Our trip up the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine coastline was uneventful. After the disappointment of Salem we popped our noses briefly into Newburyport on our way up the coast to our overnight stop in Kennebunkport, which we later learned is the home of the Bush family. George ‘Dubya’ must have been out of town that evening because I’m certain that we didn’t spot him in the little seaside café where we enjoyed our evening meal. Note to self …. in future avoid the local scallop dish – rather like Mars Bars they’re not really improved by being deep-fried.
We stayed two nights in a lovely home near Sullivan just off the Schoodic Coast Road to the north of Desert Island. Although slightly off the beaten track (we ate out both nights at their ‘local’ pub which turned out to be some 18 miles down the road) it was a great location and well located for Thursday’s trip down to Bar Harbor. This particular part of Maine receives some 2.3 million visitors each year, mostly during the summer months, with many being literally shipped in by the many cruise liners which anchor in the well-protected bay on their way between New York and Halifax. As a result Bar Harbor seems to have set itself up almost exclusively for the tourist trade with numerous gift shops providing an extensive choice of knick-knacks and souvenirs. We resisted the temptation to invest in another Christmas decoration and settled for our usual coffees and a shared muffin – just call us the last of the big spenders.
Undoubtedly the best views of the island are to be had from the 1,500 ft summit of Mount Cadillac which can be reached either by car or by a 3.6 mile testing climb through some of the most beautiful countryside that Maine has to offer. Unfortunately bright blue skies and a fresh but comfortable temperature of 60F meant that we had no reasonable excuse for avoiding the walk. It was one of the highlights of the trip so far, with the added bonus of allowing us to feel especially smug at the end of the four hour round trip – despite our aching legs and feet.