Winnipeg to Toronto

>For the grand total of 59 cents I was able to change my flight from Winnipeg-Montreal to Winnipeg-Toronto. Ruud wasn’t too keen to stay in Winnipeg and as he flew home to the Netherlands via Toronto we decided to go and spend some time there. Before we left I did take Ruud downtown for a little while which was just long enough to get photos developed and check our internet (my addiction) at the public library. That was enough of Winnipeg for Ruud.

Back in Toronto for the second time I was tempted to go back to the Canadiana Backpackers but I think by this time everyone I knew would have left as is often the case. Ruud and I stayed in an apartment way uptown on Yonge St. It was pretty expensive but it had luxuries like a kitchen (no use to me) and a bathroom. I couldn’t get myself used to this style of living though as it would not service me well for the rest of the trip if I set a new standard.

Whilst in TO this time around I did several things that I missed out on the first time and that Ruud enjoyed. We went up the CN tower, the tallest free standing structure in the world with a glass floor strong enough to support 13,000 tonnes. I still wasn’t keen on it but luckily we picked a perfect days and we had beautiful views of Lake Ontario etc. We then headed off to Air Canada Centre and took a tour through a mini hall of fame then through the tv studio for Hockey Night or something and finally we sat on the players bench by the rink. Most of the significance of this was lost on me but I tried to appreciate it to make my Canadian friends like Bruce proud. To further highlight my ignorance of north American sports we then went to the Hockey Hall of Fame where the only player I had heard of was Wayne Gretsky. I really did enjoy the World Press Photo exhibit at the arcade near the hall.

By far the greatest highlight was finally catching up with a friend I met years ago in Africa. Poor Ruud and Joe didn’t get a word in as Sheila and I chatted solidly for four hours. Not very long considering it had been many years since we last spoke and not enough emails in between. I was both sad and happy as I knew it would be perhaps many more years before we were able to catch up and yak again. But I was happy to catch up in any case.

… and those were my final thoughts as I left Canada on the train bound for New York. Ruud would fly out soon after I left and everything else I knew was back in Canada. New York would be completely new and effectively the last leg of my trip. I was very excited about it but also realising that I was almost on my way home.

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Polar Bears

>So I went to see the Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba but before I even got there interesting things started to happen. The night before we departed I was having dinner with friends in the hotel when I heard an Aussie accent. Being my shy self, I wandered over to have a chat, only to discover that the accent belonged to a couple my parents had known since around the time of my birth. In addition to that, they were on the exact same Polar Bear tour as me. Well, that meant good behaviour for me didn’t it.

The next morning Ruud and I boarded a charter flight from Winnipeg to Churchill and a few hours later we were in Churchill with about six hours to check out the town before heading out to our Tundra Buggy Lodge accommodation. The lodge is kind of like four converted train carriages, nothing five star if that’s what you’re thinking. We all sleep in bunk beds and although there’s a shower, it only drips water and most of us couldn’t be bothered with it. Luckily there’s a great kitchen and all our meals are prepared for us. Anyway, six hours is about five hours too long for checking out Churchill. The highly recommended Eskimo museum took about 10 minutes and everything else took less unless you count the 20 minutes we spent waiting at the post office to see if it would open so we could get a Polar Bear stamp in our passports. I nearly died of smoke inhalation at the local pub so we left there and just sat outside in the freezing cold.

Eventually we boarded a bus for the ride out to the Tundra Buggies which would then take us out to the Tundra Buggy Lodge. Not long into the journey we saw a polar bear perhaps 50 metres away. It was so special to watch that I will admit my eyes watered a little (yes again) and looking around the bus you could see giant smiles on everyone’s faces. The polar bear wasn’t it though, we also saw a snowy owl in flight, low to the ground and quite close, much bigger than any owl I expected to see although honestly I didn’t expect to see any. Soon enough we had even seen several arctic faxes and arctic hares, each of them white and wonderful to look at.

At the Tundra Buggy Lodge, one bear is hanging around. We were told it was young and has probably only recently been abandoned by its mother which usually occurs around two years of age as the mother prepares to have another cub or three over the winter. The chances of this bear surviving are about 50/50. It has no predators and would succumb only to starvation or another bear. This bear has been so interesting to watch. He seems completely docile and I would love to be closer to him but already we are just two metres apart but perfectly safe in our Tundra Buggy Lodge. The benefit of staying here as opposed to staying in town is that the lodge is in the area where the polar bears roam so we can see them all the time.

