Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Toronto to Ottawa: 386 km, 5.5 Hours

I really enjoyed my time in Toronto, and I also really enjoyed my time at the HI-Toronto hostel. The hostel was a pretty standard HI hostel, but I had the same room mates for all three nights, and so it started to feel like home before I had to leave. When it was time to leave, one of my room mates even walked with me and wheeled one of my suitcases the 1.5 km to the bus depot.

Despite getting to the bus depot relatively early, there was already a very long line-up waiting for the 11:30 AM Express bus to Ottawa. As more and more people boarded the bus, I started to think there might not be enough seats to hold everyone since the line behind me had also grown in this time. With about eight people in front of me I saw the bus driver start counting passengers in line, and tell the person in front of me that she was the "last one". This did not suit my plans though, so I looked around for some possible explanation and noticed a second bus waiting some distance back, which turned out to be for us.

While this new bus may not have been nice and new, like the other bus with a Texas licence plate, but with only 12 passengers, it was virtually empty and I thought perhaps I would be able to spread out for the 5 hour trip. My hopes were soon dashed though, for fifteen minutes later we stopped at a small station on the way out of Toronto and some twenty people were waiting to board the bus, some of whom had been turned away from the 9:30 AM bus, which was also full.

The two high-school aged boys in front of me were part of a small group carrying instruments, and so I asked them where they were going? They said they were heading to Ottawa for a music festival. At the time I thought nothing of it, but little did I know it would soon affect my stay in Ottawa too.

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