Travelogue Canada 3: Winnipeg – Churchill

October 2009




…but let me take a step back…

left winnipeg *yawn* and got to cute little churchill airport. shame man, you should see the little almost conveyor belt they have. it doesn’t even loop or anything, just sort of crescenty grey smile-in-motion sort of thing. anyway, does the trick, so i shouldn’t be condescending.

checked into the churchilll motel. room #17. it’s in the middle of the main <read: only=””> road in town and is lovely and clean and spartan and adequate. not even a distant relative of the Fort Garry Hotel plushness of the night before! … but (again) does the trick, so i shouldn’t be condescending.

ambled over the road to our welcome dinner at the Trader’s Table. had tomato soup starter (was either that or something called ‘salad’, so opted for the safer, more familiar option), filet mignon wrapped in bacon with roast baby potatoes for main and something unfamiliar and (compulsory) unrecognisable for pudding, which was something fruity with something baked, so dabbled with the ice-cream and left the rest largely untouched. phillipa had the salmon for main (served with a honey and soy sauce glazing) which was heavenly. have never ordered salmon before, but should have adventured it this time seeing as my steak was overdone (well, ‘done’ seeing as i had ordered it rare and it was cooked).

in bed by 21h30! new record! AND up (before alarm!) at 06h30! what is becoming of me?!

‘pancakes’ (flapjacks) and french (canadian) toast with bacon and syrup for brekkers and then (uncharacteristically) on-time for 07h45 departure for polar bear expedition.

it’s freezing cold, but nothing a pair of tights, fleece trackie pants, socks, ski socks, thermal vest, jersey, ski suit, ski boots, scarf and gloves can’t solve! got the front seat for best vantage point and spent the day ogling polar bears, arctic hares and artic foxes in the tundra, padding across frozen bodies of water, snoozing in the kelpy stuff by the water’s edge, just generally chilling and arbing about the place… and right up close to the buggies! total awesomeness! these creatures are incredible. so big and beautiful (and i STILL don’t think they’re as vicious as they’re accused of being). can’t wait to get back out there (we have town tour and dog sledding tomorrow and then back into the tundra on tuesday). phillipa’s taken a ton of really good pics with her new camera, so will bore whoever i can corner when i get the disk(s) from her.

had a laugh this morning when the tour guide was going on about how we should keep an eye out for Artesian Whales along the way. of course he was pointing at a trickling streamlet no deeper than 10 or so cms at the time, so we were marvelling at what these could possibly be, considering the possiblities of miniature this and that, the sea creatures on the back of comic books etc etc… until we realised it’s a dialect thing and he was talking about Artesian WELLS! duh! *giggle* been a running joke all day and never ceases to amuse :o)

same guide redeemed himself with a useful factoid though: eskimo is a derogatory term to the people we’ve always called eskimo. they are actually the Innuit (which means ‘The People’) and got the name from the Cree Indians who called them that based on the words in their language ‘e ski mo’ which means “eats raw meat”. tres interesant.

on the food front: delighted by another soup and sarmie combo for lunch. this time chicken noodle + turkey on portuguese roll. gotta say it for these folk, but they do understand the bread:filling ratios. very nice. very nice indeed. dinner at Gypsy’s with a tastytasty chicken cordon bleu burger and poutine (chips with melted cheese and gravy on top) and a couple of beers (Lebatts Blue)

on return to motel, made headway with Plan Niagara by befriending Doug, the dude at the front desk and (so we learned) owner of this place. and all the town’s school busses. and i say ‘all the town’s schoolbusses’ because all the tour busses are the traditional yellow schoolbusses – as well as the one which obviously transports the kids to school (189 kids in Churchill from nursery school to matric – Doug’s a veritable RainMan when it comes to this town).

so, doug’s lent us his phone, his laptop, his internet, his best advice… and i’m travelogue-ing instead of making Plan Niagara a reality. go figure.