Submitted by Pauline Suppa
Having walked the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon, Portugal to Santiago, Spain in 2019, my sister and I developed a real craving for long distance walks. We made plans to walk the Camino Frances in 2020 then sadly Covid 19 reared its ugly head so we turned our planning to 2021.
Throughout the summer of 2021, we were still somewhat apprehensive to be so far from home with all the uncertainties, with lockdowns and with restrictions. Lo and behold, we discovered that PEI was developing a Camino-like walk around the island and thought this was an ideal alternative – and we were pleasantly surprised.
This was the perfect answer and we excitedly turned our efforts to planning our Island Walk. At first it was difficult finding accommodations until we discovered that many of our hosts were more than willing to shuttle us back and forth each day. These incredible hosts treated us like family and constantly worked to make certain that they met our needs, like providing a bagged lunch and flexibility with pick up and drop off times. We have stayed connected with some of our hosts and now call them friends.
We began our walk on August 31st in Charlottetown. It was amazing to see how warm and welcoming the locals on PEI were. From driving us to pick up food, directions, suggestions as to routes, sites to see, etc… We appreciated all the efforts and tools the walk organizers/planners had developed such as an app with a map with GPS waypoints and other information which helped us safely navigate our way around the island.
We visited lighthouses, a beautiful church in Tignish, the Potato Museum in O’Leary and experienced the most beautiful views imaginable. We were very fortunate on one occasion to be at the wharf when one of the fishing boats came in. The fishermen were friendly and very open to our many questions. Coming from Ontario this was all new and exciting for us. They even let us hold the live lobster for a photo op.
We made quick and lifelong friends along the way with other walkers and with some of our hosts, Lily and Clayton from Lily’s Garden in O’Leary are stand-out hosts as well as Liz and Sean at Driftwood Heights in Summerside.
We loved walking along the Confederation Trail, the red dirt roads, Brackley Beach and so many other points along the way. We enjoyed visiting the many lighthouses especially at West Point. All in all, we had a wonderful month of walking, making new friends, and visiting a very beautiful province. Thank you to the province of PEI and the Island Walk organizers – this trip was memorable and epic. We highly recommend it.