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ARRIVAL IN HALIFAX

Late on Saturday afternoon after a leisurely drive around the south-western coast of Nova Scotia, I burst into the town of Dartmouth. Dartmouth and Halifax make up one great metropolis (or what passes for a great metropolis around here) and I can say without fear of contradiction that it is this metropolis that is my favourite city in the whole of North America.


One thing that I had heard on my travels was that despite the creation of the Metropolitan Area, each of the Haligonians and Dartmouthians treats his oppo with some kind of, well, disrespect, I suppose.

The Dartmouthians see their town as the quiet and respectable settlement and consider Halifax to be the noisy and brash neighbour, whereas Haligonians see their city as the thriving hub of the metropolis and they see Dartmouth as being something of a quiet backwater where the inhabitants are deprived of all the excitement.

My drive around Labrador gave me all of the excitement I could ever wish for right now and so bearing this in mind I decided to seek accommodation in Dartmouth. However, I was out of luck.

One B-and-B that I tried was fully-booked and as for the other two, I had no answer when I rattled on their front doors. It was a big mistake not to have equipped myself with a mobile phone card when I landed at Toronto all those years ago, although the SatNav that I bought in Windsor is performing some sterling work.

There was nothing left for me to do but to cross the bridge into Halifax and hunt around over there for somewhere to stay. It's still 75 cents on the toll bridge, by the way. Same as it was when I came here before. I can't think of many other places where 10 years of inflation have counted for nothing.


Now how many years is it since I walked away from a cheap lodging house? I even recall that motel in Flagstaff, Arizona where I stayed back in 2002 which was probably border-line, but the thing about that particular motel was that the price for a night was $26US and when I chuntered a little about this and that, he let me have it for $25. That was a fair deal in the end for what I received and I made it plain in my notes that what I was doing was commenting on the motel, and not criticising it.

However, that was one thing. Here in Halifax was something else. The cheapest place on offer (remember that I am on the economy plan) was $45 and I'm afraid to say that in what is probably a ground-breaking and monumental event, I drew the line at that.

Various reasons, namely, in no particular order,
 i.... the place looked pretty salubrious from the outside
 ii... the inside was ditto
 iii.. there was no kitchen, meaning that I would have to eat out and my budget is a little strained right now
 iv.. I didn't like the look of the landlady one bit. She was small and wizened with no teeth, the type of landlady that I reckoned would have no qualms about cracking me over the back of the head with an empty bottle of gin, stealing my boots to sell down on the docks and turning me over to the local press gang at the turn of the tide.
 v.... the place smelt of God-Alone-Knows-What

But they weren't necessarily the most important reasons.
 vi... there was no internet and it's been two nights since I've been on-line - the ferry terminal at Channel Port aux Basques in Newfoundland if I remember rightly and I need to catch up on my work.
 vii.. there was no parking on the premises. The thought of leaving Casey and all my worldly goods parked up overnight in a dark and unlit back street in a weird and uncertain area would be preying on my mind all night, I know it would, and I need my beauty sleep
 viii. I was having an attack of the bad vibes about this place, and I've learned from long and bitter experience to put a great deal of trust in my intuition.
But in case anyone missed it, just let me say again that it was the cheapest place on offer in Halifax. It wouldn't do for me, even though I'm on a limited budget, but there's no reason at all why anyone else should be put off by my comments where economy might be a serious consideration. Like I said earlier, these are comments, not criticisms and if you are looking for the cheapest possible accommodation you need to be prepared for things like this and take them in your stride.


All the motels in Halifax seem to be out on the Bedford Parkway and so I directed myself out there. I'd stayed at a decent economy motel down there in 2003 and so I would go and look it up.

But strange, this SatNav. I've just noticed that in this urban environment, every now and again it won't give me a left turn across the traffic. It wants me to go back around a right-hand block. How bizarre.

On the Bedford Parkway I passed the motel where I stayed the time before. I was fine there in 2003 and so that was where I was intending to stay but as I missed the turning I carried on up the road to find somewhere to turn round. And just up here was another motel.

travelers motel bedford parkway Halifax nova scotia canada october octobre 2010

Now this place, the Traveler's Motel, didn't look all that bad from the outside and so I reckoned that I would go and make certain enquiries. I may as well be adventurous and try somewhere new for a change if conditions are right. I can't remember now how much they wanted for a room - $59 plus taxes rings a bell. That seemed to me to be quite a reasonable deal and so I booked myself in.

And a good call it was too. A little tatty around the edges but what the heck - it isn't the Hilton (and even they aren't what they used to be, either) and compared with what I've paid elsewhere it represented good value for money. No complaints from me. In fact they can leave the place and the decor exactly as it is and I wouldn't mind one bit, as long as they left the price exactly where it is as well.

I fixed up a meal in my slow cooker (and wasn't that a good investment too?) for later and had a shower to freshen myself up. I'm off out in a bit for a razzle on the town.


And what with all of my exertions of today, and my long and healthy evening stroll around the city that evening, I was tired and hungry. Back at the motel I polished off my beans and pasta from the slow cooker and it was then that I noticed a little ... well ... issue.

If you've been following my adventures for some time you may well remember my visit to Cheyenne in Wyoming in 2002 when I arrived there in the dark. By cruel misfortune, with not being able to see the surroundings, I'd managed to pick a motel that backed onto the main railway line between Chicago and the Pacific ports, with the result that I didn't have a moment's sleep due to all of the trains, a level crossing and the sirens of the trains as they approached the aforementioned. Ever since then I decided that I would do my utmost to arrive at a motel while there was still light so that I could check the surroundings.

And yes, it was still daylight when I arrived at this motel so how I failed to notice the main railway line that runs right at the back of my room, going from one of Canada's most important ports all the way to the industrial hinterland, I really have no idea.

The first train going past was quite a surprise - the second was a disappointment and the third was depressing. What happened after that I can't really say for I went stark out and that was that until the following morning.



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