Day one in Churchill, Manitoba

Flying out of Winnipeg early this morning with just three fellow passengers signaled the start of my adventure in Churchill, Manitoba. Churchill Airport is a surprisingly lavish affair, certainly considering the few people arriving and departing the terminal building. The ten-minute taxi ride into town sped along roads virtually clear of snow and completely free of polar bears.

A typical street in Churchill
A typical street in Churchill

Thankfully the temperatures were still unseasonably high, clocking in at around -5°C plus a little wind-chill, so ambling around town was pleasant enough. With a population of just under 1,000, the town is easy to explore in a few hours including visits to the Eskimo Museum and the well-presented local history museum located in the old rail station building. I must confess to being quite scared of bumping into a polar bear. Warnings are posted everywhere and there’s a polar bear watch throughout the town 24 hours a day. Walking back from the restaurant, several blocks, just a moment ago was particularly scary when a fox leapt across the street a few feet in front of me. I suddenly had a feeling that next up might be a polar bear roaming about, so I quickened my pace, especially as the wind chill had dropped the temperature to -19°C.

Looking out towards Hudson Bay

Looking out towards Hudson Bay

Tomorrow is an early start for my Tundra Buggy tour. That’s when I want to see the polar bears!

>> See my set of Churchill photos on Flickr


About Paul Chibeba

Paul Chibeba now lives in London and works for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew after having spent nine years living and working in New York City.
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