Toronto 17th – 23rd May
It is great to have friends all over the world and even greater if you can meet one after a long haul flight, who then pamper you! In my case I was pampered with a bed in a private room and allowed to take a nap. It was a long one, with other words: I was sleeping for hours. Fortunately in Toronto the evenings are much longer than they have been in Sydney. Though we went out for a walk in the surroundings afterwards. I was surprised about the big green area (park) and the riverside, because Toronto was for me only skyscrapers, but it has more green areas as I could imagine. We also have seen a chipmunk. It was the first time in my life. On the lake people were training for the upcoming dragon boat race.
I usually buy needed electric adapters as well as prepaid sim-cards including data at the airport, but this time I did not. My tablet was totally running out of charge, therefore I asked Jane, if she could help me. She had a charger from a cellphone, which was not in use anymore, but it was not a Samsung. I tried anyway and it helped a little – the tablet was charging very slowly, but it charged. I even could still use the Australian sim-card. Though I sent some sms.
I did not realise, that it was already around 10pm when Jane wished me a good night, but my watch told me. I was also going to bed and actually I could already sleep again and awoke next morning around 8 o’clock Toronto time. I never felt the jet lag, but a little headache even I crossed fourteen time zones and was going to the West!
This day Jane told me after breakfast, that she will wash dark clothes and I was welcome to add mine. So I dit. Afterwards I went to the shopping area for buying an adapter and a prepaid sim-card, but decided at the shop to take a contract, because the better conditions. It is very expensive in Canada with the data traffic. I checked all the companies I found. Some do not work in remote areas, though I decided to use Roger’s for the best network. Before I bought my Canadian sim-card I was allowed to use Jane’s wi-fi, but she did not have unlimited data either, though I could not write my blog with her wi-fi as well. Instead of an adapter I bought an original Samsung charger, because I did not know if Canada uses 110 or 220 Volt and Jane was not really sure about it.
What a surprise! With my new charger my tablet charges much faster as I am used to as well as it charges meanwhile I am using the tablet. As long I am charging the tablet I do not run out of battery. I am very happy about it. However I have problems with the account. My phone number has been used before. That is usual, but I have got and still get calls and texts for the last owner. It seems he/she has or has had economic problems. The texts stopped, when I texted back, that I am the new owner of the number and signed with my first name, but I still get calls. When I am answering “Dorothee speaking” none answers. I tried to get a new number already the first day, but I would have to pay 35 CAD for it and I told them, that it is no customer service to charge me in this case. I tried to find another company, but they are almost as expensive as this one, but do not have the same good cover outside the bigger cities. Furthermore I bought batteries for my hearing aid and eye drops.
This day I learned a very important thing about Canada: The prices shown att the shelves are without taxes! There are different tax rates and on some items you have two different taxes. I never know, what the final amount for my shopping is. Therefore I am very careful to choose cheap items, if possible. I also try not to buy more than absolutely necessary.
Do you remember that I wrote in 2009 (dorotheeinternational.wordpress.com), when I moved to Germany for work, that I could not find a post office? Actually I have had the same problem in Toronto. I had to send a letter to Sweden because of the birthday of my youngest grandchild. More about it later.
I stayed for six days in Toronto and made a lot of sightseeing, some with my friend, some by my own. I moved to a hostel after three days at Jane’s, because the room was occupied at weekends. Unfortunately I did not get to know that before the other day with Jane and the good hostels were already full. Though I booked three nights at the “Dundas backpacker’s”. The good thing was, that the hostel was central and close to the main bus station. The bad thing was, that there were bugs in the showers, washing room and the lounge (which was very close to the kitchen area – there was no door in between). The mattresses had a kind of plastic cover. Anyway I checked for bedbugs. Fortunately I did not find any. Even the staff behaved strange. The manager, I think it was, had an open dispute with a guest or volunteer, though he was leaving straight away and very angry. All staff, but the manager, were volunteers and almost most of them were speaking Spanish. Their English was not even good as mine and I am really not perfect in English. In addition to that the staff played music all the time, but some hours in the middle of the night and at high volume. They did neither ask, if we guests like the music, nor where they using a lower volume, when I asked for it. Furthermore the price was higher than for a bed in the YHI-hostel!
