I wrote my posts on the Tundra Lodge and we are back in Winnipeg,
so it’s time to catch up.
Wow! That kind of sums things up. We left for the airport where we took a chartered jet on Calm Airlines. So, no security, camera equipment safe, climb into and out of the airplane on the tarmac. I kind of like this bypass plan. Certainly was quicker.
Once we flew into the Churchill Airport, we loaded up to a bus that took us to the Churchill Wildlife Management sign for our “tourist” photo and then on to the polar rover. Within about twenty minutes, we saw our first polar bear. It was a long way off, but still an amazing experience. Another bear started walking across the tundra towards the second, who was sleeping on the shoreline. They never met up, but it was great to see. Then we saw a bear that was sleeping in the willows (bushes) along side the road. And this was just on the way from the airport to the lodge.
This is the first bear we saw. It was a moment that took my breath away. He was clearly at a distance, but truly magnificent.
Then, once getting to the Tundra Lodge, we spotted a bear sleeping right next to the dining room/kitchen car. It would occasionally look up. It was incredible to be twenty feet from a large polar bear. I could have watched him all night. Beautiful.
The landscape is vast, remote, and incredibly beautiful. It is snowing hard and the wind is blowing the flakes sideways. One woman asked me about taking pictures of the snow. It was only the second time in her life to see it.
As I’m writing, I’m lying in my bed which is a lower bunk in a very small room. It isn’t what I would call luxurious, but it is comfortable and meets my sleeping needs. It’s actually kind of nice to have my own room. The bathrooms are much larger than I expected and have functional toilets and hot running water. Water is at a premium here so it will be short showers.
There is a chef on the lodge and dinner was very good. We had chicken, couscous, broccoli and a tiramasu kind of dessert.
I put out my “Do Disturb” sign so that the guides would wake me up if there is any polar bear activity or northern lights, although it is a blizzard outside so the northern lights are a bit of a stretch. The lodge is swaying in the wind. Kind of like sleeping in a cradle.
There are twenty nine tourists on the lodge from mostly the USA, but also Australia and Brazil. Our guides, Bonnie and Annie, are amazing. They already know everyone’s name and go out of their way to make each of us feel welcome.
I had that incredible moment of watching the polar bear who was watching me. This is an amazing world with miraculous things. It’s part of the reason I travel. I just don’t want to miss anything.