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Preparing Your Vacation Home for Winter

As summer comes to a close and your vacation home becomes vacant, there are a few things you must do to prepare for the months ahead.

First, make the house look as if it is still occupied. Ask a neighbor to collect newspapers, flyers, mail, etc. that may indicate the home is vacant. Install motion-sensor lights outside and, if possible, timed lights inside. This will discourage burglars from attempting to enter your home if they think it is occupied. Check the alarm system to ensure it is in working order.


Second, protect your pipes from damage by turning off your water. If a pipe leaks or bursts while the house is unoccupied it can cause significant problems. If possible, have a neighbor or local friend stop by the house as often as possible to check for issues.

Lastly, perform routine maintenance before leaving the home. Have your roof and gutters inspected and cleaned to prevent ice from building up. This website explains moisture build up from ice dams can cause cracks and holes in your roof’s shingles. Make sure all windows and doors are locked and sealed. Replace worn or torn weather-stripping to prevent water, cold air, and insects from entering your home.  Check electrical outlets and unplug all necessary appliances.

You should always be a ready for an emergency when leaving a vacation home vacant. Provide your neighbors with emergency numbers and contact information in case of emergency. If applicable, notify your neighborhood watch group about your absence. Taking these preventative measures will allow you to return to a clean and safe vacation home after winter has ended.

Knowing more about student flight discounts

Majority of the airlines across the globe in a bid to increase traffic, sales and revenue has been providing huge discounts on their fares, be it overseas or domestic flights. This is because of the increasing competition among airlines to woo new passengers and to retain the existing ones. Few airlines are also said to have separate categories that are dedicated to special groups, of which student airfare is one. Some airliners have been offering student flight discounts as big as 70% when compared to the actual ticket price. Hence, if the person is a student and is travelling by flight to another destination, be it within the country or aboard, then chances are very high of the person as a student enjoying huge savings with low priced ticket.

Buying cheap air tickets made easy

For being in a position to purchase low priced tickets under student airfare segment, there is a need on the part of the student to provide at the time  of booking their student ID Card or other documentation form that has been provided  by their school, college, university or  institution of study. This documentation would be verified by the concerned airline authorities or any of their authorized agents. As the student status gets confirmed, the person can immediately enjoy availing student discounts flying.

Purchasing tickets

The tickets could be purchased either over the phone or online. In case, the student prefers to book an e-ticket, then she/he does not have to worry with regards to having the flight missed out, due to availability of seat. Although student airfares generally are available for students of every age group, in few of the cases, discounted air fare may be available to those students only, who are of a specific age. Moreover, the students who have been studying through some reputed distance learning course can check with the airliner to see if they can qualify to avail the discounted tickets or not.

Availability of special tickets

There are said to be specific online sources present where e-tickets get sold to students only. However, it is very much important for the person to register with the site for enjoying the facility. This way, the person as a student can stand to earn better deals and higher discounts. Student discounts might vary from one season to the other. Moreover, it also may depend upon to a great extent the route taken to travel. Such discounts are actually not meant for the general public.  These are meant exclusively to be availed by the student group only. Hence, if the person is below the age of 18 and is a student, then he / she can easily check the status on a trustworthy web site or a reputed travel agent.

It is only after a thorough research that the student goes ahead with the purchase of the tickets, so as to gain huge from the discounted tickets. Making hasty decisions would only mean the person ending up paying more than bargained for.

The students have been traveling more often by flights these days, since they are able to get hold of discounted tickets. This way, the student can save more money and enjoy their travel immensely.

Important guidelines to help you choose the best corporate travel agency

If you have a business trip to make some time soon, then it’s important that you book the tickets a little early. When you book your tickets well in advance, you get them at reduced prices. You may be able to pay any amount of money for the tickets but there is certainly no harm in cutting down the cost.

Sometimes, when you need to book the tickets urgently, you can’t expect a reduction in the rates. And then you start looking for deals that could help you save a few bucks.

If you want to know more about such profitable deals, you must hire corporate travel services. They do everything required to make sure you pay the most reasonable airfare.

Generally, almost every city is spotted with offices of such service providers. So, no matter where in the world you live, you can access one of these. Cities like New York have more varied choices for you than other places around the world. In order to locate the best corporate travel agent in NYC, you must carry out a thorough research. You can do your search over the Internet. When you make use of the Internet for this purpose, a lot of your energy and time gets saved. You can find a large number of options online to choose from. And with so many options at hand, it becomes easy for you to make the best selection.

Once you have hired a competent corporate travel service, the next step is to have with them a conversation. This is the occasion when things get clear for both the parties. You can get all your doubts cleared during this conversation. Also, you can ask them about any lucrative deal available with them. Even the agency uses this opportunity to their advantage. They tell you about the deals they have at hand and how they can benefit you. Generally, they are open to all kinds of queries you might have even post meeting. But if they show any kind of reluctance, it would be better for you look for another agency.

Make sure the agency is reputed. Do not take a risk with newly set up agencies. Also, you should be aware of their terms and conditions. The rates should also not be sky high. Spending neither too high nor too low rates is advisable. You should always pay an agreeable or reasonable price.

Even the proximity of the agency to your house is a considerable factor. There is no point travelling miles and miles just to reach the office of the travel agency in order to discuss your flight tickets. Yes, you can communicate via other means of communication as well but meeting personally is always a better option.

Meeting the agency authority becomes indispensible when you have a business tour to make. Understanding the schemes face-to-face is undeniably a more convenient option. In case, there is a query in your mind, you can pose it and get it answered.

