blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mist along the cliffs

Tonight we have 8 octas of fog, visibility at the airport an eighth of a mile, vertical vis. 100 feet, temperature 20, dewpoint 20, which means that we cannot see a thing from our bedroom window on the 11th floor of the Hilton except by looking straight down; the lighthouse on the dockside adjacent is slightly visible. It reminds Chris of the Fens (of his youth).

Till late afternoon today the sky was blue and cloudless. We ate our breakfast at a Cora's restaurant with toast, eggs and fruit galore. Orange juice and no coffee for me. Then we took the car up the road to Loch Lomond, the lake just past the airport, and beyond. Road 111 leads to St. Martin's, a fishing village at the mouth of the Irish River where the tides rise and fall by as much as 27 feet. We had a long stop there sitting by the harbour, buying icecream. Nothing else for lunch because too many other tourists were parked by the restaurants near the rust-coloured sea caves round the corner, so we carried on up to the Fundy Trail Parkway entrance, 7km further along the cliffs.

The Flowerpot Rock
It cost us $4.50 apiece to enter the park, warmly welcomed by uniformed park wardens. Once in, we stopped at several of the lookouts along the parkway to see the views of the shoreline. At the first one we wandered off for a hour's easy walk on the grassy "Flowerpot Trail" punctuated with lookouts like the road above. The Flowerpot is a thin, tall rock in the bay, eroded at its base by tides and topped with fir trees, very photogenic, as was the Fuller Falls, a delicate waterfall we saw later on, where crowds of people, mostly friendly Chinese families from Philadelphia, were climbing down the ladder steps to the viewing platform, with cables for railings.

The midpoint of our visit to the Fundy Trail was at the mouth of the Big Salmon River where we sat on the beach chewing energy bars before tackling the wooden stairway to the Interpretive Centre on the site of a former saw mill. The old wharf that belonged to it is dimly visible like an underwater ghost in the stony river below.

We drove a couple of miles further along the winding road to a high point (Chris rather anxious about our gears) from which we could see a roll of sea mist forming; it seeped its way in and up through the treetops, coming and going in wisps, mysterious and beautiful.

The parkway and pathways are well labelled with plaques that describe various species of flora and fauna, including ospreys and kingfishers. No sighting of those today, but I did sample the wild raspberries and found cloudberries, too. We drove back to the city along a very lonely back road with the mist, fog rather, now settling in for the night and giving us increasingly blurry views of the mudflats, crossed by covered and uncovered bridges, and endless conifers.

Damp in the cloud and very hungry we relished our supper at A Taste of Egypt up the hill on Union Street. The room was decorated by sphinx and mummy replicas and rows of shisha pipes: chickpea soup with lime juice in it for me followed by Nefertiti's Touch (this was skewered chicken on clove-flavoured rice) with hibiscus tea. Afterwards we looked at the monuments in King's Park (the King being Edward VII--there's a fountain playing in his honour). Saint John was established in 1784, as a Loyalist settlement. We saw one of the original Loyalist houses built on top of a floor of rock.

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