Wednesday, June 27, 2007

24-27 June Updates - Toban Experience

24th June - arrived in a little bitty town called Minaki via train. Population 100.
Joined a local trip called Toban Experience. The van will drop me of in various places.
First stop is a little resort called Minaki Yurts. The host/hostess were great people. Had a fantastic time with them - boating, cycling and kayaking. And they have fireflies (a few blimps) near a lake next to their place.
Met one of their friend, a lady named Jane who stayed overnight there. She invited me for lunch at her place. Spaghetti, meatballs and salad. Yummy - homecooked meal.

25th: The next day, Toban van picked me up (only me this time) and dropped me off at Falcon Beach - 2 hours away from Minaki. It's a horse ranch with cabins. And I had 1 whole cabin to myself (can sleep 6) - only problem is the weather was lousy - windey, cloudy and it rained.
Did you guys read about a tornado in Manitoba?
Well , I saw some of the damages - ripped trees and roof.
BTW - I don't quite like the horse ranch - swarms of flies (lalat). The cabin was great but not the ranch.

26th : In the afternoon, Toban picked me and dropped me off at Grand Beach (sort of grand cos Manitoba is landlocked and no seaside). Was the lake was grand, beach has nice wonderful white sand. But the wheather in around 10 degrees, cloudy and windy.
The Sand Motel was a motor lodge. At CN35 a night, I had the whole place to myself. The manager or boss (?) Tyler was very nice - he let me borrow a bicycle to cycle around the little resort town of Grand Beach. Population - quite low....since it's not a weekend and wet, windy day.

27th: This afternoon, Toban picked me at 4.30 and Winnipeg - here I am. Sitting at the HI hostel computer terminal at 10.45pm, updating emails and blog. BTW - even Korean noodles tasted good after 3 days of bread and western food.
Will be walking around Winnipeg's Chinatown tmr for some Asian food:)
(sorry no pics - cannot find the USB port in the computer terminal)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Leaving Montreal for Toronto, westward bound to Winnipeg

Will bid adieu to Montreal and family tmr, leaving by train to Toronto, followed by westward-bound train to Minaki (Winnipeg) on Saturday. Have booked a backpacker vantrip tour of Manitoba for 4 days. Its called Toban Adventure and it will take to me little towns Minaki, Falcon Beach and Grand Beach Manitoba.

Canada is such a huge country - you cannot believe the distances between cities. Am keeping a km log. Montreal-Halifax is 1,346km. Montreal-Toronto - 539km. Toronto-Minaki (a small little town in Manitoba, near to Winnipeg) is 1,758km. The train leaves at 9am, arrives the next day at 12.37pm. A trip of 27 hours. Woohoo. Winnipeg to Jasper (Rocky Mountains) is another mega trip of 1,657km. Will try to update more soon.

Last day in Montreal

Went walking around city centre (actually spent the day shopping:). This is a fairly old and large church. Quite nice. Also along the McGill-Uni road, there was a photo exhibition - old /new Montreal scenes. It was well done - one side showing old Montreal pics in the 18++, another showing pics from 1975++.

After much shopping - crepes for lunch. Very sinful but absolutely delish... (expensive crepe - CA$8.50 = RM26).

Ingredients; Nutella, banana, pineapple slices, strawberry, 3 scopes of vanilla ice-cream and chocolate+maple syrup and crepe.
Found very cheap Glucosamine+chondroitin - 500mg, 360 capsules for CA$22+. Amazing.

More pics from Quebec City

This is one cuckoo polar bear who likes to pace....he walks a few steps to the front and he reverses and walk backwards to where he started. Maybe needs some Effexor to counter OCD or depression?

Cable car ride to the top of the Montmorency falls. Nice view from the bottom (before starting the hike down).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Montreal to Quebec City

We left by car to Quebec City - which is about 250km from Montreal.
Quebec Aquarium Park - meet the Harbour Seal and fish...
St Louis Forts and Chateaux - its part of the old Quebec City and the whole place has been turned into a tourist area. Great view of Quebec City.

The next day, we visited the Montmerancy waterfall park. The waterfall is 30m higher than Niagara Falls but not as grand. We took the cable car up and hiked down the steps on the right hand side of the falls. day.

Pic of me and my brother and family.

Belated Halifax posts

Arrived in a cold windy Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia. Check out the Hostel there. It's called the Heritage House and I was in the 8-bed ladies dorm. Quite comfy with all the creature comforts of home (tv, DVD, library, kitchen).

Went grocery shopping for breakfast stuff to save some money...

The next morning, went jalan-jalan downtown Halifax. Quite easy to walk around. Everything in squares. This is a picture of a cute Scot wanna-be (not real Scot but dressed up soldier) at the Citadel Hill/Fort.

