A Travellerspoint blog


Niagara Falls

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We left Buffalo in the morning to head to the Niagara falls. It was an easy 40 minutes drive and we arrived to the US side of the great attraction. The parking lot in front of the visitor centre was full and we drove past it when about 500 meters further we noticed a huge empty lot on the corner of 1st Street and Niagara Street with 3-4 cars parking on it. There were about a hundred empty parking spaces there so we pulled over and stopped. There was a small wooden building with a huge "Pay here" sign but it was closed and noone was around. So we saved 20 dollars, had a nice pasta for lunch in our trailer and prepared for our afternoon walk to the falls.

We crossed Niagara State Park and walked across the bridges to Green Island and Goat Island. There we first checked Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls, then walked further to the main attraction of the Horseshoe Falls. The US side is the higher part of the falls so the views are less scenic than from the Canadian side, you can't really feel the vertical size of it. The amount of water running trough and the noise of it is still mindblowing.


On our way back to the car we grabbed a well deserved icecream on the hot day. After leaving the parking lot we entered the Rainbow International Bridge, our gateway to Canada and the next big leg of our trip. Previously we completed the ArriveCan registration and after abour 30 minutes in a slow moving line of cars we stopped at the building for buses and RVs. Echo was fiercly barking to the officer who was quite reserved and not smiley at all. She went back to the building with our passports and asked us to wait. After about 5 minutes she came back, handed over the passports and said goodbye opening the gate. They did not inspect the trailer nor the car, it was a very quick and easy procedure.

We had a further 40 minutes of driving to our stop on the Canadian side, we went to a winery called Atlantis Niagara. The owners name was Kocsis so we thought there is a Hungarian connection and we were right. His parents left Hungary in 1956 as many other Hungarians and he was already raised in Canada. We went through a nice tasting of icewines and special fruit "wines" or rather ciders from pear, plum, peach and apple. They were not sparkling and some of them were mixed with crushed ice making them a long dring between a coctail and a "fröccs" (international readers: fröccs is wine with mineral water, very popular in the summertime in Hungary).

It worked after the long day and we both smiled wide with my wife after the tasting. Then we parked our trailer at the lakeside spot the owner led us to and it was amazing. When at elementary school I learned about the Great Lakes I was really impressed with their sheer size. Lake Superior, the biggest of the five is almost as big as our home country, Hungary! Now we stopped at the smallest of the five, Lake Ontario and I was staring into the sunset happily. What a fantastic place to be and it was great to park our trailer right at the waterfront.


The next morning we went back to Niagara Falls, now checking the other side, which is even more breathtaking. First we stopped by the Skylon Tower to have a high-side view. The kids enjoyed a lot the elevator ride and the view from the 775 feet (or 236 meters) height. One side of the tower had extremely strong wind, it was almost knocking us down and I was holding tight the kids, Akos, the one year old being strapped onto me.


Then we got back to ground level and walked past Falls View Casino Resort and had a heavily overpriced hot dog and pretzel to survive until dinner. Should have spent it in the Casino but neither the kids nor I are bearable when we are hungry. And it happens every 2 hours so we better prepare or pay the price, no mercy.

Then we admired the Horseshoe Falls again, now in a full frontal view from the Canadian side. It was really jaw-dropping for all of us, even the kids were speachless for a few seconds, which is a big thing knowing them!


When we were full with the view we walked back towards the car. The evening shower was completed in the next 15 minutes as there was another storm and pouring rain. Without any cover or raincoats we were literally wet from toe to heads. Anyway, when on the road without water and sewer connection we need to save on using the bathroom so one evening shower was ticked off the list.

Posted by divatmotoros 04:07 Archived in Canada Tagged falls niagara Comments (0)

Revisiting our plans, aka flexibility

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After a few weeks on the Eastern coast of Canada we planned to move to the West, seeing Toronto then further West across Ontario, Manitoba and Saskachewan before arriving to Alberta. We are visiting a friend there and they are also amid campers so gave a lot of good tips. We also plan to spend some time together offgrid! But on such a long trip you need to be flexible and an earlier mistake forces us to take a bit longer drive to Toronto, as we need to stop by in Delaware, USA.


