The morning after…and Niagara Falls

We were up at 7am the next morning and needless to say I was a little hungover. I’d have regretted not seeing the Falls and so despite bed feeling like the more sensible option. My pounding headache and wasn’t helped by the 1h40 drive to Niagara Falls.

The town of Niagara is somewhat notorious – comparable to Blackpool, the type of place the locals only go on a stag do. The streets are packed with tacky gift shops, bars, casinos and tourism activity shops, including ziplining down to the falls.

After parking in the world’s most expensive car park ($35 for 3 hours) we bought our tickets at the automated booth ($19.50pp) for the Hornblower, the Canadian version of Maid of the Mist. We’d timed it perfectly with no queues, so donned our issued red poncho and boarded the boat.

With thousands of visitors every day, it’s a military style operation. No sooner had we found a spot on the deck we were pulling out heading to the less impressive US Falls – a rapidly eroding falls which crash into a mountain of debris below. On the US side we could see thousands of tourists dressed in their blue issued ponchos and passed the famed Maid of the Mist heading out.

After lingering at the US Falls for a moment we pulled out and headed to the horseshoe falls on the Canadian side. What started off as a fine mist of spray from the falls soon turned into a torrential torrent – even with out fetching red ponchos we were soaked.

Worse still was that it was now incredibly hot and humid – the plastic poncho proving to be a sweat bucket.

The boat seemingly struggled even at full speed to stay to stationary in the falls – continuously fighting being pushed back by the immense flow of water cascading over the falls.

The noise, spray and sheer force of the Canadian falls are something to behold – certainly on a par with Foz du Iguassu, which we’d seen earlier on our travels in Brazil.

The tossing and turning boat had done my hangover no favours and so once back on dry land we stopped for some food and a breather. After composing myself we walked the two or so miles up to Falls – the point where the water rushes passed the railings and disappears 170 feet over the edge.

Remarkably children and teenagers were all climbing on the low railings, posing for selfies – seemingly in contempt of the warning signs and oblivious to the fact that several tourists have slipped over the edge.

After casting a judgemental eye over their parents we headed to a more remote location and dispatched LARS for some aerial shots. We were conscious that the huge plume of mist that rises from the river to several hundred feet above the falls probably wouldn’t do LARS or the signal reception any good, so we attempted some wide manoeuvring.

After twenty minutes of flying back and forth between the US and Canadian falls and getting overhead shots we called it a day and walked back to the car. We had to stop several times as my hangover hit critical levels but once back on the road with the aircon on full blast I slowly started to recover.

Back in the hotel we grabbed an afternoon nap and arranged to meet Ian for dinner in Newmarket in the suburbs. We enjoyed a cocktail (hair of the dog) and a Mexican taco – good wholesome heavy food which finally sorted me out.

With a one hour drive back to Toronto we had to say early goodbyes. Next stop Ottawa and Montreal.

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