The Road to Quebec Speaking French in Matane

The Route We Took: Rte 132 E to Rte 198 W to Rte 132 W ((All roads in good condition.))

Lodging: Quality Inn, Matane, QC, CA

Food: Restaurant within the Quality Inn

Joke of the Day:

This man had constant headaches. So he went to the doctor.

He explained the situation.

His doctor said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but the only cure for this ... is ... castration. I know this is dire, so go home and discuss with your wife. Call me when you've decided what you want to do."

The man went home, and told his wife.

His wife replied, "We've had a long, happy marriage. If this is what it takes to get your headaches under control ... so be it."

He has the surgery. Afterward, he is very depressed.

His wife says, "You are moping around the house. It always cheers you up to get some new clothes, so go down to Saul your tailor and get a new suit."

So he does. He picks out a suit. Tries on the jacket; fits perfect. He says, "Ok, Saul, fit me for the pants."

Saul replies, "I don't have to fit you for the pants. I've been your tailor for years. You're a perfect 38 waist, 29 inseam."

The man says, "No, I'm not. I'm a 28 inseam."

Saul says, "Trust me. If you went around with a 28 inseam, you'd walk around with constant headaches."

These are the jokes, folks.

Our real story starts here ... Campbellton, ME to Matane, QC:

We were jarred awake when housekeeping banged on our door at 8 o’clock in the morning. We explained we were still asleep. They apologized, and moved on to bang on adjacent doors without loosing a beat.

There was no going back to sleep, and we were left to wonder who needs a wake up call.

We headed out to the petite dejeuner, and asked ourselves, “Was this piece of crappy white bread worth getting up and leaving the room.” Without hesitation we said, “No.”

Breakfast had been declared until 10:30, but clean-up commenced at 9:45. Eat your crappy white bread, and it eat it fast.

During breakfast we arranged ferry transport from Matane to Godbout after discovering that our preferred ferry was fully booked. The good news was we would be able to cross the St. Lawrence Seaway. The bad news was we would do it at 5:30 AM.

We also were able to book a room at a sister location, Quality Inn, in Matane for that night. Reviews on Google indicated it was a good place to stay even if outer appearances indicated otherwise.

Mom approached the counter with Canadian currency we discovered at my great-aunt’s house. No one recognized the bills, and so mom decided to spend them. We continue to carry the bills and change in a Denby’s box. We love you, Aunt Kate.

We hit the road late morning, drove around the town, and headed off to Gaspé Peninsula. The drive around the southern portion was quite lovely, and we stopped at a Canadian pig-pickin’ as we say in North Carolina for lunch. Cars were coming steadily, and we feared there wouldn’t be enough pig for all participants.

Lunch concluded, we were back on the road. We took Rte 132 from the other side of Campbellton, around the southeastern end of the peninsula (Percé and Roche Percé), and up to Gaspé. This was a drive mom had always wanted to take, and no wonder.

This photograph and the one at the top of the page = Roche Percé

It was quite lovely. Unfortunately, time was running short, and we concluded the best thing to do was to truncate the drive by getting on Rte 198 West rejoining 132 near L’Anse-Pleureuse.

The drive took approximately 7 hours, even after omitting Cap-aux-Os and Parc Natoinal du Canada de Forillon from the journey.

Arriving at the Quality Inn in Matane, we were pleasantly surprised. The outside of the building was clean and well maintained; based on the review, we were expecting something completely different. The lobby and reception areas were newly outfitted, and the receptionist was friendly with decent English skills. We’d already begun to wonder who wrote that review and when?

The room was one of the best of the trip to date: comfortable beds, television with channels in English, wireless Internet, and interior, as well as, exterior doors. The rest of the hotel had a lovely bar, with a projection screen television (it was the World Cup, after all), and a well-appointed restaurant. To date, this was also one of my favorite dinners. The restaurant staff, however, do not speak much English.

Back in our room, we began researching the drive to Labrador City. A little late we realize, but there we were. According to Google maps, the drive was endless. Furthermore, we discovered, the road is only occasionally paved.

By the grace of God, I discovered a Texas woman’s blog about her drive to Labrador City, and the oasis at Manic-Cinq in which she stayed. Some time and several Google searches later, we discovered two refuges near the Manic-Cinq hydro-electric facility: Motel l’Energie and Motel Relais Gabriel.

We set the room’s alarm clock and requested a wake-up call for 4:15 AM. We hit the hay early as we needed to be at the ferry terminal by 5 AM for the 5:30 departure.

Created By
Meredith Rendall


Papered Pixels Photography

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