Well, what did I see in Toronto? Jane took me by tram (here called “street car”) and bus around the inner city. We visited the Kensington market, the area of an old brewery – now a center for art, including theaters, and artisans as well as restaurants, which you find everywhere in Toronto. We also were to the town hall and nearby museums, which we only have seen from the outside. It was already quite late, when we started, though we could not see very much indeed and was back at Jane’s around 10pm. I had a day ticket with as many hop on hop off as I wished. The ticket was for 12 CAD.
The 19th I followed Jane downtown, where she attended a weekly dance class for seniors. This time I chose the 5-ticket option for seniors. In Ontario you only need to have the right age (you do not need to be a Canadian citizen!) to be allowed to pay the lower fare. The amount for these five tickets was 9.75 CAD. Before Jane was going to the class, she showed me the surroundings with museums. The district is called the Bloor Street Culture Corridor. Yes, you are right. The Bloor Street is very long. Meanwhile Jane was dancing I visited the Bata Shoe Museum and I bought a combined ticket – for the Textile Museum and the Gardiner Museum (Ceramics) as well. Actually I was somewhat disappointed by the Shoe Museum even it was arranged over three or four floors and had some really old shoes, but not enough models from the close past. That’s my opinion, of course.
We met for lunch and walked afterwards to the Tollkeeper’s Cottage. A heritage building and museum, which some volunteers renovated. They still care about the building and Jane, who knows some of them, managed to get a guided tour for me, even the museum was officially closed.
On the way to the museum we passed the Casa Loma. A building looking like a castle. It was an event in there. It looked like a movie has been filmed, but we were not sure about it. Anyway we did not enter the building, even there is a lot of advertising for it in Toronto and it is a so-called “must see”.
On the way home my friend Jane bought a mop at “Honest Eds”. She told me, that it is an old family company and the owner, who died some years ago, was keen to sell items to affordable respectively low prices. Now his son has taken over, but he will explore the area with apartment buildings. By the way close there I have seen a laundromat with a funny name (see photo):
With the purchased mop we tried to go by the Metro back to Jane’s home, but the train was not going further from the next station, because there was a fire at the station “Jane”. Yes, it is true, my friend has her own Metro station 😉. It is one further, than the one my friend uses to go from or return to her home. On the signs it was announced, that there will be extra buses, but none had arrived so far. We also understood, that the buses will be crowded. I asked Jane if we could take another route and she stopped a bus, just leaving the bus stop. Fortunately the bus was going in the right direction, even we had to change the bus for coming close to Jane’s home. Though we were going with the buses and they were not crowded at all. At the bus stop we finally left, we have seen the very crowded extra buses and lots of people, who was walking all the way, because they had not got any space in the buses. I was very happy about our decision, even the ride took a little longer.
However we were late and very hungry, therefore we decided to eat out. We found a place selling falafel, ordered one each and ate there. I could not eat it all, took the rest in a doggy bag with me and ate it the next day. Home at Jane’s I made my notes for the day as well as about my finances – I keep track of my expenses.
The following day I moved to the hostel “Dundas*” at Chestnut Street, afterwards I wasted hours to find a post office of the Canadian post, but I did not. I found a dhl, where they asked for 60 CAD for sending a big letter home to Sweden. I decided not to take this opportunity. I gave up, had a meal at the Eaton mall and was then walking to the Textile Museum next street to the hostel. This is a very interesting place, I highly recommend to visit. I took photographs of nearly every item. I was so impressed of all the woven and needlework as well as painted and batik textiles. Below just two examples. The rest will come by the link for Toronto photographs.
Back at the hostel I googled for a post office and a supermarket. There was a Chinese supermarket not far away, which I was going to, but they did not have more than half of the things I thought to buy. The post office already was closed and was not open on Saturdays either. In addition to this there was a public holiday (Queen Victoria’s Day) the upcoming Monday. That means three days without a possibility to send a letter.
On Sunday I was going to the Niagara Falls, even I was afraid, that it will be crowded because of the holidays. I did not have any idea, which bus company was going there, but have got to know, that there are buses from the nearby bus station. There I found out, that only Megabus offers rides to Niagara. Unfortunately the upcoming bus was already full, but there was one two hours later, I bought a ticket for. I spent the waiting time at the hostel after I have found a combined grocery shop / café and bought some bread.
