We’ll be able to buzz around Montreal on bikes, using the bike path running along the Lachine Canal, just a few metres from our door. Montreal would be our oyster.
Cabins in the forest
As eco-nomads, we were attracted to go there by the idea of the eco-cabins. They come in three types:
- the Shiship, converted from old shipping containers, complete with compost toilet. As you can see from the photo, it doesn’t attempt to hide its origins
- the Maikan, a basic one-room cabin with no running water (no photo)
- the Mashk, a more upmarket affair with the usual mod cons – kitchen, bathroom with shower, galleried bedroom looking out onto the birch trees.
The good thing about doing a job cleaning rooms every day is that you get to know the cabins intimately! Some of the great things about them were the way they had been located round the property, so that each one was totally private, yet just a short walk from the main building and its facilities. They each had outside space, with a camp-fire/grill set up and seating.
The cabins feel very much in harmony with the surrounding trees and wildlife. Chipmunks give their warning calls as you pass by, rabbits and foxes are close.
However, like our own compost toilet at home, which we gave up on in the end, the toilets in the Shiships struggle to cope. The fruit flies move in and multiply at an astonishing rate, meaning there’s no choice but to use toxic chemicals to get rid of them. Exactly what you don’t want to do.
I’m sure there are compost toilet models that work better, notably those with a large underground pit that can be rotated, rather than a removable drawer, as here. The owners of the resort are committed to improving things and finding solutions, and I am confident they’ll do so.
More on the eco-resort – and on what we’re up to in Montreal at the moment – soon.
Any comments on glamping, compost toilets or anything else welcome. Let us know what you think!
Staying (and working) at a motel on an island, the Ile d’Orleans, which is very obviously geared towards tourism, has got me thinking more about image recently. Filling your motel rooms, getting people to come in for tastings of your local wine, cheese and cider – it’s all about presenting the right façade. And it’s true, there are some beautiful vistas of the countryside and the river. And there are delicious local products. The sign outside the local service station/general store is enticing:
Inside, you do find local beer and chocolates. But also a lot of overpriced junk food. It’s a service station.
I was thinking that maybe, à la Facebook, this blog too has been guilty of presenting a sanitised version. For example, sunset from the motel terrace:
Actually, I had to cross the road to get this shot, because this is the actual view, complete with cables (different time of day, obviously):
And at eight in the morning I recorded on my phone 8 vehicles passing within 50 seconds.