A Travellerspoint blog

Day 35 Woodstock, Canada-Boston, USA

Wednesday 13th July 2005

sunny 29 °C

Yet another very long and this time boring drive. Nobody got much sleep due to us all being worried about border control not letting us into America. Talk about feeling intimidated and feeling like you had done something wrong. The woman that was dealing with us had a face like a bulldog chewing a thistle, and its times like this I just want to laugh. Also not helping was the huge photo of ‘The Weapons Of Mass Destruction King Himself Mr George Dubya Bush’ looking like he had a hot poker stuck up his arse. Anyway now it was Question Time with your host Miss Bulldog The Thistle Chewer.

‘So Mr Sanford why would you want to pack in your job and sell your house and go travelling’.

My reply ‘Erm because I want a life where I can see the world and not intimidate people and not be a pen pushing miserable bitch like you’. WRONG ANSWER.

The correct answer is ‘Because coming to America will educate you and make you a better person’ or in other words they will corrupt my brain and scramble my mind into a complete mess. Then it was questions like

‘How much money do you have?
And my answer is “Mind your flippin business”.

And do you have any firearms? ‘Yeah I have 3 rifles and a box of grenades stuck up my arse, jesus of course I bloody don’t.

After around an hour and paying them $6 they let us in to America. We were meeting one of Simons mates later in Biddeford and he very kindly took us all out for dinner and not known to us it was a place called Kennebunkport and also known as George Bush Senior land. So after that it was then onto Boston and finally we got to the HI Hostel in Boston at 11pm and first impressions were very good.

Posted by Reece Sanford 17:34 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking

Day 34 Quebec-Woodstock, Canada

Tuesday 12th July 2005

sunny 27 °C

Spent all day driving and found a hotel 10 minutes from the American border.

Posted by Reece Sanford 17:31 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 33 Quebec, Canada

Monday 11th July 2005

sunny 29 °C

Woke up with abit of a hangover and just spend the afternoon going for a short walk and then over to the festival for 20 minutes that night although the music wasnt that good so we headed back to the hotel.

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Quebec Basilique De Notre Dame

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Quebec Basilique De Notre Dame

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Quebec Basilique De Notre Dame

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Quebec Basilique De Notre Dame

Posted by Reece Sanford 15:31 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 32 Montreal-Quebec, Canada

Sunday 10th July 2005

sunny 25 °C

MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still thinking about wishing I had longer in Montreal when I eventually woke up and seriously contemplating on taking Tina’s offer up on going out with them for the day and then getting the bus to Quebec later I reluctantly got ready to move on. Maybe with abit more planning in advance I would of done that and had a great day to like you said you had. Upon arriving in Quebec the previous late night and all the driving I had done caught up with me and before I knew it I had crashed out on the sofa. Today was my birthday though and the start of it in Montreal had been fantastic and after a short sleep I recovered and got ready to go out again. Quebec was just like I had been told it would be like, a very beautiful city and many magnificent buildings and it defiantly did feel like you were in france. We managed to find a magnificent restaurant just before the rain started and the steak I had was delicious and thanks to Simon and Jill for treating me to it. What I didn’t expect though was after we left we went to the Music Festival and spend the night watching ZZ Top play live on the main stage. I was packed with people all wearing flashing red badges and it was great fun and made it a very memorable day and night.

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Posted by Reece Sanford 15:29 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 31 Montreal, Canada

