Monday, February 20, 2006

Getting There Is Half The Fun: Maritime Travels 2 Out Of 12

August 2005

It's an island, which means you have to cross the water to get there. That's the point.

There are two ways to get back and forth between Prince Edward Island and the mainland: the
Northumberland Ferry between Caribou, Nova Scotia and Woods Island, PEI, and the Confederation Bridge between Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick and Borden-Carleton, PEI. We elected, of course, to do both. The price is pretty much the same; in either case, you only pay on the way from the island to the mainland.

The ferry is first-come first-serve, so we had a long wait -- at least a couple of hours, with no guarantee of getting on the next one to go -- but that gave us plenty of time to look over the other boats in the Caribou Harbor -- always a fun time, even in the gray and cold. We probably felt better on the return trip -- it was a sunny day and the bridge entry point features, of course, a touristy shopping plaza -- but then a ferry is always worth the trouble. Some fries, a little Celtic music performed by two very young girls, and an island ahead. Life can be very good.

When we pulled off the ferry, we started detouring from the main road almost immediately. I can't even tell you the name of the first lighthouse -- we were just ecstatic to see the red sands of PEI and didn't realize that we were embarking upon a weeklong obsession with lighthouses.

Back on the highway, it wasn't long before we saw signs directing us to Point Prim. Paul had mentioned that we should watch for the goose, uh, excrement on the curve out there, so of course we were off the main road within seconds, ready for the next exploration. No goose problems -- just, as you can see, the only round, brick lighthouse in Canada. Up to the top, while we wondered about the lack of bricks and I told the lovely daughter about the brick lighthouse at Hatteras in North Carolina and its move back from the faltering shoreland some years back.

We managed to find some other detours leading us back to the shoreline, rafts of cormorants and, most beautifully, marsh hawks sailing across fields turning golden in the sun, finally emerging as the afternoon ended. Yes, I know they're called harriers now but, really, you can hardly call them anything but marsh hawks when they skim maritme marshes.

On to Charlottetown -- history was calling.


emmapeelDallas said...

This is absolutely beautiful writing. Reading it, I feel as if I were there myself. I hope you print this out and save it for your daughter.


Bedazzzled1 said...

The photos from this entry and the previous one are gorgeous. I am addicted to lighthouses, so I especially appreciated those pictures.

Great entry altogether.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. I am obsessed with lighthouses too. My children obsess over windmills. Thankfully Cape Cod is chock full of both.

Globetrotter said...

I've never been in that part of the country but your pictures in this entry and the previous one are inviting me BIGTIME.

Another beautiful entry that takes us to special places. You could be a writer for Travel and Leisure magazine, Robin, if you so desired.