Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A quarter way there....

As of today it's been three months and almost 20,000 kilometers since we left our driveway in Kamloops. Of course we're over budget again this month but we knew the first six months would be the most expensive, as we put on all the miles. Once we get south for the winter we'll be doing less travelling. Or so we keep rationalizing anyway.

Leaving Truro behind we camped at Glenhome, New Brunswick where there wasn’t much else besides a swimming pool. It was a hot, muggy day so it was nice to have the pool to ourselves, before it started to rain and cooled things off.

The next day we drove up to the Northumberland Shore and spent some time at beautiful and warm Heather and Tidnish beaches, before crossing into New Brunswick and checking into a campsite just outside Moncton where we had a roaring fire.

In the morning we drove to Hillsborough where Janice’s great grandparents were from, and wandered around their excellent and extensive train museum before heading for the Hopewell Rocks which are famous because, besides their immense size and ghastly shapes, they clearly demonstrate the disparity between the tides on the Bay of Fundy. We walked the park in the afternoon and caught the high tide, which is pictured below.

The next day we got up early in order to catch the low tide at Hopewell Rocks. The picture below is low tide, a difference of 39 feet from high tide. In the spring the tides can reach as much as 51 feet. Its kind of eerie walking on the ocean floor where the water would have been thirty feet over our heads just eighteen or nineteen hours earlier.

We headed south later in the day and walked around the town of Alma a bit before striking out for Fundy National Park where we swam and hung out at Bennet Lake for the afternoon.
Pictured are fishing boats left high and dry at Alma when the tide goes at in the Bay of Fundy. Also pictured: Us at Bennet Lake in Fundy national Park. Could somebody have gained a pound or two on the trip? And I don't mean Janice. I'm working on my belly tan and if you saw me today I'd probably look a lot better!

Later we drove to Sussex, on a blistering hot afternoon, where we found a kiddie's water park. There we had dinner and splashed around in freezing water with some six-year-olds. Worn out and cooled off we moved camp to Wal-Mart where we drank wine with two couples from Calgary and another from Fairmont, BC.

In the morning I took the truck to Canadian Tire for an oil change, which worked out great because they were right across the street from Wal-Mart. But, as were driving towards Saint John, I noticed the engine light was on. When I checked, the new oil filter was leaking. We took it to Canadian Tire in Saint John where they replaced the filter, but when we got back in the truck the engine light was still on. The service guys said that it was a strange coincidence and had nothing to do with the oil change. They said they’d have to put it on the diagnostic machine and find out what it was. $65 later they said that they had the codes for what was wrong but didn’t know what they meant! So, they said they’d turn the engine light off, but then couldn’t. We walked out frustrated and still had a broken truck.

The next morning we took it to the Ford dealership and they discovered it was some fuel sensor letting in too much air and it was fixed in a jiffy for $98. I went back to Canadian Tire to get my money back but after getting stonewalled by the Service Manager and then going through the same thing with the Store Manager I came out of the Canadian Tire Store an unhappy customer. Don’t take your vehicle there, they have no idea about what they’re doing - they admitted to all kinds of faults with what they’d done and even to their own lack of expertise, but there was no refunding the money.

Saint John New Brunswick was a bit of a disappointment. While the downtown is funky with lots of old brick buildings - looks like a great big Yaletown - there is a pulp mill and an oil refinery located right next door, so the air quality leaves something to be desired. Sorry cousin Martin, Saint Johns, Newfoundland wins, hands down. Pictured is a cruise ship at Saint John as well as some of the brick buildings downtown.

Stopping in Black’s Harbour, another haunt of Janice’s relatives, we were chased out of town by the overwhelming smell of the sardine processing plants. We drove on to Saint Andrews By The Sea, which, in contrast, is an exquisite little example of a meticulously maintained historic town. The Kinsman Campsite, where we stayed, was on some of the most expensive real estate in Saint Andrews. Pictured is the Bay of Fundy in front of our campsite at Saint Andrews by The Sea. It has a mile of beachfront which was perfect because, by maritime standards, we’re enduring an extraordinary heat wave, with temperatures of 35+ degrees.

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