New Brunswick Bay of Fundy road trip continues
Road Diary update from New Brunswick. Click here to read the previous update from this road trip around Maritime Canada.
After leaving Grand Manan Island the other day, Chris (my videographer and sidekick for this Maritime Canada road trip) and I continued our Bay of Fundy road trip and headed to the Fundy National Park, where we went on several relatively short hikes in different parts of the park. One of my favorites was to Dickson Falls. This 1-mile loop trail takes about 30 minutes to complete. The trail heads straight down and then follows along a little creek where many boardwalks are provided to navigate over some of the terrain, crisscrossing the creek several times along the way. There are many vantage points to view the falls and the rushing mountain creek. The woods are lush and green and almost look like a rain forest with all the varieties of fern and moss growing.
We certainly worked up an appetite after all of our hiking, so we stopped in the village of Alma for some lunch. We attempted to dine at a recommended restaurant, but there was nearly an hour wait, so we just walked down the street looking for another appetizing place. We came across Buddha Bear by the smell from a large wood-fired oven located in front of the property. We ordered a couple of local draft beers and proceeded to food…oysters on the half shell, mussels, seafood chowder and scallops with bacon and Brussels sprouts. Everything was absolutely delicious! The interior was packed, not a table in sight, so we dined on the outdoor patio and ended up chatting with several other visitors while savoring our meal.
With our appetites satisfied, we made our way to Hopewell Rocks, which is one of New Brunswick’s top attractions. Hopewell Rocks are probably the signature sight for New Brunswick. Through erosion over thousands of years, unique formations have been carved to create coves and distinctive sandstone formation that have trees on top. We timed it so we would be there close to low tide, unfortunately, so do many other people. While there were a lot of people clustered at the bottom of the stairs, we found that there was at least a mile worth of beach that could be explored. The farther we strolled, the fewer people there were around. My enthusiasm for discovery keep taking me around each bend in wonderment of this area and was disappointed by the waning hours and our need to head back.
We drove to Moncton, which is the largest city in New Brunswick (still quite small in comparison to other cities in Canada) and checked into the Residence Inn right in downtown. Most of the the areas we had been in the past week were smaller towns and villages, so it almost felt odd to be in a bigger city again, but in a good way. Moncton has a cool vibe about it. After getting freshened up we walked down the street and had dinner at the Tide & Boar Gastropub, which we learned is an award-winning restaurant, voted as one of Canada’s top-50 restaurant by Mclean’s Magazine. Tide & Boar is a casual, yet sophisticated establishment, serving seasonally inspired dishes.
The next day we had two things on our agenda before departing Moncton and New Brunswick. First, was to see what this tidal bore was all about. I was not familiar with the term, and perhaps one of the reasons is that the phenomenon does not happen but in a few places in the world. A tidal bore is when the tide changes and creates a wave through a narrow channel as the water comes rushing. This happens only twice per day. Seasonally, and on the occasion of a really high tide, the tidal bore can create a significant wave in which people can actually surf it. Depending on where the channel is, a person could surf the wave for miles.
Moncton happens to be a place to experience this unique event. Not wanting to miss this occurrence, I checked the tidal bore schedule and with camera gear in hand, went to viewing spot just a few hundred yards from my hotel. What I discovered is that depending on where you are located, the tidal bore could be earlier or later than the scheduled time. In my case, it was a bit early, but thankfully I saw it from a fair distance away and was able to get my drone up in the air while Chris was at the ready at his tripod. I hovered my drone in the center of the channel just a couple feet above the water. As the wave came closer I raised the drone up a bit so as to not get hit, but as it was, the wave was not that high or significant. In some respects it was a bit anti-climatic as we were expecting it to be much larger. It was still neat to see and we were surprised at how quickly the water began to rise in the channel.
Our final stop was to a place called Magnetic Hill. I didn’t realize it until we got there that it is actually a large tourist attraction. Nonetheless, it was another phenomenon that I had never experienced and was intrigued by. Drivers wait in line to drive to the bottom of this world-famous hill. Once at the bottom you move to the left lane so as not to hit other participating cars. Once at the bottom of the hill, you but your car in neutral and take your foot off the brake. Then the amazement begins…the car simply starts rolling backwards, up the hill you just drove down, which seems to defy natural law, but of course is just an optical illusion.
Late that morning we headed toward Confederation Bridge, which took us to Prince Edward Island. Click here to read my next Road Diary update PEI.