Now, that you know what to look for in a travel agency, there shouldn’t be any problem choosing the best available in your city.

Tips On How To Fish Well In Normal As Well As Windy Conditions

It is believed that windy conditions are a blessing as well as a curse for anglers. In this condition, you can expect to fish better, but at times it is difficult to control the boat too, and this certainly limits the type of presentations available.

This is one of the prime reasons why most anglers don’t go to fish during windy weather. However, they definitely know that the chances of getting a good bite are huge during such weather. Well, here we have listed a few tips to help you fish efficiently during windy conditions too. Just by following these tips, you can be assured to get more bites in comparatively less time.


Be prepared

The first and foremost thing crucial to get some good bite is being prepared. When we talk about preparations before hitting the water, it includes everything. Right from your boat maintenance to your servicing kit, everything should be in place. Start your engine and check if everything is alright. Check the battery and electronics as well.

So, once you have all the necessary equipments with you, the next thing is to plan an attack wisely. Work as a team to avoid any sort of tangles. After all, fishing is extremely unpredictable at times and that’s the reason why smart and experienced anglers always keep their gears ready.

Pick a target:

As the time passes, anglers are getting more proficient and taking care of their approaches. It is believed that these days if you really wish to catch some fish, then it is crucial that you make up your mind for a particular type of fish. This will not only help you fish better, but also the job will be done in less time.

Try to figure out the signs

For most people, sea is an empty expanse of water, but for an angler who is out to fish, it has many signs. For instance, one of the most common signs is seabirds. They will show you where exactly you must fish. Knowing all the species a little will help you understand their signs better.

Get some latest electronic gadgets

Whether you are tech savvy or not, you have to understand that electrical gadgets today are very important and have numerous benefits associated with them. If used well, then technology like GPS can work wonders for you.

Don’t be afraid:

If you are out to fish in a particular region and know that the wind there is against you, then don’t be afraid. In such a condition, the most important thing that you must focus on is anchoring. Anchoring today is a lost art. Nonetheless, it can help you well in windy weathers. Don’t waste your time worrying about the boat control. Simply drop an anchor and start the job.

Lastly, it is believed that your personal skills as an angler is all what matters. You can never say that just because you did not have particular “equipment”, the trip didn’t work out well. So, don’t blame your tools instead prepare yourself.

Impress Your Date – Plan A Perfect Cruise Dinner For Her

Impressing a lady is not quite an easy task. Are you planning to take your date to a dinner? A dinner cruise will provide you the perfect ambiance that you need to impress her. It is one of the most wonderful and memorable experience you may have with her.

A dinner cruise is destined especially to hold romantic dinners and will also provide the perfect ambience you need for your wonderful night. The decoration, the scenic beauty, and also the melodious music played by the live orchestra troupes altogether make a perfect amorous environment.

Things to keep in mind to ensure you have a smooth and wonderful cruise dinner

  • You should manage your time frame carefully

Plan the booking of restaurant and other necessities prior to your dinner date. Generally, dinner cruises starts in late hours, which will enable you to take the advantage of all the natural settings.

  • Choose your vessel

Choosing your perfect vessel or cruise is another important factor to be considered while planning a cruise dinner. You can get riverboats, yachts and even steamships depending on your budget and preferences. If you want to have an enjoyable and romantic dinner in complete privacy, then opting for a small vessel will be of advantageous to you. Yet, the expenses will be somewhat high and you should be preparing for it.

Hawaiian cruise, Dubai cruise and most of the other cruises usually call for informal attire. However, you might want to dress according to several occasions demanding formality, sanctity, suave or splendor.

If you are booking a cruise say in the midst of a large liner fine dining and dance, then you may prefer to dress accordingly. Evening hours can be quite cool. So carrying a jacket or a light is advisable.

If the weather conditions are favorable, then small craft can give rise to gentle spray of sea waves or also mist in the air. This experience is found only on a cruise that will be just perfect enough to spark the romantic air.

Why choose Dhow cruise dinner?

  • The scenic views surrounding with glimmering moon, starry night sky and combined with the decorated dhow will be a perfect environment for your romantic dinner with your partner. Such kind of memory is hard to forget.
  • A romantic dinner date is not complete without music. Your shooting environment is again added by the live band found onboard playing wonderful and heart-touching music, which will level up your romantic excursion.
  • Dhow cruise is beautifully decorated with all sorts of colorful lights, which provide a splendid view to behold adding you and your partner a romantic environment.
  • The extensive varieties of international and traditional dishes will be served to you in a very efficient manner and also will offer you great hospitality. The delicious dinner, cozy feel, and incredible hospitality by the staff under a breath taking moonlit sky will create an unforgettable and wonderful romantic vibes.

Choose an affordable dinner cruise for your date and make a memorable and wonderful romantic dinner and strengthen our love life and relationship.

The Wine in Hunter Valley

In Australia, one of the most famous wine-producing regions is the Hunter Valley. This region is located in New South Wales, which has always been a source of some of Australia’s greatest wines. New South Wales was also one of the very first wine regions of the country; so, some of the wine grapes were planted as far back as the first half of the 19th century. They produce a wine with a great legacy in this region. The most recognised wine of the region is the Hunter Valley Semillon, but this area is also known for growing several other varieties of grapes from around the world. Verdelho, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz are popular varieties.

Where to Stay

If you’re looking to go on a wine tour, the Hunter Valley is an incredible place to choose. The wine is iconic and classic, some of it dating from the early 1800s. Hunter Valley cottages are great ways to spend your time in the region. They are typically located very close to the vineyards, with excellent opportunities for tours and tastings. The region is typically divided into Upper Hunter Valley and Lower Hunter Valley.

