Sunday, 14 July 2013

Travelling from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island - Day 3

After having a short breakfast at the hotel, we packed up our van and continued on our way.  As we were packing up the van, we noticed a small white car with large, green lettering blazoned across the sides.  Mounted on the top of the car was what looked like a huge video camera.  The lettering on the car said "Google".  We assumed that the people staying at the hotel were working for Google and taking pictures in order to update Google Earth and perhaps Google Maps.  Anyway, we left and wound our way down the various highways to Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick.

I saw Hopewell Rocks when I visited the Canadian Maritime provinces with my parents when I was 12 year old.  These rocks are located on the Bay of Fundy which is known for its drastic tides.  The tidal waters have carved out the rock formations on the shoreline into various shapes.  One looks like a flower pot.  Another looks like two rocks kissing each other which at the same time forms an archway.  At Hopewell Rocks, you can enjoy activities both at low tide and high tide.  We arrived at low tide in the morning of July 8.  While the tide was out, we were able to walk on the ocean floor and wander through arches and tunnels which are filled up with water during high tide.  Our admission ticket into Hopewell Rocks was reasonably priced and allowed us the choice to come back on July 9 in order to be there during high tide.  We didn't revisit the site during high tide, but I did notice that we could have rented kayaks and gone on a group kayak tour around the rocks during high tide.  I had packed my rubber boots for our trip to PEI because I thought they may be useful for clam digging at our final destination.  I did wear them at Hopewell Rocks and I was the only tourist out of hundreds to do so.  You can visit the site at low tide in just normal footwear, but it is difficult to keep them dry and clean.  I was quite happy to be able to freely walk around in order to take pictures without worrying about where I was stepping.  I did have to be aware of some of the "mucky" spots because my boots would sink a little in the red mud and they would get stuck.  In the time that we were at Hopewell Rocks, the tide was coming in.  We were there for about an hour and some of the spots where we had stood when we first arrived were already covered with water when we left.

We climbed up the many flights of stairs to the top of the cliff and made our way back to the van.  As we were in the parking lot, a gentleman had just climbed out of his car and asked me if we needed rubber boots to enjoy the site.  My husband answered that he had got along just fine in his running shoes but that I had more freedom to wander in my rubber boots.  The gentleman wanted to buy them from me!  I declined and told him that I still wanted to use them for clam digging later on in our trip.  I changed back into my sandals and we continued on our journey to PEI.  We drove out of New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia.  It would have been a quicker trip to take the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to PEI but we wanted to drive over on the ferry.  We most likely will be using the Confederation Bridge to leave PEI.  We arrived in Caribou, Nova Scotia to await the Northumberland Ferry which would be taking us to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island.  The view from the ferry dock allowed me to see part of Nova Scotia way off in the distance to my left.  There was an old Subaru wagon in the lineup in front of us on the ferry dock.  It was absolutely jammed packed with musical instruments and sound equipment.  I could see the bass drum pressed up against the back window along with some amps and guitars.  There were three people in the car that I could tell.  There was also a straw hat placed neatly on top of the pile of instruments.  It belonged to the girl that was sitting in the backseat.  My husband got out to stretch his legs and read the name of the band on the bass drum.  We were following "Red Moon Road".   According to Google, "Red Moon Road" is a folk band. While waiting for the ferry, I also found it interesting to read the various names and locations on the transport trucks.  As expected there were a fair number of trucks with Prince Edward Island license plates.  There were also a lot of trucks from Alberta.  I like to look at the license plates of the various vehicles we see when we travel as I find it interesting to see where they have travelled from.  The Subaru in front of us was from Manitoba.  I also saw cars and vans from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario.

When the ferry arrived, we were directed downwards into the very bottom of the ferry.  There were 3 levels of cars on this ferry.   It was a very steep descent into the bowels of the ferry.  We were located on top of the engine room.  There were 4 lanes and we were located in the second lane from the right.   After parking, we got out of our van and we climbed the four flights of steps to the passenger deck.  We stood on the top deck to watch the ferry pull out of Caribou, Nova Scotia and into the Northumberland Strait.  We enjoyed the scenery of passing a small island with red shores.  The Northumberland Strait was very, very calm.  It looked like glass with small ripples.  Apparently, it can also be a very rough crossing.  It takes just over an hour to cross over the Strait and arrive in Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island.  On our ferry ride, we had our first taste of COWS ice cream.  Before leaving our home a few days ago, we had heard from our neighbours about COWS ice cream.  They had encouraged us to make sure we had some while on "The Island".  We enjoyed an ice cream cone while we crossed the Northumberland Strait.  As we were crossing, I saw a small dot on the horizon.  It gradually crept closer and eventually we could see it was the other ferry that had left Wood Islands, PEI.  I could feel the thrill of excitement and anticipation start to course through me as I got closer to our destination.  I couldn't wait to see our friends and start the next leg of our trip which was to explore the beautiful Prince Edward Island.  Finally the captain announced that we were to make our way to our vehicles in order to be ready to disembark at Wood Islands, PEI.  You could see PEI off in the distance!

Down to the van we went and then waited to be told when it would be our turn to drive up the very steep ramp to the ferry dock at Wood Islands, PEI.  Finally we were on the road again!  We knew that we were going to go through Belle River and then we would see Flat River.  As we drove, I took pictures of the sign for Belle River.  When I travel, I try to have my pictures add up to be a pictorial journal of the journey.  Next came Flat River.  Now we were looking for house numbers as we tried to find our friends' home.  Finally we were here!!  There were our friends on the front porch waving as we came up the laneway.  Of course I leaned out of the van to take a picture of their very picturesque front yard, porch and house with our friends waving at us.  Such feelings of warmth and excitement filled me to overflowing!

My husband stopped the van and out I hopped to be hugged and my hair stroked.  My friend, Carol, hadn't seen me since April 2012 when I was in the midst of chemotherapy and had no hair.  Now the very thick and curly hair is brushing my shoulders.  I hadn't seen my friend's husband since before they moved away a few years ago.  How nice it was to see him too!  We were welcomed with open arms and ushered into their house.  We were given a tour of their home.  It is an old farm house which they have been slowly updating and renovating.  Their home is full of character with old, original, polished wood.  It's very comforting and a lovely home.  We enjoyed our supper with them and just chatted and laughed for the evening.  We were also shown to our accommodations while visiting with them.  They have an RV and have readied it for our arrival.  How thoughtful this was as it has given us some space to ourselves for whenever we want to sleep, nap or for me to catch up on my blog.  This is why I love this couple so much.  They are always very thoughtful and caring!!

My next post will continue with our exploration of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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