There is just something peaceful about the ocean…standing on the wet sand surrounded by the cool Maritimes’ wind, time has a way of standing still in that moment. The Caraquet bay is truly one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It is the perfect setting to sit back and relax or take a great group photo! Here in Caraquet, New Brunswick, the capital of Acadie, the town is known for the fishery industry and its popular French theatre! The artistic french culture of Caraquet was the particular draw for the group of young individuals I had the pleasure of touring with as we headed to the annual “Festival du Theatre Jeunesse en Acadie”. The Theatre Populaire d’Acadie host the event as well as many others throughout the year. For the last 18 years, primary and secondary schools’ theatre groups from around the province of New Brunswick head off to Caraquet to perform their theatre pieces as well as participating in multiple workshops lead by local professionals. Our group came from a French high school in Ottawa but the festival was open to receiving them as special guests! The Cultural Centre of Caraquet hosts the event, located in the center of the town. Once the festival was over, the group had a wonderful opportunity to walk along the beach, collect seashells and enjoy the coastal air.
Caraquet is a charming small town. In terms of accommodations I have found first hand that the best places to stay are the local Bed and Breakfasts. This traditional setting calls for some traditional lodging! La Maison Touristique Doucas is a wonderful 19th century house from the Victorian era. Each room is decorated and preserved to match the original period of the house. With an upright piano in the living room, and an antique phone in the hallway. The rooms are all unique in color but relate to the same theme overall, complete with beautiful bay windows. The shared kitchen offers guests the chance to cook their own food and have complementary coffee or tea! I definitely took advantage of this offer for those cool windy mornings. In the backyard, there is a wonderful gazebo complete with a fire pit in the middle. This was my favorite spot to cozy up with a book and a hot tea for the evening! In the back of the house, a short path allows for a peaceful walk into the forest that ends at the water. Mr. Boutouche, the owner of the home, is a very pleasant and accommodating host and made sure I had everything I needed. It was easy to get the sense of the familial nature of this town and truly feel a part of it!
Once our hard work and relaxation paid off, we were up for an adventure. For this we drove to one of the largest cities in New Brunswick, as we made our way to Moncton. Centennial Park would be our destination for TREEGO! What could be a better way for an adventure in the outdoors than to head up into the trees through an obstacle course! This was by far one of the best experiences about being in New Brunswick. High up in the trees each level allows you to keep testing your skills as they gradually get more challenging and the height climbs about 10 to 15 feet per level. The highest challenge for tree trekking is at the last course which stands tall at 45 feet above the ground! Maneuvering the obstacles takes concentration and agility but once you reach certain points, you are greeted by amusing zip lines! As the levels go up, the zip lines extend and the feeling of bolting through the forest is unforgettable. Balance is definitely key, and allowed for some interest and hilarious moments as we were all figuring out our footing! All jokes aside- it was an incredible experience to see some students who were afraid of heights, but in the end managed to test their limits and finish at least two levels. There is something liberating about being in the trees, with the wind blowing that makes you gain the confidence to overcome these fears.
Overall, Caraquet and Moncton were two quaint cities in New Brunswick that offered a calm air, and peaceful in nature. At the same time, it was able to offer the adventure theme we were looking for. I definitely intend on coming back!
Written by Loredana Merches