The Niagara falls are not so close to Toronto as I have thought earlier. It was a two hours ride, but I was lucky, because a Coach Canada bus was hired by Megabus, that means better leg room. The buses are only going to the bus station at the city of Niagara, but it is easy to get a free map at the kiosk. It is walking distance from there to the falls. Furthermore are local buses going there. I walked and I had nice company by an African guy, who asked me, when I will visit African countries.
For you, who do not remember the geography around the falls, I write the following lines:
The Niagara Falls belong partly to Canada and partly to the USA. The border goes somewhere in the middle of the Ontario Lake (lengthwise). There is a bridge close to the falls, though you easily can see them from both countries, but I do not know about the border control, because I stayed in Canada, where you have the best view.
I was so amazed of the Niagara falls, I spent four (4) hours just looking at them, going closer and closer to the falls and taking lots of photographs and even some videos. The crowds were not as big as I expected, though there was no need to wait for a longer while to get a good view from the first line, but really close to the horseshoe fall – even everyone gets wet there. I did neither take a tour with one of the boats nor going behind the falls. The boat passengers had different coloured rain coats. The ones in the American boats “Maid of the mist (+no)” had blue rain coats. The people in the Canadian boats “Hornblower (+no)” had red rain coats. I think it was for the American helicopter. I could rarely take my eyes from the scenery and it was hard for me to leave for catching the bus back to Toronto.
Even for the way back the Megabus company had hired a bus from another company and the coach was as comfortable as the first bus. I fell asleep in the bus, so did a lot of the other passengers. Back at the hostel I was on the Internet for my trip further – to Montreal (province of Quebec).
During the morning of the 21st May I met Jane at the Queen Quay, but I was somewhat late. I had taken wrong and was walking to the Queen Street. This was not far from the hostel and I was just in time. When I could not see Jane anywhere I checked her email one more time and saw my mistake: I should meet her at Queens Quay not Queens Street. Though I messaged her and walked further as fast as I could. Fortunately the Queens Quay was in the same direction. I was soaked in sweat when I met her. We took the ferry to Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands. There are two more harbours on the islands: The Central Island and the Ward’s Island. Meanwhile people live on Hanlan’s Island, the Central Island is for recreation and amusement and the Ward’s Island is a natural reserve. It is easy to walk from one island to another as well as to a couple of smaller islands in between, which you can enter by bridges.
Jane had only time until noon, though I was back early at the hostel, which gave me the opportunity to talk with two of my children (one at a time) via Skype. The timezone in Sweden is six hours ahead local time for Toronto. It was easier to make Skype calls from New Zealand and Australia, because there were around twelve hours time difference. I enjoyed to speak with my children very much!
To make the day perfect I visited the Gardiner Museum in the afternoon. Also this museum has three storeys. On the third floor was a special exhibition, where I was not allowed to make photographs. I was even denied to take a photo of the name of this part of the museum! Though I do not really remember, what it was about, but it might have been about the archeology work of a special area. The reason, why I cannot really remember it, was furthermore the lack of time I had for visiting this exhibition. I was there for only ten minutes, because there had been so much to see on the other two floors. The ceramics and chinaware was put in the time of the monarchies ruling. Almost one monarch was a patron of the art of decorative chinaware.
Back at the hostel I ate a falafel at the restaurant in the same building. I ordered one of the cheap deals and had to take water, because juice was not included. I will never get used to, that I have to pay for the water as much as for a soft drink. At the hostel I was on the Internet again, booking the (Mega)bus for Montreal and trying to update my blog.
One of the positive things here in Canada is, that the check out time is 11am. Anyway, my bus would leave at 11am, though I had to check out earlier. Even I had to wait for a vacant shower, I left 9:50. That means I was an hour earlier than the bus would leave, but at the bus station the waiting area has lots of seats. Nobody needs to stand up and wait. The assistants of the company call for the direction half an hour before the bus will leave – there is a last call, too, like at an airport. I had to sit close to the calling assistants, because they had no microphone and the most of them tiny voices. We entered the bus already 10:40am and I was lucky again. Megabus ran two buses at this time and the late bookers were going to Montreal by a Canada Coach. Have you ever used a Megabus? In that case you know, that their own buses has very little leg room. Though you can understand why I point it out, when I booked a Megabus, but was allowed to go by another coach. Halfway to Montreal – in Kingston – our bus driver left the bus and another took over. We passengers got only five minutes rest for a bus ride of six hours. That also is different to Australia.
