PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND – Red and Royally Wet
With the winds and rain, we were nervous approaching the Confederation Bridge. It is phenomenal at 14km long and 40 meters high. The last road sign we saw approaching the bridge was “cross winds”. It was our lucky 15 minutes, though – it was foggy and we couldn’t see the end of the bridge, but the only winds were at our back and the ride was pleasant. In fact, Sandra was feeling a bit punchy and could not stop laughing at Jordan in front of her who, with a his yellow rain jacket puffed out from the from the wind and large yellow duffel hiding his own petite backside, looked like a VERY large man! It reminded her of Guinness’s ‘World’s Fattest Twins’ – who can forget that World Book of Records photograph of them on their motorbikes?
We heard Will & Kate would be at the same north shore beach (Dalvay Beach) we planned to explore so we tried to time it just right. The trip to the beach from the bridge is about 15kms. Along the way, we passed numerous people in formal attire (hats and all) hoping the Royals would travel down their slice of road. We entered PEI National Park and paid for the ‘scenic drive’ fee of $7.80. However, we are naughty and stopped at beaches anyway (which should have cost 2 of us $14.60)… we felt safe – all security resources would be tied up with the Royals, right? The beaches were gorgeous and empty – red beaches and grassy dunes for as far as the eye can see. The only possible improvement would have been blue skies.
As we strolled Dalvay Beach crushing the smooth red rocks with our bare hands (they are made of sand and easily broken apart), we saw a Sea King helicopter performing manoeuvres over the ocean in the distance which, as we learned later, was piloted by Prince William. That was as close as we got to the Royals, as we were turned back by police road blocks in the midst of our $7.80 tour of the park and were unable to get any closer.
We road around the island for another couple of hours and stopped in Charlottetown for a coffee and to dry off a bit at Starbucks. It had been another long day – leaving at 6:30am then riding to and having seen most of PEI over the course of the day, so we made our way back to the bridge.
Confederation Bridge is a toll bridge – and, according to this link, the most expensive in North America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_Bridge But one only has to pay to leave the island… getting there is no charge. We did note that groceries and gas prices were the lowest here since we left Calgary. The gas was probably just market fluctuations (as of right now, Alberta seems to have the lowest), but we thought it interesting about the groceries and actually expected it to be much higher due to location.