Friday, August 12, 2016

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

 

Monday (8/8):

We got up early Monday morning to make the drive from our campground north to Prince Edward Island. Our plans were to spend two days on the island and get a hotel room for the night. We stopped at a local place call The Cinnamon Soul Bakery for breakfast. I had their signature Cinnamon bun with sausage while Connie had an egg & bacon sandwich. Both were very good along with a local brew of coffee.

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We drove north along Route 15 where we had to stop several times for road construction. We then caught Route 16 to the Confederation Bridge which connects the mainland with the island. The Confederation Bridge joins the eastern Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The curved, 12.9 kilometer (8 mile) long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water. It was one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century and the high toll paid by all of the tourists is helping back off the debt used in the construction of the bridge.There is not a toll to get on the island, but it is $70 Canadian for cars to use the bridge on your trip back. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center to gather some information along with stretching our legs. All the Canadians call the island PEI instead of Prince Edward Island so we will use that method below. The island is named after Prince Edward who was the father of Queen Victoria. He was the “commander” of all British forces in Canada during the 18th century.

The ocean is very blue around the island especially when compared to the Bay of Fundy. We travelled west along the southern coast of PEI. We continued through the city of Summerside (where we ate lunch), making it to the Cape Egmont before turning north. Along this southern route there was a large Catholic Church, Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, along the coastline with an old cemetery along side. At another stop there was a house made out of bottles along with a nice garden.

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We travel north on Route 2 until we reach the northern Central Coast and proceeded along the coastline until we reached Cavendish. We were surprised at the large amount of farm land on the island where corn, wheat, hay and potatoes are grown. Not sure what they do with all of the hay they raise because we did not see much livestock. All along the coastline we saw lots of lobster traps and oyster beds. Cavendish is a tourist town with lots of activities for families. This area of the island is where the novel “Anne of Green Gables” is set and there are several attractions that reference the book.

From North Rustico we turned south to head towards Charlottetown and look for a place to spend the night. We drove into the downtown area of Charlottetown and stopped at the Visitor’s Center. All of the downtown hotels were full so we had to expand our search. We ended up finding a room in nearby Cornwall at the Dutch Inn. It was old but clean and served our purpose for spending the night.

Tuesday (8/9):

We ate our continental breakfast at the Dutch Inn and headed to the eastern part of the island. We drove along the southeastern coast stopping at several light houses and wharves to get out and view the sights. We ended up stopping at the place where the ferry that travels between PEI and Nova Scotia docks called the Wood Islands. There was an old lighthouse along with some fishing buildings located in a park next to the ferry landing.

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We stopped at several locations along the coast to see the sights and even walked on a beach. There were several people at the beach along with a life guard but we did not see anyone in the water. We could smell the ocean but the humidity along the coast was nothing compared to our Texas beaches.

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We stopped in Montague to eat lunch at a local restaurant located on the wharf. Connie had steamed clams while I had a bowl of seafood chowder. The clams were delicious and my chowder was good.

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We decided to continue on to Georgetown before starting our return trip home. As we were driving along the highway with our windows down, Connie heard several gun shots. We quickly realized that we were driving past a gun range and they were not shooting at us. We stopped in Georgetown to walk through their city park which was very nice.

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We drove back to our campground (about 3 hours), paid our toll at the bridge and took a slightly different route home to avoid the road construction on Route 15. PEI is an interesting island but most of the island is very isolated. There are small communities every few kilometers but very few cities of any size. It seems like most everyone is involved in fishing, lumbering, agriculture or the tourist industry. We drove by a number of RV campgrounds that were nice and located along the coast. It would be a long drive to get supplies from most of the RV parks.

This is our last night in New Brunswick for a while since we will be heading to Halifax, Nova Scotia tomorrow morning.