Audrey writes:  

We took a ferry to Prince Edward Island from Nova Scotia on July 17th, 2008, the only province in Canada that we had not yet visited. No charge for going to the island, but they do charge when you leave. Go figure. There was camping at Northumberland Provincial Park, and the next day we packed up and escaped that mosquito haven. Breakfast at a quaint little restaurant that looked like a converted farm house was very special, especially the zebras on the upholstery and waffles for dessert. Can't remember when we last ate waffles. Riding around the island was very pleasant. Gently curving, nicely paved roads meandered past potato fields and small forests, with glimpses of the ocean every now and again. We happened upon a beautiful hotel and realized that it was the historic hotel that was often the setting for the 'Avonlea' TV series based on Anne of Green Gables. It is an oceanfront resort, built in 1830 and is called Dalvay by the Sea. We wandered the lovely wooden interior and admired the antique furniture and decorations of the national historic site. The sand from nearby beaches blew across the road, and it had that distinctive PEI reddish hue.  When we took a little stroll we found it was tough slogging on the sand dunes in our motorcycle gear. Families were enjoying the beaches and swimming in the ocean, an idyllic scene.

On the boat to P.E.I.

Ready to ride

Enjoying a moonlit walk at the campground

Lovely small roads on the island

Where have we seen zebras before?

Potato fields line the road

Pulling in to Dalvay by the Sea

Gorgeous interior

Sandy beaches

Other motorcyclists enjoying the riding

We stayed in Cavendish, at a KOA Kampground. Ekke very kindly did the two kilometre walk down the road with me, the next day, to the Green Gables Historic Site. Only those who have read the books would understand that this is like a pilgrimage for people all over the world. The Japanese even had the book as required reading in school curriculums. Lucy Maud Montgomery's cousin's farmhouse was the inspiration for the setting of her Anne of Green Gables books, and the house has been restored to its former turn-of-the-century charm. She had spent a lot of time there as a child, inventing names for the cow path to the back field and the small forest adjacent to the house, Lover's Lane and The Haunted Wood, respectively. During a wander through the house and grounds, I could just imagine Anne and Diana drinking 'raspberry cordial' together, or Anne dying her hair green or accidentally putting liniment in the cake. What a lot of fun to relive all those antics that I had grown up with through the books. Back at our campground we had our own antics going on. We had been warned that KOA campgrounds had a lot of children, but this one seemed to have an over-abundance of wild, crying, out-of-control little ones. Our neighbour, four year old Gregory kept decorating our picnic table with pine-cones. He was fascinated by the way they opened and closed with the changes in temperature and wanted us to share in his excitement. We saved one of his pine-cones, carried it across Canada, and it is a great souvenir, currently hanging in our garage as a very useful parking marker. And a reminder not to go to KOAs anymore.

At Green Gables

The house that Lucy Maud Montgomery used as a basis for the books

The farm

Practising on a plastic cow

Along the Haunted Wood trail

A lovely walk along Lover's Lane

Ekke tries a delicious Raspberry Cordial

Riding around the island on motorcycles continued to be a wonderful experience. Gently rolling hills took us past little farmhouses and quaint villages with church steeples showing in the distance. In Charlottetown, we took in Founder's Hall, a display set up at the visitor centre showing how each province entered confederation. We were quite excited about all this Canadian history, especially after being out of the country for a year, and we glowed with pride. The dioramas were very impressive, and we have a better understanding of the birth of our nation, and the people who made it so. Sir John A. Macdonald is a rock star. After enjoying a visit to the local 'Cows' ice-cream shop we walked around the older part of Charlottetown and saw some impressive buildings like Province House, historic churches and brick row-houses.

Visitor centre in Charlottetown with a Canadian Confederation museum

Ekke tries his best Sir John A. impression

Whoa, "Best Ice Cream"?

This fine young fellow did indeed provide us with some excellent ice cream

Looks like a water main break in Charlottetown

Province House

The Sandbox Restaurant was within walking distance of the campground, so we wandered over, got brave and ordered the lobster. Why brave? Because we had never cracked a lobster open before in our lives. It tasted great when we eventually figured out how to eat it; rank beginners like us needed instructions from our server on how to use the tools to crack it open and which parts we should eat. Good fun. You Maritimers are probably having a good laugh at our expense right now.

Audrey goes for a ride in the bushes

Followed by a walk on the beach

And checking out some cannons

Yes, the plastic bib was a necessity

"Hello, my name is Lobby McLobster and I'm your dinner."

Thinking we had had enough of loud children at the KOA, we moved to another campground closer to Summerside. Ekke was really interested in more Anne of Green Gables (ha ha) so we bought tickets to a musical stage play, Anne and Gilbert. Actually, we both really loved the production, which covered the time period after Anne left for college, meeting other people, finally realizing her love for the island and Gilbert. It was really well done, with young girls swooning after their teacher, Mr. Blythe, or Josie Pie following Gilbert into the ocean for a swim. Throw in some catchy tunes, period costumes, island scenery, and it made for an entertaining afternoon.  (Go to the website and listen to the catchy tune on the homepage.) Later, we wandered around the Spinnaker landing boardwalk, taking in a free outdoor concert, enjoying the maritime ambiance.

Gregory in the background collecting more pine cones at the KOA

Getting ready for a great show at the Jubilee Theatre

The Confederation Bridge back to the mainland was quite impressive. We spent some time at the visitor centre looking at displays and video of the history and construction of the bridge, trying to wait out the rain. The fee of $16.50 per bike turned out to be about half of what the ferry would have cost. We eventually just decided to go, and waited in the pouring rain for 20 minutes because a wide load was coming from the other direction. The 12.9 kilometres of bridge was interesting on motorcycles, with heavy cross and tail-winds, and the ever present rain.

The inside of the Confederation Bridge

The bridge connects PEI to the province of New Brunswick, where the skies lightened up and the rain quit. After a short break in the visitor centre to dry out a little we went to Atlantic Motoplex in Moncton, arriving at 2:00 PM. They got us in right away and put on new Tourance tires, a front for Ekke and both front and rear for me. They also did an oil change, readying us for the long ride across Canada. Ekke had been hoping to have a look at a red R1200GS that he had seen on the internet, but alas, it was being loaned out to someone in Halifax. We ate Vietnamese food for lunch, the first in a long time, then rode to a campground and hung all of our stuff out to dry. The McLobster for supper was tasty, and definitely easier to eat than the real thing (You Maritimers are laughing again, aren't you?).

The sign reads "Heavy Rain, Adjust Speed", this should be fun...

On July 22nd, we packed up a reasonably dry tent. It was not raining when we left though there were some low hanging clouds and it was a bit misty, so we put the Gore-Tex liners in but just as we rode away the skies opened up and we had to put the rain gear on.  It only rained for a little while and soon enough we were wetter on the inside than the outside because of the warm temperatures so we stopped and peeled the rain gear off again. At a gas station we had lunch consisting of sandwiches and popcorn. I think we were on a mission to eat all the foods that we hadn't eaten for over a year because we stopped a couple of hundred kilometres down the road at Dalhousie for a break at Timmy's. Later that afternoon, we crossed the border into Quebec, excited about the next leg of our trip across our beautiful country.