The Lower Hunter Valley is the traditionally recognised region that is sometimes called Hunter Proper. It is the most historic part of the area and is generally what is referred to as the wine country. The majority of the best and most well-known vineyards are at the foot of the Brokeback mountain range and the southern part of the valley.


Choosing your accommodations comes down to how much you want to spend, how long you would like to stay, how many amenities you need, and how close you’d like to be to the wine. Many companies that offer cottages in the region tend to offer a selection that runs the gamut of different options. Typically, these cottages are one, two, or three bedroom cottages. Designed to resemble the houses of vintners, they are built for families. Thus, they are complete with everything you could need for a comfortable stay.

You should look into which vineyards you would like to visit as well. Many of the cottages are actually owned and operated by the vineyards themselves; thus, they are located on the actual grounds of the vineyard or winery. That will mean you’ll be in very close proximity to certain vineyards as well as having special privileges while you’re staying there. If you know which other vineyards you would like to visit, then you should pick one that is centrally located and search for cottages there first.

Some of the cottages that are not actually located on the vineyards themselves are less expensive. This might seem like a downside at first, but it actually affords these cottages the opportunity to be centrally located. They can be situated as close to as many vineyards as possible; also, they can be close to restaurants and stores. So, you might not be able to step out of your front door and onto a vineyard, but you should be able to drive to just about any vineyard you want in a very short amount of time.


Ski Chalets Make Skiing Enchanting

Just a couple hours away from major French cities, Val d’Isere is a skiing destination that is sought after by experienced and non-experienced skiers alike. Chalets in the ski area are designed to sleep fourteen to twenty people. Therefore, the fabulous rental homes are ideal for a grand skiing holiday.

For example, many of the luxury ski chalets in Val d’Isere are located on a private road, ensuring the utmost in peace and privacy. The architectural designs of the chalets exhibit cutting-edge innovation and style. The environment surrounding the chalets is peaceful and beautiful as well—a snowscape that speaks volumes on a sunny, bright Alpine day.

The Interior Décor

Chalets also feature indoor lifts that take you to magnificent living areas—spaces that highlight broad, wood beams and vaulted ceilings in a fashionable décor. Furnishings may include light shades and sofa fabrics featuring such patterns as cowhide or alligator—designs that are accented by such contemporary light fixtures as glass chandeliers or recessed LED lighting.

The Balcony View

Typically, a crackling log fire is the focal point of the living room. If you venture out on the balcony, be prepared to be impressed by the surrounding mountain view. You can further relax and enjoy the panorama in a hot tub fuelled by a burning wood stove.

Enjoy a glass of house champagne in the tub while looking up at the stars or sip on a pre-dinner cocktail within your ski abode. Many of the chalets feature reclaimed wood products and Alpine wood. You will also get to relax amongst intricately carved adornments and furnishings. Generally, each of the bedrooms in a chalet comes with AV facilities and an ensuite bathroom. Master bedrooms in the holiday residences generally showcase his and her dressing rooms.

The ultimate Alpine chalet usually features just about everything you could wish for in a home away from home. Enjoy an indoor swimming pool equipped with jet streams adjacent to a steam room hidden in a small chalet structure. Chalets also feature fully equipped gyms with a wide range of exercise machines.

Properties of this type are run and managed by a dedicated service team, made up of a chef, manager, chauffeur, housekeeper, and host. Service professionals are available throughout the ski season to make sure your skiing experience is ideal if not perfect.

Typically most chalets in Val d’Isere are about a two-minute drive to the ski lifts and about a five-minute walk to the centre of the resort. You can reach airports in Chambery, Geneva, Lyon, and Grenoble in about two to three hours.

So, have you made your ski plans yet? If not, it is well worth your while to consider the luxury accommodations available to skiing groups in such places as Val d’Isere. Val d’Isere and its chalets make any skiing holiday an enchanting and memorable experience.

Before you plan your trip, make sure you have the assistance of a travel provider who is knowledgeable about this specific ski area. If you want to plan the ultimate ski holiday, this is the way to proceed. Whether you are a beginning skier or are experienced on the slopes, a trip to Val d’Isere is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


New Housing Options

Whether it is residential or commercial project, the use of the latest technologies like drones as it offers with 360 degrees view of the project clearly along with the status of the development. Moreover, the buyers as well the sellers are seeking the help of the online portal providing the comprehensive details related price rates and the availability of the house all over the nation.

The use of advanced tech in the sector is a blessing

There are several real estate apps that make use of the location based tech and help the users to get the property of their preferences. It is the mathematics and data analysis that forms the core of the house portal. Very soon will also offer the chat feature that will help the property searchers to get info on new property projects.

Choose your property carefully

Entering a new home is like entering into a new phase of your life where you want to lead a life of peace and tranquility and joy. Before you make the final decision of moving in a new house it is necessary that you inspect and evaluate everything carefully and cautiously so that you don’t have to regret your decision later on life.

Go for professional help if needed

It is always advisable that if you have the money you should go for a professional help with the inspection of the place and check for the things that you need to know before signing the deal and purchasing the property. You need to make sure that the property is free from termites and is also flood damage free. Why don’t you check out East Parade or ICIPL Amora for a high end living?

House hunting is not an easy task

There is no doubt to the fact that house hunting can be a real challenging and tedious task since there are so many options that are available. Moreover, it requires a lot of patience and you must remember that this is an investment that is made for lifetime. There are so many luxury apartments like East Parade Jain Heights and ICIPL Amora available making it the perfect place that you can call home.

