New Brunswick!

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July 5th, Campbellton to Chatham, 123 miles

Long day today. Nice tailwinds today, so decided to take advantage of them. As I left several rain storms were still moving through. It went through several cycles of raining hard and clearing up. Fortunately there was a nice tailwind from the west.

New Brunswick had more simple churches instead of the large Catholic churches found in Quebec. This province is Canada's only official bilingual province. Most road signs are in both languages. The province has Francophone areas in north and east and Anglophone in the rest of the province. In Campbellton the population is mixed. When making a sale, many cashiers will say the amount in both French and English (unless one starts with a greeting of "hello" or "bonjour"). I tried confusing folks by starting with "hello" and ending with "merci".

Terrain in the north had several gently rolling hills along Chaleur Bay. City of Dalhousie was on the side of a hill, walked up one hill that was listed at 13% grade. After Dalhousie the grades lessened. Crossed over a beach area at Eel River and then on to Charlo. Didn't see a good breakfast place in Charlo so kept going. Never did find a place, so made do with snacks until lunch.

After Charlo, lots of trees obscuring the bay. However, also a nice peaceful road until Belledune. Belledune bills itself as "Northern New Brunswick Industrial Center". There is a large lead smelter, a sawmill and several other unidentified factories. At the next town, Pointe Verte, is a mining museum describing lead and zinc mining in the area.

Pointe Verte is the start of a Francophone region. Many Acadian flags (which look just like the French flag, but have a yellow star), and most signage in French). The road also got busier leading into Bathurst.

Bathurst had been my nominal stopping point for the day. However, it was early afternoon and only 70 miles. I decided to push on across the peninsula to Chatham. I got a little mixed up leaving Bathurst, but soon found my way to #134 southbound. The road was mostly residential. It seemed like almost every other house had someone mowing the yard. Allardville was mile 87. Even with a tailwind, I was getting a little tired as there were several hills to climb over. Joined the main road #8 at mile 96. From here it was mostly expressway through a pine forest. Fortunately there was a nice two foot shoulder. The road climbed over five or six hills, each with a passing lane.

Reached Chatham bridge at mile 120. Decided to take things easy and walk over the bridge. Crossed high over Miramichi sound. The entire Chatham/Newcastle/Douglastown area is actually known as the city of Mirimachi. This is unfortunate as one wouldn't know exactly where motels in Mirimachi were found. Unfortunately all but one are on the north shore. After some further wandering around, I found the one on the south shore. Long day.

July 6th, Chatham to Shediac, 80 miles

Nice weather today. Gusty cross-wind, but that was fine. Left Chatham and cycled through mostly forest for the first 29 miles. This was the main road #1, but traffic was light and the shoulder was good.

Stopped for breakfast at Kouchibouguac. This is the site of a national park by the same name. Apparently this region has the warmest ocean temperatures in the Atlantic north of Virginia. New Brunswick simultaneously boasts of having one of the longest snowmobile season south of the Arctic. The Confederation bridge across Northumberland Strait is also built to withstand ice, so these warm currents must be a seasonal thing.

After Kouchibouguac the road splits and I took the local route #134. Gently rolling terrain with some farms and some forests. The ocean isn't visible from here. Still and Acadian region with many Acadian flags and French signage. In one of the tourist info centres they tell me a large number of tourists are from Quebec.

Slowly made my way past small towns of Richibucto, Bouctouche, Cocagrie, etc. Still a strong westerly wind. Fortunately I'm heading slightly east of south so the wind is neutral or a slight help. Without too much trouble, reach Shediac. Here the road turns east. A good tailwind if I wanted to ride it, but decide to stop for the day. Shediac proclaims itself as the world's lobster capital and has this giant lobster outside their visitor centre. After arrival, wander around town and also go down to the beach (where beach photo above was taken).

July 7th, Shediac to Summerside, 57 miles cycling, 9 miles riding [part #1]

An easy day today getting over to Prince Edward Island (PEI). Left Shediac with another nice tailwind. Quickly out of the city and then along a smaller road past several small towns: Barachois, Robichaud and Cap Pele. Looks like a mix of vacation homes and farms. No good spot to stop for breakfast so did with snacks this morning.

At mile #22 the road splits. The small road is the 'shortcut' to the bridge and the main road goes via Port Elgin. Back to cows, hay and potatoes. Road surface was occasionally a patchwork of asphalt. Close to Murray Beach there was a one mile stretch of horrible road. Technically it was paved, but there were potholes, bumps, with the worst of gravel roads.

Without too much trouble reached the New Brunswick side of the Confederation Bridge at mile #39. The remainder of today is described on the PEI page...

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