We arose to discover this dispensary thing hanging in the shower – note the labels in French:
Never did see the like of it. However, it turns out that our proprietor, Jacques Desjardin, is a heck of a chef! He served up some glorious croissants along with a parfait of yogurt, granola and maple syrup, and some wonderful eggs Benedict. So, we had a great experience at Auberge Inn and can highly recommend it.
As we pulled out of the inn, I noticed that the rear brake was pulsing, something it never does. I pulled off to check the bike and the saddlebags, but everything seemed OK so on we went, and the problem seemed to work itself out; I attributed it to the soaking the brakes took riding all day in the rain yesterday and figured the problem would stop when the brakes dried out. We left Moncton on NB-15, which begins as a four-lane divided highway but soon transitions to a two-lane, 60MPH road through prime moose country (although we never saw one). There are two ways to get to Prince Edward Island — one is by ferry from Caribou, Nova Scotia and the other is the Confederation Bridge near Cape Tormentine.
You can just see PEI off in the distance about eight miles across the Northumberland Strait. We expected some severe buffeting on the bridge, given the stiff breeze which followed us from Moncton, but had no problems, perhaps due to the concrete barriers atop the bridge.
From there, we essentially traversed the west side of the island. PEI-12 is the coastal route here, and offers miles of red sands against green fields, blue ocean and sky, overall a lovely ride but with no real eye-popping vistas that just demanded a photograph. We had hoped to see the provincial park at West Cape but somehow missed it, so we continued along the western shore and then, when we crossed inland to buy gas (more on this later), continued on to the northern shore and stopped at Jacques Cartier Provincial Park. This is an RV campground with a nice beach, seen below; you can clearly see the red sands for which PEI is famous:
We took lodgings in a converted convent in Tignish, the Tignish Heritage Inn and Gardens. The Inn is a refurbished three-story brick dormitory behind the Catholic Church with about two acres of award-winning gardens abutting.
We went abut 9 miles to North Cape for dinner, a small community located at the very northwestern tip of PEI. There are some nice views of the ocean to be had here, as well as a windmill farm and a wind energy interpretive center (closed when we arrived).
In closing, I have been increasingly concerned at the pace with which the Vespa is inhaling gasoline, and until today I attributed it to the high speeds at which we have been traveling. But this evening I checked my gas receipts and realized that I am now getting only about 75 miles to a tank of gas, where I am used to getting well over 100. Moreover, I went outside and spun the rear tire — and it only turned with some difficulty, making a most unpleasant grating noise. All of this, plus the pulsating of the brakes this morning, makes me believe that something is up with that rear wheel, which would explain why I’m having to gas up about every hour now. I am hoping that it is only the rear brake sticking, which I think will be a relatively easy fix. Worse would be the wheel bearings going, as I am not sure that can be fixed except by a Vespa dealer, and the nearest one is in Brunswick, Maine.
There is a Yamaha dealer about 40 miles from here whom I will call tomorrow and try to get it checked out. Hopefully that can happen in the morning and will not turn out to be a big deal. We should get our first full day of sun on this trip tomorrow, and would like to spend it at the beach on the north shore, at the PEI National Park. I’ll let you know how it goes…..