The bridge to...

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Flag of Canada  , New Brunswick,
Thursday, September 25, 2008

After a very tasty lobster supper last night, today we continued our exploration of this area,  we took the opportunity to take a look at PEI - Prince Edward Island, the smallest of the Canadian Provinces, that lies to the north of New Brunswick across the Northumberland Straits. http://www.tourismpei.com/index.php3
It is reached by crossing the Confederation Bridge, which at 8 miles in length is the longest bridge in Canada. It is also the longest bridge in the world to cross ice covered waters and is quite a feat of engineering. You can find out all about it at http://www.confederationbridge.com/en/our_story.php  - there is no charge going to the island, but they do hit you with a $41 toll to get back...crafty eh? You could however drive onto the island and then get the ferry to Nova Scotia, which would have been an option had we thought about it earlier!! But that would have meant coming over in Bree + Toad and that adds up to a lot of axles to be charged for! (often tolls and ferry fees are calculated on the number of axles the vehicle has) Anyway we drove the 40 or so miles to the bridge and then across it. Sadly the views were non existent in Toad as the concrete barriers were too high, 
we called into the visitors centre - a must as you know - and picked up some maps. I know people come to spend their whole holiday here on PEI and it was clear that there would be plenty to do to warrant a stay of a week or more, but we had just a day, so we had to decide which part to visit. It wasn't easy as the island is quite diverse, but we chose to leave out the Ann of Green gables area and the red cliffs of the western coast and head instead for Charlottown and the 'Points East Coastal Drive'. http://www.charlottetownpei.com/
http://www.city.charlottetown.pe.ca/learning/city_history.cfm this is the history bit! A welcome sight outside the confederation building was the recycling bin...OK I'll explain.  Throughout our time in the US it has been rare to any kind of recycling going on, maybe we've just not been in the right places. But one thing that struck us was the amount of rubbish that regularly piles up at the campsites, huge great 'dumpsters' filled with all manner of rubbish that were emptied sometimes twice a week destined no doubt for the local land fill. Campers, in general, are people aware of their environment and it just seemed such a wasted opportunity not to utilize this section of the population. Anyhow, it's quite a different story here in Canada.
We wandered through the pretty streets of the capital, along the waterfront where you can learn about its place in the history of the Canadian nation. PEI is famous for farm produce and in particular its potatoes - we bought some to take back with us, along with some very interesting gourds - bought by the 'peck'! 











We drove along the coast to Wood Island where you can get the ferry to Caribou in NS, a small little ferry port that will soon be closed for the season.










Then onto Cape Bear, where the lighthouse has a couple of claims to fame. It's obviously well visited as the bare spot in the soil showed! 










 
Much of the island that we explored reminded me of home, the rolling hills and the red soils of Torquay, but the massive lawns that seem to be the norm are very different, I think they all have these vast expanses just so they can own a John Deere! 









It was a long day, but an enjoyable one. I can see why it's a popular destination, but we will be heading east now as me drive into Nova Scotia...can't wait!
 
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