Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Pulse of the Cosmos

We stopped for a few days at Moncton and what a visit it turned out to be. To begin, having seen the Fundy tidal bore at Truro we wanted to see it once again as it is truly amazing. The town of Moncton has developed a boardwalk on the river front with story boards dotted about with information on the town and its more famous people; the boardwalk has a Bore Park in the shape of an amphitheater where a docent regales visitors with facts, tales and tall stories including that the bore represents the “pulse of the cosmos.” An intrepid surfer entered the river just as the bore was due although he did not manage to ride the wave however, it was fascinating to watch him being swept along by the incoming tide.

Another attraction is Magnetic Theme Park which has a Magnetic Hill where one drives to a designated spot at the bottom of the hill, then puts the car in neutral and release the brake - and the car reverses back up the hill. We found this so unbelievable that we did it three times, twice backwards and once facing front. Other cars were doing the same and we all enjoyed the fun of it and…yes the wheels were moving and so were we – uphill! From there we went to a nearby Casino; inveterate gamblers that we are we started to bet our $5 and try as hard as we did we just could not lose; after one and a half hours we had enough and cashed out + $1 at $6. The following evening we returned, lost our $1 gain but returned to the RV with our original $5 stake. We had hours of fun and like these Canadian Casino’s as it’s difficult to lose money.
Our principal reason for stopping at Moncton was to visit the nearby Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, where in designated areas one can walk on the ocean floor at low tide and marvel at how nature, tide, wind and erosion has created spectacular sculptures from what at one time were cliffs; these free standing structures are worn away the bottom, yet have vegetation growing on top – one is aptly named the Giant Flower Pot. Of course nature continues her work and throughout there are many caves and emerging new structures being carved ready to stand alone. On arrival we checked the time when the tide was due to turn to ensure that we would have plenty of time to walk on the ocean floor and later on watch the tide come in. All visitors had to leave the beach at a certain time so when the time came we went to lunch; there are very good facilities at Hope well Rocks and an excellent interpretive center. After lunch (40 minutes) we went back to see how far the tide had come in to discover that the ocean floor we had walked on was under water. The speed of the tide coming in is amazing, as is the high tide which can be from 25 to 50ft higher than low tide. Another feature of the Fundy basin is all the miles of mud cliffs and mud flats which are environmentally protected areas.

Not really a tourist oriented town Moncton is surprisingly, to us, a bilingual town with residents switching between French and English perfectly. It appears to be a busy financial center and the streets all have beautiful flowering hanging baskets. After Halifax Moncton is the Maritimes second largest city.

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