PEI: July 31-August 1
log: 105.0km, 666m of vertical, avg. speed 29.9 km/h
31- Cap Pele to Charlottetown (PEI)
in PEI – really we are! Pay no attention to the missing sign at the
welcome greeting, just look at the red soil. We took the
confederation bridge onto the island this morning, and the first
thing you have to do when you get on is to go through a maze of very
tourist-trappy stores. “Quick! Tourists are here! Get their money
before they leave the island!!!” The old welcome sign is located
just past there, but maybe they took it down since by this point they
figure people have been welcomed enough just by stopping and buying
some Anne of Green Gables memorabilia. Or maybe the budget for
keeping up the welcome sign went into the construction of the tourist
village. Oh well, maybe I’ll get a photo at the ferry on the way
bridge onto the island was really impressive. You could see the bridge for quite some time
coming from the New Brunswick side, which is where this photo was
taken. It must have been very interesting to watch it getting built.
You do not pay to go across onto the island, only to get off, and the
fee for both the ferry and the bridge is about the same – around 40 bucks.
We took the bridge to get on, and will take the ferry off to Nova
Scotia after a day of rest.
Taking the wheel after a couple months off
Bikes are not allowed to cross the bridge. They have a trebuchet
full of potatoes waiting to take out anyone who tries. Driving
with my bicycle right beside me was the closest I could come.
There was a twin of our van (from Québec) in the parking lot as
you come onto the island - same year, same colour. I
conspicuously parked right beside her. When we returned, the
owners had left a little note of greting on our window!
Volkswagen van owners are a pretty loyal and friendly bunch.
After having spent so much time in one, I understand why!
you get onto the PEI side, the scenery changes once again. The soil
really is quite red – and it must be excellent for crops since
almost the whole island is farmland. The island is dotted with tiny
little towns. The ride was very pleasant – nice road condition and
a few decent hills to make the ride interesting.
it easy in Charlottetown
have not had a rest day since Quebec City (8 days and about 1100km),
so we are going to take a rest day here tomorrow and do a bit of
sight seeing. It was kind of a short ride today, so we got in at a
reasonably early time and saw a bit of Charlottetown today. It is not
a huge city, only about 65,000 including the surrounding area. But
there is a downtown area with restaurants and pubs that we explored a
bit. We found PEI’s only brewpub and tried out some of their
products – best beer we’ve had since leaving! I have to say that
once we left BC it has been a bit of a wasteland as far as beer goes
(not that we’ve been looking too hard though). Everybody has the
same stuff on tap – “Canadian, Blue, Coors Lite, and Rickard’s
Red.” I guess we’re spoilt by the microbrew industry in BC.
Anyway, we sure enjoyed this place!
1 – Rest day in Charlottetown
had a good day off here. We explored the downtown area on foot and
found a lot of nice looking areas. There were lots of really cool old
wooden buildings dating from the early 1800s. They were in excellent
shape, obviously a great deal of pride here.
Me in the streets
We wandered up and down a bunch of streets, this was one of the more
picturesque of them. That weird thing I am carrying is a little travel
guitar that I bought in a music shop here. I have been looking
for one for a while...this one played nice and was a good price.
Nice and small, fits into the van great! However, my
callouses are gone, probably shed in the mountains of BC to keep the
Cheryl down by the harbour
Charlottetown has a great protected harbour, where a few rivers empty
into the sea. The narrow gap just to the right of Cheryl is the opening
out onto Northumberland Strait. The bay would be a great place to
go sailing...which apparently has occured to some other people as well.
A cool brick building
Wood was much more common, but a few were brick and stone. This one looked pretty old but was well kept up.
The rocks look fake but they're real
checked out “Victoria Park”, which is a large park on the water
near downtown, with a walkway along the shore. The red boulders
lining the path looked like they should be those foam Disney rocks
that you can pick up with 1 finger! Here were a couple of other shots from our walk in the park:
The path wound along the water. We got red dust all over our shoes.
This park reminded us of Beacon Hill Park in Victoria in some places.
both really enjoyed the city. In a number of ways it was
reminiscent of home. Not hard to imagine, I suppose, given that
it is also a provincial capital located on an island. But in
addition there is something about "island living" that is common on
many islands, I think. People like living on them to get away from some
of the hustle of the mainland. The locals here seemed pretty laid
usual, the rest was great, but we’re looking forward to moving on
Ferry across Northumberland Strait to Nova Scotia