Look out for the amenities and facilities

A property with all the modern and contemporary amenities along with good surrounding and comfortable living in a budget friendly location is always desired by people. The locality must be well connected with other parts of the city and the railways, bus stand and airport should be situated within the close vicinity.

Moreover, while looking for new housing options like apartments, condos, bungalows, duplex flats, and individuals housing units or rental apartment’s one must also make sure to check the ventilations, air conditioning systems, plumbing fittings, electricity sockets and the backup options etc before stepping in.  Such facilities can offer you with a luxurious and satisfactory living.


Ensure to check and examine all the necessary details and information before you make the decision to move in a new housing facility set within your financial limit.




Locate a hotel of your choice

Honolulu is a wonderful destination that is always crowded with tourists as the region is overloaded with extraordinary wonders and the scenic beauty allures every traveler. Treasured monuments, historic places, churches, picturesque locations and many more welcome people to enjoy a marvelous holiday. Apart from all the mesmerizing attractions people can see the beautiful beaches. This place offers a fair opportunity for every traveler to enjoy exploring the sand and water along with various other marvels. The zoo in Honolulu is a major attraction of the region and one can even witness the Waikiki Aquarium. In order to spend a pleasure filled vacation all you have to do is to get a better accommodation during your stay.


Getting an ideal place to stay becomes easy with prior reservations and try to complete all your hotel bookings along with your tickets to this alluring destination. To spend a hassle free holiday it is a must that you choose the right hotel through the online research and get a better idea and finalize the room as per your requirement and budget.

  • This place is loaded with attractions due to which people tend to visit the amazing beauty throughout the year. There are various hotels that are not just luxurious but offer a panoramic view of attractive sites around the city.
  • Picking one place to stay carefully is a must and one should to neglect a few basic essentials while searching hotels in Honolulu. Getting a decent and a comfortable accommodation allows one to enjoy a vacation experiencing friendly services of professional staff.
  • Apart from this one should even choose the hotel to stay that offers better services along with a good menu so that one get a chance to enjoy the tastiest feast. See that you locate a hotel that is easy to reach as it is not very easy to search and find a place in the unknown city.
  • Though a bit expensive see that you get a place nearby to the airport as it becomes easy to get back and catch the flight on time. Also, when you choose a package offered by the vendor pick one that offers a few advantages and at the same time get a chance to stay in the luxurious hotels.
  • Prior reservations always save money in the tourist destinations as the majority of the vendors offer eye popping offers and opportunities to enjoy a splendid holiday. All you have to do is to search appropriately as per your need and then pick one that is worthy.

The whole region is filled with various kinds of hotels and choosing one of your choice is not very tough in the most visited destinations. There are luxurious, deluxe and budget friendly hotels which offer a memorable experience to every traveler. In order to enjoy a peaceful vacation it is a must that you choose a place that is actually comforting as after completing a big day, one need to relax and regain essential energy to start the expedition on the following day.

How to Make Your Hotel Rooms More Romantic

Obviously, not all of your guests are going to be interested in that romantic aesthetic look. However, many couples would be certain to appreciate a little bit of effort. Most hotel rooms boring, and some even border on being depressing. What would your hotel guests say about your rooms? Would they describe them as being romantic? If not, there are a few small things you could do to make them a bit friendlier to the average couple.

Lighting Is Key

Many hotel rooms have very poor lighting when it comes to aesthetics. The overhead fluorescent lights in the bathroom are not pretty, and actually cause headaches for some people. Inside of the room, the floor lamps aren’t terrible, but many hotel rooms have old and dirty lampshades. A couple of simple updates could really go a long way. New lamps in the room and softer lighting in the bathroom could make all the difference. In addition to updating those things, it’s also helpful to add a little bit of colour. Coloured lampshades or accent lights could really help. You could also install a dimmer on the lights to make it possible to create the right mood.

Sound Is Essential

The only sounds in most hotel rooms are those coming from noisy guests, the TV, and the air conditioning unit. These aren’t the most romantic sounds. Of course, you don’t know what kind of music your guests will like, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving them the opportunity to put on their favourite music. There are relatively inexpensive wireless speakers to which any modern smartphone can connect. This hardware will allow your guests to put on any of their music to help set the mood.

Scent Is a Necessity

Have you ever noticed how most hotels smell very similar? Most guests don’t appreciate this. It’s often said that the sense of smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. That means that your guests will quickly recall their stay at your hotel if they ever smell something similar again. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what your rooms smell like.

Of course, you don’t want just to start spraying fine perfumes around all of your hotel rooms, as many guests are allergic to bothered by strong scents. There are all natural ways to improve the smell of your rooms. In addition, you could also leave a complimentary small bottle of perfume on the bed or dresser to encourage your guests to try it out.

Place Small Luxury Items in the Room

Most hotels can’t afford to have the world’s most expensive mattresses, sheets, pillows, or towels, but there are a few small things you can place in your rooms to make the mood a little bit more inviting. You might try purchasing some comfortable robes, or some high-quality guest information folders. For the best guest information folders, click here.

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International Travel Tips for C2C Central

I don’t have all the answers, but traveling abroad raises a lot of questions. Like, how much will the air on the plane affect my skin, hair, body, well-being? ( A LOT)
What are some things I can do to make things easier on my body? (Don’t fret, I wrote a whole post on it.)
Rather than struggling through time changes, sleepy eyes and tired skin, take a peek at my tried and true tips and tricks to hit the jetway running, and make the most out of your troppo expensive European vacation. (Because ain’t nobody can afford to waste time you could be chomping waffles or slugging champagne. Amirite?)
Take a peek at the article, and travel smarter. Keep your eyes peeled for the next articles in the series, *Tips and Tricks for International Fashion, and *Tips and Tricks for Eating, Getting Around and Generally Pretending to be Local.