Saturday 9th July 2005

rain 22 °C

Not good news when we woke up. Rain was forecast for most of the day and it was pissing down. Simon and I dodged the rain and ran down to the nearest metro station and headed down to the casino so he could try and win some money to fund the Jill Frew Hair Dye Foundation (ask if you want details). And also to get more casino chips to add to his fetish of collecting casino chips from all over the world. By the time we got at around 4pm it was still raining and I was hoping I could still meet Tina that night although the day was totally destroyed really because of the weather. I knew that 2 nights in Montreal was never going to be enough, and I wished we were staying here longer. But things did eventually get better after I rang Tina and we arranged to meet at 9.30pm, and thankfully the rain had stopped. All four of us (Tina,Jill,Simon and I) had a drink in the hotel bar and while Simon and Jill went off to a restaurant Tina took me around some parts of Montreal I hadn’t seen yet. What I will say though is I didn’t expect her to walk me thousands and thousands of miles and worst of all corrupt my mind by showing and telling me where the best strip joints are in Montreal (although I think somebody must of told her that because she is sooooooooooo angelic and innocent). Luckily for me I was able to see a lot more of Montreal thanks to her and I had a very enjoyable night/early morning after getting back at 3.45am, but then what better way to spend the early hours of my birthday than with a lovely lady. Walking back to the hotel I was still thinking about how I wished we had another few nights here and it would have been great getting the chance to go kayaking and to the beach thanks to Tina’s invite and meeting her boyfriend and other friends. I guess eventually after crossing nearly all of Canada without getting the feeling we hadn’t stayed somewhere too long or not enough yet it was going to happen one day. Tina you did warn me that 2 nights wasn’t enough and you were right although I did say before we got here that I didn’t think it was as well but the others only planned 2 nights and that was it.

Posted by Reece Sanford 15:27 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 30 Ottawa-Montreal, Ottawa

Friday 8th July 2005

sunny 25 °C

Arrived in Montreal at 3pm and after a mix up with the hotel booking we still were not sure we were going to get a room here. The Montreal Jazz Festival was also on so if the room wasn’t booked we would of been in a right mess. Luckily everything was fine and we booked into the Holiday Inn Midtown without any problems. After walking around Old Montreal for a few hours we headed down to the jazz festival and even though previously I wasn’t to sure whether I would enjoy the music it was fantastic. The variety of music from jazz to samba and funk made it a really good night.

Posted by Reece Sanford 15:22 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 29 Ottawa, Canada

Thursday 7th July 2005

sunny 25 °C

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From walking around here you start getting the feeling your getting closer to Quebec and it feels and looks more like france than canada and a french way of life.The buildings here are very impressive and we spend the day wandering around them and visited the Royal Canadian Mint,which was ok for $5 but the tour guide was abit boring and irritating with her stories about how she had these fairly rare coins as a child but would spend them on bubblegum.WHO CARES!!
Considering this is the capital of canada either it is strangely small with not much around or maybe we just missed a huge chunk of it out.
But i did find the timberland boots ive been looking for and got a right bargain.Since the trip started ive been searching in the timberland shops and each time ive said no they can wait.In toronto they were c$130/£60 and thats cheap considering in the uk they would be double that.In ottawa though i managed to get them for $60/£27.

Posted by Reece Sanford 13:41 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 28 Niagara Falls-Ottawa, Canada

Wednesday 6th July 2005

sunny 25 °C

A 7 hour drive to Ottawa and arrived to a very nice hotel close to downtown.

Posted by Reece Sanford 17:17 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 27 Niagara Falls, Canada

Tuesday 5th July 2005

storm 26 °C

The wettest day of the trip so far,but that was only because we went on a boat 'Maid on the Mist' that takes you close enough to the Niagara Falls to get you totally drenched.It was great fun though and luckily the waterproofs they provide keep you fairly dry.We had intended to also do the 'Trip Behind The Falls' but the queue was abit long so we decided against it.In the afternoon we had a look around the grounds of the casino and the few shops they have there although they looked very expensive.Suprisingly we then had the first light shower of rain in a few weeks and headed back to the hostel.Later in the evening after a heavy rainfall and thunderstorm had passed we found a bar to get some food and also a pool table so i could beat simon AGAIN.I decided on something not to spectacular in spaghetti and meatballs and ive never seen a plate so big in my life,it was piled so high with food.The barman even said if you manage to eat that then you certainly have my respect.Well the challenge was on and after awhile the plate was clean but shit did i feel ill afterwards.It was about 3 hours later before i stopped feeling bloated.Back at the hostel i was told i had company tonight after spending the night before on my own in a 5 bed room,but the people i met were a very nice friendly american couple who i spent awhile getting to know.

