...ontheroad

I'm not bräve, just naïve...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I really can't help myself...

So, it was my first day back at work today. Nice to start back on a Tuesday, a four day week is a good way to start the new year, don't you think? But anyway, there wasn't much work to be done, and while I waited for the information I needed to continue with what I had, my mind started to wander, and my mouse-hand started to click and scroll uncontrollably. You see, whenever I'm presented with a quiet 'in-between' moment and an internet connection, I just can't help myself. A uncontrollable urge takes over, and without any premeditation, I start exploring, planning and testing ideas for journeys and voyages. Planes, trains and buses... you can find all you need on the www, and I just drink it up.

So here's today's discovery. Before today, I was pretty sure that the CanRail Pass was, in itself, a pretty neat idea. Until 31 May we're in the low season, and for a student the pass costs C$457 (about £225). It gives you twelve days in one month to travel as much as like (or physically can) in Canada, from one coast to t'other. A definite incentive to go travelling before summer...

But then... ooooo... what's this? James' eyes light up at the discovery of the North American Rail Pass. This time it's a whole thirty days to travel throughout both the United States of America and Canada. And here's the nifty bit: VIA Rail sell the low season student pass for C$627 (about £310). But because of the diving US dollar, Amtrak sell it the very same pass for US$488.70 (about £280). It's frankly a bit of a bargain. When I got home I dug out the Amtrak system timetable, and I reckon it could be possible to do this little combo...

Montréal - Chandler - Matapédia - Halifax - Montréal - Toronto - Winnipeg - Churchill - Winnipeg - Edmonton - Vancouver - Seattle - Chicago - San Francisco - Santa Barbara - Los Angeles - Chicago - Boston - New York - Montréal

That would include some of North America's finest scenery (including two trips through the Rockies), some of it's most famous long distance trains and some time in between in the continent's greatest cities. I think I may just have found my next incentive to do some overtime...

*j*

2 Comments:

Anonymous ulli said...

this trip sounds wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. i will try and find enough german students for me to pay my food. this way i might (a very big might) be able to save up some money and i could join you. even though i still think hitchhiking is a perfectly valid way of discovering places. "the journey is the goal"... or how does this proverb translate into english?

9:21 am  
Blogger James said...

"It is better to travel than to arrive" (anon, although I remember it being used to advertise cars...)

The itinerary has now refined and currently stands something like this, incorporating friends I want to visit, cities I've never been too and three-day long train trips to places in the middle of nowhere...

Montréal - Schenectady - Chicago - Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - San Francisco - Chicago - Seattle - Vancouver - Edmonton - Winnipeg - Churchill - Winnipeg - Toronto - Montréal - Chander/Halifax - Montréal. About US$1700 worth of travel for US$480.

*j*

*j*

10:56 am  

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