This weeks road trip was another visit to Hamilton. Most Canadians seem to think of Hamilton as a terrible place to visit and think of it as a very industrial place, for some reason, the fact that it has over 100 waterfalls and countless beautiful trails and hikes seems to have escaped them.
A Welsh, a Scot, a Manc and myself hired a car and after a few dramas with the car hire, we were on our way. The days agenda: Waterfalls, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Outlet Mall and then off to see the Christmas lights at Niagara Falls.
Felkers Falls was our waterfall feature for the day. 6m wide, 22m high and linked to the Bruce Trail. The woodland was orange and crunchy with all the trees looking bare. The beautiful autumn colours of last month have gone and are yet to be replaced with snow. Luckily there was water in the waterfall as I remember visiting Devils Punchbowl in the summer and it was dried up. We decided to trek to the bottom of the waterfall. This involved some off the beaten path, Bear Grylls style climbing and outdoorsmanship. We made it to the bottom and I was able to climb in behind the falls and stay completely dry.
The climb out of the canyon we found ourselves in was entertaining to say the least. At some points, our feet just slid on the mud and we could only pull ourselves up with the tree roots. Needless to say, due to this, there are some muscle aches throughout the group today. The slope was steep and we were low to the ground and covered in leaves when we made it to the top and climbed back over the barrier. Perfect timing to drive to Niagara on the Lake and see the sunset over the water. Unfortunately, it began to rain and the clouds got together to ensure our visibility of the sun set was at zero.
To the mall! I do love the Niagara Outlet Mall, but I also have a severe self control problem. We all know how much sugar I can put away, think of that same level of self control when I am in a mall offering me 80% off designer hand bags. I came away with moisturisers, candles and other body products from Bath and Body Works. Making a decision proved impossible, so I just bought a range. I dont think I will need to buy body scrub, moisturiser or scented candles for six months. Unfortunately, we did not think through our hiking gear and walking around Kate Spade carrying handbags to choose which one was quite ridiculous when we noticed that in addition to fairly ridiculous attire there were leaves and bits of undergrowth stuck to us. Yes, I bought the handbags. No, I couldnt decide. No, I didnt need them. No, I couldnt afford them. Yes, they are beautiful. Yes, they will last forever. Yes, they smell of leather. And I actually got $495 total discount due to the incredible savings. It would have been rude not too. The others bought winter boots and trainers and we headed back to the car for the next adventure in our day out.
Niagra Falls has a Winter Festival of Lights. It was beautiful, even in the rain. It was late and raining, which made the roads quiet so we could crawl along looking at the lights like little children with our noses pressed against the car windows. Well, not me, I was driving, and getting very distracted from the road! There were moose, bears, nativity scenes, swans, trees, snowflakes, mounties, inukshuks. My favourite display was the light show on the Toronto Power Generating Station. It was fantastic. The building lit up in different colours and then multi colours all changing in time with the music. The music was tuned to a radio station so we could listen to it in the car as we drove past. It was playing Carol of The Bells. I found a clip of the show here.
The journey home began with a mandatory Wendy’s. Who doesn’t love a square burger? Lets be honest, it was a double, with a side of poutine. We headed back to Toronto singing Christmas songs – Michael Buble started us off and we then moved on to the Wurzels. It was a happy journey and makes me smile thinking of it now.