It feels as though I am palpably slowing my pace even before disembarking the train as I travel from Montreal to Halifax. Another overnight journey with the promise of Nova Scotia at the other end, and, most importantly, the sea.
There are a number of bodies of water I’ve encountered and searched out since leaving Vancouver but it is particularly exciting to be reaching the opposite coastline and the Atlantic Ocean after over two months of travelling across the country.
The promise of exploration of islands, coves and rocky coastlines brings with it a slower heart rate. A little post lunch nap has also helped. The Ocean, the train from Montreal to Halifax has many similarities to The Canadian, which travels from Vancouver to Toronto, but one of the differences is slightly smaller beds. I spent most of the night thinking I was going to fall out with an ever so subtle slope towards the floor. Undoubtedly, as I usually do, I must have slept more than I thought, but I do recall several single digit hours of the morning which I generally prefer not to see.
I have eight days before the train takes me back to Montreal and on to New York. A veritable luxury. The skies are blue with fluffy white clouds, the landscape is a variety of greens with patches of flowers along the line, daisies, lupins, irises. Pools of water and rivers flow alongside us intermittently and I am kept in regular exercise through the walk some 7 or 8 carriages between my cabin and the dining car. The corridors are thankfully narrow that you are buffeted from one side to the other in a generally forward direction. The track is not a smooth one in Canada. Serving soup is some kind of cruel trick. It would be easier if there was a rhythm to it, but I haven’t discovered one. Entirely randomly you will be swung from a relatively stable position to being thrown at another innocent passenger, against the wall or out of your seat. Well maybe not quite out of your seat but for what I imagined would be a pretty straight line running through Canada there are a number of bumps along the way. There is probably a technical reason for this which someone can explain to me but I haven’t sought to find out, or yet been told. Needless to say doing the most basic activities becomes rather more time consuming and perilous.
I have foregone the wine tasting in the hope I may stay conscious for the remainder of my trip and be able to negotiate me and my luggage to the hostel I’ve booked for tonight. It seems either a cruel ploy to make people even less steady on their feet, or a stroke of genius for them not to notice.