Looking across the causeway at Pictou

Day 32
Today I left John's B+B after a very good pancake breakfast, riding towards New Glascow. Before I got there I realized that it was Sunday so I wasn't going to find an open bike shop. I decide to follow the Sunrise route which (I think - it is poorly marked and the road marking seems inconsistent with the map marking) goes north and east of New Glascow. I had to stop and ask for directions ('Pictou? You go down to the TCH and go west. Back roads? I don't know about back roads.') and try different variations till I got the info I needed to supplement the map which is rather poor in this area.

I ended up riding 304 through Trenton, crossing the bay on the 'Trenton Connector,'and riding up the other side of the bay on what I think (no signs!) is route 4. It T's into the TCH which then crosses a causeway west of Pictou. Pictou is a pretty town, but I didn't enter it because I had decided to cross to PEI on the ferry rather than riding the rest of the Sunrise Trail. The Pictou rotary has exits for Pictou, the PEI Ferry, and Route 6 which is the, poorly marked, Sunrise trail. The rest of the Sunrise trail will have to wait for another visit. Perhaps it will be better marked in a few years.

I took the PEI Ferry exit and, almost immediately met two women who had ridden from Vancouver and are heading to Nfld, via the Cabot Trail, to finish their TransCanada Ride. They have been on the road three months (several long visits en route) and plan to finish in another month. They know Mike, the guy I met yesterday with a TransCanada website and are using libraries and Cyber Cafes to upload info to a person who is maintaining their site. Mike's site has a link to their site and I have their email address, so I'll be checking in their progress as soon as I get back on the net. I got a lot of good info from them about my proposed routing and, I hope, gave them some good info, and the Bicycling NS book I had bought at Yarmouth, on their route through NS.

I'm in Charlottetown PEI tonight at a small B+B right on the harbor. It is quite nice, although my room is very small and another, young teenage, guest is watching horrible TV in the next room. I can hear what he is watching and I worry about his mental health. This may be aggravated by the fact that, in this most peaceable of places, I got yelled at by some teenage idiots, apparently for not getting out of their way fast enough, as I walked across the street in the lovely Victoria Park. Their act was typical (yell as you roar away, thereby avoiding actually dealing with the person you yelled at) of the type of behavior I have not experienced as a bicyclist here.

The ferry ride was short (70 minutes) and uneventful. PEI is peaceful and very easy riding. Things, with the possible exception of the drivers, many of whom are tourists, seem even more peaceful here than in NS. The ferry terminus, Woods Island, is quite isolated and the surrounding are is very agricultural. I felt like I was riding across Wisconsin with ocean views! Traffic was so light that I found myself riding down the middle of the TCH. The TCH has good shoulders, but the middle of the road was smoother.

About half way from the ferry terminal to Charlottetown, the cultural center of PEI, I met a fellow from Montreal who is riding to Cape Breton and then on to Halifax where he will take the train back to Montreal. His budget for three weeks is the same as mine for one week, so tonight he is sleeping in the Provincial Park at Wood's Island and I'm in an upscale B+B. Despite our financial and age differences (he asked me if I was retired...) we had a nice visit. Both he and the women I met earlier today warned me that I would have headwinds going up the St Lawrence and, if I had tail winds, that meant a storm was about to hit.

I had headwinds in both NS and PEI today, but they, like almost everything else, were gentler on PEI. Really nice, really easy, riding with gently rolling hills of up to 200 feet high. The slopes are gentle enough that I only used my small front ring once (on Tea Hill which is on the 'scenic' route). I can see why this is a popular place to ride.

Tomorrow I'll try again for a bike shop (and a bank - this B+B took the last of my Canadian cash). I plan on getting to New Brunswick via the shuttle over that incredible bridge, and I hope that I can ride to someplace to stay before dark. I'll visit the NB tourist office for info tomorrow.

Sun set at Charlottetown's Harbor

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