For two nights we slept at the lodge with at least one bear nearby and during the day we headed out to see more bears. In our general area I think there were only four bears. An explanation for the low number is perhaps that it was early in the season but it was also good to spend time watching each bear’s behaviour more closely. The four bears were a mother and her 10 month old cub, ‘Spot’ the young male and ‘George’ another larger male. These are the names we gave them anyway and it worked well. We could chat to anyone in our group and say that we saw George doing this or Spot doing that.

We spent plenty of time viewing these bears individually and on the second day we were able to observe them all together including the challenges between the two males and a challenge between George and the mother and cub. The mother was very possessive and gave no ground so the male wandered a little way off and established a cautious presence for the remainder of our day.

It was very interesting to watch the bear interacting together but it was also interesting to watch them interacting with us which poses the question just how much we were we impacting on their behaviour? As we were the first group of the season to stay at the lodge, it was interesting that Spot spent those first two nights with us and the mother and cub were also there a fair amount of the time. Then on the last morning, George also turned up. The common theory is that the smells of humans and our cooking has drawn them curiously nearby as they wait for the ice to form on the Hudson Bay and they’re inquisitive and definitely not afraid.

The ‘tour’ we booked was only two nights on the Tundra and then people headed home. Instead of heading straight back to Winnipeg, Ruud and I spent another night in Churchill so we could go out for an extra day with the Polar Bears on a day trip. That night we headed into town for a naturalist talk (there were only three of us there) and just after retuning to our accommodation we heard the town sirens going off. I was happy to be inside as we thought it was a Polar Bear alert. I switched on the local news to see if there was anything about a bear being in town but all I saw was the specials at the diner, bingo night information and the weather 0 degrees.

The following day we discovered that the siren was actually the teenager curfew to ensure they don’t get involved in any mischief or vandalism. Our Tundra Buggy tour was two hours late due to the late arrival of the day trippers on the train (I think the train trip takes at least a day and then they head straight back). We headed directly out to the Tundra Buggy Lodge where our four bears were still hanging out. Along the way one keen eye spotted a Caribou and we watched as it waded/swam through the frigid waters. This was very surprising to me.

Watching the bears on this final day was the same but different as it was snowing, 40km/h winds and perhaps the temperature with the wind chill was -10 degrees Celsius. As the weather was so bad, typical Churchill weather we were told, practically all the people stayed inside the buggies with the windows shut and fogged up while I stayed outside with five layers of clothing watching Polar Bears in the wild for perhaps the last time in my life. It seemed worth a little hardship.

Leaving Churchill was difficult. Of course there was the separation from the bears but I’m talking about the logistics of getting from town to the airport. Getting a taxi to collect us was near impossible as the weather had deteriorated to the point that the car was sliding on the frozen road. Luckily we drove slow enough and arrived safely. It was beyond me how the plane would take off in the conditions so it was no surprise when that was delayed a little as well. As it was, our runway taxi/takeoff was short as we started sliding to our left so the pilot immediately lifted us up an we were away.

Montreal to Winnipeg Quebec

>Montreal, Quebec

Day one in the hostel kitchen and I ran into a friend and fellow Dale Letcher fan from Halifax, Susanne. Great to see her again and she became one of my longest travelling buddies in Canada. I also caught up Yves, a friend from another travelling adventure in the UK nearly ten years ago. We had lunch together at Le Commensal, yet another vegetarian restaurant I recommend, and later headed to his house to have dinner with his wife and three kids. How things change! Sadly I didn’t really do much else in Montreal. I was in a mood, just not enjoying being on the road and checking out beautiful things every day. It sounds pathetic, but sometimes even beautiful things get tedious and you just can’t be bothered seeing them for a while … kind of like temples in Asia or castles in England. So I went to see movies instead. At least four of them in three days.

Again I took the easy and cheaper option to get around eastern Canada. It’s serviced by the Moose backpacker network (www.moosenetwork.com) which is a bus that drives a specified route and allows you to jump on and off at your convenience. No restrictions, just great destinations, a knowledgeable guide and a cool bunch of people to hang with. Of course it didn’t start so well as we tried to push start the bus and ended up being delayed almost two hours. It wasn’t really time lost though as we went to a market and watched with fascination as bagels were baked. It’s true, it really is interesting to watch and I defy anyone to resist the urge to eat one afterwards!

