Friday 27 October 2006

Getting around to the Rocks

Here Selena is, at long last, nearly two months after the event, revelling on the ocean's tide-revealed floor beneath the famous Hopewell Rocks (sometimes remembered as "flowerpot rocks"). Hello, Selena! Look at you, just two months ago, all travelling and stuff. Whee, aren't you tiny! What's that in your hand, an umbrella? And why do you look so anxious for your life, there? Did that mean Tim compell you back to pose as the tide was rushing back in? Was there a lump in your throat as you recalled just moments before when we had been walking along the shore for a few minutes, and turned to go back, you were shocked to find the path you had just come along was now under water? Relax! Remember what the sign at the top of the cliff said: if the tide is coming in and you are trapped, don't panic! Just find a rock that is above the tide line, get onto it, and wait.... wait... wait....

Selena and I struck out on our own on this jaunt across New Brunswick. Istra stayed back at the lighthouse with her Grammy and (Great) Auntie, who'd already been to the rocks in previous years. It was going to be a long drive, but you can't go to NB without stopping by the Hopewell rocks. That would be just wrong. We had a brochure with the tide times in it, and it was going to be a nice leasurely day. Except, we soon learned, stopping at the Saint John info centre, that our brochure was completely wrong: we had to fly like the wind non-stop if we were going to make it before the tide was back in. This we did, arriving with scant minutes before the time recommended for vacating the sea floor. But there are no sea floor police besides the lapping waves, so we lingered.... which was nice, because nearly everyone else had scuttled off and we had the remnants of beach to ourselves for a few minutes.

When I intimated previously that we flew and did not stop, there was one exception. And, O, glorious exception it was. You can see Selena here being exceptionally silly with our glorious exceptions. A few kms off the highway in the general direction of Fundy National Park there was this guy selling "home made ice cream". It was a bit odd. It was also marvellously expensive. It was also astonishingly worth it. It was so good that we made a detour to stop in again on our way to Cape Breton... but our hopes were dashed right out of our fragile little skulls when we found the place closed and had to pass on. If you ever happen to be in the middle of nowhere in the middle of New Brunswick... watch for the signs! You will never ever forget the maple cream.

After racing to the rocks we, scooted (if i may say) off to Cape Enrage. How could we not with a name like that? Some of the most powerful tidal bores in the world occur there. Supposedly. But the most furious thing we saw there was this bunny. And it didn't even mame anyone. Furrious.

A slightly odd thing about New Brunswick was the proliferation (if one may use the term) of old grave yards at the sides of the roads. It seemed like it was hard to go down a sideroad sometimes without seeing a bunch of ancient grave stones here, and a dozen over there. The ones pictured here seem to have been put back together (the light coloured steeple-shaped cement holding the original darker round-topped stone together). This plot was also unusual in that it has a sign. It read: Stephens Cemetery, 1803 -1836.

On our way back home we decided to stop in Saint John, which we'd just passed through 3 times by this stage in our holiday. There we found that not only do they have cemeteries dotting the countryside, but Saint John has a large "Old Burial Ground" right in the middle of the city. There are walkways through it. Nice place for a stroll. I'd never seen a grave stone laid flat up on stones before, as the one seen here. There were some interesting ones. All very old.

But while the parentals were off apparently flitting from tombstone to rock, to cape to grave (to outhouse?), what was Istra up to? Grammy said she missed us, but later we saw the pictures. Looks to me like she seemed quite content substituting us with an old log! "Nice old log. Log will never leave nor foresake me." Cuteous.

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