Day 1: Mondays, July 19 and 26, August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2021
(Natashquan - Harrington Harbour - Natashquan and activities on site)
Note for the day before your departure: depending on availability* at Natashquan, we can (for a supplement) include dinner and overnight stay from Sunday to Monday am, the day of your departure by plane. Otherwise, you will have to leave early from your lodging, previously booked in Rivière-au-Tonnerre (base of our cooperative agency), in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan or in Havre-Saint-Pierre (always according to availability) to be at the Natashquan airport at 9am at the latest. If you stayed the day before in Rivière-au-Tonnerre, calculate a 3-hour drive (so departure at 6am). Otherwise, you should allow 115 minutes (from Havre-Saint-Pierre) to 140 minutes (from Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan) and make sure you have the road CD or the USB road key "Sur la route de Natashquan" to enhance your audio tour. There is no cell phone service on the road, except between Mingan (Ekuanitshit) and a few kilometers after Havre-Saint-Pierre. This being noted, here is your program from Natashquan.
Your departure from Natashquan on Air Liaison is scheduled for 9:50 am. You should arrive at the local terminal one hour before your departure time. Your car will be waiting for you in the parking lot adjacent to the airport (the time you will be in the Lower North Shore as you are leaving this morning the Middle North Shore, more precisely, the Minganie region, to literally go "down" the Gulf of St. Lawrence).
Your flight takes you over the pretty little village of Kegaska (end of route 138 since 2013) and the village of Romaine (Innu community of Unamen Shipu, the most populous east of Sept-Îles, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam). You land in Chevery in time for lunch. You will take a local cab to transfer to the ferry from Chevery to Harrington Harbour Island. Ferry time can vary between 45 to 75 minutes depending on sailing conditions. From this moment on, a different pace of life awaits you as you step onto the Harrington dock. Your hostess, owner of the lodge where you will stay for the next three nights, is waiting for you. Once settled in, you will have the time to orient yourself in the typical village and to integrate gently into your new environment.
Around the dinner table, at supper time, you will have the opportunity to be served a hearty meal (included) of fresh seafood from the local seafood processing cooperative; a cooperative you will have the chance to visit during your stay. You are definitely in a maritime environment and in a town that lives by fishing.
After dinner, a short walk (maybe?) at the end of this day of travel followed by a good and peaceful night of rest.
* The availability of lodging in Natashquan cannot be guaranteed due to an overcrowding of the tourist clientele compared to the available lodging in the summer season 2021. We will check for you.
Day 2: Explore your host village, Harrington Harbour.
After your breakfast (included), you will meet your local guide for a guided tour (in English) that will be done on foot. You will be introduced to the particularities of the village, one of the thirty most beautiful villages in Quebec, with its wooden sidewalks, the Christ Church where two religions are practiced, the Jacques-Cartier monument. You will learn more about the old name of the island as Hospital Island (while waiting to talk about Dr. Grenfell), and about Marguerite's Grotto associated with the unusual story of the niece of Sieur La Roque de Roberval who, in 1540, made the crossing of the Atlantic with him. We will also take you to the beautiful interpretation center of the Rowsell House. In addition, those who have seen the film will recognize the main filming locations where a variety of actors appeared, including Raymond Bouchard, David Boutin, Lucie Laurier and Benoît Brière. Two hours are planned for this accompanied tour. Out of respect for private property, we do not go near the windows of houses on the grass or seaweed surfaces. A boat lift is located at the end of a spur of the boardwalk on the right, where you can contemplate daily life and smell the sea air. The boardwalk reaches the last houses of the village on the right. You will be surprised to see an outdoor municipal pool in this unique village in Quebec.
Back at your lodge, in good weather, a picnic basket (included) with local flavors will have been prepared for you to climb the island (note that the difference in altitude is accessible to most walkers) to enjoy the view of the Archipelago surrounding your place of stay.
Late afternoon and evening free. If, at dinner (included), you find yourself at the table with "coasters" (people from the Lower Shore), your questions will normally be followed by interesting answers about life in this region that is not only remote but also isolated from the Quebec road network. You will also learn about the ties that bind these people to Newfoundland, including the small town of Saint-Anthony.
Day 3: An escape of a few hours in Chevery, on the mainland.
We are staying on a granite island, a real rock with the constructions on stilts that this implies, with the abundant presence of lichens, mosses and small shrubs. It is also very interesting to know the Borealie that awaits us on the mainland. Typical trees and flowers of the region, a trail of great interest (4 km round trip) leading to the Nétagamiou waterfall, a long beach bordering the village. The whole thing makes us understand how we could choose to settle in this place and form a community where the regional public service is largely represented.
After breakfast at your cottage on the island, which you will have had time to get used to, you will board the ferry Les Eaux scintillantes (we hope they will sparkle for you that morning...) to discover the youngest village of the Lower North Shore established on a sandy point; a village considered an administrative center for the region, where life is good.
From Cross River (Rivière-à-la Croix) to the Nétagamiou River (in Innu Nutuakamiu meaning "river widening to form a large basin of calm water"), you will discover the natural beauties of this beautiful part of the country where the notion of time is not the same since we live in the rhythm of the seasons. In fact, depending on the season, you will be able to pick the small fruits native to the region (red seeds or Ida's vine cranberry, cloudberry or Chicoutai and wild blueberries). After your hike up the trail to see the 15-meter high waterfall and your picking, you will enjoy a lunch (schedule to be determined on the day depending on weather conditions) and hear your guide tell you a bit of history and about the way of life of the Chevery residents. You will be escorted back to the boat landing to return to Harrington Island where you will spend your last evening and night. Evening meal served at your lodge.
Day 4: Return day to Natashquan
Last breakfast at your gite. Your host drives you (your luggage) back to the dock. It's time to take the fast ferry for the fourth time (note that there is also an helicopter that transports students and islanders at certain times of the year from the heliport on the heights of the village). You will be in Chevery in time for your return flight to the village of Natashquan where Gilles Vigneault was born and spent his childhood, rarely failing to return in the summer. A village with a cultural and patrimonial vocation that you will have the opportunity to appreciate for the part of the day that you will have after your landing and according to your personal plans. You will have been introduced to the main places to visit.
Let us mention, among others, the tourist reception center, the church, the old school, the heritage site of the family of the poet and national chansonnier, the café on the beach and the restaurant on the Petite Natashquan River for your meals. Possible contacts with representatives of the Innu community of Nutashkuan. Your vehicle will be waiting for you near the airport terminal. You are 1.5 hours away from Havre-Saint-Pierre, a little more than 2 hours from Longue-Pointe-Mingan (two places from which cruises to the Mingan Archipelago Natural Park Reserve depart in good weather). The city of Sept-Iles is 4 hours away.