Turning the Tide

Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
Trip End Oct 18, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Howdy folks,

Today is Steffie's birthday and she is officially old at 30 years of age. It was a modest coffee and toast for breakfast before having a shower and hitting the road towards Hopewell Rocks. We passed through the rest of Fundy National Park and the town of Alma, not having time to stop because we were racing to reach the high tide mark at 10:48am. We got there on time and walked a kilometre from the visitor information centre to the famous Flowerpots which are sea stacks. They are formed by the 12 metre tides that sweep in and out sometimes twice daily creating erosion that gives them the famous shape. The tides are the world’s largest and the biggest drawcard of the area (except for the covered bridges). Having seen the high tide, we had a few hours to kill for the water to drain out and we headed back to Alma for Steffie to have a lobster lunch. Alma is famous for lobster and the restaurant didn’t disappoint. I had some scallops and Steffi had a burger and everyone was definitely satisfied. Probably shouldn’t have gone for dessert…

We had been watching the tide recede through the window so we took a quick look. It was strange to see the boats out of the water. It was time to head back to the rocks and when we got there it was 3:30pm and the tides were over halfway out. It takes 6 hours to drain out 12 metres and this time we were able to go down and walk on the 'ocean floor.’ It was definitely a strange experience to see the water so far out in such a short period and the most noticeable difference was at Daniels Flats where the shallow mudflats had completely drained out leaving a winding mud river in the middle.

Steffie had to make it to some wifi to call Germany by 6pm so we hurried into Moncton and found a McDonalds. It was less than ideal and not very private, but she got to speak to her family back home which is always a good thing on such a momentous occasion. We found a cheap hotel to stay in called Motel 6 and it was one of the better chain motels we’ve stayed at. The room was clean and modern looking although the continental breakfast wasn’t anything to shout about. Still for around $90 for 3 people you can’t complain.

We had until 11am to checkout, so we made the most of our normal time. It is amazing the difference you feel when you sleep in a normal bed and can sit back and watch TV. Not having to put on flip flops to take a leak is a welcome change also. We didn’t have much of a plan but driving to Halifax and pretty soon we reached our only tourist stop of the day at Fort Beausejour. During the mid 18th Century it was constructed by the French as an outpost after they lost Nova Scotia lands through a treaty with Britain. It had a short, but tumultuous history when it was besieged a few years later and then changed into English hands. There wasn’t much left of the fortification but a few supply tunnels, but it was good to see some ‘Canadian’ history.

A few kilometres down the road was the Nova Scotia border and it was so windy that we weren’t able to do anything for lunch. We ended up driving into Amherst and going to Tim Hortons instead. The wifi wasn’t working and it wouldn’t be a good wifi day for us as it didn’t work at the McDonalds later in Truro as well which is kind of a bummer. We took a little detour off the highway to avoid a toll section although it wasn’t so interesting and we didn’t see any moose.

Eventually we turned up at our campground at Laurie Provincial Park which is on Shubenacadie Grand Lake on the outskirts of Halifax. We weren’t keen on paying much for a hotel and the hostels were all booked up, but it ended up being a nice place to stay. We were out of the wind for the most part and we took a walk along the rocks down to the water. The only bad thing was that during the night some idiot thought it would be fun to set fire to toilet paper in the toilets and take a dump in the shower. Really, not cool…
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