Arrived at Whapmagoostui or is it Kuujjuarapik?

Flying with Huskies in a Twin Otter

Flying with Huskies in a Twin Otter

We arrived at Kuujjuarapik, the Inuit community by the neighbouring Cree community of Whapmagoostui. This is where we will live for the next year and a half.

I took pictures, but the internet is  s o   s l o w . . .  But as soon as I can I will post them.

Our flight was late out of Montreal and was rather uneventful until the smiling fight attendant announced that we would need to land at the nearest airport, La Grande, as the plane was experiencing technical difficulties.

At La Grande, we waited at the terminal and watched from the large picture window, as our plane was towed away (scrap yard?). A group of prisoners arrived and shuffled through the waiting room in shackles, hands chained in front of them and boarded another plane. They had lots of security with them. We were offered a boxed lunch and then ushered onto a tiny twin otter propeller plane. We sat in a single row, as the other seats were raised to accommodate large crates of huskies.

Upon our arrival late afternoon, we found out our belongings were still in the south. It had been our understanding that our shipment had arrived over a week ago, and was in our new home. Our things may or may not be here in about five days. With no sheets, blankets or pots, we booked into the Nunavik Co-op Hotel. Our room overlooks Hudson Bay and has all amenities, except the toilet flush handle is missing and the TV doesn’t work. But there are extras such as condoms tucked between the shampoo and conditioner. Hmm ….

It is very bright and white outside. Even if there was a polar bear, we wouldn’t be able to see it.

During out wait at the airport at La Grande, before our arrival, we chatted with a young couple who had lived in the community. They recommended where to eat and which of the two bars in town to go to.  After settling in our room, we wandered towards the local eatery. On the way, we decided to go to the bar our traveling companions had mentioned to have a beer to celebrate our safe arrival.

A man immediately sat down with us introduced himself as King George and said he loved my blue eyes. He asked if I was Irish.

I said, “No, I am German.”

He seemed disappointed. “Did you know Hitler?” He asked.

I explained that I was born long after his death and I never really had a chance to meet him. He made a few comments about my ancestry and continued to praise my eyes and stare.

Then he turned to Andy and said “I hope she’s not offended about what I said.”

Then he shrugged. “Even if she is, what would you do about it?”

I’ve never seen a bar fight in my life and hope to never witness one. I quickly rubbed my stomach and feigned extreme hunger and insisted that Andy take me out to eat. Maybe we went to the wrong bar.  If this was the “safe” one, what is the other one like?

We headed for the little diner run by a French Canadian couple and wrote up our own order at the counter.

We finally saw our house. It’s really not bad, bright and spacious, and just needs a good cleaning. We’ll be comfortable once set up. Since all out stuff is down south, this gives me plenty of time to ready it.

I am looking across the grand bay again … still no distinguishable features. I can’t attach pictures for some reason. The hotel computer works fine tough, even though I cannot connect with my other devices.

Can’t wait to take more pictures!





6 thoughts on “Arrived at Whapmagoostui or is it Kuujjuarapik?

  1. So glad your plane succeeded in making an emergency landing. Blue eyes to your new neighbours probably look as special as red eyes would look to us! I hope you will be in your new home by tomorrow. Keep us in the loop as much as you can! Happy homewarming!

    • You know my fear of flying so well! I do feel more comfortable on small planes. When we switched to the Twin Otter, I was quite comfortable. I’ve always felt that pilots of small planes have more control and are more experienced, with the landing and liftoffs in so many small communities and the extreme weather conditions.

  2. Pretty adventurous so far! But sounds like you’ll be all settled in soon…will be eagerly awaiting those pics and your next post. Missing you already! Warm hugs to you both!

  3. Looking so forward to settling into our home later today! Our stuff has landed and the house has been cleaned and the shelves are empty! Homemade dinner will be such a treat. Our own pillows and duvets …

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