Oh my giddy aunt, it is wet, wet, wet and here we are heading off to walk on the ocean floor this morning – this could classify us under the category of senile!!! The sky is low, the clouds are rolling in and the rain is coming sideways at us but yet we still blundered on.
It was a quick ten minute car ride to the Hopewell Rocks from our not so salubrious hotel last night. We dragged out the rain jackets and the brollies and headed off for the fifteen minutes walk and 108 (we counted them) steps down to stand on the ocean floor. The low tide was at 9.00am and they wanted you outta there at 12.30pm otherwise you were going to drown – to put a fine point on it.
We were expecting to be a bit underwhelmed by the vista as everyone seemed to be talking it up but it was quite the reverse. We took a picture of one of the boards before we went down, and you will have to look at it closely but you will see how they have imposed the height of the tide on top of a picture at low tide.
The deepest tide of 46 foot or 14m is actually out in the bay itself but when the tide gets to where it is in the picture above it is at 28 foot.
The tides start rising slowly but speed up until they are approximately half way in. At their fastest, the tide can be rising straight upward at a rate of 13 feet (4 meters) per hour at the Hopewell Rocks.
They are not so spectacular in size as the 12 (actually only 8) Apostles along the Great Ocean Road on the V coast, but have a grandeur of their own. The structures are composed of conglomerate rock which is a coarse grainy sedimentary rock – hence, it erodes!!! Like the Apostles, they have been having major structural failures and the last one in 2002.
After scrapping the mud and grit off our rather wet sand shoes we headed back on the road towards the Province of Prince Edward Island. Prince Edward Island is one of the four Maritime Provinces and is the smallest province in both land area and population. It is part of the traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq, and became a British colony in the 1700s and was federated into Canada as a province in 1873. Its capital is Charlottetown and has only 142,907 residents. You would think the four (discuss the fourth province a little later) Maritime provinces would get together and form one decent sized province and combine a lot of the services. THAT my friends is never, ever, ever going to happen! That is like combining NZ and Oz and we know that dumb idea is never going to get off the ground.
The fourth province of Labrador and Newfoundland (yeap, this is the name of the province) is about 1200k north east over the ocean. We are not visiting “The Rock” as it is called affectionately, as it deserves a separate trip which we hope to do soon. On Di’s bucket list is to help with the Puffins during nesting season one August. People from Newfoundland are called Newfie’s and have that Tasmanian tag pinned to their shirts. They also speak with an extremely heavy Scottish brogue and have the most unusual traditions which on their own deserves a visit to the Rock. As to the other half called Labrador….not a lot to say except ice bergs and more ice bergs. Any way, I digress.
Brollies to the fore.
So after this rather soggy exercise we decided to just drive through to Charlottetown on PEI as it was just too miserable to do anything else. To get to PEI from the mainland you have to cross the Confederation Bridge which is 13k long and spectacular but alas it was too difficult to see anything through the fog. Hopefully on the way back we will have a clear enough day to get a few photos and post for you all.
We arrived at our pre-booked hotel the Rodd Royalty and decided some housework should be done on this sad weather day. A travellers curse is of course laundry. Luckily the hotel had a coin laundromat so off we went with loonies in hand. We had the two machines washing away and in walked six grey nomads who decided they needed the laundry services also.
That was fine, only the buggers decided to cram into this small room which became even hotter once the dryers got going. Di had to sneak out for a few minutes as she was doing super hormonal meltdowns and came back to find Fraser squeezed into the corner with five female grey nomads moving in on him. Di did consider backing out the door but decided to save the poor bugger!! Then, even more grey nomads decided to squeeze in the room when it was already at bursting point. Apparently they were all on a 21 day bus tour just out of Calgary – they are either brave or foolhardy!