Greetings once again to readers old and new and welcome as always to the latest episode in this series about a trip I made round the Maritime Provinces of Canada in 2014. I was with my dear friend Lynne, herself a Canadian, and we were nursing a very old campervan / RV, which we had named Betsy, around the natural wonderland that is the East Coast of that huge country.
If you wish to know what we have done so far, you can read the whole story here. If you wish to see what we get up to next then please read on.
You may remember from the previous post that I left you with us parked up in the HyClass Campground, one of two excellent such facilities in Havre Boucher, an entity that exists on a map but we never really managed to find. I promised that I would give you a look around the facilities of the site which I will do now. Again, I had woken at what for me is a totally atypically early hour and these images were taken about 0900. I don’t know what brought that on, must be the sea air.
Hyclass by name, high class by nature.
I mentioned in my earlier post about Havre Boucher on our way up to Cape Breton that this is barely even a village, moreso a small community strung out along the two Highways (4 and 104) that bisect it. It does, however, boast some delightful scenery and more importantly from our point of view, two absolutely excellent campsites.
We had stayed at the Linwood site on the way up and so decided that, by way of a change and obviously in the interests of research, it might be an idea to stay at the HyClass on the way back.
I must say that by this point on the trip I had come to have fairly high expectations of campsites in the Maritime Provinces as they all seemed to be of a universally high standard and this place did not disappoint at all. I suppose the “worst” experience we had over six weeks was on another site which was pretty boggy underfoot but bearing in mind that an unseasonal hurricane had blown in a few days before it was hardly their fault and they were most apologetic!
In general, this was just another in a succession of absolutely wonderful facilities we stayed at. I actually find it a little difficult to find anything new to say about this place as we were dealt with quickly and efficiently at registration, with that Nova Scotian hospitality that I came to love so much, the pitch was lovely and I could have happily stayed there a week but time was always pressing on us. It seemed to be the same at every campground we stayed at.
This is going to effectively be a repetition of my thoughts of so many other campsites from that lovely trip but there are only so many ways to say brilliant, stunning, gorgeous, clean, picturesque, well-run etc. etc. I mean this as no slight on the place at all but I am just running out of vocabulary!
The site has all the usual range of facilities (including a four bedroom holiday home in an old monastery, basic rustic cabins and a fifth wheel available for rent) and a site for an RV (30 amp. only) runs to $35CAD (2014 price).
There is a small store for essentials, free wi-fi (although this can always be sketchy in wooded environments as it turned out to be but again no fault of the site), laundry, kiddies playground etc. HyClass is a delightful place and certainly recommended.”
There is something I should explain about the images. You will see that showers are “one loonie = 3 minutes”. OK, I have been called a loony more times than I care to recall but it was not the sanity of the campers that is in question here.
In 1987 Canada, like many other countries before and since, decided to replace their lowest denomination banknote ($1CAD) with a coin and the design chosen featured a Loon bird which is common all over the country. The new coin soon became known as a “Loonie” and when a $2CAD coin was introduced in 1996 it quickly, and almost inevitably, became the “Toonie”. I just thought you might like to know that to avoid potentially embarrassing situations!
As you can also see the Gents washroom features an image of Marilyn Monroe and I never got round to asking Lynne was there an equivalent male “sex symbol” in the Ladies facilities and, if so, who it was. Lynne, I know you read this, can you remember?
We were unhooked and on the move a little before midday which is an early start for us but, unusually for this trip we had the germ of a plan, although everything was very much negotiable and mostly dependent upon the state of dear Betsy’s health.
As you hopefully saw in the previous post, she had now over 100,000 kms. on the clock, we had basically re-fitted her in a fairly crude fashion, non-mechanically obviously) and so anything was possible. For me that just added an extra edge to the whole trip and I like things a bit edgy. I am not so fond of downright dangerous but edgy is the way to travel.
I know I keep on “gushing” about this being a dream I had harboured for decades and now it was coming true but there is no other way to put it. I was with a very dear friend, who is probably one of the only people in the world I can travel with as I am always a bit of a “lone wolf” on the road. I was in an RV (yes, I had adopted the North American term) and best of all we had complete freedom.
Freedom is the greatest thing about RV’s, not particularly on this trip for us as we had to hook up on campgrounds every night but we were later to get an even greater taste of in trips in Western Canada (spoiler alert for years from now, there are more Canadian trips to come).
Where was I ? Oh, yes, our germ of a plan. If we could manage it, if Betsy held up and if we did not get too waylaid by either historical sites or pubs (often the same places here) we were going to try to get to the ferry and head for Prince Edward Island, another Province.
