If we can, we want to travel across Canada in a motor-home. It should be relatively cheap and will give us more flexibility for places to go. The only problem is that being high season, they are all fully booked and we cannot find one available to rent.
Our fall back option is to buy one in Montreal and sell it again when we get to Vancouver. We found what looks like a reputable place to go through and headed out. It is in Châteauguay, outside of Montreal. We had to the take the tube to the end of the line, Angringon, and then get a bus. We had no idea where to get off the bus and asked the driver. He did not seem to have a clue either and it was only because we spotted the dealership ourselves that we got off! The choice of twelve we had been told about on the phone was actually a choice of seven. Most of them were very old and beaten up inside. Not being motor mechanics we wanted to be sure that we got something reliable, in reasonably good nick and something that we would not lose too much money on when we come to sell it again.
|It's my birthday (in two days) and I would really, really like a little motorhome|
Having ruled out all but one of the second hand ones they showed us a nearly new. Its a 2004 model, has done less than 40,000km and is still covered by the manufacturers warranty. Its got a flushing loo, stand up shower, fridge, hob, microwave, flat screen TV and video. The only downside is that the bed will be a bit on the short side! We have been assured that getting the registration and insurance sorted will be easy so we just need to get the finances sorted. We have paid a deposit (refundable if we cannot buy) to secure it as ours and hopefully it will pick it up next week. It is an automatic so it is really easy to drive and is about the size of a Ford Transit van - a bit cosy!
We headed back into town via bus and tube, getting our second hairy female experience on the way. The first was hairy armpits of the German ladies on our boat for the whale watching in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. Today's was courtesy of a trendy young lady in hipster jeans. They were so low cut that not only her knickers but also her pubes were on public display!!
By the time we got back to our hotel my cautious side had kicked in and I spent some time sense checking whether we were getting a good deal for our money. This did not go down well with Stef who was in "its Friday night" mode and was itching to go out and about. He had looked in the local What's On guide and the Ballet of Canada were giving a free performance in Parc La Fontaine, a little way away. We grabbed a cab and joined the queue to get in. It was a bit like queuing around the Serpentine in Kensington Gardens and the ducks on the lake kept us entertained with their quacking (through the performance too). By the time the gates opened loads more people had joined the queue so we were probably only half way along the queue.
The park has a small auditorium with a covered stage. There are metal benches to sit on. We were both glad we had bought a towel expecting to be on the floor but they served well as cushions. Luckily we spotted space in the middle towards the back and we had views straight on to the front of the stage.
The performance was electrifying. The first piece, Toot, had been choreographed especially for the company (about twenty four dancers) and was set top music by Shostakovich. The discordant and syncopated rhythms were mirrored on stage in a mix of classical ballet, acrobatics, street mime performance and modern dance. The set was very simple just using a few curved benches that the dancers moved around to create different props. It was unusual, complex, graceful, quirky, funny and totally captivating. Very different to classical ballets I have seen in the UK, I would rate this alongside Sadlers Wells and English National Ballet. The audience was engaged and involved and even late night strollers in the park joined in.
There was a short interval to change the stage and the dancers costumes. As an open auditorium we could see the set change, itself interesting to watch. The second piece was set to Stravinsky and was a very symmetrical dance. In Toot, all the dancers were in white costumes. For this one the men were in black and the ladies in white. The dance was very structured, following straight line or grid patterns.
In both dances the choreography wove clever patterns so that as your eyes followed the dancers around and off the stage more were in place to continue the rhythm and the dance. We were not allowed to take photos and my description in no way does justice to the mastery of the performance. I am sure it would not be the same on DVD but I would go back and see this again given the chance.