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.

8 thoughts on “Churchill

  1. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for all that you write,
    Thank you for all the knowledge that you impart,
    Thank you for all the experiences that you share.
    These all are treasured beyond what you imagine..
    Ps: I did not know about Churchill ;p
    Hope you are good and getting ready for the Philippines Trip

    • Soph: you are welcome.. To be honest, I haven’t even thought about my Philippines trip.. I am hoping that if I don’t think about it, then I won’t have to worry about not seeing my kids for two full months..

  2. happy adventures !
    whats a life without excitement.

    Enjoy your trip, and keep sharing your stories. Thats helps us live/imagine a bit of your life.

  3. Hi Sarah ,

    A quick question :

    Did you go on a tour to see the bears? Can you provide more details.

    ps: Visiting the blog after so long , and just caught up with so many updates – all good 🙂

    • Aditi: Nah, I don’t do well with group tours.. I prefer to do things my way 🙂 There are only two ways you can get to Churchill. Fly from Winnipeg or train from Winnipeg. You can also drive to Thompson, leave the car at the railway stn and then take the overnight train to Winnipeg. In winter, you will need to go in one of the tours from Churchill to see the bears, as they will follow the ice to the ocean to hunt for seals.. In summer the bears are on land (hence the reason why they have jails for bears) I would suggest visiting Churchill in the last week of August, as there is a high chance of seeing bears, belugas and northern lights in one trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *