Senior Travel to Nunavik, Timeless Beauty in the Arctic

Oct 19th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

A story about Nunavik in The Week magazine (Vol. 10, Issue 474, p. 31) recently caught my eye.  It is a cool article and caught my attention as a perfect adventure visit for adventurous seniors.  They even have an Official Information for Tourist Website.  So there… it has to be worthy of a visit, right?

Nunavik is called a place of “Timeless Beauty” and is located north of the 55th parallel in the Arctic area of Quebec, on a large and barely inhabited virgin territory. Some 11,000 Inuit, Cree, Naskapis and Quebeckers (no relation to me!) share a 507,000-square kilometer territory in 13 Nordic villages and 1 Cree village. This region is known for its beautiful landscapes, even though broad-leaved trees are rare. Here, wild tundra or taiga and boreal forests are mainly populated with pine trees, spruce, aspen trees, poplar trees and larch.

Still wonder where it is located?  Me too?  This map is a Locational Map – Circumpolar Map showing Numavik.  The communities are between 1,000 and 1,900 kilometers north of Montreal.  All but three of these communities have less than 1,000 inhabitants. The largest communities are Kuujjuaq, Puvirnituq, and Inukjuak.  For you geographers, Nunavik covers

the northern part of the Nitassinan Peninsula, as well as a large number of North American Arctic islands north of Nitassinan and Hudson Bay.

Nunavik is Quebec’s arctic region and is an immense, pristine territory. Imagine 507,000 square kilometres of truly wild tundra, taiga forest, scenic mountains, majestic rivers and countless lakes! This unspoiled region is home to a rich array of plants, fish and other wildlife, each species uniquely adapted to the North.  There can not be many places on Mother Earth like this one. The territory enjoys many rivers and lakes, providing fisherman with diversified species in abundance.

Here the locals “live in harmony with nature.” Inuit and their ancestors have lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years. Even though the Inuit way of life is more diversified today than in the past, hunting, fishing and gathering activities for subsistence purposes remain central to life in Nunavik. Today, the Inuit live in 14 modern villages along the coasts of Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay. While the people’s mother tongue and regular language of communication is Inuktitut, many Inuit speak English as a second language and some French as well (so take me along with you, d’accord?).  National Geographic has these photos to share.

For the past 4,000 years, Nunavik has been inhabited by people whose ancestors travelled from Asia via the Bering Strait. Still nomads, the Inuit gradually began to settle barely two generations ago. Since the 14 villages are not linked by road, inhabitants make extensive use of ATVs and snowmobiles. But to get from one village to another an airplane is essential!

If you are senior interested in hunting or fishing, here is an invitation for you to check out.   Nunavik Adventures features Quebec/Labrador Caribou hunts in the Fort Chimo Area of Ungava Bay.  They  boast excellent camps and personnel with great successes. You can also fish for Arctic Charr, Brook and Lake Trout in uncharted lakes. Senior outdoor folks, this could be a true adventure of a lifetime.  Nunavik’s wide expanses lend themselves well to expeditions led by guides who really know the territory. Its outfitting operations enjoy a worldwide reputation for caribou hunting and Arctic char, Atlantic salmon, lake trout, northern pike and yellow walleye fishing.

In Tasiujaq, you can see exceptional tides at the Bassin aux Feuilles (also known as Leaf Basin). In March 2002, the highest tide ever recorded on the planet was seen here.

Nunavik is home to a wide array of extraordinary natural attractions. The Pingualuit crater, blasted in existence eons ago by a meteor strike, was recently named a national park. The crater is 2.11 mi. in diameter contains exceptionally pure water and is one of the deepest lakes on earth.  In Nunavik  you will find the endless silence of the tundra, the thundering hooves of immense caribou herds, the dancing northern lights and the continual drifting pack ice. Facebook has an “adventure challenge” focusing on this area.  It is fun to check out the various topics offered here.

I hope by now that I have captured your interest in the area a bit.  My advice would be that before travelling to Nunavik, you’d be wise to contact a local tourist organization or outfitter or a travel agency that specializes in this destination.  You know by now my interests and support of travel agents.  They do a super job and can be most helpful.  jeb



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