Jun 7, 2008

Day 8 - Jasper to Toronto (Part 3)

Another long sleep! I cannot quite remember what time I passed out, but I am sure I had at least 10 hours sleep (again).

We already knew as of yesterday that our train was 2hrs behind schedule. Now the story is that we are in fact 3hrs behind schedule. John is supposed to be renting a car at Toronto station, but at this point he won't be able to do so. There are some frustrations inside the train. We are fortunate that Toronto is our final destination for this ride, but it reminded us that we might experience some problems when we are moving from Washington, D.C to Flagstaff via Chicago, and from Flagstaff to Vancouver via Los Angels and Seattle towards the end of our trip.

Since Teruko and I didn't have a breakfast (due to us sleeping too much), we decided to treat outselves with lunch in the restaurant. Although I ordered a burger, I regretted it as soon as I saw pork sandwitch on another table. That looks yummy. Fortunately, Teruko ordered it, which meant that I can have a bit of it. :-P

This time, we had an American couple who is doing something similar to what we are doing. They also got North America Rail Pass to look around North America, although their journey started on the east coast in New Hampshire. The husband retired, although he looked to still have at least 10 years before reaching retirement age, was also in the IT industry and experienced something similar to my own experience. Although it doesn't make me feel any better, it really re-emphasised the fact that things changed so much in corporate world. We talked about many subjects during our lunch, from travel and life to work, security, immigration, etc. They are a very board-minded couple, and I learned a few new and interesting things about the United States from them.

Now it is 100% guaranteed that we will arrive at Toronto 3hrs behind schedule. As we reached the Capreol station where we had 15mins break and got signals for cell phone, many people started calling whoever they need to to make further arrangements in Toronto. I also called the Backpackers Inn where we are staying for the next couple of nights just to let them know that we are checking in late. Fortunately, VIA Rail arranged a taxi for John's family so that they can head to the Toronto Airport to rent a car. It is going to continue to be a long journey for them as they have to drive for 2.5hrs. At least they can now relax for a bit.

As we won't get to Toronto by 11PM, we headed to the restaurant for the final supper on this Jasper – Toronto journey. We sat with this couple from Bath in the UK. They are retired, but still look and talk very very young. I thought they were in mid or late 40s. I am amazed by the amount of British people traveling in North America at this moment. It is funny that the husband looks a bit like my old boss, while the wife looks and talks so much like one of my old colleagues. In fact, I thought she is a twin sister because even her voice is similar! I didn't ask her if she had any twin sister, but very scary moment... They were very fun to chat with, and we had such a long time talking about many many things. I cannot believe, though, that they stayed in East Hastings during their stay in Vancouver and they say 'it was fine!' They showed me a photo of their house in Bath, which looks so pretty with a lovely looking garden. Let's just hope that the garden will remain pretty when they return back to Britain in a month time as they didn't ask anyone to look after it.

Finally! We could see the CN Tower from distance, and about half an hour later we arrived in Toronto. It is such a stark contrast from a small town like Jasper in the mountains. As soon as we grabbed a taxi, while it is humid, I already started feeling tired in a big city.

We arrived at our accommodation the Canadiana Backpackers Inn. During check-in, because they said a week ago that we only need to arrange it the night before, we asked them to arrange our Niagara Falls tour for tomorrow that is part of our two night package. The girl at the reception says it is too late to call their tour operator despite the fact that I got email from them saying they can arrange our tour until midnight. Teruko and I started sensing something we don't want during our trip...

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