Saturday, September 4, 2021
One of the qualities of The Island Walk is that it is a loop, which is why I began at Waypoint #21 on the Confederation trail at New Zealand Road rather than the official starting point, which is Charlottetown. The other good thing about starting wherever suits one is that it will be experienced differently by how each person decides to tackle it.
For me, the beauty of it was that, frankly, yesterday, I put behind me a long, rather uneventful road walk in rain and wind. Fortunately, I only had to walk 20km because I had added a little over the kilometres originally set for my first day.
The highlight I had anticipated was the stop at the East Point Lighthouse. I’d been walking in steady rain and blustery weather by the time I arrived with 10 kilometres or so done. And, there were washrooms! This is something that is rarely mentioned it seems, but is an issue – lack of washrooms on trails, not only this trail, but all ones that I have hiked. More washrooms or porta-potties please! Trying to stay properly hydrated while always being conscious of your water intake can be stressful.
Back to the lighthouse. I had also read or saw in a photo or somewhere, a sign that said “cafe”, so had planned on eating lunch there. When I read the sign above the door on the building adjacent to the lighthouse, all thoughts of the rain and cold dissipated. Oh, yes, but can you really believe everything you read?
There is no longer a cafe, but the Cherry on Top Creamery is inside. Irony? I’m vegan so can’t eat ice cream. And it was cold and rainy. Silver lining? I had dairy free sherbet, and it was the very best sherbet I’ve ever had! Hand made on site.
That did not warm me, but I did get a cup of coffee and alternatively sipped hot coffee and spooned the delicious orange icy treat into my mouth. The young woman working the counter was warm and friendly, too, as all islanders have been that I’ve encountered.
The weather cleared just long enough for me to take the predictable pic of the lighthouse and the rain began again as I headed back to the road.
The remainder of the walk was uneventful with limited pretty views. Vehicles driving by you at 80kms an hour, in wet conditions, is not pleasant. I had to walk off the road in the uncut grassy shoulder which, while safer, makes for wet shoes. All this said, a long distance walk like this is not going to be all sunshine and unicorns, so without being too philosophical, it’s like life and we make the best of it. I am thankful to be out here in this beautiful place, privileged to have the time, energy, and support, to do The Island Walk.
My day ended in Bothwell, at the well stocked Elliott General store where I re-supplied, had use of a washroom, and was picked up by Freda, who so generously is hosting me. Freda and her family are wonderful! We enjoyed a delicious dinner together and they even made accommodations for my vegan diet, which made me feel so welcome. The day did end metaphorically with sunshine an unicorns!
I am raising money on this 700km walk for PEI’s Lennon Recovery Home for folks struggling with addictions and mental health disorders, and if you would like to donate, this is the link.https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/700km-island-walk-for-art-space-at-lennon-recove-2/
Thanks for reading this and more coming soon,