When I was growing up, my father had a running subscription of a construction magazine. I don’t remember the name of the magazine. Although I couldn’t really read English in those days, I remember going through the magazine and looking at the photographs. (Probably the reason why I am still curious about heavy construction equipment, big rigs etc) In one such issue there was a photograph of a white bear. and underneath that there was one word I could read.. Churchill.. and I knew as a Malayalee what it meant in Malayalam. Pallikkunu.. In those days, you learned by translating anything and everything. I used to attend Ascension Church service and had friends living in Baker hill.. and pallikkunnu made so much sense to me.
Years later, I read about Polar bears and the pallikkunnu of my childhood and I promised myself that I will visit this place.
So Yaya and I went to Toronto and from there took the Via train to Churchill. It took 2 days to get to Winnipeg with an overnight stop there and another two days to get to Churchill. Being the smart people that we are, we booked and paid for the train ticket before finding the accommodation. We were in full panic mode when all the google search for accommodation came up with no vacancy. Eventually I called the visitor information in Churchill and got them to help me find accommodation.
We arrived in Churchill in the morning and I really wanted to go for a walk. So, I went. 5 minutes after I started my walk, I found a signboard that said “Stop, do not walk here, Polar bears”. Suffice to say that I didn’t walk back to where I was staying, I ran.
Next day, I hired a car, which turned out to be a truck that was massive in size. Yaya looked at the truck and at me with a kind of look that said “Jeez., should I trust mom driving a massive truck?” Couple of minutes after I started driving the truck, Yaya started to scream.. apparently I was driving on the wrong side of the road 🙂 Fortunately the town is really small and there were not many cars on the road.
Yaya and I saw hundreds of Beluga whales in close proximity(as in we could almost touch them), we saw the northern lights dancing in the night sky, we saw a polar bear mother and a cub and Krumholz effect.
So, I went to pallikkunnu.. and had a really good time.