Our arrival the previous evening at Tobermory had revealed a lovely little
“Cornish” type harbour. Our tiny cottages at the Harbourside Motel opened
onto a grass area which went down to the water. Pretty boats, gaily painted
shops and homes abound with striking blue, yellow, slate and white
A couple of chipmunks came to visit and clearly anticipated hand feeding by
guests. With limited stocks, fudge and grapes I reckon they were hyper for
quite some time!
Both our and their reveries were undoubtedly disrupted at 05.30 in the
morning with a truly violent storm, the full panoply of lightning, thunder
and torrential rain set many MOAers scurrying out to check the tonneaus etc.
in the dawn half light (I awoke to the horrific sight of Kemosabe in his
night attire framed by a lightning flash inevitably filming the whole
What a transformation in the morning dawn as we gathered all wrapped up and
setting off in the gloom, but ahead of us we could see promising streaks of
On to Highway 6, straight and true, surrounded by lush green trees and
vegetation. We saw signs warning of ponies and traps at the side of the
road. “Mennonites” a religious sect, which I think is similar in certain
customs to the “Shakers”, live and farm vast areas in the region. We saw
ladies hoeing the vegetable fields wearing their traditional dress and poke
bonnets. The wind was ruffling their hems and reminded us of an oil painting
“The Angelus”. The roads seemed so familiar to those at home with cattle,
chickens, donkeys etc. plus pretty ponds with ducks.
The journey into Niagara seemed hazardous and in the extreme heat, very hot
and sweaty - vast lorries hooted at us and gave us thumbs up (Was that
really the sign? Our experience after the courtesies in the USA rated
Canadian City driving at lowest quartile, as witness many accidents,
excellent tailgating and highly aggressive driving – maybe it was just the
colour of our car! -Ed)
Our leaders Ben & Judy did sterling work so we arrived at Four Points
Sheraton at St Catherine’s on the outskirts of Niagara early at 14.30.
We decided to take the “Maid of the Mist” boat trip at Niagara Falls and
were amazed to find the city so fully developed around this sight McDonalds,
Starbucks, video shops and full panoply of hotels all geared to extract
every $ from the visitor.
Truly amazing despite being so hemmed in and an almost compelling splendour!
We bought the tickets collected the plastic Macs and on to the boat we went.
600 people can be accommodated sweltering in their garb with the vessel
going so close to the cascades of water – first the “American” Falls then
the “Bridal Veil” and finally the famous “Horseshoe”. Fantastic!
Experiencing the Maid going right inside the Falls hundred of metres above
us is akin to a spider being flushed down the plughole – awe inspiring!
Back to the hotel – bad evening – suites very good, hotel services very good
but the restaurant only had two waiters for a full restaurant - soup arrived
after entrees, drinks did not arrive at all and one party did not get a meal
at all as the food had run out and we can only assume so had the waiter! We
had a little party/reception after this debacle which was very jolly, and so
to bed even more“jolly". As a gesture of some restitution a free continental
breakfast had been negotiated for all next morning – well done Elaine.