Thursday, July 29, 2010


After our long day with the ferry and because it was getting dark we stopped at the Arm of Gold Campground in North Sidney, NS and just crashed for the night. I think it gets its name from the fact they charge an arm of gold for one night. Oh well, we were exhausted and not willing to search for a boondock site. We were still not on the mainland as Cape Breton is an island and we decided to do one more island province, Prince Edward Island. Be careful if you go there as they entice you with a free ferry ride or bridge crossing (yes you can get there on a bridge) but charge you to get back to the mainland, so don't spend all your money. We stayed at the Bayside RV Campground in Oyster Bed Bridge.

The 70 minute ferry ride from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands, PEI is free. Until 1997 the ferry was the only way on and off the island. The ferry is farther east than the bridge and the fare is more expensive so plan accordingly.
After checking in we learned the campground was right by the Oyster Bed Speedway and we should not plan on going to bed early on Saturday. We decided if you can't beat em you might as well join em so we went racin. It was a fun night with four different classes of nonstop action. The feature for the night was a 100 lap Enduro race with young racers in any type of car that would run. It was a real hoot watching them fly around the track as their cars literally fell apart.
We celebrated our third anniversary on the road sitting outside with a dinner of fresh PEI seafood. The locally raised mussels were grand and we had seafood every time we dined out while here.
Scenes of PEI. The thing that first strikes you about PEI is how colourful it is with the fishing camps, flowers, farms and forest set among the red dirt roads and fields. In many places the fields run to the edge of the sea.
PEI has many beautiful lighthouses along the shore. They are all the traditional white and red. Clockwise from the top left are the lights at Wood Islands, North Rustico Harbour, New London Bay and Cape Egmont.
We visited Green Gables National Historical Site the home that was the setting for Lucy Maude Montgomery's book Anne of Green Gables. The home was her cousins and has been restored and decorated as it was in the book. The barn has examples of what life would have been like during that period. There are two excellent videos about the book and the author who went on to write twenty novels. Top right is Lucy Maude's birthplace in nearby New London. Even though neither of us had read any of her books this was a interesting stop to learn about the author and the book which we purchased.
We found there are many areas of PEI that are Acadian historical sites and since we learned so much about the influence of these French people in Cajun Louisiana we visited the Acadian Museum in Miscouche to learn more. The museum tells the story of their expulsion from PEI by the British and the efforts to save their language and culture after many of them returned in the 1800's. Each year the museum highlights one important aspect of the culture and this year they had an exhibit on hooking rugs. They knew of the work of Warren Perrin, the attorney we met in Erath, Louisiana who wrote a history of the expulsion and received an apology from the queen for this historical injustice.
Another interesting PEI stop is the Maisons be Bouteilles in Cap-Egmont. The houses are the work of Edouard Arsenault who started erecting these buildings in 1980. There are more than 25,000 bottles used in there construction making Edouard one the the most enthusiastic early recyclers. There are three buildings; a house, chapel and tavern and the huge 13 foot bottle at the entrance. The grounds are also beautifully landscaped as he was also an avid gardener. This is a stop that I'm sure would be even more beautiful on a bright sunny day.
A trip on the Confederation Bridge is not for the faint of heart, but it is plenty wide and you are on the other side in about twelve minutes. The 13-kilometer bridge is the longest in the world that travels over water that gets covered with ice. The bridge, which is 120 feet above the water, is an engineering marvel as the giant piers are just sitting on the bottom. Using the ferry to travel one way and the bridge the other is a great way to explore different parts of this beautiful little island.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually the Ferry ride to return to the Mainland is far more $$$$$ than the bridge. The Ferry ride is $64 and the Bridge is $42.50. We were there for the past 2 weeks and did our research as to which is better to return on price wise.