You can read about Montreal under Quebec.
Ottawa – 8th to 9th June
After more than a week in the province of Quebec, I was back in Ontario and visited Canada’s capital. I did not expect anything special and the first impressions were maintenance of streets and detours. That was not great, because I could not come to the car park I wished. Anyway I found another one, belonging to the theatre, but public. I had to pay 18 CAD for a day and the same amount for a part of a day, no matter for how long I stayed there – and if I leave during the day and would come back the same day, I had to pay another 18 CAD for the day. Though I just had to go around the city without my car, but could spend many hours for the same amount.
The first I did, coming out of the garage, was to take photos of the street names, where I was as well as of the surroundings. It is my usual behaviour, when I am in a little bigger city, to be sure, to find my way back to an important destination like, where to meet friends again – or in this case, find my car. By this I also have a documentation about the kind of signs used. That can be really interesting. Here it is – because Canada has two official languages – you can see how cost-effective the signs are ( Rue = French for street, St. = English shortening for street). The street signs different colours point in different directions (north – south resp. east – west).
Well done this documentation, I tried to find the tourism information, but I also was hungry. Though I bought chips at a snack car and asked for the directions. The sellers in the car did not know, where it is, but a taxi driver buying a Poutine (chips with gravy – se Quebec City), explained to me that there is no such one, but in front of the House of Parliament there are ambulant tourist guides and he also told me, how to find the House of Parliament. Surprisingly he did not ask, if he should drive me there. I was not satisfied with his answer and walked the Sparks Street with all the restaurants, hopefully to find someone, who could tell me, how to come to the Tourist Information Centre. By the way I was amused about the sand tables on the street:
It had started raining and there were not many people outside, but two young women were willing to help me. They were Canadians, but not living in Ottawa, therefore they googled it on one of their smartphones. Then they send me in the wrong direction, though I had to ask one more time.
Anyway it took not a long time, to find the House of Parliament and the tourist guides. By asking one of them I found the Tourist Info Centre. It was just behind my back. Well in there, I grabbed a free map, got information about the free sightseeing tour as well as the library, I also spot a counter for free tours of the House of Parliament. I went there and asked about the subject. I have got to know, that I should come early in the morning, because first comes, first served and there was only a limited number available.
After taking some photographs of the House of Parliament (I took better ones the following day) I went to the library, charging and using my tablet. I was surprised, that I was allowed to charge my tablet for free, even I had to go to the third floor, where there were around 10 tables with electric contacts.
When I was done I went all the way back (it was close, but I first went in the wrong direction again) to the car park and picked my car up. I continued to a free camping ground in Gatineau, not aware, that it is a town in Quebec. I had looked for a free campground close to Ottawa at www.freecampsites.net to find one. Unfortunately I did not read the comments, though I tried to access from Gatineau, but there were no street for cars into the park. Therefore I stayed overnight on a Walmart car park (I had read before, that the chain allows overnight parking for camper vans and mobile homes.). As you certainly can imagine, the washroom only can be accessed during daytime, though I bought a bucket with a lid for my spill water. It worked fine.
I slept very well that night, too. In the morning I went to the washroom, washed me and brushed my teeth and bought a coffee at McDonald’s. I was afraid, if I will park my car there for a whole day without being around, it will be clamped. Therefore I was looking for a P&R in this little city. I hoped a return ticket would be cheaper than parking in Ottawa. I did not find a P&R, but a street close to a bus stop (by the way, there are only buses, no trams, no underground for public transport in and around Ottawa), where parking was allowed without restrictions on one side of it. Going into Ottawa by bus and find the right stop seemed to be easy for me, but I was afraid of not finding the right bus stop on my way back. Fortunately there was a gas station close to, where I parked my car. Though I took photos of the name of the street as well as of the gas station.
