Ah, the East…

Our excitement on reaching NB Monday afternoon was dampened by the long, boring forested drive across the top of NB to the coast – possibly less scenic than the drive to Sudbury. Our spirits were lifted upon arrival in Campbellton, where we set up camp in Sugarloaf Provincial Park and immediately headed up the “mountain” for the beautiful views the guidebook promised. After nearly a week in the car, our bodies were unaccustomed to any activity and we dragged ourselves up the 400m to the summit to survey a nice, but not amazing panorama of Campbellton and the nearby bay. “Nice but not amazing” describes the rest of the coastal drive along the eastern shore towards the Confederation Bridge. The bright spot in the 3 days we spent in NB was Kouchibouguac National Park – a nice slice of sand dunes and marshes that boasts a very nice (and deserted in September) campground. We also enjoyed the Irving Eco-center, a 2km boardwalk in Bouchtouche which leads out onto a dune. Patches did not enjoy it as he had to be kenneled.

Wednesday afternoon we decided to try our luck on the island and crossed the 12km Confederation Bridge into PEI. We immediately felt better – red cliffs and cute houses, just as we’d been promised! In mere minutes we’d forgotten New Brunswick as we weaved along country roads towards the north coast and PEI National Park. Although quite small, PEI National Park (at least the eastern section) is nice. Great red cliffs along beautiful beaches. We even smuggled the dog down to the beach one morning so he could have a drink of the Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday we drove to Charlottetown to walk the historical waterfront and sample some Cows ice cream. Then it was back to New Brunswick (this time we had to pay to cross the bridge) and onward into Nova Scotia.

We drove along the northwestern shore stopping in Joggins for the fossil cliffs (and even found a fossil) and then in Cape d’Or to marvel at the massive waves and cliffs. We like Nova Scotia, the only negative being the gangs of raccoons that were roaming our campsite last night trying very hard to get into the garbage bins. Things got quite rowdy when another family of raccoons showed up and a fight began.

Today (Friday) we drove to Halifax to get an oil change and see the Citadel National Historic Site. We’ve learned that dogs in are allowed in the historic sites so even Patches got a tour. We arrived just in time to hear the noon cannon being fired right over top of our car as well as hear several pipers and drum players. The dog was less than thrilled with the drummers and tried to flee the site.

All is well with the car (except the clutch and a burned out licence plate light) so we’re good to keep on driving. Currently we’re holed up in our luxury accommodations (the Halifax area KOA), doing laundry and using the free WiFi. The weather is supposed to stay nice (highs in the low 20s!) and we’re moving on to see the rest of the province starting tomorrow.

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