P. E. I - home of "Anne of Green Gables"

Trip Start May 05, 2007
Trip End Sep 02, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , Prince Edward Island,
Sunday, July 29, 2007

From Moncton I drove straight to the confederation bridge, built in 1997 as an easier means of accessing the island from the mainland. By the time I reached the bridge it was about lunch time and I decided to stop off at Cape Jourimain, where there was an interpretation centre. Also located here was a few short hiking trails and I thought it was a while since I did one so why not go for a short walk (compounding my decision was the fact that it was quite hot and I enjoyed the sun for a chance to a tan). I didn't go for too long a walk, just up to the observation area for a better look at the bridge and out to the lighthouse.
          After stretching for a bit I crossed the bridge and made my way into the nearest information centre for maps of P.E.I. This is where I got my first look at the island and my first impression too. I pulled off the main thoroughfare and was confronted with a wall of RVs parked off to the side of the wall, I overtook them and headed a short distance to the info centre. The car park was full so I made my way to the RV overflow area, clearly this was a popular destination for a get away. At this point my mind went into self preservation mode, thinking if there were a lot of campers here the popular destinations and tours might be hard to get into. I had already found out that the weather was going to be rainy and overcast the following day so it gave me an extra day to plan things.
I headed up to Cavendish, where the popular author Maud Montgomery grew up and wrote the popular works "Anne of Green Gables" and "Anne of Avonlea. To be truthful none of this really interested me but there was a nice campsite in the area and only a short distance away from these famous attractions so I thought I would at least have a look while I was there.
Once I had checked in (after calling and making a reservation to make sure I got the area I wanted), I was greeted by a lovely couple from Quebec, Pat and Denise. Noticing the license plates, I took this chance to try and practice my French and before long we were sitting and chatting over a beer.
 I was still a little green with the whole RV camping arrangement, although I have come a considerable way since I first started out. Usually I would just pull into a campsite and connect the electricity, then if all went well things would work. Sometimes my fridge would work and other times it wouldn't, after an hour or two it wasn't working, so I took a look around and everything seemed OK. Pat noticing my plight offered some help and advice, the simple detail I had missed many times before was the vehicle wasn't quite level and this affected how the fridge worked (I had thought that it didn't matter but this is not so!)
             The next day I awoke a little later than usual, still not sure of my plans for the next few days I pondered them for a while eventually coming up with a combination of a self and guided tour of the island. From what I had read there were numerous tour companies operating for around the same fee, given what I had seen when I first arrived I thought that they might be all booked. I decided that since I was in the "Anne" area that I might do this on my own and book a tour that explored some of the more remote areas that might be hard to do in an RV. I ended up trying to book a tour with Greyline for a "Planned Historical Village, Lighthouse and Winery Tour", however they told me that in order for this tour to go ahead that they required two or more people to go on it. I said that I'd like to book it (seeing that there was more than a day away) and if they could call to let me know if it was going ahead or not. They however did not call back so I ended up not going on it, which I was a little disappointed about.
          In the mean time though I biked down to Avonlea village, the area in which Montgomery taught and attended church. The village is a "character setting" whereby almost everything resembles a story book world. The people are dressed up in costume and the highlights of this are little scenes or skits performed throughout the day. If you have read the book and enjoyed it this might be more up your alley, for me though I really wasn't inspired by it. It was quaint but not one of my places I'd get dragged along to again in a hurry.
          From there I traveled a short distance down the road to Green Gables House, which is also affiliated with the Prince Edward Island National Park. The House has been immortalised in Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne Of Green Gables". Again this is really where a bloke should only go if he is dragged there by his better half, it was again a quaint little house full of rich character and from what I'm told characteristic of the era the book was written in. Although I probably didn't benefit much from the experience, at least I had a look and can say that I've done it.
Shortly after this there was a small rain period, during this time I spent it inside cabin watching a few movies. After a few hours I had a few people nose around the outside of the cabin and then knock on the door. It was Pat and another person concerned with my safety. They had noticed that my bike was still in the same place as it was from the morning, thinking that there might be a gas leak and that I had fallen asleep. It was quite touching and something I hadn't felt for a while, that someone took the time to see that I was OK. As I might have said before quite often people keep to themselves at campsites and usually it is me making the effort to approach people. I was invited to join them at dinner and I got more French practice in, as they did with English lessons. I have also been invited to come and stay with them around the Gaspé Peninsula area, which I plan to do on the way back. 
Throughout my time on the road I have contemplated getting a little kitten to keep me occupied (I have seen numerous signs regarding them) and at the KOA campground they had some for adoption. So I now have a little traveling companion, I am not sure what I will do when I leave the country but that is a ways off so for the time being she will be a little "camper kitty"! I chose a white/grey kitten because I have overheard many people saying that there are no white dogs on the island, nor will they paint their house white etc. The island has a very reddish soil and everything gets covered/coloured by it.
          With my new companion and tour cancelled I head into Charlottetown for a brief walk around of the area, some Cow's ice-cream, some kitty litter and cat food. I didn't spend all that long in the capitol just enough to get a feel for the place, to try some Cow's "Canada's best ice-cream" (as voted by national geographic a little while ago) and sample the local brew there.
I'm no ice-cream rater but it was pretty good stuff (I chose the "messy bessy"). From this I walked to a micro brewery to sample the local drop. I'm not sure ice-cream followed by beer was meant to happen but the Gahan House Brewery sure did hit the spot.
From there I drove out of town towards the wood island's/caribou ferry, wanting to get there before dark fell. To be truthful I didn't look at the ferry schedule or could have planned it any better. I drove straight onto the ferry after driving from Charlottetown and it left about 15-20mins later, nice timing!
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