There were three bus stops around and none had a timetable, therefore I asked a girl at one of them for the right bus to Ottawa. She told me the number (39) and the stop – it was the one in front of the gas station. I paid 3.90 CAD to the driver and ask him for the stop in front of the House of Parliament, because the “free walk” starts from there (exactly from the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill). The walk starts at 11am and I thought, leaving Gatineau around 9am will be fine. It was, even the trip took around 90 minutes. I went to the Tourist Info Centre and queued for a free ticket for the House of Parliament and got one for 2pm, because it was the first of the day in English. Directly afterwards I went to the Centennial Flame. The guide was already there. A female student around 25, who really liked her job. She was as good as that guy in Sydney. On the other hand side I discovered, that I already had seen the important and historical buildings and streets the day before. Even I read all the signs, there was, too, the information from the guide was still interesting.
After that tour I visited the library again for charging my tablet and the free wi-fi. I was at the meeting point for the free tour of the House of Parliament just in time, because I nearly had forgotten to leave my little backpack in a box at the Tourist Info Centre. I was informed to do so with the bigger bags, when picking up the entrance ticket, otherwise I would not be allowed to enter the building.
At the meeting point, we had to wait a while before a male guide in discreet grey uniform welcomed us and told us, that we will undergo a security check like they do at the airport. Inside I had to take off even my belt and empty all my pockets, so my credit card, my coins and so on does not show up in the full body scanner. I was asked for putting my paper money back in my pockets, while I emptied them. Actually I had to hold my trousers up by hand, for not standing on them. Surprisingly some people with bigger backpacks as mine were allowed to continue into the building. I was anyway happy, that I did not need to empty my backpack, too.
The free tour itself was amazing as well as disappointing. Amazing were the few places we were allowed to visit, including the old library, which is in an old building surviving the fire from 1916, when the parliament burnt down. If you are interested in the history, you find it here. It was disappointing because we did neither visit the House of Commons nor the Senate. The guide showed us photographs on canvas instead. He was eager to point out, that the House of Parliament is an open house. At the end of the tour, he told us, that we were allowed to go in there, but had to talk with the security persons. We also were allowed to enter the peace tower (which is part of the building – see photo) including the war memorial. There is a very good view from the tower above Ottawa. By the way, when we were in the library, the guide told us, that it is possible to see every document, the library contains, of everyone. In that moment I remembered my Swedish class for text and design, when two of my classmates went to the library in Malmö and asked for the school report for the then Prime Minister Göran Persson, though I asked if it would be possible for me to see documents about the Canadian Prime Minister and got to know, that it is, but I had to go to the library, where I could see them, with other words: The Swedish “freedom of information” is not unique.
After this tour I went to pick up my backpack and then to the bus stop in front of the Parliament Hill. Actually it was exactly the same bus stop, where I left in the morning. I had to wait for a long time before a bus of the route 39 arrived. It seemed the bus was overdue by the expressions of other people. Finally one came and after further 90 minutes I was back at the gas station in Gatineau, finding my car close there.
Worrying about my car, because a bad noise, I could not identify and which had started already the other day of my trip, I drove to Canadian Tyres to purchase a recovery service contract, they offered for half the price. It was cheaper than the one of the CAA. I tried two days before by calling a service number, but they told me, that the deal was first starting two days later and that I could not purchase it yet. At the service counter, they did not understand, what it was about and what to do. It took time before they had figured it out and even the purchase. Though I told them, that I never in my life have had such a bad service. On the top of it I had to call the service number to get the contract activated. Therefore I asked if I could use their phone for it – and I was allowed. After around an hour all was well.
More photographs from Ottawa you will find by this link.
Before I left the car park of the shop, I checked the next free campsite and decided to drive to South Algonquin. I used the “Here” GPS and all was fine until the battery of my tablet run out of charge, even I thought I charged it by the car. It was nearly dark, too, at that time. I had passed a sign for the town of Evanville, announcing a Tourist information site with a car park. I hoped to find it and was lucky, because it was signed all the way. It was a nice place by the Bonnechere river. It also had a washroom outside the information centre, but in the same building. Unfortunately the washroom was closed and the centre did not open before 11am. I had a good sleep in my car on the car park after I parked it close to the bush, because I did not like to have my car parked facing the river for the river valley was very steep.
