My amazing week start with a bang! I got caught in a sudden thunderstorm at Green Park and took refuge in a picnic shelter. Thanks to Ross MacKie (manager of day use park) for letting me stay in the shelter for 24 hrs till the weather cleared.
￼I then rode to Jacques Cartier Provincial Park (this is where Cartier first landed in PEI) A fellow camper, Zeke from Ottawa shared some fresh cod from the fish mart at Judes Point that he’d fried up. Tasty!
As soon as I got to Tignish I bought a frying pan frome Home Hardware and olive oil from Tignish Co-op. I rode up to an older gentleman in a pickup to ask directions to the liquor store. We had a great chat. His name was Claude Goudet and he pressed $15 on me. He just wouldn’t take no for answer! He said he wished he could do what I was doing.
On the way out I stopped at the fish mart and bought some fishcakes which Kelly packed in ice for me.
I then rode to the North Cape lighthouse where they have an experimental windfarm. This is where the Northumberland Strait and Gulf of St Lawrence tides converge.
That night I fried fishcakes in the dark.
Can you see my trike at the base of the windmill?
I got to baptize Gypsy in ‘the big red mud’.
Next morning I came back down to Tignish hoping to buy a plastic flipper for my frying pan. (Ever try cooking fishcakes in a non-stick pan with only a fork and butter knife for utensils? ) Sadly, it was Sunday and Home Hardware was closed.
A lady drove up to me in the empty lot and said she’d seen me and waved a few times and wanted to meet me. Linda asked what I needed and I explained about the flipper.
“Which way you going? She asked. “Skinners Pond” I said. “Well go ahead, I’ll catch up to you”. And she drove off. 30 minutes later her car pulled up with daughter Monica waving a flipper out the window!
This is where Stompin Tom Connor went to school. Apparently he ran away from home when he was 13, and rode the rails across Canada.
The ride down 14 from Skinners Pond was peaceful, quiet, serene…..alright boring. Fields sloping gently to the sea. Most of the shoreline seemingly featureless, compared to the east shore with its numerous inlets, bays and coves. The seascape more interesting as I neared West Cape. Strong headwinds most of the day. (Hotfeet)
￼I stayed at Cedar Dunes Provincial Park in West Point. All provincial parks have no wifi except this and one other, where they are doing a pilot project. They charged me $5.95 plus tax for wifi, and it was slow and spotty.
As I rode out the next morning, I was formulating a nice letter to ParksPEI in my mind. How charging for wifi won’t fly, and that at Dillons restaurant in Tyne Valley I got a breakfast sandwich and a large coffee plus free (good) wifi for $5.79.
8 kms out of West Point I saw a man in a pickup, waiting at a crossroad. When I came up to him he got out of the truck and handed me a cold Pepsi. He said he’d seen me on the road and was going to bring me water but forgot. We both had Pepsi and a wonderful roadside chat. His name was Minor Campell, a self employed mechanic and fisherman. We talked fishing and Irish moss harvesting. He’d never been away from home.
“Do you like bar clams?” he asked. “I don’t know…never had them.” I replied. “Well which way you headed? I’ll catch up to you.” And he drove off.
20 minutes later he he showed up, parked the truck to give us shade and pulled out 2 250 ml jars of clams and 2 forks. They were delicious. …great texture. He said he picks them and cooks and bottles them himself.
While we talked he polished off his jar while I was only half way done. I was feeling full, but I got the impression I was supposed to finish them. I guess he wanted his jar…..so I cheerfully obliged.
￼About 30 kms dowm the road I stopped at the Acadian Fisherman’s Co-op where I had bbq grilled haddock on a bun for $7.95. I’m full of seafood and loving it!
So there it is. A 380 km ride on beautiful, mostly flat or gently sloping, paved roads. The traffic very light and very considerate.
To my cycling friends: For those who like railtrails, the Confederation trail runs tip to tip 273 kms. I tried it for 5 kms but I found it boring and the suface was slow. But I did notice they have picnic shelters along the trail….. a good spot to pitch a tent. The only people I met were tourists from Massachusetts.
￼For myself the roads are best for cycling. The drivers are considerate and careful around cyclists. The vistas are better and you get a chance to meet the locals. So far, I truly believe PEI is a cyclist’s paradise.
Tomorrow morning I start the Central Coastal Ride.