Posted by Reece Sanford 17:00 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 26 Toronto-Niagara Falls, Canada

Monday 4th July 2005

sunny 29 °C

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Niagara Falls

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Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls between Canada and America

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Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls

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Tightrope walker at Niagara Falls

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Fountain at Niagara Falls Casino

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Fireworks at Niagara Falls

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Fireworks at Niagara Falls

A short drive to Niagara Falls today and my first impressions are mixed. The falls are spectacular but then what you notice is the resemblance to Blackpool or as it should be called ‘The Cheapest Tackyiest Holiday Resort From Hell’. Heaven for kids with the amusement arcades etc but not my idea of fun, but the falls are certainly a place worth seeing and that half of town away from the amusements is very nice. The big bonus of the day though was the hostel we are staying in. It’s a family run hostel with two people from Wigan,England in there sixties owning it. Joe who we met on arrival is an absolute fantastic man and very friendly,funny and talkative. Im really glad we are staying here and I would definitely come and stay again if I was in the area. As today is Independence Day we got to see some spectacular fireworks at night over the falls, and before that we went to the new casino and while Simon was gambling Jill and I were having a few beers at the bar. We got chatting to a very friendly polite Italian barman who put the Tour De France highlights on one of the tv’s behind the bar for me to watch. With 5 kilometres to go another barman turned it over and within seconds our friendly barman said ‘Oi I have friends here watching that so turn it back otherwise he will come other there and smack you one’. It was so funny and within seconds the cycling was back on.

Posted by Reece Sanford 19:50 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 25 Toronto, Canada

Sunday 3rd July 2005

sunny 28 °C

Just spend the day walking round new parts of Toronto that we haven’t seen before and then relaxed for a few hours listening to music while sitting on the grass in the sun overlooking the lake.

Posted by Reece Sanford 19:35 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 24 Toronto, Canada

Saturday 2nd July 2005

sunny 29 °C

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The Sky Pod at the CN Tower the highest part of the tallest building in the world you can visit

Today was definitely CN Tower day. After the nerves had disappeared from the night before I was still not looking forward to this and before long I would be having a few doubts again. We had a lazy morning in bed and spent the afternoon walking around new parts of town. There were several indoor markets open today and it would be a fantastic place to do your grocery shopping here every week. Before the heat got too much again though we all went to see War Of The Worlds at the cinema and it was a pretty good film. The special effects were very good but the storyline was abit boring. Eventually the time had come though for the trip up the tower and we were still hoping to see the sunset. Upon buying the tickets the options were to get the expensive ones and be at the top in 30 minutes or the cheaper ones and wait 90 minutes. Half an hour was just about all we had so we purchased those ones but some 2 hours later we had only just got in the lift. By now everything was dark and the views were not as impressive because of it. Mind you it was probably easier for me as when you are in the lift it doesn’t seem to bad and you don’t notice at first how high you are going. But partly thanks to a huge bunch of Chinese tourists who were pushing and shoving and eventually had to be calmed down we missed a great sunset from the tallest building in the world. Although all in all it was a fantastic experience and one way of conquering a certain fear for heights ( if not maybe a crazy way of conquering them ). Once back at the hostel though the night was brought to an abrupt end by the rudest, mouthyiest bitch of an English (private school/daddy paid for my trip) backpacker. Thinking it was me who was in her/her boyfriends room and promptly told me the hostel said I had to share Jill and Simons room. My reply was simple and short ‘BOLLOCKS’. After her then making out it was either me,simon or jill in her room even though she had booked a private room and I was in a dorm she realized she had made a mistake. No apologies though from her although her lard ass fat boyfriend just about mumbled one out. Eventually at 1am the fun died down and they moved them somewhere and a decent conversation could be had with an aussie guy who was in the room and was totally oblivious to what had gone on before. Then I managed to crash out around 2.30am.

