After the distillery, I headed to Bear on the Lake Hostel on the Bras d’Or lakes. It was described in the Lonely Planet guide as a “super-fun place overlooking the lake.” It is a backpacker’s hostel where people come to meet. This is as opposed to an HI (Hostels International) hostel where people come to sleep cheap, go to bed early and find the majority of their entertainment outside the hostel. Both have their advantages but I wanted to start with a “super fun” crowd.
After a meal at the Red Shoe Pub—a lovely little place in Mabou owned by the Rankin Sisters of Rankin Family fame—I drove over to the Bear. I was met by Carmen, the “effervescent” (according to the Lonely Planet) owner, and told there was, indeed, room. I started to try to work on a grant proposal I hadn’t finished, but was quickly distracted by the guests from Belgium, Germany, Australia and Canada. Someone brought out a bottle of wine and we started talking about energy and sustainability and, after accepting too many offers of wine, I looked up my favorite TED talk and started lecturing. How embarrassing! I finally went to bed and probably kept the whole room up with my snoring.