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Days 4 and 5

After arriving in Charlottetown, I spent around 3 hours looking for a cheap hotel since the only hostel in Charlottetown was apparently closed down a couple months ago. I searched like crazy, I even went to the University of PEI to see if they had any rooms.. No luck, and every decent hotel/motel/inn in Charlottetown was $100 or more per night. So I decided to ride outside of the city looking for something cheaper. Before I got outside of the city, I found a Ma and Pa Cottage/Motel. I told the nice chap I was looking for somewhere cheap to stay. He told me he couldn’t help me out, but when I inquired about how much it was for the motel, he told me it was $55 a night. Considering how expensive everything else was, I thought that was a good deal, so I made a deal with him to pay him $55 cash. The taxes in PEI are 17%, so I wanted to avoid inflating the cost too much. When I checked out the room, it had a bed, couch, kitchen, etc. So I went back to the man and paid him for 2 nights. I was also satisfied with the location of the motel, since it was very close to the University, so I could walk to the stores and bars in 10-15 minutes.

On my first night in Charlottetown (Monday), I walked around looking for a bar that I could potentially watch the Canada/Finland World Cup of Hockey game at on Tuesday night. There was a bar called “Doolies” that is attached to an Eastside Mario’s restaurant, and it even had a big screen TV. This was the bar that I was going to watch the Championship game at. I also ended up checking out a bar with a live band, and that was quite a bit of fun. I met a young lad that dropped out of school in grade 10 to be a fisherman. He said he has some friends who are going to school to be lawyers and doctors, and he was sensitive of the fact that they looked down on him and thought he wasn’t going to go anywhere. A couple years ago, he managed to purchase his own 40 foot fishing boat, and he’s doing very well for himself now. So he was happy about the fact that he was successful at the path he chose in life. He enjoys what he’s doing, so to me, that’s the most important part. The fact that he’s doing well and possibly making more money than a lawyer or a doctor is an added bonus to it. Apparently it costs around $250,000 for a Lobster license, so he has a bank loan for this. I had no idea it would cost that much money.

I spent all of Tuesday cruising the island on the bike. I covered around 400Kms and I took around 70 pictures. The scenery in PEI is amazing. I rode around the East Coast shoreline of the island, pulling my bike to the side of the road every time I saw a picturesque scene. It is extremely convenient to be on an on/off road dirt bike when taking scenery shots. Every time I noticed a trail off the main road, I would ride through it to see where it leads. Since I was riding along the coast, every time I took a trail, it ended up at the Atlantic Ocean, and the pictures were always unique and beautiful. I kept coming across construction signs that said there was a road worker ahead with a Stop/Slow sign, but there was no person with a sign. I was thinking to myself that they were playing a joke on me. They were hiding in the woods, and when I got near, they were going to jump out on to the road with the stop sign in their hand, making me slam on my brakes and crash my bike. I was very fearful of this, and I always watched the woods for any movement. ;)

On Tuesday night, I headed to good old Doolies to watch the gold medal game. I was getting nervous that Canada was in trouble when Finland tied the game, but Shane Doan came through with the winning goal and Canada won the medal. It was a great feeling. I met a very distinguished fellow while watching the game. He was a very interesting character with an attitude and an opinion. He somewhat reminded me of myself for that. But anyway, he was a retired high school teacher and he writes novels now. He just keeps pumping out his stories/novels and he reviews them every year to see which ones he thinks are really good. He implied he was close to finding a publisher, although he didn’t provide any details. But he told me a couple of his stories, short of the actual ending, and they were very creative and interesting. I’d like to read some of his work if it does in fact get published. I believe his name was Searle MacDonald (I’m not sure of the spelling).

On my ride to Charlottetown on Monday, I almost ran out of gas twice. The first time, I was cruising on the Trans Canada Highway, and my engine started choking. So I switched the valve to use the Reserve portion of the tank. I rode 20 kilometers on my reserve tank before coming across a gas station. I was very scared, but I now knew that I could make it at least 20 Kms on the reserve tank. The second time, I knew I was almost out of gas, but there were no exits, no gas stations, nothing for miles. The engine started coughing again, so I switched it to the reserve tank. I rode 30 Kms before there was even an exit on the highway. I took the first exit that I saw, I was shaking because I was so scared that I’d have to push my bike along the Trans Canada highway. The hills were very steep, and this wouldn’t be fun. So I get off the highway and the sign says the gas was both to the left and to the right. So I turn right. I ride for approximately 10 kilometers and nothing! I’m not really starting to panic. Do I turn around, or do I keep going. So I bite the bullet and turn around and it turns out there was a gas station 1 kilometer past the exit where I turned right. I rolled in, thanking god that I made it ;)

I’m now going to go to the laundry mat to wash all my clothes, and then I’m going to head for the Ferry to Nova Scotia. I’m going to head to Halifax this afternoon and settle in my hostel for 2 nights of Halifax. I have met several people that have given me many suggestions on good places to go out in Halifax. I also hope to do some sea kayaking and whale watching while in Nova Scotia.

Total KMs so far: 2600. Total cost of gas so far: approx $90 or so. Fuel is expensive out East. 96.9 to 99.9 cents per litre for 91 octane fuel. (Regular fuel is 87.9 to 89.9)