My husband and I travel a lot. It was one of the main reasons we were attracted to one another when we met, and the greatest binding force of our marriage still. The desire to explore the world, to see new cultures, to garner a fresh perspective on life and love and all of the beautiful smaller things that make up both of those things. To eat strange food and hear the gruff or melodious languages of a foreign place…these are the things that set our lives on fire. 


But, this wanderlust isn’t all roses and fairy dust. It’s a fair amount of tears, frustrations, break-outs, bad hair and nothing to wear to a swanky restaurant in Paris and not enough cash to buy something appropriate from a boutique. Travel can mean stomach bugs, and short tempers, missed trains and lost hotel reservations. 


It is with this in mind that I aim to give you my best tips for traveling internationally, over a few of these posts. Beginning with the first obstacle of the trip, that long, long, long international flight.


The long flight over the water can be torturous. If you are lucky enough to be an easy plane sleeper, then the international flight might not seem stressful, but it definitely still is for your body. The humidity on the plane is so low, that it will dry you right out: skin, hair, and sinuses. Germs are rampant on airplanes, and because of the somewhat stable pressure and environment, bacteria can live on surfaces like armrests for days. Which is one reason to always bring antibacterial wipes with you.  And if you can’t sleep at all on planes, like yours truly, then 10 hours of movies, or reading a book when you’re just so tired but can’t sleep can be pretty unbearable. 


First, to beat the skin dryness, bring a spray moisturizer I like this derma e hydrating mist for its carry-on approved size and for the easy application. The scent is pretty gender neutral too, so my husband doesn’t feel silly using it when his face is chapped. For lips,   Lush’s Lip Service balm is perfect, apply liberally to keep your pout from puckering. To keep my sinuses hydrated, which might sound weird, but believe me, you’ll notice the difference mid and post flight, I bring a regular saline nasal spray from the drugstore. Adding a little bit of moisture to my body in the desert climate of the plane is hugely important to how I feel when we disembark. No one wants to get off the plane with nasty skin and chapped lips!


Next, for my hair, I always wash, condition,  and spritz with a protecting hair oil. Next, I braid it or twirl it into multiple topsy tails while it’s still wet. The key is locking in moisture so that your hair can handle the damage the plane is going to put it through. And, BONUS, when you arrive at your destination releasing the braids or topsy tails, and then finger combing them, will give you great, no-fuss, first day of your trip waves.


Speeding right along to a few other of my favorite flight tips that  have to do with snacks and clothing. Always bring warm socks, always dress in layers with a comfy zip-up sweatshirt or cashmere cardigan. Most importantly, for dress, is leggings. I cannot emphasize enough how much a quality, thick pair of  leggings improve your comfort, but also your circulation. It’s a little crazy, but wearing the tighter pants (while still being comfortable—don’t make yourself a sausage) will actually help prevent your body from swelling as much, working the same way as compression socks. 

Finally, food and entertainment. We never eat plane food. It is mostly constituted of chemicals, and it never tastes good, unless you’re in first class. So, when we are flying coach, we try to bring walnuts, almonds, dried fruit, and  soup bowls. When the flight attendants are circulating the cabin, we just ask for hot water, and voíla, hot food, ready to eat. 
And if your brain is hungry for something besides music or your in-flight movies, bring an e-reader so that you have multiple books to choose from. Might I suggest Wide, Wild, Everywhere  , the perfect book, in my completely biased opinion, for travel. 


Being picky about what we put into our body and minds in the air, guarantees a healthier, more exciting trip after we reach our destination. By taking the time to bring along the right ingredients, you will exit the plane glowing, healthy and ready to take on whatever adventure waiting for you. 


Mackay to Home Final Blog



This is my final blog; we have been home for almost 6 weeks but due to Christmas, New Year and a few parties during this period, I haven’t had time to sit down to complete the tales of our journey.


After we left Mackay we drove to Rockhampton to stay for a couple of nights and it was there that we made the decision to be home from Christmas. We had toyed with the idea and were in two minds about what we wanted to do. We decided to quickly travel down to the Murray River and spend a week on a houseboat before going home. We thought we needed a little holiday, after three years on the road. From Rockhampton we travelled down through Theodore, Taroom and then stayed the night at Condamine. The next day we drove through to Goondiwindi where we stopped to take a photo of the famous Goondiwindi Grey. We travelled further south through Moree and stayed at Narrabri for one night, where there was a swimming pool. The weather had been so hot; it was a very welcome relief.

