Sunday, 29 September 2013

Highest Tides in the World

My apologies in the long gap since the last blog update, unfortunately a failed computer hard drive, restoring files from backups, then the installation of a new computer took a while.  In the process a backlog of commercial work built up which had to take priority over this blog.

Last time I explained how unexpected news caused me to change my plans for the end of my trip, but Thursday, 27th June 2013, I head off on the road trip at least knowing that I will for the first time be staying at a motel for two nights.  If I was to plan a similar trip again I certainly would try to avoid a complete week of 'one night stands' when driving alone.

Leaving my B&B  'Sea Kindly' near Egerton, Nova Scotia, I'm aiming to keep near to the coast and avoid main roads as much as possible, this is a more populated area.  As has often happened on this trip I once again came across a place to visit  when least expecting it.

The Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre was just after the bridge crossing the Shubenacadie (shub-en-ack-a-dee) river. 
                                             (Click pictures to enlarge)

The Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world which I intended to check out, but coming across the centre entering the area was a bonus.  Alongside the new road bridge are the remains of the pillars of the old railway bridge, a line which was abandoned years ago.  

The Shubenacadie River also has a tidal bore and a short walk from the centre is a platform out to one of the old bridge supports that creates a viewing area.

Within the Interpretative centre there is a great display, these pictures are from that display:

The harbours around here totally dry out and the sea may be out of sight at low tide, unfortunately I wasn't able to see that or the tidal bore on my visit, my timing was out !

The new route of the road made areas that flood at high tide creating a unique area for plants and wildlife, this is the area looking from the centre towards the river and bridge.

Looking in the opposite direction are quite different areas, the old railway track area has been made into a path with lookout points, this is the area between that path and the road.

Whilst on the other side of the path it's quite different alongside an area of woodland.  It's a most interesting habitat making great use of the old railway as a path for some distance with contrasting areas on either side.

When I went into the centre I had asked the senior of the two staff on duty if there would be a chance to do an audio interview.  When I returned she told me Aurora would do it for me, I will add it to the blog soon.  What struck me is that teenager Aurora gave a splendid description of the tides and the tidal bore, and was so enthusiastic to be able to talk and her home area.  Her great delight was to talk to visitors and be with them to explain the tides and bore when it was happening.  You can check out the live webcam on the river but give it time to load, there is an initial wave picture, then it will start to appear.

Upon leaving the centre it was only a short drive of about a mile when I spotted the small community of South Maitland, which was further along the abandoned railway track. (Click on picture to enlarge)

That perhaps explains why in the rather neglected Village Park, there is a railway carriage right in the centre !  

Seems as though at some time there has been a small display relating to the railway inside the carriage, but I could only peer through the rather dirty windows 

Moving on from my brief stop at South Maitland I'm using a combination of map & satnav / GPS to navigate around the rural roads, entering in a location in the area I want to visit rather than the final destination.  

By chance I saw a sign to Walton Lighthouse. The square wooden Walton Harbour Lighthouse is 9.4 meters tall and a pepper shaker type tower. Built in 1872 by Timothy Parker at a cost of $620 and situated on a cliff at the mouth of the Walton River, the lighthouse guided ships into the Walton Dock on Pier Road, where ships were frequently loaded with gypsum and barite between tides.

It's certainly the smallest lighthouse I have seen, I climbed the ladder to the top by the light, the space is quite limited, and when it was time to go down again the descent was not easy !

There was another enthusiastic teenager looking after the lighthouse and small gift room on the other side of the car park. Bryony did an audio interview for me which I will add soon, she is another youngster so delighted to be able to tell you about the history of her home area.

My onward journey took me through Wolfville in the rush hour, rather more congested than I expected as the small towns are close together in that area.  My final destination of the day was Allen's Motel in Kentville where I was to glad to stay put for two nights.  A most attractive place in a good residential area.

The route and locations for the day on Google maps