Day 9: Inuvik

2008-07-17

Inuvik (NWT)

Wake up time : 10h00 !!! That’s a first! And it feels good!

The campsite is basic but clean, quiet and cheap! ($ 14 for 2 nights). I go to the municipal campsite to do my washing. The village is small and typical. Nothing extravagant here, but adapted to tourism. Starting with the Tourist Information Center, which is a small mine of information and people are very friendly.

I then go around the city on foot. Surprisingly, the shops offer great things and the supermarket, a good selection despite inflated prices (30 to 40%). I ended up at Moe’s to buy a sticker and at City Hall where we give a pin of the city to remember it’s the 50th anniversary.

The village is not as special as it’s location. However, it’s an example of courage and determination. I’m going to the library where influential Dick Hill is launching a book on the history of the city. He’s accompanied by a real Eskimo man and legendary explorer with whom he discussed climate change, the evolution of the village, the arrival of the white and the adaptation of the first nations. It was very interesting. I could even exchange with the author and his friend on the reasons that prompted me to come here. Obviously, I cannot resist buying the book!

Then I went to visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment, just to wee how police work here.

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I’m very well received by an officer who introduced me around and took me for a short visit. Strangely, She’s here by choice and aspires to work in areas even more remote! She must frequently make air travel even further north for temporary assignments in villages or to investigate crimes.

Surprisingly, in mid-July, there is already 1200 entries in the log book for arrests!… Population of Inuvik is 4,000 people! There are several explanations for this high number since it is obvious they have not arrested a quarter of the population! But it’s nevertheless clear that this figure shows an obvious problem of alcoholism among the Inuit population.

Thereafter, I go passed the village,  down the road, literally! The road stretches for 8 km north of Inuvik. It’s in very poor conditions. Nothing much to see here but I can say that I visited the most nordic point accessible by vehicle in my country!
What emotions! It’s well worth a beer! I go to Shiver’s, a bar surprising nice in a hotel on the main street. In fact, it’s rather a Lounge with a restaurant across the corridor. It’s clean and modern, in fact, too clean and modern, and even a little expensive for the tourist that I am ($ 10 for my small beer). I decide to go to the liquor store and get me a small bottle of wine and cook dinner at the campsite despite a cold 10 degrees because it was obvious that a meal here would have cost me a bundle!

Surprisingly, the selection of wine is good and I got myself a rewarding bottle of Argentina wine at a reasonable price! What a life!

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