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In Search Of... Polar Bears

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As a kid growing up in the Caribbean I had an unusual pet, a polar bear. Now as an adult I want to discover a little more about my childhood friend's ancestry, more than I can read about in a book or see in a zoo.

I am headed to Churchill, Manitoba in Canada. Here's my plan and I welcome your suggestions and input.

My plan so far is to fly into Winnipeg and drive up to Thompson then fly or take the train from there. In my opinion the train from Winnipeg takes too long and only runs on certain days. Surprisingly it is just as expensive or more so than flying unless you want to sit in a seat for about two days.

I imagine the drive to Thompson (8-9 hours) would be scenic and catching the train from there would be a more "bearable" ride and less expensive. Right now CalmAir is offering a $300RT price from Thompson to Churchill.

Is the first week of October good to visit Churchill for bear sightings?
What are some recommended affordable hotels or lodges?
How many days would you spend in Churchill?

For your input and suggestions, I will reward you by giving you a good tip on how to catch a polar bear :)

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