It was during the Moose that I became a pool/billiards demon. Playing at every opportunity and enjoying the hell out of it. As soon as we got to our accommodation for the evening I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the cue and play. “Coach”, Ian, was always there to help with our skills and we just had a great time every night.

First stop was Tadoussac, Quebec. I was tired and feeling lazy but I was sociable and wandered with the group to the top of a hill to watch the stars around a small campfire. The stars were nice enough, but around midnight I started wandering back. Luckily I got lost. A strange thing to say I’m sure, but it meant that I had to go back to the others at the campfire where I saw the Northern Lights for the first time in my life! Yay. I thought it was city lights but it was not so. The lights were green and although they didn’t dance around, they were still beautiful to see and as I haven’t yet seen them again, I count myself very lucky!

I paid for breakfast at the hostel but didn’t learn my lesson that I would have to cook it myself. The pancakes other people made looked perfect and scrumptious whilst mine resembled scrambled eggs and were only vaguely edible. In fact they looked so bad, I had other people offering to cook for me the following day!

Of great importance is the fact that I seem to be overcoming my seasickness if it’s possible after the dreadful experience I have had in western Canada and Alaska. I went whale watching and saw beautiful Minke whales, a few seals and two fin whales, the second largest species of whale! Again I count myself so lucky to have these experiences! I wasn’t feeling 100% and fell asleep during the time everyone said they saw a beluga whale.

Of lesser importance is the fact that I passed the Saint Lawrence challenge. This involves standing knee deep in freezing water for three minutes for a free beer which I do not drink anyway. It wasn’t the beer, it was the challenge. Three minutes ended up being six or so by which time it was much easier as I had lost feeling. This is not a smart thing to do.

Quebec City was the next stop and it holds sad memories for me. Firstly, although there are beautiful buildings and atmosphere, our choice for dinner was a fast food joint with a very bad choice for vegetarians (fries cooked thankfully in vegetable oil). I can deal with that. It happens all the time. It was what happened at 4am that I couldn’t handle. This wont make too much sense to many of you but basically I was checking the internet to see how my AFL team had faired in the Grand Final. We lost. We were thumped. I felt sick. The next day everyone felt dreadfully sorry for me I think, they were so nice. It’s difficult to describe what it means to be a Collingwood supporter, suffice to say you have to be strong. It’s a good thing I wasn’t able to find a place to see the match live. That would have been too difficult!

In Mt Tremblant I tasted the greatest frozen taffy every. Well honestly I have never tasted it before so I can’t say it’s the greatest but it was yummy although incredibly sweet! Mt Tremblant is essentially a touristy ski village which based purely on appearance reminded me of Whistler. I was very impressed with the luge ride for $10. At our hostel Penny and I paddled a pedal boat, but it took so much effort to get anywhere that we mostly just hung out at a pontoon picking up frozen freeloaders who had swam out. Later in the evening, after a few games of pool of course, we sat out in a tepee where I belted out yet another rendition of Mercedes Benz which was well received, meaning that people clapped rather than threw things or booed.

By the time I arrived in Ottawa I was sick with the cold that everyone was sharing around on the Moose. I did manage to do a few things like going to the chemist to get cough medicine and tablets. Otherwise I slept, ventured out a few times here and there but it was all a bit vague. I do remember eating a Beaver Tail which is not quite as meaty as it sounds. It’s some kind of bread/doughnut thing smothered with chocolate. Dead healthy! Actually it was so sweet I couldn’t even manage to eat the whole thing which is quite unusual for me!

Back on the Moose with a different bunch of people as this was the first time I had jumped off. But I was still travelling with some friends including Sus and Lisa and also on the bus was Coach, Fabienne and Inga who I had met previously. We headed to Maynooth for some camping in Algonquin Provincial Park, but as it was snowing by the time we arrived there we just did a couple of day hikes instead. We timed this visit perfectly as we had the beautiful snow, coloured leaves and generally bearable weather. The tracks were often indistinguishable from a river and at one point we seriously thought it was one as we hadn’t seen a trail marker for a while. I fell three times, all of them hard and uncomfortable with bruises to prove it. I started to lack confidence in my vegetarian hiking shoes … but in fact it was mostly due to the weather and the condition of the trail. Algonquin Provincial Park is surely one of my favourite places in Canada so I am happy to have stopped there an extra few days.

