Travel Your Way

Rhinocarhire have a photography travel competition running at the moment which closes on 31st October, so hurry if you want to join in! You don’t have to be nominated to join in, but you do need to nominate five other bloggers on your entry.

Our competition is based around modes of transport and how you travel, whether by road, air, rail or sea, we want you to put your creative thinking hats on and show us your best snaps of each (or as many as you wish) types of transport you’ve encountered. Whether it’s from a recent trip or one from the past, we just want to see how you travel.” Continue reading Travel Your Way

A leisurely drive up the Sunshine Coast

The last of my travels in British Columbia: this is the route up the Sunshine Coast on the west coast of the mainland, north of Vancouver, which we took to reach Vancouver Island in 2005. It is a truly lovely drive along with a couple of short ferry rides across the fjords along this spectacular coastline. We were fortunate to be able to buy a CirclePac ticket from BC Ferries which gave us discounted fares on the routes up the coast and to and from the island. I believe we also got discounted fares travelling to the smaller islands such as Hornby, Denman and Cormorant Island (Alert Bay). Sadly this ticket was discontinued in 2011. However, it is still a route I recommend for the scenery alone. Continue reading A leisurely drive up the Sunshine Coast

Alert Bay V: The World’s Tallest Totem Pole

world's largest totem poleThe World’s tallest totem pole is located at the northern end of Cormorant Island next to the Big House. This pole stands 173 feet tall and unlike most totem poles which are specific to one family the figures on this pole represent some of the tribes of the Kwakwaka’wakw. From the top down are the following figures:

  • Sun Man: crest of the Quatsino tribes
  • Kolus: crest of the Kwagu
  • Whale: crest of the Gwa’sala-‘Nak’waxda’xw
  • Old Man: crest of Turnour Island
  • Wolf: crest of the Dzawada’enux
  • Thunderbird: ‘Namgis tribe
  • Dzunukwa: crest of the Mamalilikala
  • Bear holding a salmon, a raven and a Dzunukwa holding a copper. Continue reading Alert Bay V: The World’s Tallest Totem Pole

Alert Bay IV: U’mista Cultural Centre

The Meaning of U’mista

In earlier days people were sometimes taken captive by raiding parties. When they returned home, either through payment of a ransom or by a retaliatory raid, they are said to have “u’mista”. The return of treasures from distant museums is a form of u’mista. Continue reading Alert Bay IV: U’mista Cultural Centre

Alert Bay III: Origin of the ‘Namgis

Long ago when the world was young, after the great flood, a giant halibut (so big you could stand on it) lived at Xwalkw (the mouth of the Nimpkish River). One day he swam ashore and transformed himself into a human. He built a house and made huge beams to be placed on top of the vertical poles, but he was unable to lift them into place. As he worried about his problem he heard a noise and turned around to see a Thunderbird alight on a huge rock.

This supernatural bird offered assistance and grasping a beam in its talons, flew into the sky and put the beam in position. Then he descended and removed the Thunderbird mask and costume and ordered them into the sky saying “You shall never flap your great wings to cause thunder, nor flash your great eyes to cause lightning, only when death comes upon a prince or princess of my descendants.”

He then announced that he would be the brother of the first man and began to build a house for himself. This is why the ‘Namgis have the right to display the Thunderbird and the Halibut as their crests.