A few punctual observations about Canada, after digesting the whole experience for a few days, taking the time to let the impressions settle.
- people are more sporty than in USA, or maybe even than in some European countries. And also more welcoming. We never got replies to our open requests before Canada, and in Montreal we even received 12 invitations.
cycling is probably more popular here than running, or maybe we visited the country during multiple simultaneous bike competitions
the gas is close to $3 /gal (1.1CAD/L), which makes it more expensive than US, and therefore the popular cars are not big. We’ve seen a lot of Asian cars (Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota, Nissan, etc) but also the European brands are popular (WV, Volvo). Pick-up trucks are present here too, but not in the cities, and only where they’re needed
no rusty wrecks, or old/unused/damaged cars close to anyone’s house as we used to see in USA. And not talking about the cities here.
Ontario and Quebec are very different from each other. People in QC are definitely speaking more French than the others, and the information on the touristic boards is no longer bilingual (rarely in English, mostly in Quebec City). Luckily I didn’t need to use my French to say anything
I was surprised to see how rare the settlements are and how the roads are pretty much from A to B and nothing in between. So if you don’t take the highway, there’s not much of a choice. And we only visited the southern part. I can only imagine how scarcely populated Canada is in the more northern parts of each region. Yet I wonder why the regime won’t allow more immigrants to help populate those areas. (Like… why don’t you give me some land somewhere in the isolated North to build myself a cabin, hunt, and live a happy life, just like Dick Proenneke in Alaska)
And how we stand so far with the road (previous statistic here):
– drove more than 7500 miles (12000km)
– spent 19 days in Canada and 87 days in the USA
– visited 23 states of the USA (NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, VA, NC, TN, KY, IL, MO, KS, NE, IA, IN, WI, MI, ME, NH, MA, RI, CT ) + Washington DC
– spent about $1900 each, mostly for gas, out of which $350 each in Canada
– on average we spent about $20/day/person
– still never got stopped by policemen, but we managed to get a parking fine in a private lot in Quebec City. I lost the ticket somehow (hic).
We were trying to get a car through driveaway to California and save half of the plane tickets and also see more of the country, but we can’t do it without a credit card. Nope, I won’t make one. Since this plan failed, we’ll probably buy a plane ticket to Phoenix, AZ (cheapest option in combination with a future flight to Mexico City, and with the National Parks nearby).
Until we get back on the road, we’re back at John’s place in NC, taking care of little things around the house, those things you always postpone to a better time.