Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 189: Niagara Falls, Canada

'Welcome to Canada', ... It's Thursday 30th of October and it was one of the easiest and certainly the most picturesque border crossing of Poor Circulation so far, possibly the most beautiful border crossing that I've ever made. Just a few hundred yards downstream of the Falls, the 'Rainbow Bridge' crosses the Niagara River linking America and Canada. The sky was a perfect cloudless blue, the road was totally empty and the sheer size of this natural wonder becomes more apparent with every yard ridden. A choice of four customs kiosks .... no traffic at any of them. 'Are your carrying any firearms or other weapons?', .... 'No', .... 'Welcome to Canada, ... enjoy your stay'. It was that simple, a stamp in my passport and I'd entered Canada, the 28th Country on this journey.
I exchange US for Canadian Dollars, ... for the first time in six months I saw the Queen's face smiling up at me, a reminder that this journey was coming to an end. On the Canadian side of the Falls, crisp modern buildings point proudly towards the sky, the roads are clean and the buildings are all occupied. It's in stark contrast to the US side, .... it feels as if the Canadians are proud of their Falls whereas the Americans tuck theirs away behind a mass of urban decay, ... the Canadian side feels vibrant and fun while the US side feels neglected and unloved.
I rode around to the Falls and parked the bike. There were people around but not the crowds that would have been here during the summer months, .. but I prefer it that way. The 'Horseshoe Falls' on the Canadian side are more recognisable, ... it's the Canadian Falls that you'll have seen in photographs and on post cards, .... it's the Canadian Falls that the people come to visit, ... where the money is spent. You get closer to the water here, you can feel the force as it surges over the brow, .. the air is filled with the cold spray but I see none of the famous trademark rainbows. It's cold, the tour boats are already in dry-dock for the winter months, .. perhaps the 'Rainbows' are a summer phenomenon? As darkness arrives, special lighting colours the water bringing 'Oh's' and 'Ah's' from the shivering onlookers. OK, it's all a little bit 'Disney', .... but it's still something that everybody deserves to see.
Earlier in the day at a tourist information office I'd asked about camping, .... spreading laughter is something that I enjoy. They were understanding and helpful but it's clear that nobody in their right mond camps here in Autumn. It's a quiet time of year here and they arranged for a 'Late Arrival Tariff' at a small Motel on the edge of town. At the price quoted, I'd expected another hovel; my face and body are currently covered in huge red bug bites received at the budget motel on the US side of the Falls, but what I got here was far beyond my expectations. Secure parking, five minutes walk from the Falls, a clean room and a complimentary breakfast. I need to be in Toronto on Sunday, ...... but cities are beginning to scare me. I'm becoming paranoid about the security of the bike, perhaps wrongly, .... but I might just stay here for another night and do some writing before moving on, .... we'll see.

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