Washed out yesterday, we wanted to see as much of the North Central Coast, as is possible in 1 day, so we were up early and on the road by 09:00. On departing the campground we turned left and headed along Hwy # 1 to Charlottetown, where we continued NE on Hwy # 2, turning onto Hwy # 6 for the North Coast. It may be a small island, but it still took well over an hour to reach the North Coast.
Our first stop of the day coincided with our first glimpse of the ocean at a layby on Hwy # 6. This view is looking up Tracadie Bay, which is open to the ocean. The bay is well utilised with numerous oyster and mussel farms.
Back on the road again, we continued heading North and noted a sign for Tracadie Beach, so thought we should give it a look. We drove to the end of Harbour Drive arriving at a small parking lot close to the beach. From the parking lot they even provide a wooden boardwalk over the dunes to the beach. Wow, what a great location, with a long, secluded and sheltered beach.
The bonus at this beach is that dogs were welcome, even off leash. With nobody else around we let them off leash and they went straight into the water. Duke, as expected went straight in, but we were surprised with Kona, who not too many months ago wouldn’t even step in the water. She got brave and was running along the edge, almost up to her belly. Both dogs had a great time playing. Duke, the Labrador will probably sleep for the remainder of the day.
Fortunately we had a towel in the truck, so we dried them off somewhat and got them back in the truck, leaving the windows open to help blow them dry.
Back on the road again, we next entered PEI National Park and were somewhat disappointed in that the booths were closed, so entry was free. No, we aren’t becoming spendthrifts, as we bought annual passes when in Banff. Our next stop was the first beach in the National Park, but signs stated dogs are only welcome on the beach from October to May. So we went to check out the beach, having to leave the dogs in the truck
Trying to cover most of the coast in one day we really didn’t have the time to walk another beach, especially as it was a warm day and the dogs were in the car. Therefore, we walked to the top of the dunes, checked out the beach, snapped a couple of quick photographs and back to the truck.
Heading West along the coast our next stop was just after crossing over the entrance to Covehead Bay, a large bay with narrow entrance to the ocean.
Shortly after leaving Covehead Bay you reach the end of the Eastern portion of the National Park and the road heads South to meet up again with Hwy # 6. Next stop was in North Rustico at the Rustico Bay Wool Sweater Shop. Andy has a number of hand knitted Arran sweaters and a cardigan, knitted by his mum, so we were interested in checking out what they had to offer. They had similar patterns, but the wool is much lighter and they were on the pricey side at $300.
Enough with the shopping or browsing through shops and back to enjoying the coastal scenery, so we head out to North Rustico Harbour. It’s also getting close to lunch time, so we are looking for a restaurant to stop for a quick bite to eat. Lots of choice by the harbour, but none that appealed to Judi – nearly all seafood, which wasn’t surprising since we were at a harbour.
Not finding a lunch spot we continued West on Hwy # 6 towards Cavendish, which is the home of Ann of Green Gables. We drove through the town seeing Green Gables and Avonlea Village, but also some lesser tacky tourist venues – amusement parks, Ripleys, etc. Fortunately, summer is over in PEI and they were shut down and closed for the season. Then we spotted a restaurant that had a number of cars, so thought we would try it. Big mistake, lunch was simply dreadful and to boot, Andy ended up with food poisoning.
After lunch we stopped at Avonlea Village, the first of two Ann of Green Gables stops. They have plenty of parking, so we found a shady spot and headed in for a quick walk around. First up was ticket booths, gulp – the entry fee is about $20 EACH. We don’t want to buy it, just walk around for a few minutes. Then we see a sign advising that entry is complimentary today – phew!! On researching the facility, it is really at least a 1/2 or a full day event, with employees in period costumes and a schedule of activities through the entire day. However, today they had nothing on offer, hence the complimentary admission. We decided to wander in and stroll around the village.
Noticing the Cow’s Creamery we decided to get an ice cream cone for us and a scoop for each of the dogs. You should have seen the lady’s face when we said the single scoops were for the dogs. Apparently that’s the first time anybody got ice cream for their dogs.
Next was the Green Gables Park, which is operated by Parks Canada. The tour started with a short film introducing the author, location and characters. We then wandered into the grounds and walked through a barn, which frankly could have been any small farm museum, followed by the Green Gables house. It basically could have been any historical house with period furniture. Even Judi, who has read the books didn’t get much out of it.
By now it was already 16:00, so we decided to call it a day and head back to the campground.