It’s official. Procrastination pays. I’m at GoMedia in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, a conference where travel writers from all over the globe meet with reps from Canadian tourist boards, and on the first day of the conference there were a number of excursions travel journalists could choose from. How fun is that? Little did I know disaster was lurking.
By the time I got around to choosing the Cycling Cavendish tour it was full, as was kayaking. Determined to do something outdoorsy, I went downstairs to the lobby and tried to hone in on the lobster fishing tour, but got shunted out as they were full, too.
“Waaah,” I said.
Whining pays off almost as well as procrastination. Within minutes of me standing in the lobby like a loser while all the boaty-y people went off, the Prince Edward Island Tourist Board had arranged a bike rental for me just down the street at the visitor’s centre and I was off to cycle the Confederation Trail.
The History of Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Trail in a shellfish shell
In 1989 the Prince Edward Island railway was abandoned, and a 400 km tip-to-tip walking and cycling trail of this Canadian maritime province was born. Whohoo! Of course I intended to do all the 400 km in one day, because I’m fast like that.
While cycling through Charlottetown is probably not the most scenic part of the Confederation Trail, there is still plenty to see, especially once you got out into the groomed wilds of PEI.
You can see leaves getting ready for fall, reminding us that life goes on and we are all aging and eventually will be nothing but carbon (insert swearword here).
You can see farmland and fields and houses where you are sure that Anne of Green Gables once lived, or at least where her cousin’s mother’s stepfather’s son probably did. Actually, the property is called Ravenwood. It was built in the 1820s and is a heritage property.
You can see pretty scenery …
And then I spotted the real draw. Target! It was a bit unexpected on a nature trail, but resisting temptation I road on.
Ah, being back out in nature felt good. I had successfully resisted the lure of the shopping stop.
But I couldn’t get that stupid Target out of my mind. A cycling shopping expedition on the Confederation Trail. Think of the possibilities, it could be a whole new tourist industry. So I turned around. And once I had parked my bike, and gone into the mall I learned that Target hasn’t opened yet. It’s not opening until November.
I thought it was very rude they’d put up that big sign, luring poor nature lovers inside but there it is. So back to Charlottetown I went, only once I got to the Visitor’s Centre, it was such a beautiful day I couldn’t stop. Just a wee ride along the harbour I thought.
And then I fell down.
I tried to bounce up, saying “I’m okay I’m okay,” because I really was, but no one was around to a) hear me or b) help me up. Finally I twisted my way out from under there and I’m sure there is a moral to this story. So here’s what I learned. Procrastination is good. Whining is effective, but when you set off to cycle the Confederation Trail, don’t veer off (and don’t try to take a photograph while riding) because unexpected adventures await at every turn.
And PS. If I have time on Thursday I plan to rent a bike again. Bike rentals are available at the Visitor’s Centre. $20 for 4 hours, $30 after that.