It was only a short drive from New Richmond and we were in our seventh province. We really enjoyed the scenery and vistas in Quebec, so much so that we missed our first turn to head across the bay into Campbellton, NB. After heading down the road another 20 km, and through one last section of Quebec road construction we crossed over the Restigouche River into New Brunswick. We quickly found ourselves in different geographic conditions. While the south shore of the Gaspé is home to more small farms and orchards, the majority of the area is quite mountainous and thick with trees. Not long after we crossed the river we were on fairly flat land, and couldn’t see a mountain anywhere. The land is quite wooded though, and not much of this particular area has been cleared for farming.
The reason we wanted to stop in Bathurst, is that it is the home of friends we met a long time ago when we lived in Edmonton. Ed and Cathy grew up here but ended up in Toronto and then finally Edmonton looking to chase their dreams. They look great, and I think we picked up where we left off 28 years ago.
They live right in the town of Bathurst, but 11 years ago they bought a small cottage right on the Gulf where they spend their summers. It’s only about 10 minutes from their home, but it sounds like the spot they use to retain their sanity. It is a serene and pretty location, but looking at the rock wall in front of all the cottages down the street, I can see that the ocean can be quite wild here. When they moved in, they had a grassy area sloping down to the water line, and since a big storm a few years ago, they have a rather large pile of fist sized rocks covering the whole area, and not much grass left. A large rock retaining wall had to be installed to stop the erosion caused by the storms.
When we were deciding on dinner, Cathy asked if we’d had enough lobster lately. Since we hadn’t had any, we were in for a treat. Neither Sylvia or I had ever sat down with a whole lobster, and the process of cracking the shell, digging out the meat, figuring out what was edible (almost all but the shell), and then determining if we really wanted to eat ‘the best parts’. All in all it’s a messy and delicious process, but the damage to my shirt was not something I wanted to have a picture taken of. When we finished the feast Cathy was kind enough to supply us with cloths to wipe off our glasses, face and anything else that we splashed with ‘lobster juice’. The whole process is an acquired skill, but we did have great teachers for our first attempt.
We’ve planted our trailer on one of their neighbour’s property, and have a great view of the bay in front of Bathurst in one direction and the Gulf in the other. From our window we can see a small island that must have 500 seabirds on it right now. The property is for sale, if anyone is interested in a 12 year old 500 sq ft furnished seaside cottage on city water and sewer, the asking price is $69,000. That’s right, 69K, not 690 like it would be on the west coast. Tempting, but a bit too far from our roots I think.