Sunday, August 21, 2016

GTT Day 18-19

August 18 - Kouchibouguac National Park, NB.
Our second day in Kouchibouguac. I was soooo nice to have a day to relax and not have to go anywhere! It was a totally domestic day. I hand-washed my bras and all our hand-knit socks:
We were running out of clean ones and I refuse to run these through the commercial washing machines. They will take awhile to dry though. Even though the sun is out everything around here is still very damp. We walked over to Ryan's Store (about 1.5km each way) to get a block of ice and an ice-cream bar each. It was warm enough that the block started dripping before we got back! Then we had showers and read books and rested for the rest of the day. Now that we're on the East Coast I've planned things a little more slowly. We've been pushing pretty hard and I think we're ready for more breaks on this end.
Have I mentioned how much I love Kouchibouguac? It's the perfect camping experience! It has relatively clean washrooms with hot water, free showers, outside sinks with hot water, free wifi (which was better the second day after Thom called in to complain the system needed rebooting), kilometres of trails for bikes and walking, beaches, and for those who want them, laundry and equipment rentals. Yet it doesn't come off like a tourist trap. I'm also very fond of northern New Brunswick
. The people are friendly and helpful and switch from French to English at the drop of a Hello vs Bonjour. The van's gas leak problem seems to be solved (touch wood) and we're on to our next stop tomorrow.
August 19 - Prince Edward Island National Park, PEI, Stanhope campground.
We needed some wine and groceries today so we stopped in at the town of Shediak, NB, self-described as the world's lobster capital. There's even a huge lobster statue at the visitor's centre but we didn't get a photo op because it was very busy. Instead we bought ourselves a couple of nice cooked lobsters to have later on for lunch. We were only going to get one but the nice lady in the Big Fish store said we definitely needed two. (She was soooo right!)
Next, on to our 8th province, the smallest one. I'm sure if the Fathers of Confederation hadn't signed the papers here in Charlottetown there's no way this place would have managed to be its own province! I'm pretty sure Vancouver Island is bigger. However, it's a lovely bucolic island, covered in farms and red soil. We crossed the really long Confederation Bridge:
And then zigzagged our way north to the national park thanks to my trusty paper map. We had already reserved a campsite yesterday using Kouchibouguac's wifi which was lucky because we got a really nice site close to everything. It was late and we were hungry for lunch.
So now please meet our friends, Georges and Jean-Pierre (aka Bud):
Aren't they handsome? Sadly with the help of some garlic butter (garlic from my garden!), knives, paper towels and napkins we quickly reduced them to just shells of their former selves:
Big yum! So. Darn. Good. Vow: this will not be the last lobsters we eat on this trip. We only had one between us last time. Opportunities wasted. Not happening again.
After our Lobster Feast we went for a walk on the red sandy beach:
The water here on PEI's north shore (Gulf of St Lawrence) is so warm this time of year! Even reluctant Thom went wading with me. There were lots of families enjoying the shallow waves. Maybe we'll go for a beach walk again tomorrow. We have another day here before we head towards the ferry to Nova Scotia.

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