From 0 to 100% polar bears in 36 hours! For months we planned our trip to Churchill to see the polar bears. There are plenty of other things to see here too; the aurora borealis effect, the treeless tundra, the beluga whale migration, and the other white creatures who call the arctic home, but most people who come to Churchill Manitoba Canada...in November, come to see the polar bears. The polar bears migrate this way to the Hudson Bay as they wait out mother nature until the bay freezes over and they begin their feeding frenzy on little seal blubber bombs out on the ice all winter. One of the more "accessible" places to see polar bears, with only a 2 and half hour flight from Winnipeg, none the less, our trip took 36 hours to get from our home to see our first wild polar bears, even though it was only 6 1/2 hours in the air.
We were stuck at 0% polar bears at Logan airport, when our flight was canceled and the $15 meal voucher didn't cover the cost of 1/2 a Legal Test Kitchen lobster roll. Six hours in Toronto, we were at 50% polar bears, waiting for the last flight to Winnepeg which we spent binge watching tv series we save for times just like these. At 1 AM, we checked into the Ft Garry Hotel in Winnepeg, and the helpful Natural Habitat folks, who were running our trip, made sure there wasn't another thing we needed to worry about! We were easily at 75% polar bears...there was even a replica of the polar bear statue from the Musee D'Orsay in the lobby!
A charter flight arranged by Nat Hab got us to Churchill, were we checked into the rustic Seaport Hotel. Although it's said polar bears are often seen on the way into town from the airport, we didn't, but we felt about 95% polar bears. We were certain our evening trip out onto the tundra would turn up some bears. Wildlife is never promised on these kinds of trips, the animals are not on the payroll, but an incredible journey into an other worldly arctic ecosystem and a delicious dinner in the specially designed "polar rovers" was!