Friday, August 3, 2018

Monday August 3, 1998 - PEI

Fanningbrook - sunny and warm.

I left Evergreen Acres fairly early and drove as much as possible along coast roads to Cape Tormentine. I was listening to the CBC radio station in Charlottetown, but PEI was too far away across the water to see it. The coast seemed typically Maritime, and like a lot of places on the Nova Scotia coasts. Shediac is a busy tourist town. I drove past the turnoff for the Confederation Bridge to PEI to go to Cape Tormentine to see the old ferry port. It is a very quiet town with a big abandoned ferry terminal. You could drive around the line-up areas and I took some photos of the bridge from there. It looks pretty amazing, you can only the see the part extending out from the New Brunswick shore, and then it just disappears into the distance. You can't see the other end of the bridge.

Around noon I crossed the bridge, it is 13 km (8 miles) long and takes about 10 minutes to cross. First you climb and climb and then you go down down down to PEI. On the New Brunswick side is nothing except signs saying No Stopping. The sides of the bridge are too high to see over so there is nothing to see except the road and other cars. On the PEI side is Gateway Village, a very elaborate Visitors' Centre with all kinds of displays and tourist shops. It was packed. There were even line-ups just to speak to someone at the Visitor Information desks and to get maps and tourist brochures. When I left I saw the line-up of cars leaving the island.

The drive to Charlottetown is less than an hour through farmland: potatoes, grain and clover. In Charlottetown I tried calling Cindy's work number from a payphone in a mall, but I just got an answering machine. She works at a daycare centre. So I looked up the name of the daycare centre in the Yellow Pages at the payphone and found the address, then tried to find a map with street names. Finally I found one in a grocery store and I memorized the location and drove out there. It was close by where the payphone was located, but I couldn't find the street number. There was a church in roughly the right location so I went in and asked a man in an office if this was the correct address. He said it was and that the daycare was in the basement. Cindy was on the phone in the daycare office.

Cindy said she had to go to the dentist before going home and she thought it would take no more than 40 minutes. She said I could just wait at the church. I parked in the church parking lot and had some lunch. I fed Yohan and took him for a walk. I waited a while and then finally pulled out some mending and did some sewing while I waited. She got back two and a half hours later.

Cindy started talking right away about her kids, just started right in as soon as we'd said Hello. Went on for awhile and then we went to pick up her youngest son Mark at a house across the street. She had a few errands to run in town and I got gas for the truck before we drove out to their farm. Mark rode with me in case I lost track of Cindy. The last stretch of driving was on a very dusty dirt road, I could not see Cindy's car right ahead of me, so it was a good thing I had Mark with me to tell me when we got to their driveway.

Their house is set way back off the road with a grove of trees behind it and lawn all around it. There's a trampoline on one side of the house. They have sold off most of the farm and kept only the house, barn and a couple of fields. It used to be 200 acres.

We had a very late dinner with Mark and Nicholas (middle son)—sausage and vegetables and salad from their garden.

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