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Monday Travel Update – Labor Day in Toronto Edition

Bush plane in Manitoba

Bush plane in Manitoba

I’m currently in Toronto for a few days before heading off to Spain on Wednesday.

The last week I was up in Northern Manitoba as a guest of Churchill Wild and Manitoba Tourism to see polar bears in the wild. The lodge I was at was a remote place on the shore of Hudson Bay, about 20 miles from the settlement of York Factory. The lodge was so remote that we had to fly in via bush plane. There are no roads leading there and given the wet conditions of the surrounding landscape, it would be very difficult to build one even if they wanted to.

Every summer after the ice melts from Hudson Bay, polar bears will head for the shore and try to conserve energy until the next winter when they can get back on the ice and hunt seals.

We would go out every day on ATV’s and look for polar bears along the shore of the bay. Polar bears aren’t social creatures, so finding them wasn’t always easy. I was amazed at the ability of our guides to spot them from enormous distances across the flat landscape.

Finding them wasn’t always easy. One afternoon we were totally shut out. Another day we were rained in. We had one day of very warm temperatures and two days of rather cold conditions.

I am not sure how well my photos turned out. I haven’t looked at them in Lightroom yet. Once I get them process I’m sure you will start seeing them on the website :)

Sponsor Updates

TripIt I’ve several flights over the last few weeks in the process of going down to Mexico and then back north to Canada. During that time I noticed something about the gate changes I had for my flights: TripIt Pro notified me about the gate change, as far as 30 minutes before the monitor at the airport updated! It is crazy how fast I get flight updates via TripIt. I’ve been on planes that have landed and the moment I turn my phone I have an email from TripIt telling me that my flight has landed and where I need to go for my next flight or baggage claim.

Scottevest There is stuff brewing over at Scottevest. One of my favorite products, the Fleece 5.0, is scheduled for an upgrade soon. I’ve been wearing my current Fleece 5.0 for almost 2 years now and it is still going strong. I had it on all last week as I was taking polar bear photos in Northern Manitoba. I’m almost as excited about the the Fleece 7.0 as I am about the new iPhone! (thankfully I don’t have to choose and the two go great together!)

G Adventures As you probably know (or I at least hope you do) G Adventures offers hundreds of trips around the world on all 7 Continents. Here are top 5 trips I want to take with G Adventures:

  • Trans Mongolian Express Go by train from St. Petersburg to Beijing though the steppes of Central Asia and Mongolia. I’ve never been to Russia, Mongolia or China.
  • Bhutan Adventure Bhutan is one of the least visited countries in the world. In fact, you can’t enter the country unless you are on a tour or have a guide.
  • Iran – Discover Persia As an American, I can only visit Iran on a tour and with a guide. I’d love to explore the country and see the ruins of Persepolis.
  • West Africa Cruise – Cape Town to Dakar One of the most extensive cruises that G offers. The M/S Expedition is doing an 11 country cruise along the West Coast of Africa in 2013. I very much would like to go.
  • Ultimate Africa You start in Cape Town and end in Nairobi and in the process visit Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. Not shabby.

What I’m Listening To

I’ve very fussy about my music. I tend to listen to things which hardly anyone else I know listens to: Philip Glass, Max Richter, John Adams, etc. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered Zoe Keating last week. She is a cellist who uses live electronic sampling to build rhythms and harmonies in her music by herself and in real time.

I’m clearly not the only one who likes her work as she has over 1 million Twitter followers :)

Here is a performance she did for the Australian Broadcasting Company of her composition “Lost”.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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