Day 59 – Shediac to Confederation Bridge – 60km, drive to West Point, PEI

We stayed the night in Parlee Beach Provincial Park. My original destination yesterday was Moncton; however I decided to travel the extra 30km to make it to Parlee Beach. It sounded like a pretty place. I’m sure the beach was pretty. Otherwise why would so many people flock to this place? I never saw the beach—I had blogs to catch up on and I was exhausted.  It’s a very touristy area and the scenery was far from spectacular. The campground was a big grassy field divided into campsites. People were camped just a couple feet away from us on each side. This was not a noise-free campground. People were pumping beats from a car stereo at nearby site.

I slept in a bit and got on the road around 11am. I had a light day planned, and I had already knocked 30km off today’s distance by cycling some extra distance yesterday. When I was training, a 60km 2-hour ride seemed like a good chunk of my day and a decent distance. It still takes me about 2 hours to do a 60km ride at a manageable pace without any strong winds, except the time passes by much more quickly. Today’s ride seemed to pass by quite quickly.

I hopped in the support vehicle just before the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island because I read something when I was planning my route about bicycles not being allowed on the bridge (and there being a shuttle and all that). It’s also a toll bridge, and I wasn’t sure if there was a good shoulder or not. Well, it turns out that there were no signs prohibiting cyclists. There was a decent paved shoulder. There was a toll, but it’s only on Prince Edward Island. We actually ended up making  a wrong turn into a village as soon as we got off the bridge and missed the toll completely. This being said, I wish I had cycled across the bridge to the island. I want to cycle across the bridge when we go back to the mainland.

Driving across the Confederation Bridge...notice the nice wide paved shoulder...I'll be biking back over this bridge in a few days

 

Looking out on the Northumberland Strait from the Confederation Bridge

 

We had a detour today to get the support vehicle some much needed maintenance—an oil change and a new air filter. On our drive out to the western side of the island, we drove through rolling hills of fertile farmland. The soil is a magnificent pink. The provincial park we wanted to stay at near the West Point of P.E.I. was full, so we found a pier at the very west point of the island. That’s where we’re parked now. We’re right next to the water. We watched the boats come in from fishing just before sunset. We watched the sun set. The sky was mostly clear except for a slight haze and a few clouds on the horizon. I set up a chair and typed up my notes from previous days into my blogs (yes, I’m still catching up).

The harbour at West Point, or at least what we thought was West Point (read the blog for day 60). This is actually near Cape Egmont

I watched the sun disapear as I ate a late taco dinner

Many locals come down to the pier around sunset. It’s their social gathering spot. The fishermen come in; see who caught what. They smoke their cigarettes and drink a few beers. Conversations transfer between French and English. There are lots of Acadians around this region. I can tell that the preferred language is French, but every now and then there’s some meaning or phrase that English can connote more easily. I think the kids around here are a bit bored. When we first parked here, they were hitting a sign post with rocks. They weren’t testing their accuracy by throwing pebbles, they literally had rocks in their hands, and were clunking the metal with it.

It’s a gorgeous night. The sky is clear. The stars are out. There’s no wind. The moon is almost full. Five minutes ago, I got distracted by fireworks that are very far away. When the sun was out, I couldn’t see any trace of land where the fireworks were It was a good show. I spent a couple minutes looking at a map trying to figure out where they were coming from.

The harbour just after sunset

I wish my brother and dad could see this spot. I wish all my friends and family could see this spot; but especially my brother and my dad. I thought they would be with me for this portion of the trip, so I’m feeling sad that they’re not here to share this.

-Skye

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