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When is something a ‘wonder of the world’?

Low tide, Hopewell Rocks, Bay of FundyEditorial: In a few days time, on the 11/11/11, winners of the New7Wonders of Nature campaign will be announced. This has been a widely publicized, global campaign. There are currently 28 countries competing, each with one ‘wonder’. When the campaign first started there were 440 nominees before the finalists were selected in 2009. The seven winners will be determined by popular vote so it has been quite a process.

There are certainly some extraordinary ‘wonders’ in this contest and several have been featured on this website: Halong Bay (Vietnam), Komodo (Indonesia), Table Mountain (South Africa), and Amazon (South America).

A Canadian site is also in the running: the Bay of Fundy. Canada is known for its incredible landscapes and I probably wouldn’t have thought of the Bay of Fundy as the top Canadian choice for this contest but it certainly is a Wonder of Nature.

The Bay of Fundy is famous because of its tides. The difference in height between its low tides and high tides is the greatest in the world. There are two high and two low tides every day and the tides can rise as high as 16 metres, which is the height of a four-story building. That is quite an achievement!

You can see this for yourself if you go to Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick and walk out on the ocean floor. There are these reddish rock formations with trees perched on top of them that you wander around. Return a few hours later and these same formations are surrounded by water as the high tide fills up the Bay.

When you’re walking down to the beach, you pass a big ‘Danger’ sign with two clocks beneath it. One clock gives you the current time and the other gives the time you should leave the beach so as not to be stranded as the tide moves in.

When there, we often camp at Fundy National Park where we always make time for a hike down a path that leads to very modest waterfalls and an unspoiled swimming hole. The trek never fails to delight the kids. The mosquitoes that chase us on our little 2-hour hike are nothing compared to what Vanessa Kohut had to endure canoeing for 56 days in the Barrens. And the hike can’t compete with the Inca Trail or the one through Dogon Country in Mali that are features this month.

Still, they all are special but in different ways, as I am sure the 28 finalists in this contest are. Perhaps what is most important is the campaign’s slogan: “If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it!”

On that note, here’s to the Bay of Fundy!

Sylvia Fanjoy

© Riding the buses 2011

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