Exploring Moncton and the surrounding areas

Moncton, you are a cute little city, bilingual, have a chocolate river and you are not far away from Prince Edward Island. You’re a pretty good place to visit.

The Place

Moncton is the largest city in New Brunswick, Canada – situated in the maritime of eastern Canada. It sits on the Petitcodiac River (aka The Chocolate River) which experiences a tidal bore due to the extreme tide from the Bay of Fundy; from the river, you can see a small wave pass by which shows the change in direction of the river meaning the tide has changed – it’s pretty cool). It’s an interesting city. We were based at the C’mon Inn which was about a 10-15 minute walk away from the main high street which has a lot of bars, restaurants and numerous cafes. Moncton has a large Farmers Market, which sells everything from soap to meat to vegetables to dog outfits!

The volunteering

We stayed at the C’mon inn, which is where our third workaway was hosted. For the next three weeks we’ll be working in a hostel and had no idea what this would entail. We would work for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week and had two days off in a row to go off exploring. We had breakfast and board included in our stay, so we continued eating healthy throughout our stay as we were responsible for preparing our own lunch and dinners,

Our shifts would mostly include making beds, cleaning bathrooms and common areas, checking in and out guests and general being around to answer any questions. We stayed during the off-season, so we tended to have long-term guests and a few travellers. However, the hostel is a friendly, lively and well looked after hostel and the cleanest hostel we had ever travelled to. Our manager, Nik was extremely welcoming, friendly and had a lot of patience for training. Our fellow workawayers were very friendly and welcoming too, a few nights were spent chatting, drinking and eating good food!

The Surrounding Area

We did a fair bit of travelling around during our stay. Moncton is located in a great area to get around to several key sites such as:

Hopewell Rocks

One of the top things to see when you are in New Brunswick. The rocks are pretty nice to see and there are pretty views from the rocks. The walk to the rocks was actually really enjoyable – probably more enjoyable than seeing the rocks – still snowy but with more and more green leaves springing up as the weeks go by.

 

Bay of Fundy National Park

Unfortunately, we hit a snow storm as we were driving to the park…. so we were unable to go for a hike, however, we did drive through the park verrrrry slowly due to the road conditions! A first for testing out the rental car andd our driving skills 😉

Cape Enrage

There is a reason it is called Cape ENRAGE. The wind, my word, the wind rips around the cliffs, the trees and you! It does have a pretty lighthouse though… but we did only stay for 5 minutes.

Kouchibouguac National Park

There was some unexpected snowfall just before, but we decided to head to the National Park anyway. We learnt the hard way that when the trials say a trail is suitable from snowshoeing it is definitely NOT suitable for hiking unless you want snow up to your knees and to be out of breath after about 20 minutes! We did make it to a lake, which was frozen but it is still a view that I find an amazing!

Irvine Eco Centre

This was a place we happened to stumble upon when driving around New Brunswick. It was great to see in March as there are still areas of the ocean which are frozen. This offers a view with a stiking strikingt against the ocean and sand. The Eco Centre is essentially a lovely beach with a boardwalk built to walk along the shore.

 

Shediac

A great place to drive through and has a lovely little beach! I can’t say much else, as we didn’t explore much further.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

I LOVE THIS PLACE. We planned a three day, two night trip to Prince Edward Island. We had our first ever couchsurfing experience in Stratford, PEI, with a lovely couple and a gorgeous dog. PEI is known for its potatoes, so you will a lot of farm land and potato factories. There is also a lot of land and houses scattered in-between. In recent years the island has welcomed and become home to the Amish communities and has a long Acadian history; Houses with a star on them denote an Acadian home.
We went to PEI on the first weekend of April which meant it was the beginning of the BurgerLove Festival…honestly, google it, then book a flight! We drove around a lot of the island in the three days and covered in excess of 600km!
 
1. North Cape: The most north-west point of the island where the Atlantic wind speed measurements are taken which meant we saw a lot of wind turbines in this area. There is a brilliant 5km trail with information boards along the way.
 
2. Point Prim: a really pretty lighthouse in a peaceful area – a welcome break from the windy coastline of PEI!

 

 
3. Panmure Island: Not much to see here – just a small island which is pretty muddy during the winter months! I have been assured it’s a lot nicer in summer.
4. East Point: another lighthouse where we had a spot to eat. Again, just pretty views and a lovely sense of calm.
 

5. Cavendish National Park: We decided to choose Cavendish due to the description on the Canada Parks websites. I had imaged a beach with rolling sand dunes with lovely trails. And this was what we encountered! I’d recommend this beach and the Duneland Trail – it’s a relaxing trail where you encounter a lot of nature and different terrains.

 

 

 

 
6. Charlottetown: The main city of PEI. We really loved walking around the town and enjoyed a coffee and a BurgerLove (seriously take a look) burger at a bowling alley. The town is definitely a place to visit, it’s pretty, has quirky stores and good coffee.

 

Next stop, Halifax!

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