After 15 years of living in Canada, I figured it was finally time to grab my backpack and my camera and head out to the East Coast of this vast and beautiful land. For some time now, I have been determined to get out of the comfort zone – Ontario and explore the many other to-be-discovered places that the land of the Maple Leaf and the Moose has to offer.
With the car all packed-up and ready to go, my girlfriend (traveling confidant) and I embarked on a week-long road trip to the east coast…final destination, Prince Edward Island (PEI). With our expectations high, our minds imagining dishes full of oysters and fresh lobsters, and our butts unprepared for 2 days of driving, we were set to experience the PEI way of life.
From the moment we got on the Confederation Bridge, I knew we were in for quite a treat. Crossing the Abegweit Passage onto the Island, felt like entering a faraway and imaginary place. But there was nothing imaginary about were we had arrived…PEI was now real. I loved the freshness in the air and all the greenery that surrounded us. You read correctly…GREENERY! Not only is PEI surrounded by water but it is also full of hilly fields and lots of agriculture.
On the first day on the Island we headed straight to the beach at Rice Point to check off “clam digging” from our to-do list. At Rice Point we confirmed why PEI is recognized for its red sand and long beaches. As the tide pulled back, it gave way to the best spot on the beach to catch dinner. A dip in salty waters and a couple of hours later….a dozen clams ready for dinner! The tide started to rise and we had just enough time to head back to safety as the red sand disappeared back into the ocean. The day activities also included a quick visit around Charlottetown to get a refresher on canadian history and the first settlements back in the day, and a drive around 9-mile Creek where we discovered that life as an Islander has a lot to do with working on the land and being self-sustainable.
For the second day, our friend and local tour guide, Natalie took us to the Penderosa Cottages (www.penderosacottages.ca) for a glimpse of the North Shore way of life. On the way to the North Shore we had to stop at the birth place of Anne of Green Gables and visit L.M’s Montgomery’s home. You definitely feel like you are a part of the story when driving through the hills and creeks. At the cottages we had the pleasure of meeting the Pendergasts, a very sweet couple and the proud Islanders who have made the Penderosa land what it is today. We couldn’t leave this land without some apple picking, swimming in the Atlantic ocean, and cooking up fresh lobster and oysters bought straight from a local fisherman near by.
As our stay on PEI came to an end, I could not help it and felt a bit nostalgic. This is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the world and one to which I will go back. If you are thinking about making this trip I highly recommend taking more time off then we did and stay for at least a full week. Two days was not enough to see everything this island has to offer.
Until next time PEI!