As the timings of my images show, within 15 minutes of leaving the campsite we came upon the sign you can see above and which is fairly self-explanatory. We had one of two major roads to choose from, although they merged into one shortly thereafter, but we decided to continue with our general theme and follow the coast as closely as we could and hence we took the “scenic route” to Antigonish.
In truth, it is not as adventurous as it sounds, at least not in July, even with the evil weather we had experienced. Other than being a little dusty, many of these so-called unpaved roads are as driveable as their paved brethren. They are wide enough, hard-packed and with Betsy not exactly being built for speed we could keep up about the same pace on or off-road.
As is par for the course in these parts we were rewarded with some stunning scenery and the gorgeous little “harbour” you see in the second image. Betsy held up beautifully and I was by now hopelessly in love with her. How could this rusting heap be providing us with so many little and apprently inconsequential magical moments? Even now I am damned if I can understand it but she took us faithfully into Antgonish so let me tell you about that lovely little town.
A fine town with a large Scottish influence.
“The rather oddly named Antigonish sits on the Northeast of the mainland of Nova Scotia (excluding Cape Breton) and is something of a regional centre.
If you want to know what the name means then don’t ask me because apparently nobody knows other than it was derived from the language of the indigenous Mi’qmak people and even they don’t know any more. Actually it was originally called Dorchester although that name soon fell by the wayside.
Today Antigonish is a typically tidy and pleasant town with nothing too remarkable about it on a daily basis but once a year it is absolutely swamped with visitors as it is the site of the longest continuously held Highland Games outside Scotland. This is hardly surprising as this area really is the centre of Scottish culture albeit that it is common all over the Province.
We only stayed here long enough to visit the very charming little local Museum and fill up the campervan (RV) before heading along the coast so there will not be too much about it here.
If you are driving along National Highway 104 then it is worth taking a short detour for a quick look round this delightful little town.”
I mentioned the Museum so let’s have a look.
A very fine local Museum.
“We really only stopped in Antigonish as we saw the sign for the local Heritage Museum as we were driving out on the Sunrise Trail (Route 337) heading for the Cape George lighthouse (see below) but Lynne and I are both complete suckers for Museums and so we pulled in for a look. I am so glad we did as it was a delightful place.
I should mention for the first time visitor to this area (as I was) that it has an absolute abundance of such wonderful places, the Nova Scotians are really keen on preserving and presenting their heritage and I loved it.
My very first sight of the building interested me as it appeared to be an old railway station and readers of my other pages will know that I have a huge interest in all things railway. This turned out to be the case as the building was the local station from it’s opening in 1908 to it’s eventual closure in 1989 when the Sydney – Truro line closed.
At that point it could have fallen into disrepair as did so many others but the railway company sold it to the town for the princely sum of $1CAD on condition that it was used for community, non-profit purposes only. As I shall explain shortly, it has certainly done that, opening as the current Heritage Museum in 1991.
The building itself is in an excellent state of repair whether through continuous maintainance or perhaps some renovation I am not sure but even were there not a single artefact in the place it would still be worth a visit for the structure alone.
As it happens there are artefacts, many, many of them and some of which are quite fascinating. We were greeted at the door by a most charming lady who engaged us in conversation and informed us she would be more than happy to answer any questions we might have. We said we would just like to have a bit of a look round and she told us to help ourselves, re-iterating that we should just call if we needed any assistance.
I have to say that this is entirely typical of the friendliness and common courtesy which I have now come to associate with Nova Scotians and of which I could cite literally hundreds of examples. The traveller is certainly made to feel most welcome here.
Left to our own devices we proceeded to explore what is not an overly large building (two rooms) but into which they seem to have packed a lot of history.
There are all sorts of things here, from a bass drum that once kept time for a pipe band to an 1864 fire truck (one of my favourites) to a collection of butter pats to some Irish style hurling sticks to native Mi’qmak crafts. You name it and it was here. We actually spent a lot longer than we intended looking round but it was worth every second.
There is also a family research section where you can trace your ancestors if you have any from that area. You can check locally or on the Facebook site
where you can also find details of the various lectures and regular ceilidhs (pre-virus obviously) and musical events they also provide.
This is yet another fine example of a local historical and community resource and I do really recommend you take a while to have a look here if you are passing, you won’t regret it.
Being on one level the Museum is wheelchair accessible.”