Next stop was Parkes, where we took time out to have a look at the Big Dish. This was another thing to cross off the bucket list. We stayed overnight at Forbes and again were relieved they had a pool. From Forbes we travelled to Tocumwal and camped on the beach there for three nights. What a fantastic spot this is. We were camped right on the river, had beautifully warm weather and were able to use the Hobie everyday. The beach was lovely with a nice sandy bottom, which made it very pleasant for swimming. Our last day there we were paddling on the river when we noticed some storm clouds rolling in. We paddled faster and just made it out of the water when the storm hit. Apart from the drenching rain, we had extremely high winds and after all this time on the road we had our first mishap; the wind caught the awning on the van and ripped it. The wind was so strong it picked up the Hobie and tossed it, but without damage, and the door to the van knocked me over; no damage to the door but I was left with a big bruise on my upper arm. We had a bit of cleaning up to do but thankfully the next morning was bright and sunny and we were able to dry everything before we left for Echuca.We so love the Murray River and being on the river in a houseboat is really very special. Dinky Di let us to take the houseboat out a day early so we spent eight nights cruising the river. We moved everyday as we wanted to make it to the Torrumbarry Weir. Torrumbarry is 80 kilometres from Echuca on the River and it took us two leisurely days to get there downstream and then four days to get back upstream. It was an extremely relaxing week with no towing, setting up and packing up; a great way to finish our journey. We had a very special time on the houseboat, just the two of us with divine weather, good music and swimming every day. Love that life!Now it was time to go home, our journey was ending and although we were sad to be finishing it, we were also excited to be going home. On the way home to Lismore we stopped at Bendigo for three nights and had look around this delightful city; although we have been through Bendigo many times, we had never stopped there. We did the talking tram tour and visited the Chinese Joss House Temple. The vintage tram tour was delightful and the tram tells you stories about this city that was founded on one of the world’s richest goldfields. Stopping throughout the city where you can get off and on at your leisure, it takes you through the wide streetscapes and you can witness the grand architecture of Bendigo. We drove out to the Joss House Temple and as we were the only ones there we had a private tour by one of the volunteers, who told us some wonderful stories about this extraordinary Chinese Culture. Chinese history in Bendigo is amazing with over 5000 Chinese people living in and around the diggings in 1855. The building was constructed by hand in the 1860s and then taken over by the National Trust in 1968, restored and reopened to the public in 1972. It is now the sole remaining structure of this large settlement of Chinese. It was well worth a visit and before we left we shook out the Chinese fortune sticks to find that one of our readings was “Travellers Return.” Well that is exactly what we were doing; a very accurate reading.

On the way to Lismore we stopped at Beaufort for lunch. If you are ever travelling in country Victoria you must visit this little town and have a meal at the Hand Made Cafe. The service is delightful and the food is delicious, it was well worth the stop.


We have been home for almost six weeks. During our first week at home we met up with many old friends and family with a get together in Geelong. It was a great turn-up and so good to see old faces again. Thank you all so much for coming to us. Of course with Christmas and the New Year we have been very busy and we have also started renovations on our house, so it is busy times. Friends from Perth came to visit before embarking on their journey to Tasmania. We met Val and Garry  at Bretti Reserve, NSW in 2011 and stayed with them in Perth in 2013/2014. It was great to see them again.


Yes we are happy to be home, we are not happy that we are no longer travelling, but we have been blessed with the time we were able to spend touring this wonderful country of ours. We have had the best of times, met the best of people and seen the best of places. It was been a wonderful experience for me writing about our journey and even better that I could share it with you. There will be other adventures for us down the track, we are going to rediscover our own beautiful state with short trips in the roof top tent and do some off road stuff as well. Maybe I will share those journeys with you.

Destination Bali

Mother Nature is full of notable extremities. There are places on this planet Earth like El Azizia in Northern Africa, where temperature soars upto 66°C and it is in this very planet lies Antarctica, where temperature freezes to -89°C!!
Talking about extremes, there is an island in the Asian continent which is quite notable for the extreme creation of Mother Nature. Yes, we are indeed talking about Bali! Located as an island within Indonesia, Bali is known worldwide for its volcanic eruptions. It is also one of those places in the world frequently prone to earthquakes. Bali was in the news in the beginning of the 21st century because of the Bomb blast incident in one of the famous tourist place.
Destination Bali 2011
A look at the other extreme of this earthquake prone island would certainly make anyone forget nature’s mischievous acts and rather start appreciating the natural scenery, cultural heritage of Bali. Renowned for its largest tourist attraction from around the world, Bali is famous for its sculpture, painting, dance and other art related works.
Holiday Destination
Bali has all it takes to be one of the world’s exotic tourist attractions. One might wonder about the reason for this island being a centre of attraction. It is not a mysterious myth. It is rather a simple math! Statistics and survey reveals that a foreign tourist spends approximately 50% less than he/she would spend in other exotic locations. This doesn’t mean that the services offered by the Hotels and resorts are any lesser than countries elsewhere. The cost of living in this part of this world is so less.
Destination Bali 2011
“Who practices Hospitality entertains God himself”- Balinese are among the most visitor-friendly people. The hospitality offered by the locals to the foreigners is one rare gift that these local people possess. And for this particular reason, there are quite a few regular foreign visitors to Bali.
A vacation means to relax your mind and body. Beaches in Bali unlike other busy beaches in the world are a quiet place without much of the commercial complexes nearby. It is a spectacular sight to watch the Rice terrace throughout Bali! Rice being their staple diet, 20% of their land is being used for growing Rice.
 Anybody who is a nature lover must make a trip to Bali. There are some dead volcanoes in this island which are a major source of attraction for the tourists. It is also converted as a trekking spot among the misty craters.

It is Good to Know You Have International Travel Insurance


Whenever you travel overseas you are many times required to get certain vaccinations or preventative medicines before you go. These are a type of insurance against picking up some nasty germ or bug that could disable you on your trip and is also meant to prevent you from bringing that parasite home with you when you return. International travel insurance is similar in that you just never know what is going to happen to you when you are out of the U.S. and although you may never need to use it, international travel insurance will give you some much needed peace of mind while traveling in foreign countries.

