We sailed out of Quebec City after a quick stop at Canadian Tire (our second home) for a few more necessities. I love watching the church spires shoot up from the landscape marking all the villages – I think we saw maybe three villages whose names did not have saint in them. The best being St. Emile de Ha! Ha! Clearly Quebec has a lock on the saints. The goal had been to get all the way to Souris PEI an epic drive but it was just not realistic. As much as we planned to just do big drives in one go the reality is, although we can do it and even the kids are fine with it, it’s just not cool to roll into a campground at midnight – waking the proprietors and our neighbours with Ole Smokey and our creaky old man pop up. So I google up a closer rest stop and come up with Grand Falls New Brunswick. I find a campground named Babbling Brook with great reviews and it looks perfect with a heated pool, mini golf AND a trampoline. In reality Babbling Brook was more walking dead and twilight zone – it seems abandoned – a lone swings sways, the pool is murky, the trampoline frayed and the campers all in states of disrepair. We high tail it out of there first thing in the morning and put it a long full day to make it to Parlee Beach Provinvial Park NB by 9pm. Chris finds a boat/fishing tour and books us in for the next day – lobster and mackerel fishing, cooking on the boat and even some snorkelling. The only catch is that it is still two and a half hours away which means we need to get up at 5:45. We are organized and ready – get the kids up and are about to load them into Ole Smokey when Chris notices an email from the tour cancelling the day due to mechanical difficulties ….sigh. We carry on toward Souris PEI.
PEI is everything you would imagine – the colours are sharp and soft at the same time – bright yellow fields, golden hay bales, shining white houses and churches (no fancy spires just simple smooth white painted wood with small black crosses) contrasted with the soft greys and blues of sky and water, the red sandy earth and the smooth rolling lush green lawns (they like to mow the grass here – everywhere are beautiful soft manicured perfectly green lawns).
After the Walking Dead campground I am not putting too much stock in google reviews so I just pick a campground that looks like it is on the water and call it a day but we hit the jackpot. Granted we have only stayed in 4 campgrounds but they have all been the illusion of camping – more like glorified parking lots. Campbell Coves is perfect – we are almost right on the beach and we arrive about an hour and a half before sunset. Immediately the kids run down to the beach – it’s the first time we haven’t had them waiting in Ole Smokey in the dark while we fumble around setting up. Anderson finds some kids his age and they are off – pulling jellyfish off the rocks while Sabine digs in the sand. Turns out the kids are our neighbours and we have a wonderful night making new friends and eating a campfire meal. The kids pass out which leaves Chris and I to sit by the fire – me in a kid chair from the campers next door and Chris on the ground (camp chairs – yet an other thing to add to the endless list). It is the first time we have been alone sitting by a campfire for the entire trip. The stars and moon are out and we can hear the waves on the beach and I have a little cry. We did it.
Honestly I could have stayed at that campground for at least an other day but we are behind and have so many places we want to hit the main being Iles de la Madeleines QB and we have a ferry reservation. So reluctantly we pack up AGAIN – I would say this has been the main downside – we pop up and OUT – everything explodes pillows, bedding, clothes on the floor, crackers and fruit and then less than 12 hours later we are packing it all back up again.
We do manage to run up a lighthouse and snap a few pictures before we get to the ferry dock for a 5 hour sail. The ferry is very French – meaning there are many places to eat and drink and the food is amazing – nothing like the ferry I used to take from the mainland to Vancouver Island when I was in University. We have locally smoked makeral and scallops, a local cheese platter, lobster panini and a beautiful salad with fresh berries.
Our campsite – Parc de Gros-Cap looked like the perfect spot on the map – it’s surrounded by sea and also in the middle of the Islands. We arrive to find it’s a little windswept and exposed but absolutely beautiful – we have views of the sea out both sides of the camper. The sun is setting and Chris says, “I’m going to sleep so well tonight.” Kiss of death. Somehow we now can’t get electricity to the camper. Some sort of fuse we don’t know and it’s too late to really try to figure it out. Although Chris does try, we pop up, Anderson rides around exploring, Sabine whines, I try to make dinner in the wind and finally Chris heads into town to get some ice for our little fridge – luckily we only have some milk, cheese, hummus and condiments in there – nothing expensive to loose.
The kids pass out and we tuck in – no bed warmers tonight – yes we do have electric mattresses that so we can crawl into a warm bed. Then we try to drift off. It’s like sleeping in the eye of the storm and I have dreams of being blown over. Now I know why we are the only ones with a pop up at this campsite – everyone else have hard shells. Somehow the kids sleep through the creaking and rocking of the camper and the unpredictable gusting of wind. Tomorrow will be yet an other day of trouble shooting.