Toronto, Ontario

My first day there I didn’t stay there at all. Instead I went to Niagara Falls. To me it was kind of like a place you have to go and I had no strong opinions or ideas on what it would be like. My first impression was that it was a gawdy tourist trap. Pretty interesting but not spectacular. Then I jumped on the ultra touristy ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat ride, donned my see through blue garbage raincoat and hoped for the best. Against all my better judgement, it really was quite fun and interesting. I had never been that close to such a large powerful waterfall and I was impressed and enjoyed it with a big smile on my face. After the ride we walked up town which is kind of like a cross between Disneyland and Las Vegas. Great big flashing neon signs lining both sides of the street with very much the carnival atmosphere.

Back in Toronto I wandered for miles in Chinatown trying to find the legendary $2 internet place. We found $3 but being cheap backpackers where every dollar counts, we were prepared to walk for hours trying to find cheaper. It’s probably a myth. We never did find it. We also spent a good amount of time wandering up Yonge St looking for a particular travel agent. Little did Fabienne know when she arranged for her plane ticket to be picked up from there that Yonge St is the longest street in the world (18km) and walking wasn’t going to cut it. The subway ended being the only viable option.

I had great fun in Toronto with the people I met there. Sus and Fabienne were great friends and I was so sad to leave as always but sometimes, like in this case, it was harder than usual. By this time I had spent at least three weeks hanging out with Sus and in one week felt just as close to Fabienne as they’re both great people who I will truly miss. In neither instance when I said goodbye was I able to speak without getting sooky so I didn’t say too much. As I sat on the airport shuttle bus (on route to Winnipeg) I shed a few tears which then became quite a few tears and wasn’t it just great to have sad songs playing on the radio to boost my mood!

Then Winnipeg. I was still feeling melancholy on the plane so I didn’t speak and at the airport was pleased to see Anthony, a fellow ex Mooser, waiting for me after his earlier flight. Soon I was wandering the streets of Winnipeg with him and another traveller and by the evening there was six of us hanging together. It wasn’t the same as having Sus and Fabienne there but it was great and it did stop me wallowing miserably too much. Lisa was there (from Moose) and we had some common friends and travelling tales but the rest were new people so life stories had to be retold.

A good sleep cheered me up and waltzing around Winnipeg the following day took my mind off things but was pretty uneventful. Lisa and I stuffed ourselves with Japanese food. When I say stuffed I mean it! I was defeated as I couldn’t finish the rice but Lisa was a champion who finished the rice, 12 rolls, miso soup, vegetable tempura, agadashi tofu etc.

The next day, Ruud whom I met in Alaska, will turn up before a very early start the next day to the Polar Bears.

Calgary to Halifax

>A few months have passed since my last update so let me start filling you in on what I was doing way back in September.

Calgary, Alberta

Hostel was decent apart from being located next to a dodgy park with syringe bins. Free breakfast, pancakes, was provided which is always exciting. Unfortunately you must make the pancakes yourself. They provide the flour and other ingredients, whatever they may be, and you whip up the storm yourself. If you know me well or even vaguely you know this seemed pretty daunting to me. So I went down to the kitchen at breakfast time and watched a few people measuring flour and one girl stirring, but apart from that it all seemed a bit difficult so instead of having a free breakfast, I skulked off into town and paid someone else to make it for me … then later in the day I found a convenience store and bought a box of breakfast bars.

Later that morning I went to the Calgary Zoo which is just out of town and very easy to get to on a train. I was also told it’s a nice walk along the river to get there but I had already wasted enough time wandering off to find breakfast. They have some fantastic exhibits at the zoo, really modern and enjoyable for the animals (I hope) and us. Unfortunately there are also a few exhibits that are way too small so I hope they have funding to improve those.

Another day I headed to Canada Olympic Park. Along the way I was excited by the train and bus ride watching several supermarkets go by as for the past two days I had been unable to find one. The Olympic Park was the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics where you can take a guided tour, which was my preference, or wander around by yourself, which is what I ended up doing rather than waiting two hours for the next tour. I started off in the hall of fame where there was a bunch of memorabilia including Olympic torches, mascots, equipment, uniforms etc. Then, at the request of the lonely guy working there, I watched an eight minute introductory video which had not a moment of dialogue save for the heavy breathing of a guy on the luge. It was interesting nonetheless. Next stop was wandering off in search of the ice room or something of the sort. Basically it’s a freezing indoor training area where luge, skeleton and bobsled athletes can practice year round. Judging by the size of the place I think they only practice their starts which would become quite repetitive and boring but at least they would be experts. The ‘skeleton’ in case you’re wondering, is not really skinny athletes doing stuff. It’s kind of like going down a slope on a luge but face first … strangely enough, this is not a big sport in Australia. Anyway, it is said that the public can have a go for $10 but with no-one there to offer anything it didn’t eventuate. I had kind of thought that you get to go on the big outdoor run, possibly not travelling 120 km/h as they do in elite events, but at least having a bit of fun.

