Its snowing on Australia day!

Trip Start Aug 26, 2005
Trip End May 26, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Here I am in yet another big city. This 3 month side trip within my travelling is really picking up speed. City City City, and another city. Where are the hot springs, the mountains, the wildlife, the beaches and where is the tranquillity? Don't get me wrong, it's been loads of fun, speeding around the USA and Canada, checking out the sites, meeting other travellers and tolerating the crazy hostels and the mad people. But nothing matches the life I lived Latin America.

On the 1st of March, I'm flying from Miami, back to Panama and honestly, I just can’t wait to get back there. Life was good. It was easy, fun, cheap and carefree. The USA has been like visiting a mental asylum. It’s full of nut jobs. It’s strange that people living on the bare minimum down in South and Central America come out better than the people from the 'richest country in the world' with the world’s worst social system. They are spoilt with their corporations and fast food. Their clean, pristine cities and their over the top laws. It doesn't always work out the way you think it would. I’ve met some absolute nut cases here that just can’t be explained. Every hostel so far - and there has been around 10 of them, have each had their nut case travelling Americans. Totally full of themselves, taking over the place, speaking as loud as they can, obnoxious and intolerable. And yet, the entire 18 months I had in South America, sure there were some strange people but they were simply the victims of poverty. These Americans have something going on with their brains.

Anyways, Toronto is thankfully a little warmer than Ottawa and Montreal. It took 5 hours to get here from Ottawa and to my joy, it is still snowing. Big fat snowflakes are falling as I look out the window into a dark street while I'm writing from the Hostel International in downtown Toronto. Behind me, a drunk, loud, American is explaining to some travellers how good he is at pool, holding a beer and shooting at the same time, he misses his shot and goes on to say he wasn't low enough, then gives more ill advise. Fuck you Americanos!

The CN tower dominates the cityscape. It’s like something out of the game Sim City. When you get to the year 3050 and the buildings start changing into these awesome futuristic towers. The CN tower is straight from there. I will hopefully be going up there at some point.

Tomorrow is Australia Day! The hostel is putting on a party with triple J's hottest 100 and a BBQ. I’ll be in my Aussie flag boxer shorts and no doubt, causing some trouble. Stay tuned.

Australia Day

This is the second Australia Day I have celebrated on this voyage away from Australia and it didn't disappoint. The owner of the Hostel, although being English, did a great job at decorating the place and making all the Aussies and wanna be Aussies feel welcome. Although it was a crisp -20 degrees outside, it was hot inside and we had a memorable night.

I donned my Aussie Flag Boxer shorts (on the outside of my jeans) I tied my tube of travelling Vegemite around my neck, I had my thongs on (flip flops for the non Aussies) and had a green and gold shirt (although it read 'South Beach Miami - where everyone gets lucky') I looked the part, among other costumes such as Brave heart and Steve Irwin.

We searched far and wide for some Aussie drinks. We were even going to resort to Fosters if it came to that, but unfortunately, the Aussie brews eluded us and we resorted to drinking Kokanee - a Canadian beer and Bacardi black. We visited three separate bottle shops and couldn’t find a VB, or even a Fosters anywhere, not to mention some Bundy Rum.

After a rooftop BBQ, where we stood outside in the -20 degrees and put snap frozen lettuce on our sausage sandwiches and made snowballs -  how un Australian. We retreated downstairs, where Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown was cranking over the hostel speakers. Being away from Aus for 18 months, meant that I didn't know a single one of the 100 songs, and from the sounds of it, I can’t wait to get back to Aus and hear them all again. There were some awesome tunes being played. At some point during the mad night, the 9 Aussies climbed onto the pool table and sung the Anthem, then as the top 10 songs came out, the night became a little hazy and all I remember is around 15 people doing a 'stacks on’, and me being somewhere squashed at the bottom of the pile. At 4ish, or was that 5ish, I was told that I went to bed. And the next day everyone told me that I had a good time. Sure did.

With the previous night’s activities being the talk of the day, we sat by the TV and had a big greasy Aussie breakfast and later, headed out to see some sights.

The 'Winter Fest' carnival was going on while I was in Toronto. I’m not really sure what the reason is behind the festival, other than being winter, but I didn’t really care. I headed out with our now very close bunch of Aussie friends and some English and got involved in the festival. There was Ice Skating which I decided not to participate in because I was still recovering from my injuries from skating in Montreal. Ice skating is not one of my strong points. We did eat a whole bunch of Hershey’s Kisses, which they were giving away for free. We got some hand warmers and lined up to see the 'Ice in Art' exhibition. Where lots of coloured ice had been poured and melted on top of other coloured ice, creating some crazy tie dye colour effects. Very funky. Live Canadian bands rocked the stage all day and we danced around with our hand warmers and hot chocolate.

When night fell, the show got interesting, with a laser display and a very alternative stage performance, using cranes and flares and lights and all kinds of crazy effects. It was brilliant, and very arty.

Without getting into the nitty gritty that’s about all that happened in Toronto, and after a few days I left. Destination - Chicago.
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muzz_travelling on

Re: welcome to canada
Hey, thanks for the welcoming to Canada. Its much better than the USA. Id have stayed much longer if it wasnt for Mard gras, that im rushing south to get to. There are many boats travelling between Cartagena in Colombia and Colon in Panama. If you are in either one of those places, you just need to spand some time at the marinas and eventually, you will stumble across a pirate that will be heading your way. Some charge around 200 to 250 USD.
Its definately possible to travel from Panama, overland to Canada. its exactly what im doing. Although I havnt met anyone who has done it yet, its easy enough. Just learm some spanish and make sure you tell them that your not an American.

muzz_travelling on

Re: Ridiculous
I travelled the USA with an open mind, and despite the comments on my blog, I did have a great time there when I wasnt being asked for money or to buy drugs or unmentionable other things.
Had I known what to expect in the USA, id have bought a shorter return ticket to Panama, but if you read the blog, I had a 3 month ticket, that couldnt be changed. So 3 months it was. I spread myself out to get a better opinion but from city to city, the opinion stayed the same. Disapointment and shock horror at the goings on in that strange country.

madison on

Canada definitely beats the United States. It is a much prettier country and the people are much nicer. I stayed in a Novotel in Toronto Centre when I visited and I loved it; it really made my trip complete. I'm planning on going back to Canada again soon!

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