The ongoing story of a girl and her van on an epic journey across Canada.
Day 97 (Sat, August 14th)
Fortunately the west and east bits of PEI aren’t nearly as popular. I spent four days driving slowly along the charming country roads, enjoying the farms and cottages and small harbours lined smartly with fishing boats. Long red beaches with water so warm it feels like pee (to quote my cousin’s boyfriend and host of my Ottawa accommodations, in describing his idea of the perfect swimming temperature) were everywhere. I camped, swam, read, and walked. A lot.
Day 100 (Tues, August 17th)
Let’s take a moment to reflect on this, shall we? I’ve spent 100 days on the road. 100 days of sleeping in my van or in the warm beds of friends and family, and in some cases, strangers. 100 days of summer road tripy goodness. I believe there is only really one thing to say.
Day 102 (Thurs, August 19th)
I took the 6:30 am ferry off of PEI. It takes about 75 minutes. On board I had some coffee and ate breakfast, then went to the upper deck and lay down on a bench in the sun. When the ferry made the announcement to return to vehicles I was surprised to see that we were already in dock. I walked directly down to my van to find that not only was the ferry in the process of unloading, but they were unloading my lane, and all the cars behind me were making a wide semi-circle around my abandoned looking vehicle. I waltzed up, got in, and was the last car to drive off.
Now, I didn’t think I’d fallen asleep on my bench, but I either slept through their initial docking announcement, or they sent it out through ESP. Either way….Oops!
I drive off the ferry with the intention of heading to Cape Breton, and immediately end up driving back towards New Brunswick, although it takes me about 20km to notice it.
I stop in Antigonish to do some laundry. The laundromat doesn’t have a change machine, so I go to several businesses in search of quarters. Back at the washing machine I load in my clothes, and as I turn to leave I can’t find my sunglasses. Are they…yep! Oscillating away with my dirty shirts and underwear.
Over to a coffee shop to check my email. The internet stops working seconds after I sign on. I go to pay for my coffee and hey! Where’s my wallet?
Back to the van. Not there. I figure it’s being laundered, just like my sunglasses would have been if I hadn’t rescued them.
Back to the laundromat, and panic finally sets in when the wallet is not in the washer. I backtrack to all the businesses I tried to bum quarters off of. No luck. But I swear I had it when I left my van. I took everything out of my one bag and put it all in my other bag, and my wallet was there — unless it didn’t make the transfer and is still in that first bag.
I call ICBC to ask about renewing my car insurance, which expires in a few weeks. Before I left on my trip they told me I could easily do this over the phone.
Well, the woman I spoke with had a different opinion. She thought I was very irresponsible for having the gall, THE GALL, to be out of province when my insurance expired. AGAIN! (Yes, when I extended my trip in Ecuador last summer I was in the same position and had to do it over the phone. GASP!) I had to listen through a lecture on responsibility and then pretty much had to beg for her to answer a few simple questions.
In the afternoon I arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia. I put on my running shoes to go for a walk (I’d been wearing sandals for a few days straight) and immediately started limping. What the? A foot inspection found three separate blisters that had formed into one mega blister pretty much covering the entire surface area of my baby toe. I immediately called both my sisters and my mom to whinge.
PS: Thank you mom, Angie and Melissa for humouring me. Especially Melissa, because she made sympathetic noises while at work. If I’d had to listen to me whine about getting blisters from walking on sandy beaches too much, while sitting at my office desk, I’d have hung up on me.
All photos by Sarah Gignac
Camping at Sunset
View from PEI Ferry
This article was first published on Raggedy Threads in August 2010.