Although it was not planned like this we are fine with this change. Maine in the USA will be a scenic drive and we wanted to find new challenges on this trip, one of them being able to accept things you can not control. Here is another one.

The earlier mistake was related to our car's registration process. The dealer where we bought the car said there is no need to do anything in person in Delaware and they will take care of the plates. That time I did not check this myself on the website of DMV but believed the dealer. Now, after a month later it became clear that we should have visited a DMV office in Delaware to show the car's Vehicle Identification Number which we did not at the time I picked up the car.

As this step can not be done remotely in any way now we need to get back there and have it done. So it be, we are excited to see this part of the USA as well! Now we plan to explore Maine, pass Boston, Philadelphia, New York to Wilmington, Delaware and then up North to the Niagara Falls near Toronto. Compared to driving back through Canadian land (Quebec) it is just 500 kms longer and it is told to be an epic drive! Will see.


Posted by divatmotoros 04:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The Reversing Falls in Saint John, NB

sunny 24 °C
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We have already learned about the highest tide of the world at Fundy National Park and now we have seen the Reversing Falls at Saint John, NB, which is, well, reversing. Every six hours the river is "pushed back" by the high tide of the sea.
The first part of the video was shot at aroun 3pm, at low tide, then the river was flowing "normally" to the sea. The second part of the video was shot at 9:30pm, at the highest tide, then the seawater flows into the river bed and the falls is reversing.

In the background there is a large paper factory of Irving.

Posted by divatmotoros 16:55 Archived in Canada Tagged tide saint_john revering_falls Comments (0)

Saint John, New Brunswick

sunny 23 °C
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Leaving PEI on the Comfederation Bridge was a foggy and misty drive, it was still amazing how high above the water the bridge was built, we kept climbing with the car for several minutes before reaching the climax and started our descent to New Brunswick.

We picked a campsite in the city of St John which is in a large park. It was designed by one of the architects of the New York Central Park (Calvert Vaux) and it is the 2nd largest park in Canada with its 2200 acres and ten lakes and several miles of tracking paths of different difficulties.

The weather was kind so far to us as most days on campsites were sunny (except our first rainy day in Montreal when Echo arrived in a thunderstorm). Whenever we took larger distances on a full day it was raining but that was less disturbing as long as we could enjoy the sun during our few day stops. So the rain during our drive was not a problem and the next day was sunny again in St John. We stayed here for a week as we had to revisit our plans for the next leg of our journey (but that is a separate post coming soon). During this week we wanted to combine beach time with excursions. There are smaller, lakeside beaches in the Rockwood Park and we also wanted to see the sea.

On Friday there was some rain expected so we planned a short excursion to explore the city itself. We were driving through the SouthEastern part of the city and the seaside is now remodelled to a less industrial, more citizen friendly setup with a boardwalk. We stopped at the Rainbow Park Splash Pad for the sake of the kids and it was a great place to spend some time with them. The rain stopped and the sun came out so we enjoyed the playground.


I especially liked the 3 large drums and 3 large xylophones.


Then we drove on to the Carleton Martello Tower Historic Site
which is a defense tower built by the Englishmen XX. It is in a strategic location and it was never attacked after it was built.


The next stop was Irving Nature Park Children's Forest with a very nice BBQ area


a Hegde Maze


and a large children's playground wich was another entertaining spot for our kids. I was enjoying watching a squirrel while my wife fed the smallest member of our family.
Our larger kids practiced growth mindset on a zipline where at first they were not able to jump on the hanging slider but after some encouragement and failed trials they both mastered the use of the zipline. I was proud of them especially as they both continued after once falling off the zipline.

Posted by divatmotoros 13:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Prince Edward Island - the heritage of Lucy Maud Montgomery

Green Gable, Anne and the Road to Avonlea

sunny 24 °C
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After our exciting (and free) ferry ride into PEI from Nova Scotia we settled for a few days in the Twin Shores Campground near Darnley in Prince Edward Island. While the kids (and Echo) enjoyed much the sandy dunes we also wanted to see a few places connected to Lucy Maud Montgomery.

