I arrived in Toronto late evening and was determined to save money where and when I could, this means no more cabs! I had looked online to see how I got from the station to my Hostel and it said I needed to get a bus and two trains then walk. I'm thinking there must be an easier way. I find the information desk at the airport and ask them, they tell me the exactly the same way, now I'm thinking that cab doesn't seem so bad now but had a quick change of mind when finding out the public transport would be $3 and the cab would be $60; ok I'm sticking with the public transport telling myself come on Katie your not that stupid! I get on the bus that takes me to the station, I get on all the right trains and get to where I need to be holding a map in my hands (bearing in mind I can't read maps this was going to be interesting). I start walking in the completely the opposite direction to where I should be going. I stopped and tried to look at the map to see if I was going in the right direction, I was staring at the thing for ages. A Spanish man asks if I'm lost, at this point I'm thinking really mate, your going to help? Then I thought don't be so ungrateful no one else if offering. He told me that I was going in the wrong direction and I need to turn around. He gave me the directions but of course it's me and I get lost, again. A lovely lady with her daughter helps me but again lost as soon as I leave them. I later found two guys and a girl and asked them for help, they were saying I was so close literally meters so they walked me to the end of the street and I saw the street I was looking for, hallelujah! I walked down the street looking for number 42 bearing in mind I'm at number 20 and the street finishes GREAT where now? I used my brain (well what was left of it) crossed the street and walked up the one opposite not realising this was the same street. I can see the Hostel I've never been so pleased or proud that I done it all without a cab but with a lot of help, hey I still done it. I finally get to my room and meet a girl from Cardiff called........ Katie, ledge! Once putting my stuff down I said right I need a drink so she said ok I'll come. I was happy to go on my own but happier when she said she'd come. We went this really cool dark bar full of people like our selves and a few were even from the Hostel we were staying in. We were all chatting getting to know one another I had noticed Katie had a St Christopher very similar to the one mum gave me before I left. I asked her about it and she said she'd noticed mine as well and they were both from our families and they were both engraved, I thought it was so strange. After a while we decided to go on. This point it was me, Katie, a guy called Chris (also from Wales) and Ciaran (from Ireland). Chris took us to another bar where they had a live band, good, like this. Then he showed us giant Connect 4, amazing so we played Wales vs UK and Ireland. The England team lost obviously why change the one thing we're good at? Losing. We stayed for a few drinks and left about two am. Ciaran was dancing when we decided to go so Katie told him we were going and he decided to stay, god knows what time he got in. I got straight into bed realising I had not made it before a I left (You were given sheets and a pillow case when you check in) but because we were sharing with other girls I couldn't turn on the light to do so, oh well I was pretty half cut anyway.
I woke up so early because of the time difference I guess or because I woke feeling quite rough and couldn't get back to sleep because of it, no in it was the time difference. I started to plan my day in my head it was not spending it in bed! Katie told me you could get to Niagara Falls from here on coach in two hours so I thought I'll do that, saves me wasting a night there if I can get there from where I was and I'd do the CN tower the day I leave again making the most of my time. I walked to the bus station with my map in hand and......... I found it, all on my own, yes! I booked the next bus and asked the lady for a return she gave me the times, I couldn't decide on what time so I asked if three hours would have been enough to do the Maid of the Mist tour? She goes on to tell me that it's seasonal and may not be running, What!? Ok so I'd go for the three hours there and just see how went. I arrive at Niagara Falls and I asked how to get there, another bus (felt like I'd spent my life on buses but I suppose I was travelling, get used to it!) I get on the bus and off the bus at the right place thinking this is going quite well for me but don't get too cocky not there yet. I looked down the hill where I need to walk, it was so tacky I was really shocked, full of arcades and loads of other rubbish attractions. As I walked down I could here the falls and then I see them, wow what an amazing view. I then saw a boat on the river, what it's running? Yes! Hang on though was I going I have enough time to do it? That stupid woman at the bus station told me it's not running, I was so worried I wouldn't be able to do it. I asked the ticket office how long it lasts they said twenty minutes, oh brilliant I have plenty of time. I walked down to the docking point, get handed a red plastic poncho on the way, I was so excited. We got on the boat and went past the first fall getting slightly wet from the spray, yet another amazing experience. Then we got to the second fall where they take you into the mist I'm thinking this is so cool so what if I get a bit wet, a bit wet, it was like being in torrential down pour. I whimped out and went into the covered part, I hate being cold and I still had to get my bus and coach back. It was still amazing though. As I walked back up to the town I thought I need a hot drink so I go to Starbucks order my coffee go to pay, card declined, twice. The lady showed me where the ATM was so I try to withdraw some money, declined again and twice I started to panic a bit. I went to another on the street, it worked, phew! I went back and got my coffee and walked to the bus stop. I double checked I was at the right one and what times they run. It was all perfect and I should be back at the bus station in more than enough time. I get on my coach I couldn't believe how well that went and what luck I had, I was so pleased with myself. On the way back I was thinking that I need to sort my Hostel and train for tomorrow to get to Jasper. I couldn't find anything, well I thought I couldn't. I was searching for about an hour and because the internet was being so slow at the Hostel I couldn't find anything nor would any intent pages open, I guess it was peak time. I thought I need to get out of here and get some quicker wifi. I bumped into Chris and he said there were Pizza place up the road with it. I went into two, neither of them did. I saw a Starbucks thought they must have it and they did but they were closing in half an hour I had to be quick. I was searching and there was nothing every thing had stop overs for a night or so (well I thought they we're stop overs), no flights nothing. I started to panic and thought I'll go back to the Hostel and book another night and sort it tomorrow. I get back try to book one to which I get told there are no beds because the girl in front just took the last one. The lady went onto tell me that they do have emergency beds and to come back tomorrow first thing tomorrow to book one, ok not so bad. I asked her the best way to get to Jasper and she said fly and get a coach or just get a coach, that took two days, er na I'm alright for a two day coach journey thanks. After being told that I was still trying to find an easy and cheap way to get to Jasper. The only thing I've found was a train trip from Toronto to Vancouver taking in Jasper on the way, ok I'll do that it seemed to work out perfect. I look at the price $2740 (£1513) what!? I was not paying that there must be another way. I saw Chris again he's now trying to help me and all I'm thinking is that train ride is the only way, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet. I really wanted to go to Jasper and stay in the mountains and because it was going to take to long to get Churchill so that one was cancelled I had to do something that was on the itinerary, I would have been so disappointed. I was even thinking if that if I couldn't find a way I'd just go to New York and change my trip entirely. I tried to call the company that done this trip. It was closed open tomorrow at 8:30, well I need to get up for 8 to go and see about another bed for the night. I went to bed but before I went to sleep I got my present out from Bella. I told the worry people what I was worrying about put them back and under my pillow along with my tigers eye.
