7.7.10 Joggin UNESCO & Shediac Lobster Festival
Shediac Travel Blog› entry 33 of 68 › view all entries
Exciting and fun day today!
Let's see... it is so hard to remember to this morning, since so much happens in between. Okay, we were in... Walmart. That's right, at New Minas, where we slept peacefully.
So we'd planned to drive 4 hours straight to Shediac, NB when we saw UNESCO signs for Joggins Fossil and took the exit. Joggins was about 15 miles off the highway off beautiful country roads.
Joggins Fossils are 300 billion years old, but were not added to UNESCO until 2008, which was after we started our year trip, so I did not get it added into the GPS POI file that I made.
Joggins is very similar to Miguasha, but a different timeframe of evolution. Here's some info on it: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1285
We were in luck! We arrived at the shore just 2 minutes before low tide! It is on the Fundy Bay, home of the world's most extreme tides and we got to see the mudflats and walk the rocks during low tide. We could not have planned it any better. Lucky! The high tide comes all the way into the cliffs, but moon phases cause even higher tides.
There were fossils all over the beach. It was truly amazing to find them. The deal was, if you found a fossil, then you got a picture with your identifying foot beside the fossil.
We left there, and stopped to try Sherbridge Ice Cream along the way home (Grizzly Tracks). It may have been even better than Farmers Ice Cream. YUM!
Now off to the Shediac Lobster Festival at the Lobster Capital of the World!!
We hopped out at Shediac Visitor's Center and heard a pickup truck horn. It was the Lobster King sitting in the pickup bed, waving thru the parking lot. Hilarious!
From the Visitor's Center, we called Parlee Beach Provincial Park campground to see if they had any space and snagged the last spot! Hooray!
After checking in there ($41.50 yikes, but full hookup), we drove Ciao back the mile or two into town and parked at the school.
The Lobster Festival was set up like a carnival with rides, and the lobster suppers and bands in the back tents. For $5 each we got in, $5 for each of the kids for rides since they were only $1 on Loonie Day (a Canadian dollar is a coin called a Loonie, as it has a loon bird on it), $5 each kid for dinner (carnival food), and $10 each lobster for Ned and me. Awesome! No need to add it up, just quite reasonable for a festival. Free parking!
After eating our lobsters, we saw the opening ceremony for the 61st Lobster Festival and then stayed to watch the Lobster-Eating Contest.
I participated in the Lobster-Eating Contest! No lie! Their first participants were to be tourists and they had no volunteers, so I felt a bit sorry for them. I told Ned that Marti and Charlie would do it- they're Lazy Daze friends from Seattle who are GREAT fun and Marti did the Polar Bear Plunge in the Puget Sound in January and fun things like that.
I messed up on the French intro question and said my name was "from Houston, Texas!" and the crowd went wild and we all cheered and they called me "Houston" from then on. Well, okay, a little exaggeration on the wild crowd, but it was all great fun.
Each of the other 5 contestants spoke French. Fortunately, we're back in New Brunswick, which is bi-lingual and the M.C. then said everything in both languages.
A funny thing: When they were seeking "tourists" from out-of-town, they asked first for folks from Nova Scotia, which is less than an hour away. There really seems to be a separation between the islands that I wouldn't expect given the proximity and the similar language and same country.
Back to the competition: The deal was that we each had 3 lobsters and 3 minutes of music (cruise music that makes you dance, "Feeling hot, hot, hot!") and no utensils, so we had to break the lobsters with our hand, elbow, foot, whatever and eat as much as we could.
Easy enough! I went straight for the 3 tails and got them out in no time. For the claws, my neighbor and I smashed one each below our heel at the same time to great effect. Great fun! The chewing took a lot longer and since I was not winning, got to dance and wave the lobster around and such. Charles said that if I wasn't going to win, I might as well make it fun.
But, the good news is that they let us take the rest of our 3 lobsters home in a box as a consolation prize. Yahoo! I do have a few little cuts on my hand but it was worth it.
A few rides, pics with the Lobster King, and a big bag of cotton candy finished off a perfect night!
We got to our campsite just before dark and talked with our neighbors from Manitoba, who are also headed tomorrow to PEI, until man-sized mosquitos drove us inside.
A fabulously fun and exciting day!