CLOSED! (i.e. day 16)

Today is Sunday, which in PEI means everything is closed. Although this is not uncommon, we did not anticipate this… We had planned to stay in Charlottetown today as we wanted to try out a restaurant which featured oysters and steak – two of the things we were wanting to try on the island. Seemingly they would be shut too. So we decided to head north and check out the famous Cavendish beach for some spectacular views.
Leaving Charlottetown the weather was really beautiful – we drove around making stops here and there to take it all in.

Including a number of beach stops along the way too – although its not exactly bikini season out there!

Testing the waters – trust me you do not want to be swimming !

On the ferry we had also picked up a guide book and found a number of things we wanted to check out near Cavendish – of which included, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Green Gables and a drive-in theatre that we thought might be pretty fun to visit with the van. We ended up finding all of them – Like Anne of Green Gables.  Can you tell I got in the spirit? (note the hair in braids)

While Anne of Green Gables was open – we were disappointed with the the rest.

Avonlea – Closed (but the road to Avonlea was open)

Ripleys Believe it or Not – Closed for the Season

Brackley’s Drive in Theatre – Closed for the Season

Do you see a pattern here??  We were starting to get discouraged.  Once we left that area we happened to come across an place that serves oysters – and it was open!

YES – finally, I get to try oysters again (malpeque oysters no less)!  Carr’s Oyster Bar – We would have actually had a full meal here had we not eaten 30 minutes earlier – it was a great little spot right on the water.  Walking in, we went straight to the bar and placed a peculiar order of an oyster (for me) and a tea (for Andrew).  The waitress looked puzzled but went to the oyster bar and started to shuck me one.

As she did so a gentleman walked up and started asking her questions about if they were alive and all the muscles she had to sever to get the oyster open and shucked. These are of course, all great things you want to hear before you’re about to down one!  The upside was that she opened a second oyster in “slow motion” to show him what she was doing and this (with a small amount of peer pressure) resulted in me having another person to try an oyster with. By this time we had developed quite the little crowed of about 8 other people who were going to watch us do this.

Down the hatch as they say!

I ended up trying two oysters and decided I don’t understand it. They were pretty salty but otherwise no distinct flavour – this is likely why people eat them with all sorts of things like cocktail sauce, lemon and one guy suggested Jack Daniels. Though, I somehow think you need more of an iron gut to go for raw oysters and hard liquor.  With my oyster quest complete, we turned to finding some proper Island Beef.  It being Sunday – the lady at the restaurant was not very confident the butcher she recommended would be open, but we tried anyway.

A 45-minute drive later and we ended up in Summerside – found the Summerside Butcher Shop and were amazed to see they were open at 5pm, on a Sunday no less! We happily picked up a couple steaks and asked where the closest liquor store was. The guy gave us some directions and let us know they were probably still open, and if they were, they would be closing in 10 minutes! We said thanks and headed to the van. Shortly after we started the van the two guys from the store chased after us and said they had looked up the store hours online and found one that would be open – giving us the new directions, we were on our way.  This was totally above and beyond! We’re starting to be more and more impressed with PEI as time goes on. The people here are just fantastic – though, don’t come in the off season and expect anything touristy be open!

Before everything closed, we managed to collected all of our PEI ingredients for dinner – Island beef, PEI potatoes, and a good 4 pack of Gahan, mmmmm! We also lucked out with a great inexpensive campsite, the day had really come together.  Goes to show what you get when you plan and when you don’t.

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A: Charlottetown, PEI
B: Cavendish, PEI
C: Carrs Oyster Bar, PEI
D: Summerside PEI

Today’s track – 110 kms
Tomorrow’s plan – North Cape (Western PEI)