She is a famous writer who was raised in PEI. We visited three locations linked to her life and books. The first one was a random found which we almost missed: on our way to our chosen Avonlea site my wife noticed a sign in front of a house so we turned back and stopped. This was the house where the writer was born.


After looking at the house we continued to Avonlea which was a bit of a disappointment. It was basicly a food-court, half of the buildings being closed. Only the icecream we bought at The Cow was a nice relief.


It was late afternoon when we sat in the car and I started to take a closer look in the area when I noticed a museum just a few hundred meters away from the Avonlea "foodcourt". So this was the 3rd place we quickly visited and this was a very informative visitor center / museum we liked much better than Avonlea. There was the building Lucy Maud Montgomery was raised and we walked through the rooms arranged with vintage furniture and decor. The kids enjoyed learning about the irons, heating, washing and bathrooms used 120 years ago.


The best part was the walk in the "Haunted Forest" which was not frightening but very much magical with interesting trees and the sound of the forest.

To close off the perfect excursion day we stopped at North Rustico Beach for a late afternoon beachtime for the kids. It was almost empty and the sun was warm enough to play in the sand for another hour and a half before leaving back to the campsite for our last night in PEI. We head on to St John in New Brunswick the next morning!


Posted by divatmotoros 17:52 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Our first Canada Day, which is the 155th!

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1st of July is Canada's birthday, "Canada Day"! We wanted to celebrate as locals do and to our surprise the festivities are somewhat similar to the celebrations of Hungary's 20th of August. Fireworks! And barbeque in Canada which is less connected to Hungary's "birthday" but my favourite summer activity.

So we wanted to do something similar and we celebrated with a large fire on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at the Waves End RV and Camping. It was actually the eve of Canada Day as the next morning we already planned to drive towards an exciting ferry crossing from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island (PEI as seen on traffic signs). The kids really enjoyed feeding the fire and we used a lot of semi-dry sea-weeds to frighten mosquitos with great success. After sunset we kept the fire alive and after about three hours of fun we called a day.

The next day (on actual Canada Day) we drove back to Shelby's for a stopover and the next morning we got up early, drove to the Caribou Ferry which was about 20 minutes away from Shelby's. The ferry is free of charge from NS to PEI, on a first come first served basis or you can book a certain spot for 86 dollars. As we have more time than money we took the risk of showing up without a reservation. Worst case we though we wait another ferry, there are ships leaving 8 times a day. When we arrived about an hour before the first boat there were about ten cars in front of us so our logic was right: locals are not moving around that much on Canada Day, they enjoy the middle of the long weekend. Good on you - as Australians would say, rigth, James?

The ferry was a huge ship to my standards, the passenger cars went to floor -1 and larger trucks and trailers went to the ground level. For walk-on passengers and people from the cars there were 3 levels of decks, some covered with large seating areas and some open air. The crossing took about 75 minutes and the salty air of the sea was my favourite. The boat was at about 25% of its capacity to my judgement so there was really not much crowd around.


After the ferry crossing we has about 150 km to cover and we stopped at an Atlantic Superstore to fill up our pantry in Charlottetown. Some fresh veggies, meat for the grill and hamburgerbuns to finish off the barbeque-part of Canada Day celebration! There was lots of rain as we drove to Twin Shore Camping which is open since the 1950s, now connecting two beaches and being the largest campsite since our journey. The campsite was 100% full due to the Canada Day long weekend and on Sunday evening the weekenders left for home, so we enjoyed staying another two nights in a half-empty campsite.


