Monday, October 22, 2012

Prince Edward Island

After leaving Cape Breton on Sunday and spending the night in Antigonish, I was at the ferry landing in Caribou, Nova Scotia early Monday morning to await the 11:15 boat to Prince Edward Island.  Shortly after I arrived, Muriel Farrington, the National Secretary of the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association pulled in behind me in the motorcycle lane. She was also on a solo tour of Nova Scotia and PEI on her brand new F 650 GS.

She said that she had this bike for about 3 weeks and that she had been awarded her 200,000 mile pin on the same day she picked up the new bike.  Now that's a lot of touring.  We had a nice chat on the ferry ride over to the island, and we stayed within sight of each other for about a half hour, then we lost sight and our paths never crossed again in two days on the island.

I first toured the east end of the island and ate lunch at Brehaut's Restaurant in Murray Harbour where I had a nice bowl of (let's all say it together) Seafood Chowder.

There are three things I can't resist taking pictures of, light houses, old wood churches, and boats on dry land.  PEI had all three in abundance, so what you are going to see here are a lot of lighthouses, old churches, and boats. This is the lighthouse at the entrance to the ferry terminal.

This is the lighthouse at Panmure Point, a little north of Murray Harbour.

This is the lighthouse at East Point, the eastern most tip of the island.

From East Point, I continued westward along the north shore of the eastern half of the island and then I headed south to Charlottetown, the capital of PEI, to find a place to spend the night. Brand name hotels in Charlottetown proved to be too expensive, so I headed out of town on Highway 1 west and found a more reasonable mom & pop place a few miles out of town with a good restaurant within easy walking distance. The next morning, I rode a few miles north up to Highway 2 and headed for the west end of the island where I found a couple of more lighthouses, a bunch of fishing boats sitting in the grass, and a whole boat-load of old churches.  Here are some of the boats. To my eye there is something beautiful and sexy about the lines of a boat hull when you can see the whole thing as the designer laid it out and the boat builder shaped it.

As you can see I was in boat heaven on PEI.

The other thing I find irresistibly photogenic is an old wooden church. Again, I was in old wood church heaven on PEI, particularly near the western tip of the island, where it seemed there was another wood church every half mile or so, sometimes right across the road from each other so I could stop once and shoot two churches. Many of them were surrounded by graveyards which is definitely an aesthetic bonus.

I have more church pictures, but I'm afraid I may be on the verge of boring you.

North Cape is the northern most tip of the island and the site of a wind energy research center, something I have a particular interest in.

Check out the size of this wind turbine blade in relation to the hurricane fence next to it.

Another view of the blade in relation to Old Blue.

Oh yes, there's a lighthouse at North Cape.

I left North Cape about noon and rode the western coastal road southward, heading for Summerside and the Confederation Bridge to the mainland. It was way past noon by the time I reached Summerside and my stomach was complaining, so I sought out a waterside seafood restaurant and found Sharkys, still serving lunch at 2 pm. I didn't want to leave Prince Edward Island without sampling the world renowned PEI mussels, and Sharkys fit the bill nicely.

Mussels and fries, moules and frits, a perfect end to my tour of PEI.

You can enter Prince Edward Island free of charge, either by ferry or by the 8-mile long Confederation Bridge.  But, when you want to leave you pay the price...$17.75 for the bridge toll or $40 by ferry for a bike, which is part of the reason I chose to take the ferry over to the island for free and pay the bridge toll to leave.  The other major reason was, it suited my route to a "T". This was the second major bridge crossing on the bike this summer, the other one being the "Mighty Mac", the Mackinac Bridge, a month earlier.

I was fortunate that wind wasn't a deal killer in either crossing, but it was slightly more of an issue on the Confederation than on the Mackinac. My knuckles were white and my arthritic fingers were aching by the time I reached the other side.  At the posted speed limit of 50 mph, it took about 12 minutes to cross back to the New Brunswick mainland.  I made Fredericton, NB by  about 7 that evening with the sun setting low but still shining. By 7 am the next morning there was no sign of the sun...only grey clouds and rain.

Next episode....singing in the rain, tire woes, and a pilgrimage to Big Pink.


  1. Keep them coming. A man after my own heart & loved the lighthouses & all the pictures. Glad you had a fun trip. You must have some gypsy blood in you.....