2009.08.27: Pugwash > Caribou Harbour

10h45 - I'm in Pugwash with a beautiful clear sky about 15°C and winds out of the west at 24km/h. I decide to start my journey from the Thinker's Lodge, on the edge of Pugwash Harbour. The location of the Thinkers' Conference on Disarmament, which has been taking place here since 1957. Amazing for such a small, unassuming town. Very picturesque. It doesn't take long before I am out of Pugwash and passing by farms. There are many along route #6, or the Sunrise Trail which follows the Northumberland Shore.

For details on the route taken please click here

Click on any image to enlarge

11h41 - I come across the Wallace and Area museum. Formerly the home of shipbuilder James B. Davison, it is now houses the relics of what used to be a thriving industry in the area, along with fishing. The museum staff I speak with inform me that they also maintain nine kilometres of trails and heritage gardens which visitors are welcome to enjoy. Unfortunately on my timeline this is not possible. I do inquire though if their mandate reaches as far east as Caribou Harbour or if they would have any information. It doesn't and thus they do not have any information on its history. They know it mainly for the ferry, having passed through to take it.

13h04 - I arrive in Tatamagouche a very quaint tourist town. One of the town's claim to fame is the Train Station Inn, where the former rail station and abandoned rail cars have been transformed into a Bed and Breakfast. It was purchased by the current owner in 1974 saving it from the planned demolition. All of this information was provided by the staff during my visit. They seem very proud to boast about their community's ability to preserve their history and heritage sites.
They then ask me where I am headed and they tell me that Caribou has some beautiful beaches which I should definitely visit. As for any other information they can offer ... there is the ferry to PEI that leaves from Caribou.

13h25 - There is the Fraser Cultural Centre not too far from the Inn, that I check out. It is home to the Anna Swan Museum. Hailed as the tallest woman in the world, she was born in Millbrook in 1846, not too far from Tatamagouche. The museum is bustling with tourist taking in a local art show also currently on exhibit. I chat with a volunteer of the centre about the various exhibit and then ask her for any advice about getting to Caribou. Unfortunately she has never visited and knows little about it.

15h11 - Passing through the town of River John I find a Tourism bureau, where I stop and ask about the area's history etc. The young woman working at the bureau is very friendly and tells me that there used to be a properous shipbuilding industry along with fishing and farming but since the shipbuilding has died tourism is what they are counting on to revive the community as many have left to find work in the cities. She provides some good advice on what roads to avoid approaching Caribou Harbour but as for her knowledge of the community that surrounds it and what takes place. Well there are the beaches, she really like Waterside beach close to Caribou Island.

15h47 - back on the road with about than 38km to go. There are less and less farmlands at least along the road I am traveling. I no longer pass through towns. It is quiet, very peaceful just the rustling of the trees.

16h44 - I turn off Sunrise Trail and onto Shore Road about 22km to go ... I am surrounded by trees. It seems forever that I am alone no cars no houses, no farms, just me and the road and the trees. I feel like the only woman in the world - or the only human in the world - no one but me.

It only lasts for about 30 minutes, or has it been 30 minutes? Time seems flattened, everything happening at once. Not sure how far I have gone since last checking my speedometer. What time is it? I am currently cycling toward the east and the sun is behind me so it must be nearing evening. The rustling of the trees is overtaken by the engine of a car speeding past me.

I am brought back to reality. The car turns into the entrance for Waterside beach. Isn't this the west end of Caribou? so I must be about 15 km from my destination. I am still surrounded by trees, eventually pass a couple of farms. But unlike the previous towns I have passed through today I realize that there is no café, or restaurant, or Inn, or museum close by the beach or within the town of Caribou. No where for me to stop. So I keep pedaling, enjoying the peace and tranquility that it offers, with only the trees speaking to me.

Then it hits me, didn't someone tell me Herring season starts Monday. There isn't just lobster to be caught here in Caribou.

17h24 - I have arrived.

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