Monday, January 18, 2010

Manic Cinq (Five) - Wilderness Oasis

After leaving the St. Lawrence seaway, we were really traveling in an area with few traces of human activity beyond the road itself and the massive power transmission lines. We'd already had a few nights along the trip where we wondered if we would end up spending the night in the car. As it got close to sunset, the map showed nothing much in the way of towns where we were. We began discussing how we'd stay warm in the car since we had not brought camping gear - sleeping bags, tents, etc.

As we were thinking about how we were going to manage our night, how far to drive, etc, we rounded a bend in the road and felt that God had really provided for us. We had reached Manic Cinq, a wonderful oasis for weary travellers. There was a gas station convenience store, a restaurant, and best of all a motel!

My barely adequate French got us a room and ice. We were placed in the upper set of rooms, and the lady wanted to be sure that I knew where to go. Since I spoke and understood French so poorly, she went outside and gestured to let me know how to drive up to our room. I could hear them chuckling about my French, but, hey, I could ask for a room, tell them I wanted to buy ice . . . there was SOME communication going on in French. And since, they knew no English, it was a good thing I knew a tiny bit of French.

We got settled in, ate dinner from our ice chest. Henry had been meeting neighbors in the parking lot. He came in and told me someone wanted to use our computer to make reservations for the ferry. (YES, in this remote location we had internet!!!!!!) When they came in, I started addressing them in French, wondering if we'd be able to communicate well enough for them to do what they needed. They immediately said, "English, English!!!!" Turns out they were from Wisconsin. And it was such a God sent blessing that our paths crossed here. They had been planning their Labrador - Newfoundland trip. They not only had information, but maps and official tour guide books from the provinces. And, they shared some of their resources with us!!!! Since we had not known at the beginning of the trip that we were actually going to go to Labrador and Newfoundland, I hadn't done my homework. We saw and enjoyed our journey through these provinces so much better because we met these great folks from Wisconsin. After talking with them and getting their reservation for the ferry booked, I got our ferry reservations booked as well. We would make the crossing a couple of days before them, because we were on a tighter time schedule.

The other neighbors lived in Churchill Falls, Labrador. They also spoke English. We learned a lot about what life is like in a company town in northern Canada.

Our accomodations were wonderful. The hotel is actually a series of modular units, brought in fully furnished, and ours appeared brand new.

The table and sitting area were great for the evening internet and meals. The beds were comfortable. Even the bathroom was nicely appointed.

In retrospect, it isn't surpising that there would be such a well equiped stop along this wilderness dirt road. This is the only land route to Labrador. It is a long way from the St. Lawrence to Fermont, Quebec and Labrador City. This is a much needed stop for rest, bathrooms, and gasoline.

Our fellow travelers warned us that there were no bathrooms between Manic Cinq and Fermont!

Our Wisconsin friends took a tour of the Daniel Johnson Dam and power generating plant. Regretfully, we knew that our time to see Labrador, Newfoundland and the other maritime provinces was short. But this way station truly out in the middle of nowhere holds a spot in my heart - friendly people, good night's sleep, a tiny piece of civilization in the northern wilderness. What a blessing it was!

1 comment:

Snoring Prevention Device said...

nice rooms.its was good to be here.its very cozy.