The next morning I had to find a washroom and tried it first with the library, which was quite close, but it did not open before 10am. Though I took my car and drove slowly to the village. The two first cafés were closed, but in the centre of the village I found an open one, the Bonnechere River Cafe. I was really hungry at that time and read the menu, expecting high prices as before, but this place was good to my economy, especially the special offer, the “Hungry Man Special” breakfast. For only 10 CAD there were 3 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, 2 pieces of ham, 2 bologna and 2 sausages served with pan-fried potatoes, 2 slices of toast and as much coffee as I want. I ordered it and thought, if I cannot eat it all for breakfast, I will ask for a doggy bag. The owner asked me a little surprised, if I really want that breakfast 😉, but I have got it for the announced price. In addition to that, I was asked more than twice if I wished to have more coffee, while eating. I am a little ashamed, but there was no need for a doggy bag. I only saved the slices of toast, taking them with me in a tissue. While I was waiting for my order, I used the washroom intensively. By the way I felt very well treated at that café and it also offered free wi-fi and I was allowed to charge my tablet there. I actually left 2 CAD as a tip as a thank you for the good service.
Before leaving this little town I went back to the library, which was open now and surfed the Internet for the next place to stay. At 11am I continued to the Tourist Information Centre, asking for attractions in the surroundings and a map for Ontario, which was not offered. The assistant was not very friendly, but asked me to sign the visitors book.
More photographs from Eganville you will find by the link.
I did neither feel for visiting another cave nor the little museum in town, though I drove further north. In the early afternoon the Dwight Trading Post caught my eyes. I stopped, because I thought it was an old fashion convenience shop, but I found only souvenirs were offered. I bought a cheap bracelet, made by native people and some fudge on sale. There was another shop at the side of the first one, selling fudge and ice cream. It was still really warm (around +25°C) and sunny, though I looked for the price of the ice cream. It was unexpected cheap: One scoop for 3 CAD, two scoops for 3.50 CAD (taxes excluded). I bought two scoops: Moose Track and Maple/Walnut. To the price of 3.99 CAD, incl. taxes, I had a whole meal 😯! – I took a photograph of it with a one-dollar-coin on the side of it for getting the right impression of the size (the coin is similar in size to a one-euro-coin).
More photographs from Dwight and surroundings you will find by the link.
In the afternoon I arrived in another little town, called North Bay. At the railway station, which was used for a museum and a shop (no trains were going here anymore) I found a car park with a two hours free parking. I left my car there and walked the town, even the surroundings of the nearby bus terminal and the railway station. While I was impressed by another pretty sunset, I saw a lake or river with lots of parking spaces in front of it. I wondered for myself if that would be a good space for the night and drove there. Unfortunately there were cars coming and going with people enjoying the view or taking a walk. Therefore I took a walk as well and got disappointed, when I read on a sign, that swimming in the river was not recommended because bacteria. Eventually it was really dark and I was going to sleep.
More photographs from the City of North Bay you will find by the link.
I awoke the next morning because it was heavily raining. I dressed and continued on hwy 11 after I had used the washroom at the bus station as well as I had bought a coffee. My route this day (11th June) was to Wawa via Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. Ontario is more and more scenic north of Ottawa. Between the City of North Bay and Sudbury I stopped at two lookouts. At the second one I had a chat with a Canadian guy from Montreal, who was moving to British Columbia (BC). Furthermore I took a rest at a picnic area by a river (or lake). The photo below gives you a little idea about the beauty of the province.
More photographs from Alona Bay you will find by the link.
It was raining most of the day. Close to Sudbury I overtook two hitchhikers with heavy backpacks. I felt sorry about them, but I only have one more seat, but my driver’s seat in the car, though I could not help them. On the other side of Sudbury a single man in his early 50th tried to get a ride. The sun was shining now and it was very warm. The hitchhiker did not have a hat and I reduced my speed, looking for which kind of guy he was. I guessed, he was not dangerous, stopped and gave him a ride to Sault Ste Marie. He told me, he is going to visit his mother (who lives in a home for elderly people) and that it was to expensive for him to go by bus. Later on he gave me some well-intentioned advises about hitchhikers 😯 and gas stations. He told me, that there are after Sault Ste Marie only two towns followed by the bush. If there would be someone trying to get a hitch from the bush, I should not stop, because it usually would be mugger and murderers. He also told me, that I have to fill my tank to the fullest, because there were nearly no more gas stations until Winnipeg (in Manitoba) and that there is nothing to see in Sault Ste Marie, where he directed me to the gas station and kissed me on my cheek as a good-bye.
