– Truro, Nova Scotia to Charlottetown, PEI –

I think I mentioned yesterday that our hotel last night in Truro wasn’t very nice, but we did find a nice running trail. That worked out exactly as planned. Just a short distance away from our hotel on foot was a very nice, light gravel trail. Ripley, especially had fun, and I was just grateful we didn’t spot any squirrels or rabbits for her to chase like a fool.

Our hotel didn’t have breakfast, so after we had showered and packed the car, we drove over to Timmie’s for breakfast. We also had to use the internet there, as we hadn’t had any luck getting it to work very well at our less-than-ideal hotel the night before.

Stairs down the fossil cliffs

Today was our last day on Nova Scotia. From our stop at Tim Horton’s (followed by a gas station), we drove about an hour and a half towards the border with New Brunswick, then down slightly to Joggins, Nova Scotia.

There, on the coast, are the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. It is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. How many of those are there? I feel like we’ve seen a dozen of them on this trip. According to Wikipedia, “Joggins is famous for its record of fossils from a rainforest ecosystem approximately 310 million years ago.” Pretty cool, right?

Fossils people have found and left for others to see

We stopped briefly at the visitor center, read a little about the guided tours (which cost money) before we realized we could walk down on our own for free, so we went out to do that. About halfway down, we realized we could’ve taken the dogs, since the signs indicated dogs on leaches were allowed, but it was already too late. I could feel Ripley’s disappointment in me even at a distance.

The tides here are large, though not the largest we will see on the trip. They were out far enough for us to walk down and look for fossils. In the photos, you can see the cliffs crumble away, and fossils fall down from the cliffs to the shore.

Searching for more fossils

On the viewing deck on the stairs, other visitors had left fossils they’d found, since it was permissible to take them from the park. Many of them were plant fossils, but I think a couple were also bones.

Mom, Mark, and I spent some time down on the shore looking for fossils, while Dad watched the tide going out from the viewing deck. I ended up finding a large piece of fossilized plants, which I left on the platform for others to see. It was a lot of fun to look for them.

Confederation Bridge

After we left the fossil cliffs, it took us about an hour to get to the Confederation Bridge to cross into Prince Edward Island. On the New Brunswick side in the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, which also boasts some wonderful views on the bridge, so we stopped for a bathroom break and a look around. Obviously we needed some photos.

The Confederation Bridge that connects PEI with mainland Canada opened in 1997. Before that you had to take a ferry. The ferry still operates as well, but if you take the ferry in, you have to leave by ferry, and the same with the bridge. The bridge is roughly 8 miles long. It’s free to cross into PEI, but when you want to use the bridge to leave, there’s a CAD $47 toll. Thanks, PEI.

At the PEI Welcome Center, waiting for lunch

By the time we’d finished crossing the bridge, it was after noon, and we were starving. We stopped at the little welcome village in Borden-Carleton, which is quite the tourist trap. In spite of that, the place is adorable. They didn’t have many food options, and only one place had a real vegetarian option, so we ate there. You’ll never guess what we had: a veggie burger. At least it was a decent one?

Between the welcome village and Charlottetown, we stopped at a red sand beach to get some sand for Mark’s collection. The tide was out, so it was neat to look out into the distance and still see people less than knee-deep in water. It’s always confusing to see people 50-feet out into the ocean and still standing around.

The tide is out, and the sand is red

With the sand collected, we drove on toward Charlottetown, where we stopped at Cows Creamery. This shop is a famous attraction in PEI. They make their own (wonderful) local ice cream. It’s hard to get anywhere else, and it is delicious. Everyone (human) got an ice cream.

Delightful dessert taken care of, we skirted around the rest of Charlottetown and turned north to head for Prince Edward Island National Park. It has three sections, but only two were convenient to us today, so we did those two.

Cows Creamery ice cream

Both sections were packed with beach-goers on a very pleasant, and quite warm, Sunday afternoon. We walked out to the beaches for some photos, and briefly contemplated checking the temperature of the water. It is supposed to be relatively warm somewhere in this area, but we don’t remember exactly where.

The second section, Cavendish, is also famous for being the inspiration for the Anne of Green Gables books. There’s a heritage area for the novels in the park area, which we didn’t visit. You;d be surprised how much of the touristy stuff on this island is dedicated to those novels. You can’t walk 20 feet without hitting an Anne of Green Gables souvenir flag or towel or spoon.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Cavendish has much redder sand than the main section, and it also has some very interesting red cliffs that we took some photos of. Mark and I clambered around on them for a while, since they weren’t very high, and I ended up testing the water temperature. It was definitely warmer than I was expecting.

That done, we’d had enough for the day and we turned back toward Charlottetown for the evening. Dad had eaten about half of Mom’s lunch, too, so he wasn’t feeling too hungry, and Mom wanted to go to Walmart, so we dropped Dad at the hotel while the rest of us went out for a few minutes to get some dinner and go to the store.

Cavendish Section

Mom decided to buy herself some dinner from the deli at Walmart, and something for Dad to snack on, too. When we finished at Walmart, Mark and I took her back to the hotel and went out for Himalayan food. It was absolutely delicious. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed things like that while out on this trip in the middle of nowhere.

Charlottetown in my favorite place to visit in Canada, next to Banff. I wish we’d had more time to spend here on PEI, but tomorrow we’ll only be here for half a day. At least I know where we will run- there’s a trail that runs right through the middle of town. Ripley and I went running on it every day the last time we were here while Mark had his work meetings. I feel like I know it by heart.

Himalayan food

Tomorrow night we will be in New Brunswick. Our hotel has breakfast, and is much nicer than the one last night. We have a nice trail that’s just a short walk from the hotel, and it looks like the weather will be really nice. I think tomorrow afternoon we are going to try to do the Hopewell Rocks. It should be a great day.

– Trip Total : 6,325 miles

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