Again I've woken up super early I'm talking five am. I tried to get back to sleep but I was still thinking about this Jasper thing so I've looked at that tour, that was a small fortune and it says sleeper, sleeper? If that's a sleeper are the other trains sleepers? I've checked the train from the Toronto to Jasper again, from what I could tell there's not any stops and it's straight there over the course of a day things were starting to look up. I thought better check the train from Jasper to Vancouver and there is one on the day that I'm looking for. I couldn't believe this it was staring to work out but thought I'd better check before booking anything. The only thing was it leaves on the eighth and I'm only booked into the Hostel until the seventh so I just had to hope they had a spare bed for the night and that the train was what I thought. When I checked with reception she said I was right, this was such a feeling of relief and they had a bed for me that night the only problem was I had to check out of my current room and check into a new room, erm ok yes that's fine as long as I have a bed. When I checked back in at one the receptionist told me I was the first to book in so this means I get the double bed, sweet! Things are starting to look up! Once checked in a thought I would go to the CN tower. The tower's highest viewing point is 1,465 feet. You can see for miles and it was such a beautiful one as well. All lifts travel at 15 miles an hour so it takes seconds to get to the top. I wasn't up there for long but appreciated every second I was there. When I got back to my Hostel I just chilled till it was drinking time. Once I got to the common room it didn't take long for me to start drinking and get quickly persuaded to go out with everyone. We went to this club (that I have not got a clue what it was called). It was massive and had loads of different floors this made it very easy to lose everyone I was with, standard. Quite late on in the evening I was talking to a Canadian lady outside and one by one everyone started to appear and we decided to jump into a cab and make a move back to the Hostel. We got back at about two am and myself and two other guys (Jed, Australian and Mat, South African) decided we were hungry and went for a burrito. Jed had insisted in telling the guy behind the counter to make Matt's as spicy as possible. The guy pulled out this small tub from the fridge and said this is the hottest sauce we do, to which Jed replied yah he loves it spicy and whilst your at it put some in mine too. Well, when these boys started eating these burrito's they started to sweat and their eye started to water. I had a sip of Matt's water and there was some of the sauce on the rim of the bottle and oh my goodness my lips felt they had caught fire. Watching these two was the best comical sketch I have seen in ages. The guy asked if I wanted any hot sauce on mine, I was like hell no thank you! I'm not mental. On the way home Matt started to retch whilst he was Jed was shouting flap, flap mate FLAP so as Matt was retching he started flapping his arms like a bird, my stomach was hurting from laughing so much! We got back to the Hostel bellies full and rather half cut all I could think was that was not a great idea I had to check out tomorrow and endure a two and a half day train journey, oh well I'd deal with that in the morning.
I woke with the worst headache ever! But I just drunk loads of water packed my stuff up checked and chilled till I felt slightly more human. At about two pm I realised I still had to get a hat, scarf and gloves for when I was in Jasper. They were defiantly needed as I would be staying in the mountains and it would be even colder than Iceland. I went got my gloves, hat and scarf from the cheapest shop I could find then I thought well I better find this station now rather than when I have all my luggage. Well, I am happy I decided to do that. There were loads of pathways closed and diversions due to major works being done right near the station I was walking around for about half an hour trying to find the via rail. When I finally found a ticket office to ask someone she even said yeah this place is a bit of a maze. I eventually found the place I was looking for, so relieved because all I could think was if this happened when I had all my stuff I would have lost the plot! I started too walk back thinking I'm getting the hang of this North, South, East and West business. Er how wrong was I? I had been walking down the right street but in completely in the wrong direction for ages. When I finally arrived back at my Hostel I was chatting the guys I had been out with the previous night, they had started drinking, again. I left them to at about eight and was on my way to the station for my ten pm train. Again I was so relieved I went there before I got there with absolutely no problems! We started boarding and then the two and a half day train journey to Jasper began.