Sept. 21 Thursday – Day 23 – Last Day in PEI
The next morning at our ‘Boondocker Welcome’ hosts brought cold temperatures, 6 Celsius, heavy mist and a rising red ball barely visible through the mist. The chilly morning required the heat of the trailer furnace, the first time since the beginning of the trip.
Today we plan to fulfill Lois’s dream, tour a lighthouse. Allyson found the perfect spot, Point Prim, the oldest round brick lighthouse in Canada.
Most east coast lighthouses were built in the early to mid-1800’s as navigational aids for cargo ships and fishing fleets.
The first lights were fashioned after a typical household oil lamp of the time although much bigger. First fueled by seal oil and then kerosene. The lighthouse keeper slept in the lighthouse usually on the floor or on a cot close to the light in case a problem developed.
If the light went out during the night any ship sight would be rendered blind and vulnerable.
The keeper’s job was to maintain the light, the lighthouse and the grounds around it. A lighthouse keeper was a job sought after because of regular pay, a rare opportunity in the 1800’s.
There are many more facts about the lighthouse I will not bore you with except for the fact many of the existing lighthouses are in danger of falling into the ocean from centuries of erosion.
Point Prim is no exception, the 9 acres it once stood on has eroded to 1/3 rd the size, fortunately, the shores around it have been stabilized to slow erosion thanks to the Point Prim Lighthouse non-profit society.
After the lighthouse, we treated ourselves to an amazing seafood lunch at a nearby oceanside restaurant the Chowder House, I indulged in a delicacy of baked oysters in a cream and panko sauce, delicious, my mother’s favorite.
Next, we’re off to the Prince Edward Island National Park a red sand, sunny and windy experience on the exposed Atlantic coast.
We all touched the waters of the Atlantic soaking our feet as if to satisfy some unwritten superstition. For some of us this may be the only time this will happen.
The waves crashed along the shore as we drove south to Charlottetown and a much-anticipated Atlantic Lobster Feast.
We arrived in the capital city early afternoon a couple of hours to spare before our dinner reservations. Even though it was a bright sunny afternoon a crisp fall feeling was in the air.
We parked near the water and wandered around the harbor touristy areas checking out the sights, hand-built lobster boats, and several old stone churches.
Old churches dominate the old towns of the east coast, a striking contrast to the west coast, which brings to mind the conclusion, ‘there must be many more sinners in the east’…… LOL
Unfortunately, a historic building we were looking forward to visiting was under restoration and not open to the public.
Provincial House, where delegates from the entire country gathered in 1867 for negotiations and the signing of the documents of Canadian Confederation.
After wandering historic Charlottetown we stopped at a sidewalk cafe for a break enjoying Cow Ice Cream, beer, and sangria, a weird combination I thought.
We continued our walk about until it was time for our lobster dinner at Prince Water Corner, the location as well as the name, recommended by friends of Ralph and Lois.
The appetizer was almost a meal in itself, 2 dozen muscles per person with bread and liquid butter, very tasty.
We ordered 1 ¼ lb whole lobsters, accompanied by French fries or baked potato. The waitress ceremoniously tired bibs around our necks to protect our clothing.
I can take one off my bucket list, a fresh Atlantic lobster feast. This was Lynda and my first experience eating a whole lobster.
We soon caught on and were crunching and devouring lobster like the rest of the barbarians in the restaurant.
Everyone was happy with their meal although Allyson thought the lobsters were slightly overcooked. The group finished the meal sharing pumpkin cheesecake….yum.
We arrived back at camp just before dusk to an excited Buddy dog. Another propane campfire, a recap of our day and a discussion about the next day’s drive to Halifax then off to bed.
Prince Edward Island is beautiful, a park-like island with rolling fields of famous PEI potatoes, hay and corn. A quiet place, no rush hour to speak of, and a temperate climate, one of Canada’s beautiful places.
PEI is tiny in comparison to other Canadian Provinces, about 230 kilometers long and 64 kilometers wide, driving the entire coast in one day is doable.
PEI is almost flat with the highest point at less than 500 ft. above sea level and not overpopulated with less than 200,000 people.
Friday, Sept 22 – Day 24
Another traveling day 362 kilometers to Halifax, Nova Scotia, about 4 hours driving time, but by the time we stop for fuel, lunch and a photo op it will take us all day. A cool humid morning greeted us as we hit the road.
The sun poked through the clouds as we made our way off the island.
The drive to the 13-kilometer-long Confederation Bridge was slow, winding through scenic rolling farmland. We arrived at the bridge and paid the $62.50 ransom.
The bridge deck was rough with an irritating thumping over expansion joints.