stone heaving contest. Piping and dancing competitions evolved in much the same manner. The games have continued and grown through many years and their longevity is a credit to succeeding generations of volunteers who gather under the banner of the Antigonish Highland Society.
The event goes for seven days and they day we attended was the Junior Heavy Events. The ages ranged from 13 - 19 years. We watched them do the Hammer Throw, this is where they take a 22 lb hammer swing it around and see how farm it can be tossed. One thing to note is that the athlete wears a special "Hammer boot" which is a heavy booth with a long spike (bayonet) at each of the toe-ends that they dig into the earth to help maintain ground contact during rotation.
Some of the other events we watched was the Open Stone, Caber toss and some others I don't know the name of. All in all it was very interesting and quite funny at times. We also saw from where we were sitting the competition for highland dancing. Yesterday was more or less just the start of the games today is the day that they bring in the big guns of huge men who are competing for money we were unable to get tickets for the main competition I guess you had to get them a while back. We heard that there wasn't a room to rent at all in town because of the games we thought this was just great.
After we left the games we decided to do the North Shore Drive. I have to say in some ways we were a little disappointed because we thought it went all along the ocean but really you had spots where you drove into and saw the ocean. We stopped at Ballantyne's Cove which has a marina and a pretty view. AT Ballantyne's they have a Tuna Interpretive Centre which we found very interesting. There was a young fellow who told us all about the tuna industry and we atched a video detailing the history of tuna fishing in the local area and saw a life-sized model of a bluefin tuna.
We stopped at the Cape George Point Lighthouse which was the first lighthouse, erected in 1861 it was destroyed by fire in 1907 and in 1908 it was replaced with the current one there. What made this interesting was there were four men there talking about the lighthouse and Brian asked how they knew so much and it ended up they were four of ninteen children whose father was the lighthouse keeper and they lived right there. They told us a little about the area and what it was like when their father was the lighthouse keeper. We also found out they were here on a family reunion. They were so nice posing for pictures and talking to us.
There was various scenic look-offs where we stopped and saw the land and seascapes. It was a very pleasant drive but one you could do in a couple of hours or stretch it out if you were going to some of the hiking trails.
It was getting around dinner time and Wade wanted to have fish n' chips so we stopped at a local pub here in Pictou and had a great dinner. Once we got back we had a fire and roasted some marshmellows.
Wendy & Wade are headed for PEI this morning and will spend overnight there coming back late in the evening the next day. We are just relaxing here in the park today and will this afternoon go into town and walk around. Tomorrow we will be more adventurous that is what nice about taking our time we have many days we can just relax and enjoy where we are staying where as if your here for a short time you have to rush a lot more.
Both Brian and I are enjoying ourselves so much we don't have any pressures and if we feel like going touring around we do if not we are quite happy to just relax. We are both feeling really good health wise. Brian has had very little pain since is procedure and we have come to think that the pain he does have is probably arthrisis boy it's tough getting old. We also find when we rush around and see things we end up missing the opportunities God I'm sure has planned for us. We've learned a lot about each other and about our various provinces and states. We know that we will have memories from this trip that will last us a life time.