Posted by Reece Sanford 19:30 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 23 Toronto, Canada

Friday 1st July 2005

sunny 24 °C

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CN Tower

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CN Tower

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CN Tower

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Canada Day

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Canada Day

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Canada Day

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Canada Day. With the amount of flags you see at people’s houses and around Canada I was expecting this to be a really busy place today but the city seemed rather quiet. The only people we saw making an effort were the Chinese, and several hundred of them were about to parade the streets. Our plan for the day was to walk around the city to see if anything else was going on apart from a big pissheads convention otherwise known as the Alcoholics Anonymous Convention. We had also planned to watch the fireworks that were on later and see the sunset from the CN Tower and this I wasn’t to sure about. After getting to the 2nd stage of the Eiffel Tower and not enjoying it how on earth was I meant to go nearly twice as high as the top of it. Whether I had been out in the sun too much or I was nervous I still wasn’t feeling too good so I was relieved when the top of the tower was closed due to high winds. I lived to fight another day. So Plan B was to walk down to the harbour and find a pub and see the fireworks from there. Around 10.30pm finally we got to see them and even though the place was very busy the fireworks were a big disappointment and to far away to be appreciated.

Posted by Reece Sanford 18:56 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 22 Owen Sound-Toronto, Canada

Thursday 30th June 2005

sunny 30 °C

Absolutely Crazy.That just about sums the day up.Toronto is fantastic and thats only after the short 2 hour drive here which was crazy.Once we got onto the main highway (motorway in the uk) the driving was horrific.It made driving round central london in rush hour seem easy.Here theres 5 lanes of traffic all going in the same direction and unlike in the uk where the slowest traffic keeps to the left,in canada its a free for all.People are weaving in and out of lanes and around cars and cutting across 4 lanes at the last minute for the exit off the highway.Ive never seen anything like it before and you are concentrating so much not only on what you are doing but the other lunatics as well,and plus all the cars are driving nose to tail at 80mph+ at times and its scary.Soon we spotted the CN Tower (the tallest building in the world) and it doesnt look to bad and thats considering im not good with heights.But it towers so high over the other buildings its unreal.Then we made it to the hostel after eventually finding it (due to simon remembering the wrong number for it) and its bang in the centre of town.Its abit untidy and not the nicest ive stayed in by far and again like winnipeg theres no air conditioning and trying to sleep at night with the heat and noise of traffic isnt ideal.We walked around Toronto for abit though and its great and i like it alot already.After walking around the Eaton Centre (a big shopping mall) and eating in the Hard Rock Cafe simon went back to the hostel while jill and i found a very good pub and sat in there for a few beers.We left at around 11pm with me being abit drunk and headed back.Halfway to the hostel we spotted 2 women both dressed in all white and i have to say how 1 of them didnt get arrested for the lack of clothes she was wearing i wont ever know.They were undoubtedly the shortest skimpyiest pair of shorts i have seen EVER!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Reece Sanford 23:09 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

Day 21 Sault Ste Marie-Owen Sound

Wednesday 29th June 2005

sunny 28 °C

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Me fishing with the Bears

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The Boat from South Baymouth

Drove down to South Baymouth and caught the ferry which sailed across to Tobermory.The crossing took an hour and 45 minutes and luckily the storms they had predicted never came so it was a nice smooth crossing.One we got to the other side we drove for an hour before there was any sign of motels to spend the night in and eventually we found one in a small but very nice town caled Owen Sound.The houses in the area are lovely and are alot nicer and bigger than the ones in the other towns and areas we have driven through.The motel was reasonable and not to shabby and it was good enough for the one night before the drive to Toronto.

Posted by Reece Sanford 23:00 Archived in Canada Tagged backpacking

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