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Sunday 4 Feb 2007
Toronto, Canada

Snowboarding FTW!!!

Yay.. Ireland FTW! We beat the Welsh sheep-shaggers in a well played rugger game: 19-9.

Start was a bit rough - at one point Wales were ahead (shock horror), but the Irish lads pulled through better in the 2nd half! Onward to the Grand Slam!

'Twas quite a challenge trying to get to view the game here though. It was on at 3pm at home which was 10am here. No pubs were open at that time, and even those that were open were unlikely to be showing anything other than Superbowl previews (which is on tonight incidentally!).

I tried connecting to the BBC and RTE websites to catch a live video feed of the game, but they were restricted to the UK and Ireland viewers respectively. Out of frustration I was about to give up when I rememered one thing: I had Remote Desktop access to one of my boss' computers back in Ireland!

Sure enough, I logged in and managed to connect to the BBC video feed, which was THEN streamed back to me via the remote pc. I then had a separate website I opened up locally to get the RTE commentary since I had no sound with the video.

So I got to watch the game on a BBC video with Irish commentary from an apt in Toronto!
The Internet is bloody amazing thing Cheesy

Yesterday, Paul and myself FINALLY got a chance to try out this snowboarding lark!!!
We got a lift there by one of Paul's buds, Mark, and Mark's girlfriend, Julia.

The drive to Mount St Louis from TO was about 1.5 hours. All the snowboarding spots are quite far out from the city, hence why I've had to wait for an opportunity to get a lift like this before I could go.. there doesn't seem to be any regular bus service, which is odd.
There's a chance for an entrepreneurial soul if EVER I saw one! I'm sure most people in Toronto would use a dedicated cheap ski-bus service if there was one.

No sooner had we paid our fees, got fitted up (I had to wear size 13 boots and an XL helmet, plus an XL board, which made it a little slower for me to get sorted), than we were off on our first lesson with a very young guy called Evan.

His years belie his experience though, cuz he was very good and he had us up to the top of the slope and boarding by ourselves within 50 mins.. it's actually really quite easy to learn!!! Obviously I fell on my ass more times than I care to remember (and also on my knees which became very sore, very quickly).

We must have gone up and down those beginner slopes about 12 times over the next few hours.

We stopped for lunch which turned out to be a really bad idea because getting back on the slopes straight after was almost impossible. Had no energy whatsoever. All of us felt it! There's a tip for ya: don't eat a heavy lunch unless you're finished boarding for the day. It's an empty-stomach-only sport!

I eventually crashed pretty badly though. My hard wristprotector smashed into my weak rib at exactly the same spot where I was hit before (I almost cracked my rib badly cycling in Dublin 2 months ago). The pain was pretty unbearable and I was freaked out that I had broken it, but thankfully it was just bruised.

The problem was that, unlike earlier in the day, the snow had hardened with the ensuing freezing -22C winds and so made the snow very sore to land on.

Before I go back boarding again, I'm gonna kit up with a backbone-protector, knee pads, and some sort of upper-body padding.. seriously! It can be frickin dangerous Wink

My new 400 dolla jacket which I got on sale (still a LOT cheaper than you'd pay for it at home), worked a treat though. Plus my new boarding pants I got for 50 in a (better) sale (reduced from 290!). Waterproof, breathable, plus keeping ya warm despite being so light. I could also carry me camera n stuff in the jacket which was cool.

Anyhoo.. Paul and I are addicted to snowboarding. I overheard an attendant at the place mention that there was SOME sort of greyhound bus that leaves the place.. I'd be eager to know if there is a bus that GOES there too...

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Travel blog by peterforan

Lake Louise (with ice!)

Lake Louise (with ice!)

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