That was an unexpected little bonus but the Maritimes are like that as I had found out very quickly and re-learned every day. Oh, did I ever tell you I love the Maritimes? They really are the gift that keeps on giving.
After the Museum we had a quick walk round the town which yielded the information that it was celebrating the 150th anniversary of the local Fire Service and I couldn’t help but think back to the Firefighter’s Museum we had visited what now seemed so long ago.
Because Canada is so vast, the huge majority of firefighters, outside the main conurbations, are volunteers who “crash out” at a moment’s notice, day or night. Like the lifeboat crews who similarly volunteer to put their lives on the line, sometimes tragically falling on the wrong side of that metaphorical line, any right-thinking human cannot fail to be filled with admiration for these wonderful people.
Having had our little look round and certainly enjoyed an unplanned stop (did I just mention a plan?) we headed out again and, yes, there XXXX was a vague plan that day as I mentioned. We wanted to see the Cape George Lighthouse and I have to say that if you don’t like lighthouses, trains, museums and pubs then this is probably not the blog for you!
Lovely lighthouse with free whale-watching!
There is not a heck of a lot in Cape George except for this rather wonderful lighthouse. When I tell you it is off the beaten path it is about 20 miles out of central Antigonish, North on Highway 337 aka the Sunrise Trail. It is well enough signposted so the traveller should not miss it.
We drove the short distance down the rather unimaginatively named Lighthouse Road and came to a decent sized parking area where there were already several other vehicles. It was a Saturday and this seems to be a popular spot for a day out and rightly so.
With the excellent views out over St. George’s Bay and on land a delightful garden area planted on the site of the old lighthouse keeper’s vegetable garden, it is well worth a visit.
We started off by examining the lighthouse itself. I have mentioned in many other of my Nova Scotia posts that lighthouses are a sort of unofficial symbol of the Province and with good reason as there are so many of them, made necessary by the often treacherous waters and fogs on the coast here.
The Cape George light is actually the third on the site and was built in 1968. The original light was constructed in 1861 and burnt down in 1907. This was not an unusual event in wooden lighthouses operated by oil, you can just imagine the potential for a conflagration.
Rebuilt in 1908 the second structure was in use until 1968 when the current structure was built as an automated light, thereby removing the need for keepers.
What I found amazing was that between 1861 and 1968 there were only four keepers of the light here, it really must have been a job for life.
You cannot enter the building as it is still a working light but it is pleasant enough to look at from the outside albeit that the traditional octagonal wooden design has now been replaced by concrete or breeze block or whatever. Less fire risk and maintainance I suppose.
Whilst we were admiring the building we noticed a family group pointing excitedly out to sea and had a look to see what was happening. There, some distance offshore were the unmistakable outlines of a couple of whales.
I had only ever seen whales in the wild once before, about six months previously whilst I was travelling in Sri Lanka, and so this was a complete thrill for me. I do not suggest that the traveller will be as lucky as to see whales although apparently they are quite common thereabouts but the lighthouse is well worth a visit, just keep your eyes peeled and you never know what you might spot.
Lovely as it was there we still had places we had vaguely planned on going so we were back on the Sunshine Trail and I could not resist taking an image of the sign you see in the second image. What did that poor Cove ever do to anyone?
Well, nothing. It is named for a ship that ran aground here during the American Revolution but that begs another question? Who would name a sailing vessel Malignant when sailors are so notoriously superstitious? The obvious answer is a pirate who had malignant intentions on anyone he met.
At the risk of boring you rigid, I learn so much when composing these blog posts and, although it has taken me seven years to even think about this, I suppose it is a case of better late then never. Have a look yourself and, as always, make your own decision.
To continue the loosely maritime analogies I have employed in this series and which are so appropriate to the region, we really were on a “voyage of discovery”. I have mentioned in other posts in my blog Captain (actually only an acting rank as he was a Lt. in his forties) James Cook. He could not advance due to his relatively lowly birth and the inherent snobbery of the Forces in those days.
Captain (eventually a confirmed rank and no wonder) Cook lived not 400 yards from where I am writing this and he discovered New Zealand. He didn’t actually discover Australia, contrary to public misconception, although he mapped the East and North coasts of that vast land. He also discovered countless Pacific Islands and is rightly regarded as one of the great explorers.
Whilst Cook was a proper explorer we were merely enthusiastic amateurs following already well-trodden paths, obviously instigated at huge human cost and passing long-established communities, yet I don’t think I had ever felt such a sense of adventure. This was our voyage and I was loving it with not a stale ship’s biscuit or weevil in sight!
