Tails of a Travelling Cat
The Canada Edition
Hello, all! I’m on a train. For thirty five hours. The day started with breakfast provided by the hostel which I was very happy about. Having missed breakfast yesterday as I had to leave for Niagara Falls before it opened at 8am, I wanted to make the most of it, but with limited time, I only fitted in two slices of peanut butter on toast and an apple for the train. One thing I have noticed in Canada is food seems to have more ingredients. Ritz crackers which I remember as having about five ingredients in the UK, seem to have tonnes here. In the UK, peanut butter has at most four ingredients, here there were several lines of it on the packaging. The same is true for bread and soya milk. Still, they all taste good, the soya milk I particularly like.
Now I’m on the train and once we’d left Toronto behind, Ontario is just trees and lakes. These trees are different to the trees of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, more evergreen and more a mix of trees, suggesting these forests are more natural than the farmed monocultures of the east. Great rocks also break up the trees. And the lakes, what can I say about them? This is the Great Lakes region and they are truly great. Some so large I couldn’t see the other side look like the sea, some more modest ones are bordered by trees and lake-side houses. The views are spectacular, even through the slight rain. Well, as I was eating out last night, the news was on and it did promise more rain. Large parts of southern New Brunswick, south Québec and I think parts of Ontario are currently suffering severe flooding, from this winter’s extra snow and the heavy rain. So far it hasn’t affected the trains but it has caused higher water levels of the lakes and rivers.
We’ve just passed Parry’s Sound, population 6,000, which an announcer on the train told us was a winter stop over point during the British empire days and is named after Edward Parry. It also has pink granite. I think all those things are true, I couldn’t hear the announcement too well. Well, when it stops raining, I think I’ll go check out the dome – the observation carriage.
However my dome viewing plans were scuppered as not long later it began to snow quite a lot. In May. Welcome to Ontario! There was already some snow on the ground but when it started to fall, it coated everything a fresh. The trees became coated in a thick layer of snow and soon it began to look like mid-winter, not spring. That was when I went to have a look at the view from the dome – what I could see anyway. As it was still snowing and all there was to see was trees, the view wasn’t that different from downstairs and as it was cold in the dome, I headed back to my seat.
Eventually the train stopped and we were able to get off for fifteen minutes. Walking around in snow that covered the toes off my boots yet still being warm was quite special. We were near a small lake as well so these views were equally good. Then it was back on the train for dinner and to eat the giant cookie I bought yesterday. This cookie truly was the size of my face and I fully believe the claim it weighed half a pound. Needless to say, I ate all of it and thoroughly enjoyed it!
It was dark now, so not long after that it was time for bed. I’d learnt from my last night train. This time I got out my sleeping bag and while it was too hot to get in it properly, I made a great nest out of it.
Well, that seems quite a short entry for today but I have just been sitting on a train. I would tell you what I’ve learnt about Ontario, but as I’m not even close to leaving it, that should probably be saved for tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow I continue this marathon train journey onto Winnipeg then get back on the train and continue to Saskatoon.
Until then, folks,