My final stop at the park was the 90m ski jump tower. I took a chairlift up to the top of the hill, then an elevator to the top of the tower and looked out the observation deck to see what kind of perspective you get … really high would be my take on it! Anyway, back down the elevator and I decided to walk down the hill rather than take the chairlift again as I had made a bit of a fool of myself getting on and off the thing. Best to stay away to avoid further embarrassment.

Today I realised that even though I pack my backpack pretty sensibly, meaning I don’t take very many clothes etc, I seem to have an issue with other things like pens and books. I counted eight pens, all of which I could not possibly need and six books, much more of a problem than eight pens as they’re heavier. Anyway, that was it for the entertaining stuff I did in Calgary. From there I flew all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland to catch the better weather. Kind of skipping a lot of the country but I would come back later in the year.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

St. John’s is a gorgeous city. The streets are lined with colourful old buildings, there is a nice harbour and the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean setting just beyond. It’s hilly in St. John’s or at least it is in comparison to Melbourne. They say all the locals have strong legs from walking around and I did some good walking of my own to Queens Battery and Barracks where confused tourists in rented cars looked at me strangely. Seems not many people hiked the goat tracks like I did but as I had spent so much money on accommodation at the Captain’s Quarters, I thought it better to save the bus fare. Undeterred by the strange looks, I continued on up to Cabot Tower and was rewarded with spectacular views of St. John’s harbour and The Narrows. Eventually I continued on to Quidi Vidi, a picturesque fishing port which lays claim to having the oldest cottage in North America. It started raining and didn’t stop so my walk back to town was a wet one.

My main reason for being in Newfoundland was to visit Gros Morne National Park but to get there I had to find a bus. Not really that hard usually, but in complete honesty three times I tried to find out where it was and every time I could not understand a word the ‘newfies’ said. Canadians will definitely understand this. In the end I hooked up with another traveller (from Smoky Lake, Alberta!!! Only three people will understand the coincidence of this) who drove me to Gros Morne and around for three or four days! Our first stop on route was Cape Spear which is the most easterly point of North America and it offered beautiful views of St. John’s and Signal Hill. The only other stop we made along the way was at a town called Dildo. Nothing else said about that!

Gros Morne National Park

Day one in the park and we hiked the short Western Brook Pond trail and jumped into a boat for two hours to view the spectacular scenery. It’s everything you expect it to be and a must for anyone going to Gros Morne. Unfortunately none of my pictures did it justice, which I’ll try and attribute to bad light but it’s more inclined to be poor photography by myself and shaky hands from the freezing cold.

Day two, Ted, my driver, and I hiked the Tablelands trail which probably would take about twenty minutes but we opted for the interpretative walk with a Canadian National Parks Ranger. In so doing, we learnt about the provincial flower, the pitcher plant, the sundew and butter wart. We also learnt about the geological formation of the area including glaciers and tectonic plate movement. The walk took about two hours and was much more interesting this way. Sometimes it’s right there in front of you but you have no idea what it is! Same day we hiked the 5km return trip to the “Lookout”. I’m not sure of the elevation, but I know that I was struggling, which also says something about my fitness. It was well worth the hard work as we were rewarded with breathtaking views of Gros Morne mountain, the Tablelands and the harbours … and there was not a sign of anyone else.

Day three was rain, plenty of it and as I didn’t think myself fit enough to do the only other walk on my list, up Gros Morne Mountain itself, so we left. Ted was great and drove me all the way to Corner Brook where we parted ways and I haven’t heard from him since. I loitered in town for many hours before catching the bus to Port aux Basque for a seven hour ferry ride to Nova Scotia. On board I was extremely lucky to get a dorm bed for $16 and several hours later I fell asleep without getting seasick!!! Although I didn’t venture outside to see the seas, I knew it was rough out there as the ship creaked and lurched from side to side, understandably as there was a hurricane nearby. Seven hours later, with little sleep but hard ground beneath me, I jumped on a bus to Halifax and was quite surprised to learn it would take seven hours to get there. This was one of those horrible travelling days you come across where you don’t really get anywhere for two days, you don’t sleep or eat properly and you generally end up at your destination wondering what your name is!

