Louisbourg Travel Blog› entry 23 of 96 › view all entries
Orwell Historic village was my last full day on PEI, So the following morning I upped sticks from Brudnell Provincial park (a +8 campsite on the Andy scale - it was cheap at $20 a night, with free showers) and took the ferry from Wood Islands (a place on PEI) to Pictou on the mainland. Back in Nova Scotia I bombed down to Antigonish and dropped into the information centre. My aim was to get down to Louisbourg for the big historical reanactment that was scheduled for saturday 26th.
Back on the road, I started following the directions she had given me to a campsite 10km outside Louisbourg, and rolled up there at about 8:30pm. Fog was setting in so the daylight was fading fast. Wanting to get straight on and set the tent up was ambitious as there were stacks of others trying to register as well. Lakeview treasures campsite gets a generous -9, for being shabby and expensive.
Next morning I experienced the shower block. Yikes. $1 per minute for a skanky piddle of a shower. I wasn't aware of the timing being so short, as most others give you 5 mins for 25 cents. I had just got good and soapy washing all major crevices including under my arms and in my belly button (which I do on a regular basis and rarely enjoy) when the time ran out. Normally it just goes cold, but oh no the water stopped completely.
Still soapy 20 mins later I drove off to Louisbourg Fortress. I used my trusty Parks Canada historical sites card, and payed a little extra for the evening events.
Louisbourg Fortress is incredible. Its basically an entire 18th Century village, plus fort that has been painstakingly reconstructed by hand over many years. This has really paid off, as the new living museum does justice to its former self. The time of my visit very happily coincided with a massive 3 day re-enactment of the final fall of Louisberg from French to English rule in 1758. Actors and Period enthusiasts abounded, and I felt quite odd walking around in modern, soapy attire whilst all around wore less soapy 18th Century garb. I stopped and talked to a Ship's carpenter and later two doctors both offering amputations (I politely declined, as I could offer no period money. I had left my bursa in my other triubhas). Many stalls selling every period item one could desire were crammed side to side across the water front, opposite those were pubs and restaurants and behind those houses and farms leading up to the fort. I wondered if by purchasing the necessary items at each stall, one might aquire the right social camoflage for the occasion. I did a rough total as I passed through the stalls. black single buckle shoes were $150, highwayman's overcoat came in at $170, gauntlets and seven-league boots weren't quite as expensive. Tricorn hats were very much in fashion, although I couldn't find a nice leather one, there were all pressed felt or straw. At an armory tent I could have my choice of muskets and blunderbai (what is the plural of blunderbus? does anyone know? please make suggestions) as well as swords, cutlasses and even bayonets for that special occasion. All in I think if I spent around $500 I could have made a half decent privateer in the empoy of his Majesty, The King of England. Had I done so the French enthusiasts may have linched me. I decided better of it, and fled to the fort's inner sanctum before I could change my mind.
The evening rolled on and the full re-enactment started on the fields below the fort. Fog set the atmosphere and soon there were muskets and cannons bursting from both sides, with soldiers falling fowl of the malice of war. Afterwards everybody got up, the dead were told over the tannoy to rise, and everybody went to look at the 18th century fireworks. Quite where they managed to find these unspent relics I don't know. I was imagining that they would be rather damp and wouldn't fire, however I was happily corrected with a full display of amazing fireworks. Some were similar to today's but most were quite different, forming spiral shapes and pin wheels through the fog. I shanghai'd my way onto the second coach leaving the site, and overtook the thosands of others trying to leave all at once.
The following morning I prepared two $1 coins and headed reluctantly back to the shower block.
p.s I found my bank card! it was exactly where I couldn't reach and was successfully retrived by a car vac, before it started to complain that it had just sucked up a bank card. Also my leaky car is not a design flaw, I spoke to another focus wagon owner, so more door-bending is required to re-seal it.