Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cap Pele, NB & Pictou, NS

Cap Pele on the Northern Shore of New Brunswick was not on our radar and went there on the recommendation of a local who we met at St Martin’s. Very much a French speaking area, in fact we did not know that New Brunswick is the only Province which is officially bilingual. We were at Plage Gagnon a lovely beach with dark red sand and where the tides ebbs very far and flows in quickly. There is no depth to the water – which was quite warm - to get wet from no more than knee deep Adele fell backwards into the water and did the crocodile stroke! We were looking across the waters of Northumberland Strait at Prince Edward Island, PEI as they call it. The proprietors of the RV Park used to own and run a hotel in Scots Valley between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, CA. When we arrived we badly needed groceries and found a wonderful supermarket; as this was a French area it had a local bakery with lovely bread and pies. Except for our final afternoon we had beautiful weather, then it rained which was a good time to catch up on our blogs.

From there we drove in very windy weather onto Nova Scotia; first stop was the Visitors Center set on the top of a hill and with magnificent views for miles around. We picked up lots of information and decided this to be one of the best information centers we have come across. Pictou was our destination simply because it is half way to our next destination; the requisite number of miles we like to travel in one journey is around 150 miles. A charming old port town Pictou's claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of New Scotland; in 1773 a group of Scottish tradesmen arrived on a Dutch boat called the Hector to start a new life in a new land and they had the money and resources to do so, there’s a replica of the "Hector " in the harbor. Once again we were blessed with wonderful weather, certainly not what we expected but Pictou is in line with Bordeaux, France!
On our first afternoon, purely by chance we decided to visit the McCulloch Heritage Center; a treasure throve of information, which was hosting a lecture on Scottish history given by an Ophthalmologist John Hamilton, Scottish history is one of his many hobbies. We found his talk both fascinating and interesting; he started with the usurper William of Orange (Protestant) who was brought to Britain from Holland by Parliament to take the throne from Charles 2nd (Catholic) by force; many battles ensued including the infamous Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. We informed the gathering that it is not over yet in Northern Ireland 400 years later! What really resonated with us was the often common and shared history between the Scottish highland people and the people of Ireland. The evening before we left Pictou we went to a Ceili featuring one really great lady fiddle player, a man who sang like Tommy Makeham and lovely Scottish dancing by local children all dressed up in tartan costumes; this was held in the deCoste Centre and was very good. While there we met a couple who had sailed up the Hudson River to Lake Champlain, through the canal to the St Lawrence River and on into the estuary and Gulf. Pictou is on the Gulf of St Lawrence. We agreed to look for them again as they were planning to sail to Baddeck which is our next stop.

Sadly, Adele’s Canon Camera purchased in May 2012 to replace another Canon Camera (which would not download) gave up the ghost (the shutter will not open). We contacted Canon who informed us that as it was over one year old they accepted no responsibility. We now have to buy another Camera; it will not be a Canon!

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