“Serendipity, noun: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for”
After crossing Confederation Bridge I make my way to Murray Beach to camp with yet another unforgettable sunset. I leave the next morning with the intention of heading all the way to the Hopewell Rocks but my bike is making funny noises with every pedal stroke and I think my bottom bracket is failing – one of the few parts I lack the tools to repair.
On the road, I run into John who has cycled from BC, and tell my troubles to him. He recommends I head to a bike shop in Moncton that he had some work done at yesterday, so I give them a call. Not only do they have the parts to fix my bike, their employee invites me to his house for the night AND he’s hosting a folk concert in his attic!
I spend my evening listening to fantastic music and mingling with awesome people from the cycling and arts community in Moncton. The next morning my host, Cory, recommends a great cafe and I have a delicious breakfast before heading toward the bike shop.
Before I can reach the shop though, another cyclist stops me on the street. Faez biked from Toronto, and like me never intended to stay in Moncton. He forgot his camera in a shop that closed Friday night and didn’t open again until Monday morning! Faez inquires about the tube containing my travel fiddle, so I show the instrument to him. To my surprise, he can play it beautifully! He used to play with a symphony in Iran, but these days travels with one of his other instruments – a collapsible didgeridoo!
After getting my bottom bracket replaced (thanks Consolvo Bikes!), Faez and I pick up some food to share and bring it to a drum circle he heard about, in a park by the river. Here we get to see the tidal bore come in, complete with a surfer! We also meet Justin and Isabelle, two locals who later show us a great camping spot near the city, where Faez cooks Persian food over the fire and we play fiddle and didgeridoo all evening.
The next day, Faez and I bike together to the Hopewell Rocks in time for high tide. We camp nearby and return for low tide the next day. The rock formations are beautiful and a cave mouth is the perfect place to play some more music. I overhear a tour guide joke that the park brought us in to play for everyone.
We return to Moncton for one final night of camping and jamming, joined this time by Justin and Isabelle. The next morning I get stuck in knee-deep mud and nearly lose my shoes – it’s as if Moncton doesn’t want me to leave! But after cleaning up it’s time for some difficult goodbyes. I need to continue west on my journey, and Faez needs to continue east. Justin and Isabelle tell us they’ll come visit in Toronto, Faez tells me he’s glad he forgot his camera in Moncton, and I tell him about the word “serendipity.”