Halifax, Nova Scotia

I started in Halifax slowly as I was planning to stay there a while. Over the course of the first week, I watched a few movies at the Atlantic Film Festival, tried not to touch anything at the grubby hostel and thoroughly enjoyed myself at the library where I have my own library card and could access the internet for free and read magazines in my spare time.

Halifax is such a great place. It’s just the feeling there. There’s nothing so exciting, it’s just all nice and I felt happy and at home. There’s a nice citadel surrounded by beautiful lawns where I read my book. I walked along the harbour, took a day trip out to Lunenberg and Peggy’s Cove. Lunenberg is a fishing village renowned for its picturesque setting and colourful buildings. The tour gave us the option of going for a walking tour or to visit the Fishery Museum. Although I heard the museum was interesting, I’m sure it would surprise none of you that I took the walking tour and discovered it wasn’t my thing either … our guide spent an hour talking about fishing, UGH!

Peggy’s Cove is a tourist Mecca for which reason I’m unsure. There’s a lighthouse, it’s pretty, perhaps that’s enough reason. I ended up ditching the bus tour and taking a boat back to Halifax instead, hoping to see some whales along the way. Alas there were none but I was quite pleased that I did not get seasick. To be honest, the sea was very calm but leaving the cove offered waves big enough to have me wondering was I was doing out there in such a small boat!

Salty Bear

I took the easy option to see some of the sights in Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick … the saltybear tour (www.saltybear.com). It started off by taking us driving around Cape Breton Island and whale watching in Pleasant Bay where we saw loads of Pilot whales and just as exciting, it’s the second time in recent days that I have been on the water and haven’t been seasick! We had a huge bonfire that first evening on the beach where Dave, and occasionally Miles, played the guitar and sang. I bought Dave’s cd to listen to when I get home (no cd player with me) but Miles didn’t have one.

On the second day along the coast of Cape Breton we hiked in pouring rain (from Hurricane Isabel) along a ridgeline but couldn’t see anything due to the fog/mist. It was incredibly beautiful all the same if that makes sense and I took a great photo of a beautiful little bunny sitting amongst the wildflowers. We were also supposed to go sea kayaking but this idea was abandoned after being thoroughly soaked from the hike. Of course the weather cleared up so we stopped at the beach and everyone swam except for me. The water was colder than the water in Melbourne and that’s too cold for me!

Day three, and we caught the ferry from Pictou to Charlottetown and later stopped for a gorgeous bike ride along the north shore in Cavendish. This is well worth it. Beautiful views and colours throughout and all the time in the world to enjoy it without anyone really nearby. We also popped into “Anne of Green Gables” which was more interesting than I thought it would be. I’m not familiar with any of the stories but I had promised to go there (Veena, that was for you! Check out the photo online and there’s more in my personal stash if you’re after more) and I was quite happy I did. It’s a hugely popular place!

When I say the Salty Bear tour takes you to New Brunswick, that is perhaps a little fib, or more to the point, you really just drive through there and stop at the end of the Confederation Bridge. The bridge by the way is the longest in the world. It’s 13km long. I’m not sure if its rumour or truth, but I was told that New Brunswick has a water shortage and the law prohibits flushing toilets. Certainly the only loo I used there was a chemical one which I hope was not bad for the environment. If anyone knows more about this I would be thrilled to know as the toilets of the world are one of my secret interests!

The last stop on tour was to watch the tidal bore at the Bay of Fundy. We waited for what seemed like hours but we definitely didn’t see the rapids of the bore, however we did have a great game of ultimate which the Aussies won!

Back in Halifax I was more social than usual one night and went to the pub with a small gang from the grubby hostel (which was actually a great hostel for atmosphere and general friendliness). My plan was to have one drink and leave as it just isn’t my scene … I’m more of a library/movie girl. Little did I know that the band we saw that night was so great. We all stayed the whole night until the band finished, I bought their cd and had them all sign it. Dale Letcher and the boys have great talent.

Sadly, I eventually had to leave Halifax and my beloved ‘Satisfaction Feast’ vegetarian restaurant – definitely recommended if anyone goes to Halifax, although the chocolate tofu cake was even difficult for me to handle. Anyway, I took the train to Montreal which is just about 22 hours if I can remember correctly. Not much to do except jump in the comfy bed, stare out the window, eat and read.