Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! Screw the lack of sleep we are buzzing!!!!! We head out early for a brekkie wolf it down and wait for our bus which is not a bus but an SUV transfer to the bus depot. When we arrive, we grab our tickets and wait about 20 mins before boarding the King Tours bus.
Our driver Scott is a bit hard to place - one minute he's mister fun, next he's snapping at people for asking questions, in between he's literally talking to himself throughout the journey - full-fledged conversations folks he's even fecking answering himself - serious! Jacq thinks he reminds her of Gollum ... My precious and all that shibang.
So, we've done quite well most people have paid double our Internet deal of $69 for the bus tour, boat tour, stop at Niagara on the lake and wine tasting which is at Dan Ackroyds winery - he's invested in his friends' place years ago and has his own label there. We decide in advance to use our "free time" of two hours on the "journey behind the falls" walk rather than lunching. It's $16 each and you get amazing views of the falls up close and you can walk around the back via little tunnels that lead you to caves looking out at the back of the falls - it's also where Marilyn Monroe shot a famous scene in the movie Niagara.
As the tour starts our first real stop is the winery - it's called Diamond and the setting is lush sat outside under a gazebo sipping from 4 gorgeous bottles. The range includes Dan Ackroyds cab sav and two flavours of Canadian ice wine which are unique to Canada and picked at night when the grapes are frozen, they don't want warm hand touching them. The only way we can describe it is it's like drinking liquid Jam - gorgeous. We fall in live with the Aykroyd Shiraz, having walked through to the bar to try more, and a White Moscato and we buy Sheila a bottle of bubbles, her favourite, as we're staying with her in Boston after New York. We also grab a bottle of strawberry kiwi for the bus ride home later. It's not expensive at all whole lot costs around $50 but because the Canadian dollar is so low at present that's around £25 for 4 bottles.
We continue on to the falls stopping at the Whirlpool Rapids where the rivers meet, also getting pics at the big floral Niagara clock and then Scott takes us to Niagara on the lake town. The town is so quaint, lots of independent old-fashioned stores bustling with tourists, rich ones! Streets are busy with horsed and carriages, there are a fierce number of bakeries and an Irish tea room run by a woman from Northern Ireland - we pop in but she's a bit pricey so we move on wanting to get the main part of our trip done - so excited!!
We drive up to the falls first seeing the American side and everyone gasps, it's beautiful how the water falls onto these big brown rocks at the base and the mist rises around them enveloping the walkers in clouds of spray… awesome. Then we come to the Canadian side and we're just beside ourselves - it's unbelievable no other word for it, we're so glad we opted to do the trip at this side. The sheer force and scale of the falls is magnificently frightening, it's just one of the most amazing things we've ever seen and we're in total awe.
We are taken to the top of the falls near were the journey behind the falls trip starts, it's brilliant watching this roaring river drop over the huge cliff edge at such a magnificent speed - just mesmerising! To make it even more magical we spot the most vibrant rainbow over the Maid of the Mist as it approaches the falls and then moments later it transforms into a double rainbow - we cannot stop smiling!
Scott wants to take us to our boat trip now which would cut our time significantly as we'd have to walk back here for the journey then back to the boat for our pick up - just doesn't make sense so we ask to be left here to do our own thing. He's happy to oblige and we get 2 and a half hours free time heading straight for the journey behind the falls to get our tickets! We don't even have to queue it's so easy, we get our ponchos and walk down some steps into the most amazing viewing platform we've ever been on - we are literally at the height of the mid-section of the mighty waterfalls left edge - you can see the rock behind it as it flows rapidly over in a perfect curve, no breaks at all. We cannot describe the sight of this constant, heavy, almighty flow of water and do it justice - we get snap happy and enjoy catching some great pics before it gets too busy. We are soaked, no point wearing makeup and Jacq regrets it, to do this properly you must be prepared to get drenched the ponchos are rubbish and once you give in its such a fab part of the experience! We walk off the platform and head for the tunnel that stretches out behind the falls from the left side to the middle section, there are two viewing portals cave like in shape for you to look through and experience the falls falling - it's pure mist and moisture no clarity like a big noisy white wall - it's a great experience we're so glad we did this part and got off that bus.
We move on and start off on our half hour walk to the cruise depot, you'd think we'd dry off in today's glorious sunshine but as you walk along the mist is constant and it feels like it's raining although you know it's not, the wind keeps blowing the mist across the path and everyone is getting a taste of it.
We find the cruise and get in the queue, we're pretty lucky as we manage to secure the front row standing spots at sea level - we are in for a soaking but we want to do it properly, lots of people have gone indoors - wimps!
We meet some lovely people who are just as nuts as us and as the boat pulls out we cruise past the American falls getting a great view of the rocks, we glide into the rainbow and over towards the base of the Canadian falls - this is insane! These huge roaring waters are spraying violently as they crash heavily into the lake and the affect is like what you might imagine being sprayed by a fire hose to be like - one big hose each. You can literally feel the strength of the water and wind, you are battling so hard to open your eyes but can barely manage it as the water pelts your eyelids closed, we keep using our hands to try to look out and manage to see magnificence of these falls up so close you wouldn't believe, it's pure magic! Everyone who's stayed out with us is screaming but in pure delight laughing away at how unbelievably drenched we all are. Our tip - don't regret it, you have to stand up front and scream like a lunatic - it gets everyone going and you'll be so glad you didn't wimp out!
We loved it, as we turn away from the falls heading back we are just literally dripping everywhere - the water is so thick on us it's rolling off. We are buzzing!! Buzzing!!!!!
Straight for a beer we still have 45 mins left, definitely the best way to do your own thing - we just sit on the terrace staring out at the American side sipping and smiling like two big eejits!
We get back on our bus and were the only wet ones it seems - we've loved today.
When we get back we jump into the local Chinese which always seems busy and devour a feast of chicken curry & duck - it's gorgeous and it's bedtime. Well, we have basically been up for almost 36 hours…..