PEI…we’re back

This island never tires. We had a lot of fun here visiting Island Hill Farm and holding new born rabbits, to camping at Campbell’s Cove on the north coast, driving to Charlottetown, to experiencing a lobster supper, and savouring the many beaches. We travelled around and through the whole Province and realized why it drew us back. Here are some memories in pictures:

Devotion to their Acadian roots

Acadia or Acadie were originally French colonists who settled in Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. The British forced them out, but descendants celebrate their homecoming and language on August 15. Here’s sampling of the proud Acadie:

Why go back

Five years ago we visited Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and travelled in a rented Fiat Cabriolet. What a great trip! Mostly staying in AirBnBs we came across a renovated ferrier’s house in Charlottetown, PEI. The location was perfect and wanting to stay an extra night, our host Louise told us that she had a prior booking for the space. However, knowing that we were headed to the north coast, Louise offered us a room at her house in Bay Fortune outside Souris. Our stay there made a lasting impression with Louise and her husband, Gordon’s maritime hospitality.

This year’s inaugural trip in our RV to the east coast had a destination – a return to Bay Fortune, the red sands of PEI and of course to visit Louise and Gordon!

We had a great relaxing time from the first moments with Louise’s strawberry gin drinks, to the many authentic east coast meals and outstanding east coast hospitality. They allowed us to hook up the RV to water and electricity, and even dump our tanks in the septic system. Both are extremely knowledgeable about east coast traditions and services. We couldn’t have asked for a better destination. Thank you Louise and Gordon!

Here are captured moments of our visit:

A fun day at Fundy

Woke up early in the St. John Walmart parking lot. I noticed a few other RVs had joined us in the night.

We made our way downtown to the city market. It was written up as being on par with Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market, but as we found out, it was far less. Even London’s markets are better. However a seafood vendor sold us some smoked salmon. On leaving the market we had a chat with a city sidewalk sweeper who asked if we were the owners of the RV with Ontario plates. He offered his help with local tourism. A fun and knowledgeable fellow.

Before heading out of town, we stopped in at CAA to extend our travel insurance, and then we hit the road to Fundy.

Thankfully, the RV’s navigation system keeps us on the right path, even though we stray from the course now and then. Like many Provincial parks we’ve visited, the road off the highway was a long and winding one. Several hills tested the gears of our Diesel engine.

We decided to continue ahead of our campground destination and drive to the town of Alma. You could see the huge beachfront drawing near as the world famous Bay of Fundy tide consumed the land. Alma boasts many seafood restaurants each vying for our consumer dollars. In the end we chose one that offered fresh lobster to eat in or take out. Our lunches were mussels and scallops, and we took home a fresh lobster for our camp dinner. We even stopped by a craft brewery to take home a local beer.

After a stop at the park’s registration office were guided to our campground. Our site has full hookups – electricity, water and waste. Once we settled in and relaxed with a happy hour beverage under the awning, we prepared our dinner.

Fresh lobster, smoked salmon, salad greens, parmigiana cheese and watermelon. We ate outside at our portable table and languished in the peaceful sounds of songbirds and chipmunks. It doesn’t get any better than this folks!

Back on the mainland

We had reserved our ferry tickets for the 11 o’clock departure, but decided on an earlier ferry. It took a sprint from one end of the island to the other (or so it felt), but our trusty RV got us to the ferry terminal in the nick of time. We were the very last vehicle, and the ticket master had to ask the ferry master for permission to allow us to board. It was all a ruse, as there was plenty of room for us.

Our next destination was St. Andrew By The Sea, a charming little seaside town that also oozed a little decadence with it’s touristy shops,  quaint restaurants and cafes, and the opulent Algonquin Resort (rooms start at $400/night)! We parked by a blockhouse on the beach complete with cannons at the ready. With the tide out, it was a neat feeling knowing that we were treading on the ocean floor of the Bay of Fundy. All kinds of discarded shells and seaweeds lay in wait for the incoming tide. Of course, we had to be there.

We stopped for lunch al fresco on the patio of The Gables Restaurant and feasted on our first lobster rolls of the trip. To work off our meal we walked the main street back to the RV.  Then we drove to The Algonquin Resort Hotel. The male staff were dressed in kilts befitting a bygone era. We wanted a taste of the grandeur and had a beverage on the lobby patio amongst the filthy nouveau rich.

Of course we get back to reality and head to St. John, a busy industrial town. Parked and shopped at Walmart, did groceries at Sobeys, cooked an outstanding Beyond Meat burger in the RV and are spending the night boondocking (or wallydocking as it’s called in RV lingo) at Walmart. Who needs opulence?

And I figured out the water situation. We have running water… finally!

An island hop

At the Big Axe brewery we met a thespian customer who suggested we visit Grand Manan Island. So we booked a campsite at the Confederation Campground on the island. We had to squeeze in on the ferry as it was full. The ride was an hour and a half, passing mist covered islets and salmon farms.

We were early so we decided to explore the island end to end. We visited a Dulse shop and tasted the island’s famous seaweeds. Tried to hike a trail near an automated lighthouse but the grasses were too wet from the day’s rain. There was an interesting museum showing the history of the island and it’s fisheries and lighthouses. We even visited a working lighthouse. We had so much to to kill, we even went to a local laundromat to do our week old laundry. We were both running out of clean clothes! We had an unfortunate miscue when Robyn put our freshly washed clothes into another washer instead of the dryer. This added another hour before heading back to the campground. The campground was more spacious than the one in Levis. Our neighbours were locals, but from Ontario originally and kindly asked if we’d like to join them at their campfire.

For some reason we couldn’t get water into our tank, and also couldn’t plug in to the electricity post. The frustration learning process of becoming a RVer. Back to bottled water. Thank god for our solar panels and onboard generator. Now where did I put that manual?

Harvest Hosts

For one night stays, a great concept is a membership to the Harvest Hosts database. Breweries, wineries, farms, museums, golf courses across North America offer space for travelers to spend a night on their properties. For free! Of course patronizing them is encouraged.

Our first Harvest Host stop was at the Big Axe Brewery in Nackawic, home of the largest axe. Flights of sample beers were served in mini picnic tables. The beers were good! A few other RVs stayed there also, but it was very quiet.

Interestingly to get there we drove through a covered bridge.

Our next Harvest Host was in St. George at the Granite Town Blueberry Farm. We were the only guests. They had blueberries in many forms, jams, chutneys, syrups, wine and pies. The blueberry crumble was very tasty! They also sold Beyond Meat sausages… yum!

There was a marsh trail that we started, but gave up after being attacked by mosquitoes. Saw this weird yellow thing growing on some plants. Not sure what it is. We were lulled to sleep by the marsh frogs singing for their mates.