One of the worst things that can happen to you while on vacation or on business travel is for you to get sick. Imagine you are in a foreign country and you come down with some terrible virus or even worse, you fall down and hurt yourself or, God forbid, you break a bone. Chances are that the medical help in these countries is expensive and probably not all that great as compared to medical facilities where you live. If you are in a remote beach town in Nicaragua, for example, don’t expect to just be able to pick up the phone, dial 911 and have an ambulance come and get you in ten minutes or less. Often times you will need to get yourself to the hospital or doctor’s office, and many times that can be very far away indeed. Can you imagine driving yourself to a hospital that is three hours away after you have had a traffic accident and your collarbone is shattered, or your leg is broken at the kneecap? If you think this is an unlikely scenario, think again. Every year thousands upon thousands of travelers suffer horrible accidents or contract invasive diseases. Many of these same travelers end up dying far away from home and proper medical help.

With international travel insurance such as Travel Guard, one can travel with much more freedom from worry. Travel Guard and other similar international travel insurance companies offer much needed services when you travel abroad.

The first thing one thinks about when you mention international travel insurance is the kind of insurance that pays your beneficiaries if your plane goes down. We have all seen the kiosks at the airport that sell travel insurance. Some of us stop and pay our premium then hop on the plane and hope that we never have to use it, because if we do then that means that we are dead or dismembered from a plane crash. But international travel insurance is much more than that. It pays for lost luggage, changes of travel schedule, missed connections, overnight stays at hotels if your flight is delayed, purchases of clothing if your bags don’t arrive with you at your destination, and best of all, international travel insurance pays for doctor and hospital stays if you get sick or injured while traveling abroad. Some insurance even covers getting airlifted from wherever remote location you find yourself and to the medical facility with a helicopter.



Fira is the capital of Santorini and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful settlements of Greece, along with Ia. It is built on a naturally impressive site, on top of the cliffs and along the fringe of the caldera at an altitude of 260m. The haven of the town is Fira’s bay, where someone can get the teleferique to go up to the town.
-Book here cheap air tickets and hotels to visit Santorini

Alternatively, you can choose going up to town with a donkey or by foot if you are even more adventurous! The view towards the sea captivates you so much that I suggest you be very careful if you pick the latter option (go up by foot) – the cliff is steep and not guarded.
Fira was founded at the end of the 18thC and has been built in the traditional Cycladic architectural style. The houses are brilliant white, small, with domes and arches and lots of little windows along their sides, overlooking the beach; together, they cheekily sneak out from the narrow streets and tease you. Along the fridge of the caldera, the terraces become balconies for the nearby houses.

However, despite the traditional neighborhoods, the bright white houses and the blue domed churches, a walk around the island’s busier streets – where shops and cafes have proudly claimed their space – will make you realize that you really are in one of the cosmopolitan Greek islands.
Santorini Volcano
Santorini owes its existence to it’s volcano. Being the only geological phenomenon of the Aegean Sea, the volcano created a place of unique beauty in its heart.
Both Santorini and its volcano will undoubtedly fascinate you. It co-exists with the underwater one of Koloumbos, which is situated 8klm from Santorini, Nisiros, Milos and Methana, as well as the rest of the volcanoes in the Aegean Sea.

Santorini’s volcano became active 2,5 million years ago and is still active to this day. Its latest volcanic surface in the Eastern Mediterranean was created just 50 years ago, on the island of Nea Kameni.

Never stop travelling, exploring and taking photos


Hi everyone, just a quick update to let you know I am still out there travelling, exploring and taking photos in our beautiful Western Australia.

I have been updating the INDEX on this page with the new travel posts. So please go to the INDEX as your first port of call if you are searching for Western Australian travel.
The new links will take you to my other blog – Life Images by Jill.  Link to Life Images by Jill

I hope you will visit me there for more travel and more photos.

Notable trips over the last few years have been –

In 2012 we travelled to the far north eastern corner of the wheatbelt to free camp at a number of huge granite rock outcrops and also explored the Indian Ocean Drive along Western Australia’s coast.

In 2013 we traversed the Holland Track for the first time in the remote southern Western Australian goldfields and then up through the woodlines area camping at various granite rocks, and also travelled across the Nullabor to South Australia – two firsts for us.

In 2014 our most notable trip was to revisit Karijini National Park with first time visits to explore Mt Augustus and the Kennedy Ranges in the Pilbara of Western Australia. I wondered why I had never been there before!

I am always searching for new places to visit, although we have to travel further and further afield to find somewhere we haven’t been before.

I wonder where our next trip will be? I haven’t planned it yet – but rest assured you will be able to read about it here on Tour Downunder Western Australia or my other blog Life Images by Jill.  Perhaps I will meet up with you at a campsite somewhere.
Happy travels!

Here is a pic of Mount Augustus – you can read about it by clicking here – Flowers that bloom in the red rock of Mount Augustus and here – Mount Augustus walk trails

Travel Journal: Beach Memories


Keeping a travel art journal has so many benefits. While drawing, you enjoy the moment so much more, your senses open up and you really look at your surroundings. It makes you appreciate the place, the moment, your time, and it makes you realize how lucky you are to be where you are.
Plus, you’re creating a book of memories to never forget.
Seeing this drawing again brings me right back to the warm breeze on my skin, the sound of the wind through the palm tree leaves and the sound of the waves.


After doing the drawing above, a lady who worked at the beach restaurant came over curiously and flipped through my sketchbook. Then she asked me to draw her. I felt challenged, I never did something like that on request, but I thought ‘why not?’ and gave it a go, next to a bunch of blind contour drawings I made of my husband earlier that day.
The drawing doesn’t look much like her, but it was a nice and intimate moment and a great way to connect with a local anyway. I asked her name, which was Tui, and then I asked her to write it on the drawing. Not my best drawing ever, but a wonderful memory.

