America in the morning, Canada in the afternoon

Hey Dad;

Ready for a long day! 

I checked out and set up a rough plan. Given up with proper plans now. 

Well I opened the door, and the weirdest thing dad, there was water falling from the sky. It was raining! Didn’t really know what to do with this. Still, first day in months of questionable weather, I can’t really complain. I don’t think I have seen rain since Fiji. 

Anyway I checked out and headed over to the falls. I then had the joy of finding somewhere to park.parking everywhere was $20 for the day! I knew I was only going to be here a few hours; I was not paying $20!! I found a spot on the road, $6 for two hours, much better. I walked though the park and over a bridge to Goat Island. From there you are in between the American falls and horseshoe falls. It was pretty spectacular. The thing that hit me most though was the noise of the water. It was unbelievably loud, I don’t think I have heard anything like it. The shear size and magnitude of water going over the walls is incomprehensible. The mist that came from the bottom as the water hit the rocks below was awesome too. Unfortunately it was still raining, and the sky’s were grey. Not the best for photo opportunities!

I walked back over the bridge and headed towards the American falls lookout. Too cloudy for any rainbows, damn! The wind from this side of the falls was really strong too. I followed the path around and got to the observation deck. A platform which sticks out over the falls. Fearing the cost I went to find out, $1.25; phew! Again the view was amazing, but windy. 

Back off the deck I had a little time flleft before I needed to get back from the car. Tired of being blown about and getting wet I headed indoors to a visitors centre. Inside they were showing a short movie about the falls, the history and the legends. It was really fascinating, you would have liked it. It showed how people came and settled at the falls, and then the stories of dare devil’s who tight roped over the falls, and about the woman who went over in a barrel. Did you know she had a cat in the barrel with her? Mad. It also told us the story of the kids that were in a boat which broke down. The boy went over the falls, and the girl was saved 20 feet from the drop. The boy survived. First ever with no protection equipment. Other then a life jacket. The movie however did not go into any stories of people who tried and failed.

As I came out of the theatre the sun came out! Blue sky’s.  Typical.  I managed to walk quickly back to the American falls look out for another photo, but then I had to practically jog back to the car. 

Heading North I drove to the Niagara Whirlpool, apparently one of the largest in the world. Again, the volume of water is just unvelieveable. There was also a little cable car going over the whirlpool, it went from Canada to the USA. Reminded me a little of the cable car we had to take when Huw did his bungy. 

Anyway quick stop for a late lunch and off to my tour! 

I eventually worked out how to get into the car park and signed in. There were only 12 on the tour out of a potential 28! 

The first challenge is to get over rainbow bridge and into Canada. Through customs and another stamp in the passport I officially made it into Canada! 

The tour took us to Table Rock, where we got in a lift, which took us into a tunnel.  As you go down in the lift you are handed a poncho. That should have been a bit hint of things to come. The tunnel is right under horseshoe falls into the bedrock. There are little openings through the tunnel where you can stand and see the water falling over the edge. The noise was insane! There was also a viewing platform. Now the reason for the poncho became apparent. The platform was being battered by mist and spray from the falls. Thankfully the ponchos are one size and being a short arse it came to my ankles! There was also a full rainbow stretching from the American Falls to the Horseshoe Falls, finally! I had just enough time to heck out the view back at the top of the falls before heading back to the tour bus.

The next stop was weirdly a car park, it was to get a view of the water plants.  The flow of the falls is controlled. There ware huge under ground tunnels which carries the water to a hydroelectric plant. Typically, only 50% of the water is actually going over the falls, and in low tourist season they reduce it to 25%. If the water going over is only 50% of what is possible, the full 100% must be terrifying! 

A drive drive took us to the Skylong Tower, where a lift on the outside of the building took us to a viewing platform, again; tall building, must go up! The view was pretty awesome, especially if you stood on a ledge, put your body weight on the safety barriers and stuck your arms through for a good shot. I made a few people feel very nervous. 

The tour then stopped at a gift and snack shop. Nothing special other then the tourist tat, there was however a huge moose statue. It looked normal until you saw the view from behind. He was a very well hung bull. 

The tour carried on down river where we saw the cable car I sported this morning. Now of course I was on the other side of the falls. Still looked a little dodgy! 

Then a quick pit stop at the hydroelectric plant. The distance the water travels underground is apparent when you realise how far down the road you have come. It goes for about 7 miles! We also stopped at a floral clock in a botanical garden. Not really sure why, compared to Niagara Falls, I could really see the appeal.

Back on the bus, the sun had set and it was getting very dark. The bus headed back to the falls. The Falls at night are lit up, they illumine them in loads of different colours and patterns. It was pretty amazing. So was the amount of people who were standing on the sides waiting! Of course they were waiting for one thing. Fireworks! 

The fireworks were very good. Not the world’s best, but for a free display you could not complain. 

Then it was back on the bus to go back across the border. America ask a lot more questions than Canada! But I got though fine. 

The last thing to do was do drive the 30 minutes to my motel for the evening. It was all going well until my card declined. Sh*T. I got it sorted though.

What all day Dad! 

Night dad x

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