Imagine bicycling through ocean side villages, canoeing in pristine lakes, and hiking through beloved national parks. Now imagine that as your summer job.
Marika Nicolov and Tucker Martens don’t have to imagine. The pair are making their way around the South Shore of Nova Scotia by hiking, bicycling, and paddling.
“We’re promoting outdoor recreation and active transportation within the South Shore,” says Martens.
Martens and Nicolov are promoting the website South Shore Connect by getting out and exploring the South Shore first hand.
South Shore Connect promotes active living throughout many types of organizations such as school boards, community groups and more. It is a partnership between Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, and Yarmouth.
Martens and Nicolov are showing locals and visitors in these counties what you can do for fun that barely costs a cent.
Neither Martens or Nicolov are new to hoofing it. The pair backpacked Europe together for seven months last year. Both are 19 years old and from rural parts of Lunenburg county.
“We know what a heavy backpack feels like,” laughs Nicolov.
Both carry a lot of gear, much of it provided by Liverpool Adventure Outfitters, but have come up with ways to minimize what they need. They use a tiny stove made from an aluminum can to do most of their cooking.
“We eat a lot of chickpeas,” Martens jokes.
Though sometimes they need to get home for a break, usually due to bad weather, they won’t be spending much time inside.
“For the most part we’ll be camping five or six days a week,” says Nicolov.
The pair were in Summerville on July 28 where they were preparing explore the beach by foot. They planned to walk to Port Mouton through the railroad tracks and then on to Carter’s Beach. From there they planned to camp at Thomas Raddall Park.
“Summerville is actually my favourite beach on the South Shore,” says Martens.
The biggest leg of their trip will be their bicycle trip down the coast to Yarmouth. That will be one of their last areas to explore.
“I think it’s just really nice that we have a job where we get to work outside,” says Nicolov.
Despite living on the South Shore, the pair say they have seen a lot of areas for the first time by taking on these jobs. No day is the same for them.
“It’s nice to be a tourist in your own area,” says Nicolov.
That’s the main message the two are trying to get across.
“No matter where you live, there’s always things that are quite close to you,” says Martens. “You don’t have to drive everywhere.”
You can follow Martens and Nicolov on the website soutshoreconnect.ca as well as find routes for paddling and hiking. Martens and Nicolov also share their adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, which are connected to the website as well.