Certainly I had travelled a bit in Asia and I do love it there where everything is so completely different from my home and yet, in a place so familiar to me in terms of language, topography, culture and everything else I really felt we were exploring and I could not get enough of it. This was my youthful dream and I was living it, most people do not get that opportunity and I am suitably grateful.
have never considered myself Scottish although my surname suggests that I am but a strange thing happened to me during my time in Nova Scotia (New Scotland). I found myself becoming more and more attracted to my long distant clan past. The road signs were mostly bilingual but not in English and French as is required in Canada but rather in English and Scots Gallic. The place names themselves were most definitely Scottish.
Whilst I was subconsciously adjusting my kilt and checking my claymore for edge (I actually have an engraved one which I treasure) we chanced upon something I really was not expecting, a memorial to the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
Totally coincidentally before I started writing this series and whilst under house arrest due to the pandemic I had re-read an excellent book on the subject of the Battle of Culloden.
Anyone for circles? If that sounds like an odd thing to type here then just look at my previous posts. Everything goes round in circles. Here was I In Nova Scotia and we had stumbled upon a memorial to a long past battle on a bleak moor in Inverness-shire where countless Scots were slaughtered in an ill-advised battle against better trained and better equipped English redcoats.
This battle effectively ended the second Jacobite rebellion and all claims of a Scottish / Stuart claim to the English throne. Instead of a Scot we got a German as monarch, a state of affairs that remains to this day.
I have to say that I was more in peril from the damned mosquitoes here than I was from either claymore, bayonet or musket ball! They were ferocious.
Back on the road, the Scottish theme continued as we rolled into New Glasgow which I was interested to see having visited the “old” Glasgow before and loved. As a little teaser and hopefully not a spoiler, my next project here on the blog may include that fine city so stay tuned for that. Here’s what I wrote about the new Nova Scotian version of that name.
Yet another flying visit.
“I’d really like to tell you a whole lot more about New Glasgow but the reality is that we were only there for a couple of hours killing time whilst waiting to travel up to nearby Caribou to get the ferry to Prince Edward Island and we reckoned it was better to have a look round here than sit on a jetty with nothing to do.
Naturally for me, there was also the lure of a couple of pubs I had seen which both turned out to be excellent and which you can read about below.
Just a few facts and figures here to give you an idea. The town is situated on the East River in Pictou County which is in the Northeast of the main part of Nova Scotia (not including Cape Breton Island) and is a community of just shy of 10,000 souls.
It lies a short way off Highway 104 aka Miner’s Memorial Highway which forms part of the Trans-Canada Highway system. The road name reflects the importance coal mining had in the area until relatively recently although it is all but gone now.
The town originated when the area, like so many others in Nova Scotia, was settled in the late 18th century by Scots immigrants who named it after the Scottish city. It flourished with the discovery of coal locally in the 19th century as it was a natural port for the export of that commodity.
The railway, almost inevitably, arrived soon after and boasted several “firsts”. Hot on the heels of the “iron road” a steel industry began to flourish in nearby Trenton thereby ensuring the town’s continued prosperity.
Today the town in mainly a service centre for the area with shopping centres, leisure facilities and the like and is also home to Nova Scotia’s largest exporter, a software company.
In the interests of fair reporting I should point out that whilst researching this introduction I found a recent report suggesting that various organisations named the town as one of the worst places to live in Canada and one of the best places to get out of! The reasons cited were chiefly high unemployment and a high crime rate.
I know nothing of the employment figures but on my admittedly brief visit I certainly did not form the impression that it was a hotbed of crime and I certainly never felt ill at ease at all. I found it to be a typically tidy if slightly quiet town where we were treated with the courtesy and friendliness I have come to associate with Nova Scotians.
As always here in my blog I have presented the facts in what I hope is a balanced way and I shall let the traveller make up their own mind but I would suggest they at least give the place a quick visit if they are passing, perhaps en-route to the ferry as we were.”
It was undoubtedly beer o’clock now so we set about that task with a will.
“I have mentioned above in my introduction to New Glasgow that we were only there for a couple of hours whilst killing time waiting for the nearby ferry to Prince Edward Island and also because I had seen a couple of half-decent looking pubs in the town.
The first of these was a place called the Dock in George Street as you head towards the bridge.
The first thing to notice before you even set foot across the threshold is the building itself which is a fine sandstone structure with a lot of history attached to it. It was built c.1845 for Squire James Fraser, a local bigwig, and it stands as one of the oldest commercial structures in Nova Scotia.