The fort is an old military base during the early 17th century when Halifax first started. A tiny military museum has a lot of stories on the military past of Halifax and Canada.

Also had a boat tour - Murphy's Whale Watching Tour. Unfortunately, only see lots of seabirds and lobster/crab (in a trap). The whales have not reached Halifax as due to the cold weather, the krill and mackeral (whale food) have not arrived yet.

The next day, followed the Salty Bear tour to Peggy's Cove. To see some famous landmarks. Also visited the famous Titanic cemetary - see if you remember J. Dawson (aka Leonardo Dicaprio character).

PS: The Tombstone is actually James Dawson, not Jack Dawson (he is a fictional character).
Back to Montreal - 22 hours via Via train.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Leaving for Halifax via VIA train

Will be leaving for Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia, by train the evening.
It will be a long overnight journey of 22 hours.

Will see the eastern bit of Canada and hopefully do some kayaking.
Haven't gone into the water yet.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ottawa trip with adik

Ottawa - capital of Canada here we come.

First stop on the tour bus - Parliament Hill. Quite impressive.
And the museum.

Plus the Rideau Park and stuffed ourselves at the Chinese buffet lunch.
Great sunshiny day.

Montreal - with family

Friday was Montreal GP weekend. Lots of people partying in the streets.Very happening.

But first, was met by my brother and daughter at the airport. Nice to have a car:).

We went over to Sharon's (sis-in-law) flower shop and hang around checking out the place.

After that had a Sat of the Canadian fav past-time - checking out the garage sales. It was fun. Also visited St Joseph's Oratory (church).

Sharon cooked assam laksa for dinner. Yum yum.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Moose sighting

After Niagara Falls, signed up a backpacker trip to Alqonguin Provicial Park.
To see Moose and hopefully 2 mooses or is it "meese"?

Unfortunately the weather was cold and wet. I would say Canada's weather blows hot and cold and is hard to predict.

The park is nice. Temperate forests with many many lakes. Was supposed to follow the group for canoeingm but it's 5 degress in the wind and rain. So spent the afternoon wrapped up with a nice book instead. BTW - they, the canoeists saw a beaver.

Well good bit is - we saw a she-moose the next day, near one of the lakes.
Cool. Will upload the pic when I get to Montreal.
(can you see the tiny moose?)

Yesterday was great and sunshiny but cold when the wind blows.
Took the ferry over to Toronto Island. Nice park. Rented a bike to get around. Let's just say that my backside and thighs disagreed with such activity.

Leaving Toronto today for Montreal.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Niagara Falls

First impression of downtown Niagara Falls wasn't much. Quite little town, almost deserted at 8pm.

Next impression where the tourists gather - yikes, like a mini Disney-land place - minus Mickey Mouse. Very much catered for Americans and other tourists.

The falls itself was impressive, big and plenty of clear greenish water that's freezing.
Paid for the Adventure pass - so went to most of the attractions like Maid of the Mist, Journey behind the falls, Table Rock, Butterfly conservatory, Whitewater rapids, Whirlpool.
It was hot hot hot. Almost like Malaysia:)

Yesterday I met a little squirrel - rather like a black Squeeky the Squirrel, near the park. It was a fat, tubby Canadian squirrel hiding nuts all over the field. It came quite close to me when I was trying to take its picture. Actually had a thought whether it bites and whether it had rabies....hmmm maybe I am getting a bit paranoid?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Many many belated posts later

Is there such thing as a belated post?
Well, good intentions to do a Take-off posts to update you folks but what can I say, I ran out of time. Too many things to do, so little time. Plus have better excuse now - no access to internet.
So here goes:

T-4 (Last day @ work)
Frantic rush to complete projects and handover. Can feel the stress factor shooting over the roof. Goodbye Wyeth. Will miss you guys there. Happy working.

T-3 (Drive back to Penang)
Had to leave car with my dad. Hopefully, he will take care of it.
Didn't know it was the start of schoolbreak. Heavy traffice and massive jam at the bridge.

T-2 (Japanese Buffet lunch treat from Auntie)
Thanks. Great stuff.

T-1 (back to KL via Airasia).
Must say, I do appreciate the cheap tickets from AA. The taxi ride back costs more than my flight.

Take-off - left at 6.15am. It was a long long day.
First sight of HK airport. Steel and glass and expensive stuff. I cannot believe a bottle of water costs RM8.

After 15 hours of butt-numbing flight from HK to Toronto - finally arrived. Clear blue skies, even at 7.30pm.

Had a nice time getting acclimatised.
More posts later.
Now in Niagara Falls.