And there we were. FINALLY! Back in Bob. We don’t want to complain, we are two lucky people. But we were very very much ready to be together in Bob again. For the past two months, we have been guests everywhere and we have not had our own place. First a month in NL with family and friends and then at the workaway. And as much as we enjoyed the time we spent with all those people because we have, we needed it again not to have that. We’re on our way, with our first stop: Niagara Falls! So not just any stop. On the map, it looks like it was next door, but it was over 3 hours away. We found a place to sleep near the falls and immediately got a big visit. From two foxes! We have seen foxes before, but as soon as they got the impression that you were looking at them, they already flew away. But not this one, these weren’t scary at all. It soon became clear why they come here more often to empty the trash cans… It was a beautiful evening, so beautiful that we said to each other: “We can save the falls for tomorrow but we can also go now.” So we got back in the van and drove a little further. We didn’t expect much from the falls, or well we knew they would be very impressive and extremely large, but everyone had warned us about the “ugly” atmosphere around them. A tourist town has been built around the falls, so you don’t get the feeling that you are in nature. But that’s why our expectations were not very high, we mainly expected that it would be disappointing. But that’s exactly why it didn’t. The falls were huge and it was nice to see them from a high perspective, it was around sunset so the light was beautiful and we walked around for quite a while looking at the falls from all kinds of different angles. Especially the horseshoe falls were very impressive. We were very glad we took the detour anyway. Once back at our sleeping place it was pitch dark and the foxes were gone, but the foxes had made their way for a skunk! haha!
The next day the weather was beautiful and we wanted to enjoy it. It was warm and we could even walk without a jacket! So we decided to take another walk along the Niagara River. It was a lovely walk and strangely enough, we hardly saw anyone.
The next stop was Hamilton. Enzio and Rianne went to Canada a few years ago and then stayed in Hamilton. They insisted that if we passed by Hamilton we NEEDED to stop there for the Donut Monster donuts. So obedient as we are we stopped there. You can buy donuts on every street corner here in Canada, so we thought it was part of the Canada experience. Because let’s be honest, donuts aren’t that tasty at all, are they? Give me an apple pie! Anyway, we chose the flavors, double almond, and peanut butter chocolate brownie. And very surprisingly (NOT) Jap liked it and I didn’t really.
In Hamilton, we parked the van at a park and people were just in line for us there. haha. It’s really funny, the people in Canada are so sweet, kind and interested. At this park, it took us an hour to walk away from Bob on the way to the supermarket because people kept coming to us to chat about what a car with a Dutch license plate is doing in Canada. And because we now have the logo on the bus, we also received messages via Instagram and youtube from people who had spotted us in Hamilton all with the sweetest wishes and invitations. It’s nice that everyone shows such a nice interest in you.
And of the fans we had in the park ourselves, we now went as fans to Chaiwalla chai, Eamon, and Bec’s company. We have been following them on youtube for years and enjoy following their adventures. They have a chai tea business and Lon loves Chai so we were happy to buy some from them. Eamon’s father, who also happens to be called Bob, is now the company’s contact person. He can also be seen regularly in the films and it was very nice to meet him in person.
Their company is in Toronto and that was the next stop on the agenda. Jap had organized something for me for my birthday on April 6 and 7 in Toronto and now the time had finally come! I and a lot of people with me already had a big suspicion about what one of the two surprises would be but the second one was still a mystery. But this mystery was already solved on the first night because we went out for a nice dinner at a vegan restaurant. It was located in a residential area and the restaurant looked like a nice old/characteristic house from the outside, but inside this was a restaurant. There were only 5 tables downstairs and a few more upstairs. It felt very cozy and small, but very chic. There was no a la cart, everyone ate the same 5-course dinner with small snacks in between. And while the atmosphere and presentation of the food were pretty much the best we’ve ever had, the flavors of the food left something to be desired and we just gave it a pass so that was a shame but we still had a nice evening.
It was a good thing that Lon had drunk only 1 glass of wine and that we had done a lot during the day, otherwise she would not have been able to sleep at night because of the tension. Because tomorrow would come to the “real” surprise, and the big question was: are we going to an NBA basketball game? AND YES! In the morning, Jap couldn’t keep it to himself any longer and a very happy Lon announced that we were indeed going to watch a game of the Toronto Raptors against the Philadephia 76’ers! And it was fantastic, it was everything I expected. It was a real thrill, it was a very exciting match and the atmosphere in the huge stadium was very good. It could hold 20,000 people and it was almost full. And when you were seated you didn’t realize how many people that were, but especially when you saw how many people were walking through the corridors outside the stands at the eateries and such, you noticed how huge it was. We had nice seats, high in the stadium but we could see it well. Jap and I cheered and screamed and danced all night when the Raptors finally won. It was truly an evening to remember.
And do you remember how I just told you that those Canadians are so sweet and nice? During the match, two ladies were sitting next to us with whom we chatted. They thought what we were doing was so cool and inspiring that towards the end they put 20 dollars in our hands for diesel or a beer, they said. Haha, super sweet!
We ended up spending a total of two days in the city of Toronto. The city had a few nice things: the distillery district, china town, the food hall, and the Kensington market. But the rest was nothing to write home about in our opinion. It was difficult to find a nice shopping street and later we understood why, the shopping streets were created in underground or very large shopping centers, simply because it is too cold here for much of the year to enjoy shopping outside. But that immediately gives it a lot less atmosphere. We also noticed how many homeless people there were on the street, which immediately gave the city a sad atmosphere. We walked an average of 20 kilometers in the two days in the city, haha! So we explored the city well.
And it was a good thing that we had moved a bit then. Because we’ve been traveling by car for days now, which means we’re sitting on our asses for days. We’re on our way west. We drive through a winter wonderland all the time and the views especially when we see (frozen) water are beautiful. But man how big is Canada and man how far away is the west.
More on that next time.
Much love from us!
Jap and Lon
Menu of the week
|Thursday||Ramen in China Town|
|Friday||Chili sin Carne|
|Saturday||Soba Noodles with Vegetables and Peanut Butter Sauce|
Spendings of the Week
Budget per day €54 and per week €378 and per month €1700
|What/Where||Cost [CAD (€)*]|
|Eating out||96,01 (€ 70,23)|
|Parking||24,40 (€ 17,85)|
|Groceries||412,41 (€ 301,69)|
|Diesel||259,65 (€ 189,94)|
|Other||110,56 (€ 80,90)|
|Total||903,03 (€ 660,60)|
Driven kilometers: 416
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