1. Don't assume you know your own town. Louis-the-Rhino took quite a bit of finding! He's Torbay's moving rhino named after Louis Tiffany, creator of the stained glass lamps, and I never even knew the "secret watery path" up from the zoo existed until I had to look for him. Luckily, I'd already tried out the new cycle track at the Torbay Velo Park so that gave me a clue...
|Louis is bigger than my bike!|
2. Even large, colourful rhinos can be difficult to spot if they are standing in busy surroundings. Here is Paignton's very own How Many in the middle of town, and bright and beautiful Herby hiding in the bus station - I walked right past him once and had to return at a quieter time for the photo.
|Herby waiting for a bus.|
3. Sometimes you have to be willing to go the extra mile.
These two rhinos at Kingswear steam railway station and at nearby National Trust property Coleton Fishacre required a whole day out, with quite a few challenging hills en route that provided breathtaking views of Dartmouth and the Royal Naval College across the river.
|Rupert in the quarry at Coleton Fishacre|
(you get 20 minutes free entry to see him)
|Dartmouth Naval College seen from Kingswear|
|Paignton-by-Numbers waiting for the steam train at Kingswear station|
Two of the Torbay rhinos are up at Babbacombe, where you can visit the Model Village complete with some mini rhinos. The cycle up from Torquay via Meadfoot beach was very scenic, and the sky still blue in the last few days of September:
|Tranquillity and me in the sunshine... bike acting as camera stand.|
|Down the Road (yes, those houses are meant to be upside-down!)|
At the other end of the bay in Brixham I found two more, including one of my favourites "Why the Caged Bird Sings" named after the Maya Angelou book of the same name.
|Why the Caged Bird Sings - clearly related to Tranquillity?|
|Woodland Safari (not so easy to stop here if you're in a car)|
And this rhino isn't strictly in the bay at all, he's teeing off at the first hole of Dainton Golf Club in Ipplepen, where you'll find a real-life watering hole with a great view of the greens:
|The Watering Hole|
4. There are as many different interpretations of rhinos as there are artists. We just have room for Zero, the clever Goodrington rhino who isn't really there, since his ribbons are supposed to curl around a rhino-shaped space:
|Zero - am I here or not?|
(at least I am still on my plinth, unlike some of my poor Exeter friends)
You can see 24 Great Big Rhinos in and around Torbay altogether (including Louis the roving rhino) and I've managed to visit nearly all of them by bike making good use of the cycle/shared paths across the Bay, so if becoming a tourist in your own town makes you happier then I'm happy!
The Trail ends on 9th October so you still have time to catch the rhinos in their locations before they all return to the Zoo for a well-deserved rest before the auction.