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> iqaluit on a whim
queserasera
post Aug 21 2010, 08:35 PM
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hello there!

i'm new to this travelblog (and blogs in general)
i am searching out info on an iqaluit adventure.
if i go (on a whim) i'm wondering how to find an alternative place to stay.
the hotel listings i found are crazy expensive--do you have any suggestions for finding a homestay situation?
and for things to do while there??

is it an easy destination for last minute travel or better when more thought out?

cheers,
queserasera
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aopaq
post Aug 21 2010, 09:47 PM
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Hi and welcome to Travelpod! yes.gif

For sure, travel to Iqaluit is expensive and in particular hotel costs. There are some bed and breakfast residences but those also tend to be a bit pricey especially for budget travellers. Your best bet is to try Couchsurfing and I happen to know someone who hosts people. Not sure if you are familiar with Couchsurfing but if so and you are interested, I can pass on the name of the woman I know who not only grew up in Nunavut (even though she is non-Inuit) but who I am sure will help you have a great experience.

Whether you plan or go on a whim really shouldn't matter unless some major event is causing all the flights to be booked up. What is more important is the type of weather conditions you want to have to deal with. Be aware that in the spring, blizzards can cause flight delays and cancellations but you must be prepared for such events at any time.

If you have any other specific questions, let me know. I lived almost 14 years in Nunavut and have been to Iqaluit many times. The biggest thing you must be prepared for is the hight cost of everything!
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queserasera
post Aug 22 2010, 10:24 AM
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Good morning!

I am minimally familiar with Couchsurfing, however if the woman you know is willing to have a couch guest for a short spell that would be great. Having someone to point me in the right direction while there would be awesome too smile.gif

As for specific questions......
First, a basic one--how far is the airport? and how do I get from the airport into town?
I looked up the yesterday's daily temperature (about 5-7 degrees celcius)--but should I expect lots of wind and therefore it seeming even colder? I'm guessing longjohns are a good thing but I'm not sure if I should bring a winter coat?
Also, are there easy to find guides or tours to explore a bit of the tundra (and make it back without getting lost)?
Anything you think I should be asking, but haven't, please feel free to fill me in smile.gif

Cheers!
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aopaq
post Aug 22 2010, 11:22 AM
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I would check on the Couchsurfing website because I am sure my friend is registered there. I will send you her name in an e-mail. It is best if you connect with her yourself to check if she is available for when you plan to travel. And if not, if she probably knows other couches you may be able to crash on.

As for tours, they will also probably be expensive but as far as I know my friend has an ATV and would likely be willing to take you out of town so you can get the tundra experience. My friend would probably meet you at the airport if possible, otherwise there are taxis that used to charge a standard rate (no meters - the rate used to be about $5). The airport is even in walking distance into town as I used to do that often as well.

As for weather, it is best to layer and to expect the unexpected. Unless a blizzard is occurring, Iqaluit is not normally considered as a windy community since it is rather protected. Almost everything is in walking distance. There is a museum and of course I would check out some of the dog teams that are often not far from town. But be careful with those dog teams and if you want to chat with a female musher I know one who I gave some of my dogs to. Let me know and I can pass on her name...... she operates a touring company.

If you are into artwork, if is plentiful in Iqaluit as local artists often sell their carvings, wall hangings, prints and jewelery at local hotels and restaurants. A visit to the legislative building is a consideration and also the small community of Apex (not really much there) is also a consideration. And don't forget to try the local cuisine of arctic char, caribou, seal, and muqtuk (whale blubber).

It is a much better experience if you are able to associate with a local who can give you more insight into what is happening in a community and also make it cheaper for you.

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queserasera
post Aug 22 2010, 03:15 PM
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I checked on the couchsurfing site and found a few in Iqaluit. None, though, that appear to have grown up there--don't think your friend is registered.
Is this a safe place to pass emails through?

Thanks for the weather advice--that helps.
An ATV ride sounds great! As does your friend who is a musher. Anytime I can learn from a local I love it smile.gif
I would like to check out any museums/galleries/etc plus--is there a place to learn how some of the artwork is created? I have an aunt who is teaching me her skills at quiltmaking and would love to see artists in action.
And hear local storytellers.

I've been lucky enough to try the cuisine you mentioned (there was an Inuit student group at my university) but to enjoy local meals is definitely a plan smile.gif
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aopaq
post Aug 22 2010, 05:28 PM
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I also checked out the couchsurfing website and it appears she is no longer listed. Perhaps it is because she is travelling a lot for her work. I will try to hunt down an e-mail address and pass it on to you. I would suggest sending private info only via e-mail rather than posting it on a forum. If you click on a members username, their profile comes up with a link to send e-mails. That is how I sent you an e-mail earlier.

As for learning how to do artwork, I would check with folks at the high school or at Nunavut Arctic College. In terms of storytellers, you can see if you can get an Elder to pass on some of their stories. There has been quite a bit of story documentation done as well, although I don't know who you would talk to in Iqaluit. There are many Inuit working in the govt offices who could probably provide advice on this.

As for doing any mushing, that would not be possible unless you went in the spring and then it might be a bit expensive if you hire someone. However, my contact could definitely provide some amazing stories of the treks she has done.
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queserasera
post Aug 22 2010, 10:18 PM
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I am having some fun and some confusion learning my around this site.
I tried to send you an email but I'm thinking I may have not done so correctly.

I'm not sure how to email you from my personal email.

On another track:
If I may ask---what do you do in Nunavut?
I noticed on your profile that your profession is education. I teach in a
special section of special education and am always interested in
speaking with others who teach (in schools or elsewhere).
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