Well, this is a first. We are on a tiny plane from Winnipeg to Churchill. Dan and I were the last to board, seating was unreserved. We have the front four seats to ourselves – emergency row exits. In the back of the plane a dog is yapping. The propellers are spinning noisily outside my window. I worry that I’ll get sliced in half if it were to break free, but then the plane would probably fall out of the sky so I wouldn’t live long to worry about recovery. Dan is very excited at our impending snorkel with beluga whales. I wish I could share in his excitement.
I’m not sure why but as soon as I click my seatbelt on in a plane I have less of an attention span than a toddler. I started off watching The Triplets of Bellevue on my laptop, a quirky French animation film I saw years ago when I worked in a contemporary dance company and found super interesting but have yet to manage to watch the whole thing right through since. I made it a third of the way before I changed to Kath & Kim. I ran out of episodes and, since I hadn’t checked all my iTunes purchases had synched was forced to fast-forward through the rest of the season of Spartacus (aside from the occasional male nudity it doesn’t hold my interest slightly). I began to watch Serenity then realised Dan had his iPad so played Civilisation.
We landed in Churchill and I was reminded of the airports in Galápagos and Rockhampton; tiny, remote and foreign (yes, Rockhampton is in North-East Queensland but it feels foreign). Dan has done a lot of work organising our holidays while we live in Canada and I’m grateful but I chuckled when we arrived and had no clue how to get the 7 km to the hotel. There were no taxis outside. Our cell phones had no signal. Thankfully a phone on the wall directly calls each hotel and somebody came to collect us. I was surprised that the town wasn’t covered in snow and crawling with polar bears but apparently it is summer. There were two other Aussies in the airport. We couldn’t get further away from home yet we still find other Australians.
We walked around in the afternoon, ate burgers at Gypsy’s Bakery, before checking out the Parks Canada information. I bought a cap from the rugged Canadian behind the counter who could’ve sold me anything, I couldn’t help but stand slack-jawed. The woman behind the counter explained to Daniel the entire map of the town, circling everything she described with a highlighter. I found her explanation a bit redundant as buildings are shaded according to a clearly coded legend in the corner. Now our map is circled in bright pink marker. We’ve been advised against walking at dawn and dusk for risk of actual real live polar bears!
I slept in our hotel room this afternoon; we’ve got two double beds so have gone all 1950s married couple and have our own beds.