Today started very early on highway 400 close to the Toronto area. A very wet start that cleared later due to my timing. The feeling I had of leaving Toronto after a year was a very joyous one. The city is good and there are many plus points however it is not for everyone. I have dreams of the sea and mountains and a lifestyle that balances perfectly with work. Therefore my Sat Nav is programmed for Thunder Bay and later it will be westward to Vancouver. My iphone TomTom app surprised me with an estimated driving time of 14 hours to Thunder Bay. I think it may be wise to drive as far as I can and then just pull over in the evening and find a hotel randomly. Probably get to Thunder Bay tomorrow … love the name of that city … “Thunder Bay”. I anticipate the drive to Vancouver will take about 10 days if I drive leisurely and perhaps stop for a while in Banff.
So far on the journey everything is very beautiful despite the rain. After leaving the Muskoka area … great sheer rocks could be seen along the highway as I was firmly in the “Canadian Shield” area of the country. In June, Ontario had a good amount of rain and this has made the scenery that much greener and atmospheric.
After about 5 hours of straight driving I had lunch in a little riverside restaurant and enjoyed a meal while looking onwards over the “Blind River” somewhere close to Elliott Lake. It is always best to stop and have a quick nap during a long driving trip, which I did this morning. Needed to keep alert as a few times in the heavy rain I hydroplaned the car. Not good.
To drive across Canada will require a great deal of patience and stamina. I will be alone and my thoughts and ambitions for the future should nourish me as well as the scenery and changing weather systems. I won’t be completely alone as the Hyundai Sonata I am driving is equipped with XM satellite radio. I have continuous access to CNN live along with the BBC news service. literally hundreds of stations and comedy channels are available making my drive quite civilised. The iphone is actually a minor miracle, with Sat Nav and my itunes library on hand in one device … I will be connected and safe at all times. Just as long I remember to keep the battery charged and the car adequately fuelled.
I am convinced that the best plan for driving across this great nation is to play everything by ear and not plan too much of the day or the stops. What an adventure to have no idea where you will lay your head at night or where you will eat. Most importantly there are your fellow travellers to meet along the way at various bars and restaurants. Canadians are a friendly bunch!
I will try to update my blog daily on the progress of my journey. Not too often someone drives all the way from Toronto to Vancouver. I will also take some random pictures of things that I see along the way which interest me. Like the below shot of an abandoned home.
Oh btw … a new friend warned me of black flies in Northern Ontario. I was even given a video presentation to ensure that I fully understood the nature and seriousness of black flies in Canada. I strongly recommend that you watch it below … it’s great fun.
I stepped out of my car after a nap and was assaulted by a swarm of vindictive mean spirited black flies. The chased me around my car and even tried to enter it when the door was briefly opened. The nerve of them … really.
*** Quick update at the end of the day ***
It’s about 11:00pm. I drove for approximately 9 hours today. I wanted to get a good start and feel like I am well en-route to my target destination, so mission accomplished. I have stopped in a town called “WaWa”. Checked into a fabulous log cabin with a view of a lake for $80. fantastic atmosphere and a great reward for all the progress today.