Dear PEI, I forgive you the two days of rain after a perfect day at Basin Head

by DaniGirl on July 22, 2015 · 1 comment

in Ottawa to PEI 2015, Photo of the Day

It’s raining again, as the old Supertramp song goes. But that’s okay! This vacation’s soggy start has been completely redeemed by an absolutely rain-free lovely adventure up around the easternmost tip of the Island yesterday. There was a charming miniature railway ride, there was a picnic, there was a beach, there was climbing on sandstone rocks, there was beach combing and sea glass: all of our favourite things about PEI. THIS is the vacation I have been anticipating!

We started with a loop up the Points East Coastal Drive from St Peter’s Bay, where despite the forecast for a mixture of sun and cloud, we were spattered by an intermittent drizzle. By the time we made it to our first destination, the Elmira Railway Museum, the clouds had given way to (gasp!) patches of blue sky. And SUNSHINE!

East Point and Basin Head-2

Trains haven’t run on PEI since 1972, but back in the day the Elmira station was the easternmost terminus. The 250+ km of rail have been torn up, save for a kilometer or so near the station, and most of that distance has been converted into a bike and walking path called the Confederation Trail, so the Elmira Railway Museum also marks the eastern end of the trail.

We didn’t pay the nominal fee for admission into the museum itself, but after having fun last year on the miniature trains at the Cumberland Museum, I knew the family would be tickled by a ride on the miniature trains. I had no idea that the ride would be as long as it was, or as charming. It’s seriously worth the drive out to Elmira if you are the least bit interested in trains. If you go, get the second train for half price deal.

East Point and Basin Head

As everywhere else on the Island, we found the locals to be charming and chatty and very kind to the littlest travelers.

Speaking of easternmost points, our next stop was just up the coast to the East Point Lighthouse, “where the sun rises and the tides meet.”

East Point and Basin Head-5

It was a perfect spot for a picnic lunch, although I wish I’d noticed the picnic tables built in to the shape of a ship before we settled into this one. Watch for it if you picnic there!

East Point and Basin Head-3

I think I was more excited by the patches of blue sky than the (admittedly impressive) view from the Lighthouse, looking out to where the Gulf of St Lawrence meets the Northumberland Strait, with Nova Scotia off in the distance. (You can see I’m having fun with my fish-eye lens for these photos. It’s great for big panoramas!)

East Point and Basin Head-4

And then, it was off to one of our very favourite places in PEI, Basin Head Provincial Park. Funny, last year when we visited Souris and the kind folks at the FlavourShack recommended it to us, I was a bit iffy on a beach visit because the skies has been cloudy and the breeze cool. We went, and had an amazing time. Now I’m convinced that Basin Head is some sort of meteorological bubble, because again the rest of the Island was gloomy and coolish, but the beach was perfect!

East Point and Basin Head-6

Okay, so the water was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g and maybe a little more full of jellyfish than we would have liked, but Lucas went all-in and the rest of us waded and we all had a great time.

East Point and Basin Head-11

We explored the sandstone cliffs at the far western edge of the beach this time, as we hadn’t had time to do that last year.

East Point and Basin Head-7

East Point and Basin Head-9

East Point and Basin Head-10

More fun with the distortion from my fish-eye lens. If you look closely at about 1 o’clock on the rounded line of the horizon, you can see the ferry to the Magdalene Islands. I love this photo!

East Point and Basin Head-8

At one point, I handed off the camera to let Beloved have a play with the funny effects of the fish-eye lens.

East Point and Basin Head-14

East Point and Basin Head-13

And when we’d had our fill of a beachy afternoon, we packed up and headed down to Souris for dinner. Of course we stopped by Chef Michael Smith’s FlavourShack while we were there! By lucky coincidence, the same lovely photographer from Chef Michael’s team who took my favourite family portrait from last year happened to be there this time as well, so she took our FlavourShack Family Portrait 2015:

East Point and Basin Head-16

All that plus ice cream, seafood chowder and pockets full of sea glass? Hello PEI of my heart, it’s so lovely to see you again!

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