Tuesday, 7 August:
Arrived at Whistler and staying at The Hilton. Beautiful room, very spacious. It even has a small kitchen. I didn’t expect this level of accommodation. It is excellent. Whistler is very pretty little village in the Scandinavian style and we are situated right in the middle of it.
Inukshuk (pron. in-ook-shook) is an Inuit word meaning “in the image of man”. Found in Canada’s far northern regions, these rock sculptures were built by the Inuit and served a variety of purposes. For travellers in a barren landscape, the Inukshuk served as a guide post – a silent message showing the correct path to follow. Some would have a longer arm indicating the direction to travel. Others had a hole in the centre – a traveller looking through the hole would see another Inukshuk in the far distance. An Inukshuk on a river bank would mark a safe fording spot. Inukshuks were also used to mark a campsite of a special spiritual place. By building a series of Inukshuk in a “V” formation, the Inuit used them to aid with the caribou hunt.
First stop was a trip to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. A fascinating look into a world where ancient ways meet modern life. The native guide gave us a very interesting insight into the history of the First Nation. We learnt so much and it was a real hands-on tour.
Later, we enjoyed a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Joining Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains, this word record-breaking engineering marvel is the highest and longest lift of its kind in the world.
While we were up there, we did one of the hikes around the peak, which was a wonderful experience and something special that I’ll never forget. We’ve had such perfect weather and it was quite hot up there. I couldn’t believe we were actually there surrounded by such beautiful mountains while we hiked (yes, hiked – I couldn’t believe we were doing that either!) around the trail. I just had to keep on stopping to take it all in.
Is everybody Australian here? And do any Canadians work here? Australian accents everywhere in Whistler! There are employment opportunities in many of the shops, but the problem is lack of accommodation. In fact, we noticed that some shops were advertising jobs + accommodation in an attempt to fill the vacancies.
The rest of the day was free to enjoy on our own and that evening we met for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Lovely meal which we enjoyed with such a nice group of people. Tomorrow we will be saying goodbye to Jeanette, our Canadian tour guide, Sheree who was the Wyndham representative and John our wonderful coach driver.