“She wants me to call her Monday – might be a blessing, might be a curse,
She wants to fly me to the Bay of Fundy, just to watch the tides reverse”
-Bill Morrissey, “Grizzly Bear”
I guess there are only so many different itineraries eastbound, so I can’t be too surprised that everywhere we stopped yesterday we were shadowed by the same enormous Chinese tour bus. Either that or they were tailing us, thinking the improbable spray-painted Ford campervan with California plates just had to know all the cool sights.
Obligatory stop number one: Hopewell Rocks, south of Moncton. Ahyup, it’s just like in the pictures. Here are some more pictures.
From there, north on Canadian Highway One via the bridge that arcs across eight miles of sea to drop into Prince Edward Island. Zigzag past fields of potatoes, wheat, potatoes, soybeans, and potatoes. PEI takes its potatoes seriously: we passed a sign somewhere advertising that we should detour somewhere to the east to see “the largest fiberglass potato in the world.” Passed, because we were obsessed with seeing PEI’s other international export: Anne of Green Gables.
Anne (it turns out some are surprised to learn) is fictional, but the green-gabled farmhouse house around which Lucy Maud Montgomery set her stories is very real, and the town that has sprung up around it is sparing no effort in capitalizing on it. The area around the farmhouse is now a Canadian Heritage Center and is tastefully done, as you’d expect, with character actors and walks through the haunted woods. But the “Shining Waters Family Amusement and Water Park” with roller coasters and laser tag do seem to be drifting a bit far from the spirit of the original series.
By then it was close to dinner time, so we picked up burger fixings at the Tourist Mart and set up a tailgate barbeque of sorts in the Cavendish Beach parking lot. Answered questions about ol’ Paintball from curious passersby: yes, we were from California, no, we didn’t drive the van all the way out, etc. Waved at the Chinese tour bus on its way out, and settled into the sand to munch on burgers and gaze out into the placid waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Tomorrow we’re eastbound, for Cape Breton Island. More as it happens!