|It's been 3 weeks now since I left Montreal (I initially wrote 'home'... but that has no meaning to me right now). Three very different weeks... giving me a spectrum of what's ahead of me. In those little 21 days, I've travellled over 3 500 km, slept in 4 different provinces and states (my 3rd US state is tonight), visited 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (the 4th is tomorrow), met very interesting people and I stayed in an array of accommodations.|
You already know the places and sites
I've visited. I'm now writing you from New York City, in the Harlem
borough, just north of Central Park.
During my first weeks, I've met many
extraordinary people I forgot to mention, and I would want to take
the opportunity now. First, there was Gary, a guy I met through a
site like Couchsurfing, he couldn't host me but he has helped me a
lot by providing a lift and accommodation arrangements. Leaving Gros
Morne, I had a ride with a very nice taxi driver, his name is Ivan.
Instead of just dropping me at the closest bus stop (in Deer Lake) as
initially agreed, he allowed me to stay along while doing his errands
and I took the bus in a much larger city... Corner Brook.
I mentioned you I believe in karma...
here's another example... while waiting the bus in Corner Brook, I
started a conversation with another traveller. He had just ridden
his bicycle on most of the West coast of Newfoundland. While
discussing my itinerary, he told me he knew South America very well,
especially the northern part of it. After some discussion, he solved
a problem I had to leave Brazil by the North (that's early 2016).
Transportation between countries along the coast is quite problematic
there. But he told me there was an easy way out through the city of
Manaus, right on the Amazon river, which I wanted to visit (even if
it's not on my current route), to Caracas... and that bus route also
passes by the Angels Falls, a UNESCO site and the highest falls in
the world. If Yvan hadn't proposed me to drop me in Corner Brook
instead of Deer Lake, I would have never chatted with this cyclist...
and would still worry about that passage on my itinerary.
Once in Nova Scotia, I first met in Wolfeville a writer for Lonely Planet and we had interesting discussions... I'll probably meet her again when I'm in Oregon. I've also met the
couple with whom I've been to Lunenburg. And now that I've begun
doing Couchsurfing, my first host is a Brazilian student in an
exchange... he'll return home in a few months... and might be able to
provide me contacts for when I'm down there.
In terms of accommodations, I've stayed
in two university residences (in St. John's and Halifax), in a hostel
(Gros Morne), a bed and breakfast (in Wolfville, NS), two motels (in
Lunenburg, NS and Mars Hill, ME), a private room found by AirBnb
(Boston) and I'll spend my first night found by Couchsurfing.
Budget-wise, I don't really know where
I am... I'll do the counts after the first month on the road. I'm
sure I'm above my budget... but that was expected. I've reduced all
the expenses I could however. We'll see in 9 or 10 days, I haven't
recorded all my expenses as I originally planned... will have to get
better that that. Couchsurfing will certainly help however in
getting on budget. But I won't keep all the savings done by
Couchsurfing... I will re-invest about one-third to half in local
tours to better know the cities I'm in.