Posted by divatmotoros 13:49 Archived in Canada Tagged ferry canada_day pei ns Comments (0)

Cheticamp (Waves End RV & Campground) and Cabot Trail

sunny 25 °C
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After the horseriding fun at Shelby's we arrived to Cheticamp and the view on the arrival was breathtaking. The sun was going down with an orange glimmer above the sea and our campground was overlooking the show. The time zone is a bit shifted to late sunsets (around 21:00)


Rigth after sunset the wind got stronger and stronger and a heavy storm with a lot of rain approached. Good background music for sleeping as the rain drummed on the trailer roof and the wind whistled in a high pitch. The next day was also less gloriuous as the rain stayed with us for the whole day. We drove to a nearby laundry and did some grocery shopping and stayed inside the rest of the evening. The next day's weather was the opposite as early morning sunshine woke us up fairly early. No sign of clouds so we decided to do a day tour to the Cabot Trail Road further North and East. It was a beautiful drive and we enjoyed a nice lobster lunch at a local restaurant.


We spent the afternoon at the beach staring into the Atlantic Ocean, thinking of our extended family and friends in the distance. The water was too cold for swimming for us but the kids enjoyed the sand and mud and played for hours in a rare unison. The low clouds and the sun gave a unique backdrop of shiny and foggy details changing every second.


I have recorded a quick four minute video about part of our driving today, enjoy!

Posted by divatmotoros 02:01 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Horseriding at Shelby's

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After a fairly long drive we arrived to Shelby's Ranch which we found on www.terego.ca As our kids started to ride horses a few months ago in Hungary they were quite excited. They quickly made friends with the misses managing the horses and liked a lot the farm animals: four goats, a tiny pig, a hen, three rabbits and three cows (Baba, quite a common cow name in Hungary, Gizmo and Blondie).
The next morning we asked if pony-riding is possible or not and there was a chance. We had to wait a little bit until 11 and then Shelby made the day for our kids. After the riding we had a traditional lunch (borsófőzelék tükörtojással) and started at around 2pm for another 300km drive to a seaside campsite up in Nova Scotia. We will spend a few days there exploring the Cabot Trail and then we stop by at Shelbys again enroute to Prince Edward Island. Some serious ocean-views are coming soon!


Posted by divatmotoros 04:01 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The highest tide in the world

sunny 27 °C
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I just wrote in my previous post about the world records so often used in the USA for attractions, sometimes being real, sometimes somewhat excessive. Then the next day we found another world record confirmed by several websites about the highest tide in the world!

We went for a walk with the kids at high tides first and it looked like a "normal" bay and a dock with a few fishing boats.


Then we went the next afternoon at low tide and I dropped my jaws. The sea was nowhere near the shore, actually you can walk about a mile to reach the water. So we walked on the bottom of the sea for about 20 minutes to see the new coastline.


The dock was also quite special with all the fishing boats standing on the bottom of the dock, without any water under them. They placed a metal frame underneath each boat and they were also fixed with a rope to the dock to prevent overturning. It is also nature's cool reminder of work life balance as no fishermen can do overtime once the water is out of the bay.

The rest of the walk covered a snall lake called "bottomless" which is about 20 meters deep. Nice diagrams explained how this special bay was formed after the last ice age, when the melting ice carried loads of rocks to the seaside, then land moved up and down to form this special area.


Posted by divatmotoros 01:05 Archived in Canada Tagged beaches boats alma tide fundy_nationalpark Comments (0)

The Big Axe Brewery

and the largest Axe of the World!

semi-overcast 19 °C
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Everything is bigger in the Americas. Bigger land, bigger roads, bigger cars and bigger cities. There are many signs starting with "The biggest ... of the world!" so I was not surprised that we accidentaly found the biggest axe of the world!

To meet more local people we registered on www terego.ca where you can book one night stays on local farms, wineries, breweries and destilleries. We mix these short stops on longer driving days with staying several days in more comfortable campsites or near attractions to spend more than one days. Our first stop was at a brewery called the Big Axe. It was after a long drive of over 500kms so we just arrived 15 minutes before they closed the pub. Perfect to taste their beer and to stock up for the coming days with some nice IPAs.


Tue next morning it was light rain and I woke up first. Started to check google maps to see if I can go for a walk or run with the dog when I realised the biggest axe of the world was just 2,5 kms from me. Had to see it so went for a run and it is big indeed.


Posted by divatmotoros 07:30 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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