I Can Fly!
My excitement of being able to call myself a traveller after visiting Malaga and Colorado I feel confident I can go anywhere at anytime. And as a wheelchair user! But with some planning and preparation – key point to be able to travel with confidence with a spinal cord injury. Making sure I have got enough caths? Have I packed all my meds? Is the accommodation really accessible? Or have they had a wheelchair user stay who can take a couple of steps to get in and around the accommodation? And because of this the owners think because of this, it gives the all clear to call themselves ‘accessible’.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.
Trying to decide where to go on our honeymoon, and after much discussion, we finally agreed Canada. My wife has a lot of travelling experience, and trying to find a country she hadn’t been to was quite a challenge. Canada ticked a lot of boxes, a fairly new country with relatively modern buildings – less challenges of finding accessible accommodation. Public transport should be OK. There is lots to see and do and a country my wife is yet to spend more than 24 hours in.
A Comfortable Flight.
We arrived in Toronto after a pleasant flight in Business Class – thanks to my Brother-in-Law who blagged that. He asked without us knowing at the busy check in desk if there was any free space up front. After retrieving our bags from crowded baggage claim, we used a taxi to our hotel to start our adventure.
Can You Fault City Breaks?
I like City breaks and they work well for me. My effective pushing technique lets me travel at a steady pace alongside my wife in these concrete jungles. The way I push my wheelchair saves me energy, and this enables me to go further for longer. I can negotiate kerbs well and have confidence getting over potholes – not that there are many in this modern city! After a couple of days investigating Toronto, and a swanky meal looking over the cityscape in the Toronto Tower, we boarded a train to Niagara. WOW, this train is a double decker train, but I am sitting downstairs which is fine.
That was a big train.
The train pulls into Niagara and disembarked heading straight for the hotel. After we’ve checked in, found our room and dumped our bags, we exit quickly to go see the sights. I did hear someone once say they thought Niagara was like South End, the Essex seaside town, and I can believe this. It is a bit tacky but has the usual grandness or a Northern American City, big advertising billboards, skyscrapers, wide roads that cater for big cars.
We took a trip on the Maid of the Mist. This is a tourist boat trip at the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls. Luckily we were supplied with some disposable ponchos, which we needed, as the boat got pretty close to the thunderous wall of falling water. Jumping the queue to embark is a handy perk of being a wheelchair user. Although I would have been happy to wait like everyone else, but it was a long queue….
Across to the West.
Leaving Niagara behind we train it back to Toronto to catch a flight to Vancouver, on the West coast. This City is again fairly new in comparison to the Cities in the UK. Only challenge for me is the camber on the path when pushing along. This is dealt with easily using a pushing technique I know.
We chill out taking in the sights. A visit Stanley Park, and I get pooped on by a bird when we walked underneath Lions Gate Bridge round the edge of the park. We whittled away the time by watching the cruise ship disappear from harbour and enter the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean, on their journey to tour part of the Arctic.
Last Stop Grouse Mountain.
Using the cable car we visit Grouse Mountain and watch a Lumberjacks show, and when our time in this city ends, we board the Rocky Mountaineer Train for a two day journey across the mountainous landscape of Canada…….