Drive Right Through September 18 2014, 1 Comment
Whenever we mentioned visiting New Brunswick, we were more often than not greeted with the same bewildered expression coupled with the same question: 'why?'. Most people, it seemed, treated New Brunswick as a place they were obliged to drive through on their way to more exciting destinations. I, however, was more optimistic. After all, I said to myself, if everyone was driving through, then we would have an entire province of secret treasures to discover.
After we crossed the bridge from PEI, we decided to stop in the first tourist information place that we saw. We pulled off the highway, following the tourist information signs, and were led to what appeared to be a small abandoned hut. It was about this time that my cautious optimism began to fade. We entered the hut, and were greeted by a somewhat surprised employee. After a few minutes of conversation (he seemed a little lonely) we attempted to steer the conversation towards the sights of New Brunswick.
This was more difficult than you'd imagine, as he appeared to be actively avoiding talking about his province, even going so far as to recommend several locations in the next province over. After a while we managed to weedle some information about a site called Hopewell Rocks.
We left the man and decided to visit the self proclaimed Souvenir Shack next door. It sold nothing but fireworks. It seemed that New Brunswick tourism had some self esteem problems.
I clung to the idea of Hopewell Rocks. It seemed appropriate. Surely this would provide us a reason not to drive right through like we had been told over and over again.
We pulled into the Hopewell Rocks car park. This was the last we would know of personal space for the next few hours. We entered the gates and were swept along the human tide towards the rocks, I had grown accustomed to the friendly polite nature of Canadians, so what was probably only excited jostling was perceived by me as the the most base and primal savagery.
The creatures that were my fellow tourists were relentless. They were omnipresent. They were unpleasant.
My dream of plundering the untouched New Brunswick beauty, Indiana Jones to this Canadian tourist underworld, was rapidly disappearing. In its place was a rage at people. One particularly unpleasant man actually threw a rock at Brendan because he was in the way of a photo he wanted to take.
Luckily, we pressed on.
Apparently these demonic beasts masquerading as tourists were actually those passing right through. Hopewell Rocks was not far from the highway and provided a means to refuel, revive and plough through. We continued south and discovered one of the most amazing drives I have ever experienced. The Fundy Coastal drive.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing is real. It just got better and better the further we got from Hopewell Rocks as well. We found the most amazing mud flats that the huge tides had formed that seemed to stretch out endlessly. At Cape Enrage we found an amazing little community with a gourmet kitchen, local craft shop, zip line and abseiling adventures and, best of all, an entire beach of fossils waiting to be discovered. We pressed on and found outlook after outlook overseeing these fossil cliffs and rocky shores. We kept going, and found amazing ice cold rivers with rapids and waterfalls that got steadily more picturesque, so much so that we believed each one we came across was the one for which the walk had been named.
Seriously, ice cold.
It was beautifiul. It was incredible. It was all mine.
So if you ever do find yourself in New Brunswick, just keep driving.
Leave it all for me.