Right, being a donk, and rather more disorientated than you can imagine, I find myself awake at 01:30 in the bullet-shaped Park car at the rear of the train. For some reason I looked at my watch, which is still set to BST and managed to convince myself that it was 05:50 local. I got up, had a shower, brushed my teeth and rather tetchily told Wifey I’d see her at breakfast. I’m assuming that this loss of reasoning ability can only be down to tiredness and the number of times that I have banged my head over the last few days.
I have cracked the old Swede 5 times since arriving in Canada.
1. Outside the lifts on the 34th floor of the 1 King West where the picture window had a low beam.
2. Outside the lifts on the 34th floor of the 1 King West where the picture window had a low beam.
Yes I did the same thing twice, but the view was very pretty. I have a very nice lump and bruise to show for them.
3. On the bunk in the cabin on the train.
4. On the bunk in the cabin on the train.
Yes. I did the same thing twice.
5. On the low roof in the observation deck in the Park car.
Head is really pounding now. Think that I’ll go back to bed now, If I can find the carriage,
Walking back down the car to our cabin I was struck at how small some of the single cabins were, but also how open the ‘sections’ are. The sections being open bench seats during the day converted to upper and lower berths separated from the corridor by curtains at night. Think Some Like It Hot and you’ve got it.
Having said that, our cabin isn’t exactly palatial: compact and bijou, Mostyn, compact and bijou. With the bunks down the standing area is only a couple of feet wide. There is a basin with hot, cold and drinking water. There is also a private en-suite toilet for the middle of the night emergencies. Storage space is also at a premium. And we have air conditioning and a fan.
Climbing in and out of the top bunk is tricky. It’s narrow and steep and in the pitch black on a moving, bumping train it’s lethal.
Actually sleeping rather good. The beds are very comfortable and the gentle rocking of the train is very soothing. Having said that, first night new bed syndrome struck and not sure that I got more than a couple of sleep before Wifey woke up 5:50 having a go for me getting up at 1:30 thinking it was 6.
Quickly up and changed and into the restaurant car a little after it opened at 06:30. As we sat down we pulled into the first stop, Capreol. Have to admit that I thought we stopped quite often during the night. Three lads behind us requested the stop be extended a bit for a cigarette and the staff obliged.
Wifey had the Transcontinental (English-style) breakfast with eggs sunny-side, hash browns, bacon and toast, I had porridge and toast. Very good it was too. My porridge had cinnamon. Just as we were finishing up we were joined by a couple from North Wales. Hard work. English obviously a second language too them.
Strolled to the end of the train again, a little more compus mentis this time, to the bullet car. Tea and coffee got and up onto the observation deck. Did try to ask permission of one old codger before taking a photo of the inside of the bullet but he completely ignored me. So I took some photos anyway.
We’ve passed a lot of black basalt lava flows and are now following rivers through western Ontario. Approaching 08:00 now and nothing else to do but watch the scenery and write or read until lunch at 11:15. Although it is raining now I’m hoping that it will stop fairly quickly and we get some better views.
More after lunch or if something happens and the fancy takes me.
Lunch was not light. Lunch was three course. Soup of the day or salad, Angus burger, salmon or something veggie that I took no notice of. As I’m not a fish person and veggie doesn’t even get looked at we choose the soup and the burger. Wifey chooses the fish. Burger is adequate and filling. Wifey says the salmon is good but the other two at lunch don’t really touch theirs. One of the people joining us for lunch is a very interesting character. Very British. Very smart. Left England in the early 1950’s to come and work for CBC as a producer of classical music programmes. Very good reaconteur and lunch partner. Thoroughly enjoyed his company.
After lunch we went back to the cabin for a bit. OK, I nodded off. Afternoon naps are the road to hell.
We stopped this morning at about 6:30 at Capreol and the next stop was at Hornepayne, scheduled for 14:40 but we didn’t arrive until gone 15:00. Hornepayne is a watering stop where the train fills up the water tanks and so we had a whole 20 minutes to get out of the train and stretch our legs. Wifey had time to go as far as the local shop to get a postcard just so that she can tell people that we’ve been to Hornepayne.
Pulling out of Hornepayne we bumped into a rather excited Cabin Director pointing to the tracks opposite the window of the amenities car. Big and as bold as brass, in the middle of the tracks was a Brown Bear. Wifey got a little excited too. She’s been desperate to see a bear for so long, I was really slow to get the camera out and it only had the wide-angle lens on it so I effectively missed the shot. Doh!
Dinner was rather good. Didn’t have a starter but wifey had a walnut salad. Main course options were pickerel, veal chop and chicken pasta, oh and something veggie. Both Wifey and I chose the veal with rice. Wow. A little chewy, but it was a huge chop. And the rice was fantastic. A huge slice of chocolate torte for Wifey and a maple Charlotte for me finished us off.
Now sat in the bullet observation deck typing the day up.
Weather has improved immeasurably. Where it was very damp this morning there is hardly a cloud in the sky now. There is a late spring in Canada as there is in England and so all the deciduous trees are just beginning to sprout their leaves. Lots and lots of small lakes and rivers abound making it more picturesque than some reviews credit. Yes there are a lot of trees but there is still an awful lot to watch out there. Bit disappointed with the amount of fauna spotted so far. But then should be happy with the Brown Bear sighting and the possible sighting of a beaver.
I am surprised at just how fast the day is going. It’s now gone 19:00 and it feels like the day has just flown by. Go slower. I’m enjoying it far too much. And I think I may actually sleep tonight.
Final mention of the day goes to two beaver we saw swimming in a drainage channel next to the track at one loop as we waited for a cargo train. Some more fauna at last. Also at the same point we had a line of power cables looping into the distance highlighted by the lowering sun. Very attractive. At the top of each power pole were glass spacers that reminded of the Bottle Ranch in California. Again, the nearest were picked out for beauty by the sun.