Lazy Bear Lodge
Travel Blogs from Churchill
As expected, we were awake bright and early - very early in fact as we were still on UK time. So I was out of bed before 6.00am and had the coffee percolator on whilst taking a long, hot shower.
We had the morning to spend in Winnipeg as we were due to fly up to the remote little town on Churchill, on the edge of the Hudson Bay, just after …
... to meet in the sports bar for our final drinks and our good byes. Most of the group turn up and a great night is had. We exchange contact details, toast ourselves for a successful and enjoyable trip and go off to our rooms as most have early flights back home......yours truly is staying in Winnipeg until 2:30pm tomorrow....so I might venture back into downtown Winnipeg........why.....for something to do.....not a city I would put on ones must see ...
... getting ourselves loaded up on the tundra buggy Liz a girl from New York does not handle the unbelievable winds that are currently being experienced in Churchill and the door that leads to the entry to the tundra buggy from the sleeping quarters is fling out of her grasp and smacks her squarely on her nose and throws her off balance, and, being on an icy surface she loses her footing and tears open a wound on her left hand. As a result she is not coming with the tour group, but instead ...
... to follow him and watch him bathe in the Hudson Bay. It was entertaining watching him dive into the ocean and come up for air. He was like a little child taking a much enjoyed swim. As he came out of the water he shook like a wet dog to dry off and then it was playtime again.
We watched his second bout of playtime with the other bear. It was very entertaining as they sparred with each other...it was sort of like watching Wrestle Mania :) They ...
... Point. We travelled no faster than 5km p/h over bumpy terrain and even got briefly stuck in a giant sized hole in the snow...but our buggy, which resembles a monster truck but 4 times as big, found its way free and kept us on our journey.
At 6pm we finally arrive in the pitch darkness to the lodge and are shown our way around what will be our home for the next 6 days. It consists of sleeping quarters with showers & toilets, a lounge and a ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
We spent three unforgettable nights here on a polar bear adventure. From our arrival in Churchill on a tiny plane into a tiny airport, we were mesmerised by the town's stark charm. Our first impression of the lodge was that it looked warm and inviting in the surrounding frost and snow, like the front of a Christmas card.
The lodge is a traditional log cabin hand-crafted by the owner, Wally, who personally drove us in an old former school bus from the airport. As soon as you enter you are enveloped in a delicious warmth from the wood burning stove in the lounge area / reception. Checking in was very easy and we were allocated room 10 on the ground floor. The guy on the front desk, Joel, was very friendly and helpful; nothing was too much trouble.
Our room was simply furnished but very cosy, with an ensuite bathroom which had a powerful shower with lots of good hot water - bliss to come back to after a day in the biting cold on the subarctic tundra!
We ate in the lodge's restaurant and that in itself was an experience - where else do you see dishes on the menu like arctic char, braised caribou, roasted musk ox? The meals were home cooked and delicious. The service was a little on the slow side and that is my only criticism which I am reluctant to make as they are all such nice people! Maybe an extra couple of serving staff are needed? The food was definitely worth waiting for though. It's also worth noting that the lodge does not serve alcohol, but we overcome this by visiting the local liquor store and sneaking our own bottle into the dining room, to which they turned a blind eye. ;-)
After dinner we tended to venture out up the road for a few beers at the Seaport Hotel which had a understated bar at the back with live music and very friendly locals.
The organised excursions at the Lazy Bear are fantastic; the first day we spent the morning Huskie dog sledding (brilliant!) with a cultural and historic tour of Churchill in the afternoon. The best two full days were spent out in the Tundra Buggy polar bear spotting - what an experience! We saw nine bears in total, two of them so close that you could have reached out and touched them (not a good idea, ha ha). Seeing a real, live polar bear in the wild was utterly entrancing; it actually brought the tears to my eyes. What beautiful, majestic animals.
All too soon it was time to leave the Lazy Bear Lodge and we really were quite sad to do so. It was the taste of the simple life and an exquisite memory that will stay with us always.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.