The Route We Took: Rte 138 W to Rte 389 N / E (All roads in good condition)
Lodging: Motel L’Energie, Manic-Cinq, QC, CA
Energy Motel - Manic 5, Route 389, Manic 5, Quebec G0G 1M0 (Back in the day, you couldn't find mention of them online let alone find their website!)
There is also Motel Relais Gabriel, Bassin Manic 5, Quebec G0G 1K0
Phone: (418) 589-8348 (7 rooms) We did NOT stay there.
Food: Restaurant at Motel L’Energie
Joke of the Day:
An old lady is pushing her cart through the grocery store when she sees a kid working in the produce section. She says, "Young man, where are your onions?"
The young man replies, "I'm sorry, ma'am, we don't have any onions."
The old lady goes on with her shopping. She sees the young man again, and she asks, "Young man, where are your onions?"
The young man responds a little more exasperated, "Sorry, ma'am, we don't have any onions."
The old lady resumes her shopping. A third time she happens upon the young man, and asks, again, "Young man, where are your onions?"
The young man, tired, response, "What do you get when you take the 'pot' out of potatoes?"
She replies, "-otatoes."
He asks, "What do you get when you take the 'tom' out of tomatoes?"
She replies, "-omatoes."
He asks, "What do you get when you take the 'ef; out of onions?"
Confused, she replies, "There's no 'ef' in onions."
He responds, "That's what I'm trying to tell you, there's no eff-in' onions."
These are the jokes, folks.
And now our story begins: Driving from Matane, QC, CA to Manic-Cinq,QC, CA (aka Manic 5)
Sure as sh*t the alarm clock went off, immediately followed by that damn phone. 4:15 already? Sheesh. But mom was up, and taking on the day. I reluctantly roused myself.
Bags packed, car loaded, we were off to the ferry terminal.
Our car loaded onto the ferry, we headed upstairs where breakfast was being served ... but not to us.
The interesting thing about the Matane / Godbout ferry is that you pay for it on-board after the ship has left. You have to show the *PAID* receipt before driving off the ferry. Not that we wanted to find out, but what happens if you don’t pay?
The crossing was approximately 2 hours. Luckily we had our meager provisions with us, but were eying the breakfasts of our neighboring passengers. They had Canadian currency; we did not. Mom headed to the ATM. Fruitless.
The café accepts Canadian currency, period. No American dollars and no credit cards.
We ate our mozzarella, salami, and triscuits looking out the window at nothing but fog. There was no view until we arrived in Godbout, which, let me tell you, is no view.
Once off the ferry, we drove around Godbout looking for petrol unsuccessfully. Luckily, we had enough to get us to Baie-Comeaux where we were to get on Rte 389 to Labrador City.
Arriving in Baie-Comeaux, we took the road into town thinking that would provide us with petrol and a working ATM. Boy, were we wrong. After much noodling around their clean residential area, we finally found our way to the commercial area, which was back on the highway.
We stopped for petrol, and reveled in their stocking Nesquik. Then we stopped at the grocery store for bananas, peanut butter, bread, piss-poor Canadian IPA (Keith Alexander), green pepper, maple cookies, and oranges.
Finding Rte 389 (the road from Baie-Comeaux to Labrador City) was a bit trickier because we had gotten off 138 prior to the junction of 389, and rejoined the route at a later point. But we managed to find the junction after one unsuccessful attempt.
Entering 389 there is a large highway sign with five lights. Rte 389 is divided into five imperceptible zones. What I mean is that construction / maintenance are assigned zones. It is, however, one continuous road. Each light represents one zone. If a light is blinking, there is a barrier that may or may not be passable.
Luckily for us, no such lights were blinking.
We forged ahead uncertain of what was before us.
Happily the road was paved all the way to Motel l’Energie in Manic Cinq where we had arranged for a room for the evening.
Motel l’Energie is an veritable oasis. (I CANNOT believe I did not photograph any part of it!) It comes complete with a petrol station, a restaurant, a depanneur, and motel rooms with private baths. Just beyond Motel l’Energie is the Manic-Cinq hydro-electric facility, which is quite impressive.