We did not visit them in perfect weather: the dune of Bouctouche in New Brunswick, Canada. No sunshine, no blue sky, no deep blue sea to the horizon. No inviting bathing weather so. Instead: First raindrops fall. The wind from the Atlantic increases until it drives us away after heroic attempts to resist its forces. And the whipped-up waves color the sea brown instead of blue, as we would have wished.
Nevertheless - or maybe because of it - we feel the rough character of this region. The Dune of Bouctouche is a nearly ten-kilometer long sandbank off the bay of Bouctouche in New Brunswick. Wind and waves have created them for centuries. So exactly the conditions that we encounter during our visit. Maybe that's why we appreciate the beauty of this landscape? And understand better how it came about? In any case, we are impressed by the view from the observation tower, which rises at the eco-center at the beginning of the dune. From there we can see the strip of sand almost to its end in the distance.
The dune of Bouctouche
Already on the approach we had seen the dune of Bouctouche as a narrow strip of land on the horizon behind the oyster beds, where the oystercatchers draw their products. Hundreds of floating platforms lie like floating beds in the moving water, under which the oysters grow in double-decker cages for up to seven years and ripen to harvest. Depending on the season and the conditions, these are lowered once to the bottom of the bay or reversed. So they are better able to survive the winter threats or prevent re-fertilization.
A shallow watercraft bobbles up and down on the churning waves, waiting for calmer swells to bring its owners out to the oyster beds. However, we follow the coastal road, the Rt. 475, which is not far from the Pays de la Sagouine branches off and then runs along the coast. From the small boarding house Au bord de la Baie, it leads along the Baie de Bouctouche always with a view of the dune, which we have in view from here.
Hard to find: the dune of Bouctouche
Only a small sign on the edge of the road with a heron on a blue background, which is easily overlooked, points to the dune of Bouctouche. So be careful, we do not want to miss them. From there, a short walk leads to the small eco-center, where we learn more about how the dune was created, and how the fishermen breed their oysters in the bay. There is not much to see in the small visitor center. A friendly lady tells us that we can walk the boardwalk, and she recommends that we get an overview of the lookout tower, a tip we can not give twice.
From the top most beautiful
The view from up there is fantastic. The footbridge runs over the sandbar in numerous turns and curves, especially on the land-facing side. "The boardwalk had to be renewed a few years ago because the winter storms destroyed it," the lady in the visitor center tells us. "So it was rebuilt a little further away from the beach." Not a bad idea, as we think, because the sandy beach is reserved for sandpipers who prefer to run along the sand in the sand than on the elevated path, which is mostly over the shrubbery and the salt grass that grows on the dune.
Boardwalk or sand?
Because of the weather, we choose the more comfortable version and take a walk on the boardwalk. Again and again we meet joggers and hikers who greet us warmly. On the beach, we also see shellfish seekers who are not impressed by the wind and who are on the lookout for freshly washed-up shells. Seagulls scream, and an osprey pulls its tracks high above them. Only when the raindrops increase, and the wind blows stronger and stronger, we finally turn around. I regret that we can not spend more time here. It is a fascinating landscape that has also impressed us despite - or perhaps because of - the harsh weather.
Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Air Canada, Condor and Icelandair fly from Germany to various airports in eastern Canada.
Do you already know:
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- Le Pays de la Sagouine
- Acadians in New Brunswick then and now
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Source: own research on site. We thank Tourism New Brunswick and the Canadian Tourism Commission for the kind invitation to this trip. Our opinion, however, remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline