It has taken me five summers to finally make the road trip to New Brunswick’s Parlee beach. Located at 45 Parlee Beach road, in Pointe-Du-Chene, in the town of Shediac.
Upon entering the Park office, I was greeted by two young ladies. We exchanged Hellos and then I asked ” Do you have any camping for tonight?” One of the ladies was looking at the computer screen not bothering to look at me she ask, ” What you are your needs?”
Finally looking at me waiting for me to answer her questions.” I just my truck so an un-serviced campsite would be fine” looking back at the computer, she shook her head and said, “No we have nothing available for tonight.”
Next I tried ” where Is the beach, can I go through the campground towards it?” She sighs,” No the beach is down the road turn left and follow it the end there will be a booth you can pay the $10 to park”
“Can I walk?” I screw up my face to show I am not pleased with having to pay for parking.
” Yes it is about 15 minute walk from the parking lot.”
The temperature was hovering over thirty Celsius. Not a hike I wanted to do loaded down with a beach bag, a cooler and a chair slung over my back.
Now I sigh, and grudgingly give a ” Thank you” and depart down the road to joined the long line up of vehicles stopping to pay the parking fee. Luckily one of the perks of my job, is I get in the provincial parks for free. Which I forgot until I got to the window and offered my work ID.
From where I parked it was about 800 meters to the beach. Perspiration gathered on my face My sunglasses slide down the bridge of my nose. I flip flopped my way through the soft sand fighting to get traction. Stopping occasionally to shift my beach bag back up onto my shoulder. and readjust my grip on my chair and cooler.
There are kilometers of beach here but finding a space was no easy task. I Picked my way through groups of people sprawled on blankets, or huddled under colourful beach umbrellas. It seemed every grain of sand had a lounge chair, or a sun shelter covering it. Finally an opening between two families and I popped open my chair and claimed my piece of real estate.
Removing my beach cover I headed straight for the water to cool off The website states, this is the warmest salt water beach in Canada. I found it not as warm as my mind predicted but pleasant enough. Not a rock to be found that is nice. My toes grasp at the ripples of sand underfoot just before they melt away into the next wave. It gets a little deeper, then becomes shallow again. I emerge onto a sandy barriers formed by the shifting sand. These “mini beaches” link up. I have to walk across it, then plunge back in on the other side of the sand bar and swim outward across a deep section, only about chest deep. Then I walked up the next shallow section looking again for deeper water.
It was at least four hundred meters outward before I arrived at water deep enough to dive into but then it became so cool I don’t want go in. Brr and the water was dark. I couldn’t swim and retreated back to the shallow area and sunk down beside another lady sitting on the bottom neck deep, trying to stay cool in the heat.
What I liked: great facilities. The change rooms and toilets are very clean, there are outside showers and several foot washing stations, if you don’t want to lug a cooler-0 like I did, there is a concession stands for food, ice-cream.
What I didn’t like: very crowded, expect to spend the day enduring a lot of freebies, footballs and kids with water guns. Very shallow and quite a hike to get to deeper water. And of course a long lineup to pay the $10 to park.
I did go back again in my post Autumn just to get some photos, however they were taken late September the beach was chewed up from tractors and maintence vehicles. It is an impressive beach under the hot sun.
Cheers from Maritimemac.
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