Monday, September 10, 2012

A trip to the highlands

The techie gremlins struck last week. Pat and I were off to Cape Breton Island on a golf junket, so I had scheduled some items to be automatically posted here. Not sure what happened, but apparently the robot didn't show up for work. Life was further complicated by an iPad that failed on Day 2, and the absence of Rogers cellphone service in that area.

I do appreciate the messages of concern that awaited my return. Nice to be missed.

The golf was great, although we happened to catch the first rainy days that Cape Breton has had in weeks. Nonetheless we managed to get around the Highlands Links course at Ingonish, one of our favourites. This was our third trip to the famous 1941 masterpiece that Stanley Thompson carved out of the wilderness, and we stayed again at the adjacent Keltic Lodge, a sprawling old pile with an excellent dining room and magnificent views.

But the highlight of the trip was the new Cabot Links course, which is a cross between a day at the beach and Marine boot camp. I believe that this is the only true links course in Canada, built on the dunes along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the latter visible from every hole, often just yards away.

Golfers are exposed to wind, surf, mist, and driving rain, all of which were present, with brief glimpses of sunshine, for our two rounds there. Power carts are not allowed, so one is ready for a wee dram, a fine meal, and a comfortable bed by the end of the day, all of which are available.

This course has deservedly attracted much attention in the golf world, and the experience is further sweetened by the Inverness locals who staff the place. Cape Bretoners are open and generous, with a wry sense of humour, loving a bit of devilment, and having no time for pretense.

Here's Pat enjoying a typical view. Note the cottages on the cliffs at upper left.

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