My Canadian friend in Toronto already had told me before, that there is nothing to see in Sault Ste Marie, therefore I continued on my way, but regret it later, when reading about the city. However I was driving to Wawa. I found a truck stop there, but it was in such a bad condition, though I decided not to be there overnight and went sightseeing.
More photographs from Wawa you will find by the link.
Unfortunately it was already to dark for some more photos. I stayed overnight at the car park of the Tourism Information – like others did (even I was not so close to the sign 😉):
I awoke early next morning, because I was freezing. I was looking for an open gas station in Wawa, but not even the one with the truck stop was open, though I continued to a place called White River. The assistant at the gas station was very friendly and told me, that it only has been +6°C at 6am. By her I also got to know, that there is a village/town with a gas station every hour by car and that the wilderness is not so wild anymore. The information the hitchhiker had given me, seemed to be old. I bought a medium coffee in the nearby restaurant, which had the size of a big one, for only CAD 1.84, taxes included. After using the washroom I continued further NW.
I was driving on hwy 17 and passed a village with the name Schreiber, but stopped at the tourist information of Terrace Bay. On a big sign the Aguasabon waterfall was advertised. I like waterfalls and followed the directions. After a short detour I was there, but a little disappointed, because the fall was a rapid, even it was nice to see.
I was hungry, though the restaurant “Sue chef” at the highway crossing 17/11 made me stop. I was looking around for a hamburger bar or similar, but there was only that restaurant. Therefore I ate there. The price was high as in a ****restaurant (I paid 14.40 CAD incl. taxes), but the food was unfortunately not so good, even it was a big portion called a “Fully loaded omelette” and contained eggs (of course), mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, ham, bacon and some pan-fried potatoes as well as two slices of toast. I did take the toast with me again. I had to add a new experience to my list. I was looking for a while for a good place on the road to stay for a photograph with the traffic sign “Moose”, because I find them funny. This day I was lucky, stopped and even used me tripod. Here is the result:
My next destination was Thunder Bay, a town with around 110.000 inhabitants. The name made me interested in to see more as well as the “Sleeping Giant”.
Before I reached the town, I reached a park with a good view and a memorial for a young men with cancer, which ran throughout Canada in the hope to get donations for more research about fighting cancer. He was successful, but unfortunately his cancer stronger than him. His name was Terrance Stanley Fox.
I then followed the “Bayview Road” awaiting to come to the bay, but I only was driving around the town. Disappointed I drove to another waterfall, not far away from the city, but one could not see the fall without paying a parking fee, which I think is a bad manner. I told them, that I have seen lots of waterfalls without the need of paying a parking fee, though I did not need to see this one and drove my way.
Near Upsala, a little place beside the highway, it started raining again. Nowadays it is a very small place. My Swedish background made me taking a picture of the sign, but out of the window of my car.
This night I found a perfect spot for free camping. It was a picnic area without a sign, that overnight stays are not allowed. The place was very appreciated, there were trucks parking and some mobile homes were staying there, too. It felt very save to be one of many. Close to the picnic area was a river, easy accessible. I thought to wash my face and my dishes there, but the water was brown, when I had it in my bucket. I know, there is a lot of iron in Canadian water, but I was not sure, if it was free of dangerous bacteria. Though I did not use it.
When I awake the following day (13th June), it was raining again, but I finally was on my way to Manitoba. Before I could add another milestone to my trip, I had to fill my tank with fuel one more time, which I did in the outskirts of Kenora. The highway had four different access points to Kenora, but no sign for the city center. Kenora was for me only another small town in Ontario, therefore I never tried to drive into the city. The gas station had a card lock, which I often found in Canada. It means a kind of credit card from that chain is necessary for tanking. I did not know that, when I chose that gas station. Fortunately there was an operator and he helped me get fuel with a card from the station, where after I paid.