It was originally a general store and Post Office with Fraser as Postmaster and he must have been a busy man as he was also a judge and member of the Legislative Assembly. The title of Squire, incidentally, is purely honorary and has no official standing but apparently he liked to use it. At the time of his death in 1884 he was worth about $10 million CAD in today’s money so he must have been quite good at what he did.
The building subsequently passed out of the hands of the family and was used as a newspaper office and jewellers shop and now in the 21st century it serves as rather a pleasant bar / restaurant as I hope the images convey.
I have written elsewhere on my blog that I am not a big fan of so-called “Irish” bars as they rarely convey anything like the atmosphere of the bars I knew in my 28 years of living in Northern Ireland. Normally a couple of Guinness posters and perhaps an Irish football (soccer) shirt will be all that differentiate it from the usual local bar but this place is somewhat different.
Although it does have Murphy’s Irish Stout on tap the place is absolutely jam-packed with memorabilia, mostly sporting. Indeed, when I went to use the (spotless) facilities I spent so long looking at the Irish rugby memorabilia in the back corridor that Lynne was going to send out a search party!
The Dock is obviously quite geared towards eating as are most bars in Nova Scotia and although we were not dining the menu looked very interesting and extensive. It seems to get very good reviews online as I have discovered whilst researching this piece.
However, we were only here for a quick drink (or two) and the barman was efficient and friendly, engaging us in chat especially when he heard my fairly pronounced Belfast accent. I don’t drink stout outside Ireland and so settled for a pint of one of the local brews.
I have never understood the logic of spending lots of money to travel halfway across the world to drink something you can get at home. I always try to eat and drink “local”. Lynne, who was driving, opted for her usual Virgin Caesar and pronounced it very well made. As always I got to sample the chilli beans that they seem to garnish them with all over the region, I love them. I believe the brand name is Extreme Beans and very tasty they are too. More chilli in a moment!
I could quite happily have sat there all afternoon but unfortunately we had a ferry to catch not to mention another pub to sample (purely in the interests of research, you understand and so it was with some regret that we bade a farewell and moved on.
I believe the place has a roof garden with nice views over the river although we did not sample it. If the place has one slight drawback it is that it has no parking on-site but we had no difficulty parking our campervan (RV) very close by. As we say in Belfast, this is a “cracking wee pub” and well worth a visit.
We didn’t have to go far for our next stop.
Another excellent pub.
“We had just left the Dock and wandered the short distance over to the Captain’s Helm aka Crow’s Nest which sits prominently at the junction of Provost and George Streets.
I must say that in the few weeks I had been in Nova Scotia I had been very impressed (with one notable exception in Halifax) with the standard of the bars, they all seemed to be excellent and I hope this is reflected in my blog on the various places we visited.
The bar (no pun intended) was therefore set fairly high but we need not have worried as this place was simply excellent and only served to reinforce my very positive impressions of licenced establishments in this part of the world.
On first walking in I was surprised at how quiet the place was, there wasn’t another soul in there. It was about 1700 in the afternoon which is a busy time in pubs where I live as people stop off for a drink on the way home from work but apparently this is not the case in Eastern Canada.
Lynne and I went and perched on two bar stools at the bar which is my preferred position and were greeted by the extremely friendly young lady who, perhaps inadvertently, features in one of the images.
Readers of my other pages are going to be getting bored of this now but I direct this comment at people who may have stumbled upon this page by another route. Nova Scotian people are friendly, that is all there is to it. Nova Scotian bar staff are extremely friendly and efficient and it was such a refreshing change for one used to surly and often downright ignorant service in London.
The pub appears to be “tied” (as we would say in UK) to the Alexander Keith’s Brewery, probably the largest of the several excellent local breweries and so a pint of Red was called for. I am not normally a beer drinker, being a cider man myself, but I did develop quite a taste for the excellent reds in this region. Lynne, who was driving, had her customary Virgin Caesar being responsible enough not to drink and drive.
After having scuffed off the top off the pint, I set about to look around the place. As you might imagine from the name there is a very maritime influence to the decor and the highlight for me was the rather fine collection of model ships, some of which are included in the images here.
There was also one of those rather odd Maritime Provinces wood sculptures where a figure is carved out of a complete tree trunk. In this case it was, perhaps predicatably, a fisherman. There are also a large number of flat screen televisions all showing sport and I got the impression this was perhaps a bit of a sports bar.
Although we did not eat there, I did manage a quick nosey at the menu and it looked pretty extensive with all the usual Nova Scotian favourites and a few other little kickers thrown in as well just to mix things up a bit.
