We left Shediac NB about 10:00 am. The drive to the Confederation Bridge was short. The bridge itself is 12.9 km long (8 miles). It was completed in 1997 at acost of $1 Billion Dollars and a toll is charged on the return trip (or you can take a ferry which is more expensive). The inevitable clouds were with us again although it was a bit warmer than yesterday. We had our first glimpes of the red soil and miles of potatoes. We are staying at Pine Hills RV Park for a week.
We knew that our friends from Pacific Border, Martin and Dawn, were going to be in PEI. We did not realize that they would be two sites down from us! They were out for the day when we arrived but we got together for a drink after dinner. They were moving on the next day to a park further north. We hope to meet up with them again while we're here.
On the 16th we went into Charlottetown for a look see. There are many beautiful old churches and other old buildings. It has a nice harbour. We went for sushi for lunch - 2 for 1 lunch special and it only cost $8.50! We came back to the park and met our neighbours who are from Newfoundland. They gave us some great tips on where to stay and what to see. Also where NOT to take the coach. Our other neighbours are a group of 5 RV's from Maine. We got some good pointers from them as well, such as how to avoid toll roads.
On the 17th we had planned to tour the south part of the island but when we found that there was no room at the next RV park we had planned to go to, we headed north to research our next stop. It turns out it is not far up the same road from where we are now.
The morning of the 18th started out with a "light" thunderstorm - nothing light about the rain that fell! It was torrential, like someone was throwing buckets of water directly at us. By afternoon it had mostly cleared up although there were a few sprinkles through the day.
The 19th was nice and clear, a good day for a five hour drive. We chose the Points East Coastal Drive. It is 475 km long but we took a few short cuts. By the time we got close to East Point we were running low on fuel and the fog was rolling in. We also ran into our first PEI road construction. Lots of red dirt everywhere. We went to look for some dunes in Greenwich but it turns out it was hiking only, a 1 1/2 hour round trip. Not for us! We stopped at Campbell's Cove Camping which was right on the water and had its own beach. There was also a nice Provincial Park called Red Point that would have accommodated us. We stopped at Basin Head Provincial Park and had the lunch that we had brought. It was still quite foggy so we're not sure what the water looked like. It was very warm though, although the water was only 12 degrees. There were people wading and in their swimsuits waiting for the sun to come back out. By the time we we passed through Georgetown we were on a serious lookout for some mussels for dinner. We found a dock where the Coast Guard, Search & Rescue and the RCMP were doing an exercise where they recovered 30 "bodies". They had all their big boats as well as a helicopter.
We took a shortcut back to Charlottetown after that because it was already 3:00. We stopped and got a bag of new potatoes. Then we went to Mr. Seafoods for mussels and clams for dinner.
On the 21st we felt we needed more mussels so we went back to Mr. Seafoods and bought two bags of mussels and some lobster. Maureen weighed them before they were cooked and they weighed 5.8 pounds. The pot was too small! We ate about half of them.
On the 22nd we took the Red Sands Coastal Route. We left about 10:30 am and got back about 3:00. It was a much shorter route. Again it didn't really go right along the coast. We had a nice picnic lunch at the end of the Confederation Bridge. There were many fields of cows, potatoes, corn and grains. It was a fairly nice day that ended again in a torrential downpour.
On the 23rd we moved up the road about 5 minutes. We are ocean side at this campground called Vacation Land. Most campgrounds are full up right now, mostly with "seasonal" campers - locals that book a site for the whole summer. Most of them live not much more than 20 to 30 minutes away. This was probably the sunniest day we've had for a while. We went to the drag races at Oyster Bed Bridge for about four hours. The racing was pretty good. They've been at that site for 40 years. So much better than racing at the airport in Osoyoos and Sechelt!
We had the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy our view. It was pizza night at the park so we ordered a pizza - 16 inch for $18, pepperoni and mushroom. It was delicious. During the time we ate it outside the wind got up and so did the clouds. We went inside when the bugs came out and watched a bit of the Canadian Open. Soon the wind increased and we could watch a weather front coming across. People ran to put down their awnings and put their fires out. It passed over pretty quickly. Apparently some funnel clouds were spotted nearby.
Sunday the 24th we drove to Twin Shores RV in Darnley for dinner with our friends Martin and Dawn from Pacific Border. It was a great selection of PEI flavours - melon & proscuitto to start, clam chowder, asparagus & pickled onion salad, spinach salad with crystalized ginger, wonderful homemade biscuits, and strawberries/chocolate cake for dessert. And to top it of Martin brought out Limoncello, (it was wonderful) and we were able to sit outside the whole time.
The 25th was gorgeous and we drove around our area a bit. We discovered that the best views of the ocean are in the National Park for a fee. We checked on-line and found you could get a Discover Pass that is good for a full year and gets you into all the National Parks in Canada as well as any National Historic Sites that charge an admission. We looked at the map and there is the possibility of going to six such parks and many historic sites in the areas that we still have to explore. $135 for a family pass - we can take up to 8 people in with us.
The 26th and 27th were rainy again and cool so we just hung around except for a little trip up the road to Brackley Beach to purchase our National Park Pass. The 28th started out cloudy and drizzly again but we'd been inside long enough. We explored more thoroughly what is known as the Green Gables Shore, the north central part of the Island. We found Green Gables - a National Historic Site - as well as several beaches - part of PEI National Park - an old bank and a restored house. We also looked at a couple more campgrounds. None could compare to where we are now.
So far we've saved about $40 in entry fees on our National Parks Discover Pass.
Now we're off to Little Bras d'Or Cape Breton, Nova Scotia near Sydney on the 29th. We will be there for five nights and then head by ferry to Newfoundland for 16 nights.