Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 4: Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First thing on the agenda today was the Village Historique Acadien, which is an Old-Fort-William-style park with old buildings and costumed interpreters. It was extensive, with 40 buildings ranging from 1770 to 1930, most of them in the 1800s and set up as a village. We spent a good four hours walking around, checking everything out and talking to the interpreters, most of whom spoke some English. I was blown away by one of the last buildings we saw - a meticulously researched and re-built hotel from 1910, originally in Caraquet, that burned down in the 50's. Not only can you stay at the hotel, but since you can't drive in to the hotel in the village grounds, they have an antique Model A Ford with a driver that ferries you back and forth to the main entrance to the park!

One item I hadn't seen before was the carding mill that was housed along with the grist mill. Used for processing sheep's wool, it had dozens of these brushes in various thicknesses to card the wool and prepare it for spinning. Farmers would bring their fleeces to be carded in the spring and take away the roving.

After lunch (sandwiches in the bus) we played mini-golf in Caraquet, at a place called "Carrefour de le Mer" which seemed to be part marina, part amusement park. Mike, who golfs once a year, beat Will and I handily, since we don't play at all.

After mini-golf we followed the coast road briefly, then headed further inland to supposedly make better time; that time was chewed up with construction on highway 11, but we still made it to Miramichi by suppertime. They have an impressive bridge, but the town looks depressed. We'd been seeing Dixie Lee restaurants since Quebec, so we tried it - the fried chicken was dry but the fried scallops were excellent.

We drove on to Kouchibouguac Park, hoping to camp for the night. It's a National park that advertises the "warmest salt water north of Virginia". Unfortunately they were full, but we've found another campground a little further south, not on the water, but with nice big plots with trees surrounding each one. Mike's braving the misquitoes (they come with the trees) doing a little bus maintenance with Will helping him.

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