For mobility impaired travellers the place is fully wheelchair accessible which is obviously a good thing.”
I could have happily sat in the Captain’s Helm all evening but we had a ferry to catch and another Province to visit. For me this was a real adventure, as I mentioned above although I suspect that for Lynne, having been brought up mostly in the Maritimes, it was a case of “PEI, great, been there, seen that” although she had told me that it was possibly the most beautiful place we would go and, as usual, she was completely right.
We drove up to Caribou (even the names are evocative here) and got on the ferry to Prince Edward Island. It is only about a 20 minute drive and even that was filled with lovely things to see.
Arriving at the Ferryport in Caribou I was struck by how quiet it was. As the image shows there were perhaps a dozen vehicles, certainly no more and again I wondered that a region now so dependent on tourism with the failure of more traditional occupations, could survive. Tourism is a really big deal in the Maritimes now and in our six week trip we never once were turned away from a campground or restaurant because they were full. It seems the the tourism game is as hard as the fishing and mining that preceded it, if much less dangerous.
The ferry journey is about 75 minutes across the Northumberland Strait and reminded me very much of the now discontinued Larne – Stranraer ferry between Northern Ireland and Scotland which signified the start of so many of my first explorations.
Whilst waiting to disembark I got chatting to the guy parked in front of us who was towing a tiny Boler caravan. These, as you can see, are the most minute caravans you can imagine, I reckon this one was about ten feet long. At this size there is obviously no bathroom so “wild” camping is probably not an option but they have sleeping and cooking facilities and look really fun.
The owner was taking his little lad for a trip to PEI in his tiny rig as his Father had done with him years before which I thought was a beautiful thing to do. As we were coming in to dock, he gave me a look round his rig and, whilst it was tiny, it was obviously very comfortable and well-designed.
It was totally approppriate that the Boler was developed in the ’60’s by an Albertan called Ray Olecko and, like the VW campervan I have mentioned in other series here on this blog must have spoken loudly to the zietgeist of that generation.
Here at last was a chance to get out and about (I use that phrase deliberately but I shall tease you as to why, some of you may work it out) and it must have been a boon to surfers, travellers, would-be adventurers and so on.
I thought that at 23′ we were in pretty cramped conditions but the Boler was really getting back to basics. I do have to say though that we never felt cramped in Betsy. Neither Lynne nor I are what you would describe as diminutive people and yet we had no problem living for weeks on end in that fairly small area. I suspect it was to do with the fact that we were both in the Forces. We both know how to live communally and not bump into people in confined spaces, it is a bit of a knack but one worth learning.
On subsequent journies round Alberta, British Columbia (briefly) and Saskatchewan (even more briefly – one night) Betsy’s successor, the equally lovely Brianna, was a massive 25′ (26′?) and it was the same scene.
I recorded a short clip of us arriving in Wood Islands and managed to withdraw my head before it go knocked off on the jetty! Here it is.
Once ahsore we were in another Province of Canada, far and away the smallest Province in the second largest country in the world. To put it in context, my country the UK would fit comfortably into Canada over 40 times and yet PEI is, at 2,185 miles², just a fraction smaller than Wales, only a portion of my country.
Although we only drove a short distance to the ferry and a short distance to the campground on the far side it somehow felt as if we were embarking on another little chapter in our “great adventure”. This was a new Province, something to metaphorically “tick off” on list of places visited. I cannot speak for Lynne as I do not know if she had ever been there before but I was as excited as a youngster on a first foreign visit and our evening in the campsite did nothing to dispel that idea.
I have no idea if it was some sort of national holiday or whatever but there seemed to be a party atmosphere about the whole place as evidenced by the “fairy lights” that seemed to be everywhere. The whole campground was like some sort of fairyland (although I don’t believe in fairies) and I could not help but think about a track called “Lit up” by PSB, another favourite band of mine, where a very drunken Lt. Cdr. Thomas Woodruff RN – describes the Royal review at Spithead in the early 20th century as “all being lit up by fairy lights”. Have a listen here.
It was obviously nothing to do with whatever Canadian celebration there may or may not have been but by just after 2200 (early by my standards) I had knocked up a chilli con carne which was rather more carne than chilli as dear Lynne doesn’t like spicy food. No problem, I served hers then whacked in another prodigious amount of chilli for my portion.
Suitably numbed in the throat and on the tongue, it was a very happy Fergy who went to bed in Betsy that night.
In the next post we shall go for a look round the glorious PEI so stay tuned and spread the word.