Monday, 30 April 2012

Road trip!

16th April 2012

After spending longer than I intended in Ottawa I was going to move on to Toronto but I ended up going on a road trip with Theres, a German girl who I met in the hostel I was staying at. She planned to go to Montreal and then hire a car and drive to Quebec city, Fundy national park, Halifax, Niagara falls and Toronto which sounded good to me so we split the cost of the hire car and fuel.
It took a few hours to get to Montreal by bus. When we arrived it was 27 degrees which was a bit of a shock as its been so cold. Checked in to our hostel and then we went and had a look around old Montreal for the evening.

On the second day in Montreal we went to see the olympic stadium and went into the biodome and saw some cool penguins and stuff.


On the third day there we went to Mont Royal, situated in the middle of the city and surrounded a great park which has some nice walks and from the top theres a great view of the city. Also stumbled across the google office while wandering around the city.

Montreal has a lot of French speaking people, I didnt learn French at school and only know a few words. When I was in the supermarket buying some stuff for dinner I had a free French lesson from the lady who worked on the till, the conversation went something like this;

Me: Bonjour
Check out assistant: Bonjour
The till: <beep> <beep> <beep>
Check out assistant: <Something in French>
Me: Parlez vous Anglais s'il vous plait?
Check out assistant: LE SAC <picks up a pile of bags and slams them down>
Me: Oui!

I paid for my shopping, thanked the nice lady and left swiftly, armed with a new word in my French vocabulary.

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Wakeboarding, on a canal, with no boat..

7th April 2012

I went for a walk down the Rideau canal, along the way I found these guys who had set up a winch for pulling them along the canal on their wakeboards, they had also set up a rail and were taking it in turns to grind along it. Cool idea?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A few days in Ottawa

4th April 2012

PhotobucketI decided to spend a few days in Ottawa, I am heading for Niagara falls so I figured I would stop here and at Toronto along the way. I have plenty of time now since I quit the voluntary work. I'm staying at the Barefoot hostel which is really nice, its just a house.

PhotobucketOttawa is pretty chilled out for a big city. Where I'm staying is right next to the Byward market which is full of places to eat and drink, parliament hill and the Rideaux canal is near by. Theres lots of museums and galleries here but I'm a bit museumed out to be honest not to mention really low on cash.. I did make it into the iMax cinema at the museum of civilisation though.



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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Volunteering at a homestead

28th March to 4th April 2012

I had arranged to volunteer at a homestead between Montreal and Ottawa ( So I flew to Montreal and got a train to Alexandria where Mitch picked me up. The train was certainly more comfortable than the trains in England, with reclining seats and plenty of leg room plus free wifi for the journey which was a nice bonus.

Mitch and Lola's hospitality was excellent, I had had my own room and they fed me well on fresh produce and awesome baking! In return I was helping out with the daily chores of feeding the animals (2 horses, 2 cows, some chickens, geese and sheep) at 6:30am and 5pm every, plus helping Mitch with his projects around fixing up their farm house which they have stripped down.

After a week I decided to move on and get back to drifting, I had planned to stay there for 2 months and thought it would be nice to have a kind of fixed abode for a while but I missed the travel, especially after almost 3 weeks in Whistler so I left the homestead and headed to Ottawa on the 4th of April.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Photobucket27th March 2012

When we saw the Jimi Hendrix shrine on the tourist map of Vancouver and realised it was just round the corner from our quality hotel we made sure to visit it. Unfortunately it was closed but at least we got to admire it from outside.

A quick google reveals that the building used to be Jimi's grandmother's fried chicken restaurant..


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A night at Vancouver's skid row

26th March 2012

My brother had selected a quality establishment for us to spend a night when we returned to Vancouver, the Patricia hotel/ Budget inn. The hookers and drug addicts that we passed on the last part of the taxi ride to the hotel made us think its not the best area. After check-in (obviously not before booking), we read some reviews which included comments such as "don't go out at night" and "avoid walking down Hastings street to the downtown area" - Ace.

We walked downtown and sure enough the area around our hotel was pretty bad and you could definitely tell when you cross the line back into normality. Some of the food vendors have prison bars over the windows. Later we went for a walk by night, and it was like crack city, I guess we stood out like a sore thumb. In the morning we went to get breakfast and a lady complimented us on our "nice jeans".

I remembered talking to a bunch of Canadians when I was in Australia and I'm fairly sure they said to avoid Hastings street.. Although Hastings street is really long and the skid row part is only about 2km of it. Never mind, it was interesting and the hotel was.. lovely. :D

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