Palm Tree Hotel (Permas Jaya)

As our children gets older, a king bedded or twin bedded room no longer meet our needs and we have been searching for Triple or Family rooms that fits our budget. Whenever we travel across the border, we try to stay in different hotels and explore other alternatives that suit our needs in terms of location, comfort, pricing and safety.

While it is more convenient to stay around KSL where there are more shopping malls. eateries and closer to the causeway, the price is also slightly higher due to it’s prime location. Hence, we decided to settle our accommodation within Permas Jaya which is about 15 minutes drive from Woodlands checkpoint. In addition, there are shops, banks, restaurants and cafes in the area and a little night life which makes the district more attractive.

Palm Tree Hotel is located strategically within Permas Jaya 10 where many cafes and restaurants are nearby. While there is a security guard stationed from 8pm to 8am to keep a look out for the cars, it is to our dismay that the hotel does not provide free parking lots for its guests. Instead, they will assist to place parking coupon on the vehicle and we make payments for the coupons later.

Palm Tree Hotel Lobby – Clean, neat and spacious
We managed to book a Family room at a promotional rate of RM168 per night (Usual rate: RM188). It comes with 1 queen bed and 2 single beds which is perfect for our family of 4. The children do not need to squeeze and we can have a better night rest!

Another unique plus point about this room is it came with 2 attached bathrooms! There is one bathroom at each end of the room. We do not have to fight for toilets and were able to get ourselves ready more efficiently!

Family room – 2 attached bathroom (toiletries provided)

Toilet and shower rooms are clean and the water jets from the shower head is strong. The only problem is one of the toilet door knob was damaged, but it did not cause a lot of inconvenience.

Overall view of the Family room
Our kids are happy to have their own bed for the night. :) They did not waste any time logging on to the internet tapping on to the hotel’s complimentary Wifi.
View from our bedroom window where we get to see the sun rise. In the night, we can hear live band from One Two Eat Cafe (opposite the hotel). The canto music did not bother us a lot and we were able to have a restful night.

Throughout our stay, we felt safe as an electronic key card needs to be available in order to access the lift and the rooms. The bedding and extra toilet is a bonus and definitely suitable for bigger families. Overall it has been a pleasant night stay at Palm Tree Hotel.

30th anniversary of the first – ever summit of Everest in the winter season.

Yesterday (February 17, 1980) was the 30th anniversary of the first-ever summit of Mount Everest in the Winter season.

Two Polish mountaineers, Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy, reached the top of the world’s highest peak in 1980, going down in history as the first people to get there in winter.Over the last 30 years, seven people have so far completed the challenge in winter time, however, in Summer, the journey is easier, so 3,500 have managed to summit Everest.

The 20-strong group which initially set off for the mountain was whittled down to two – the final leg of the journey upwards took seven hours, said Leszek Cichy to Polish Radio.
There isn’t much snow in the Himalayas in winter, as it is blown off by heavy wind. Mount Everest is fortified against mountaineers with large slabs of ice, strong winds and frost. The temperatures in tents at night dropped to minus 40˚C.

“We were high up on the ridge, the nearest people were several hours walking distance away from us. The only thing that allows us to keep in touch was radio. The wind was strong. And, as we were descending, dusk set in and snow from western face blew in the air. And we found ourselves on the border between what is real and unreal, on the border between shadow and the sun, night and day, and also, in a way, between life and death,” Cichy said, referring to the last stages of the ascent.
Mt Everest 1980 first winter ascent – team.

How A Trip To A Vineyard Made Me Rethink Our Consumption Behaviour

Swaying greens of sugar-cane fields all around, interspersed with herds of sheep, goats and cows grazing on grassy patches, village men in neat quintessential Maharashtrian attire of all white neat dhoti-kurta-topi – this is how I was welcomed in this part of rural Maharashtra. While the sun played hide-n-seek amidst low hung clouds on a humid August afternoon, I realised that it was, in a way, my first exploration in the rural Maharashtra.

I was headed to Fratelli Vineyards in Motewadi, near town of Akluj (190 km from Pune). I had always thought of exploring vineyards of Maharashtra in Nashik but somehow never got to doing it. Then one fine day, I got this opportunity to visit the vineyards of Fratelli and I grabbed it.
Me and my partner, like any average Indian, are not wine connoisseurs nor do we take wine with our meals every now and then. But we have been to quite a few vineyards and know what it takes in a good one. I have explored quite a few in New Zealand and my partner in S. Africa, Australia and Europe. So, together we went with high expectations and I have to admit, we were pleasantly surprised. The vineyards and the wines- both pretty much met our expectations. But as always, I was looking deeper into the story.

Fratelli Vineyard

Fratelli is co-owned by five partners including two Italians and run under expertise and guidance of renowned winemaker from Tuscany- Piero Masi. I am told that grape plants have been grafted using original French varieties and hence the good quality. What makes Fratelli stand out is also the fact that they own all the vineyards themselves which gives them strict quality control over the grape harvest and production. After all, 80% of the wine is prepared while grapes are on the fields.

The guesthouse and winery is located at Motewadi- one of the three vineyards owned by Fratelli (other two being Garwad and Nimgaon). With an uninterrupted views of vineyards and green farms on all sides, home-like boutique accommodation feel, simple casual staff from local villages, common dining-cum-kitchen space and no lock & key tradition- I immediately fell in love with the place. The place was very well done with modern furniture and all amenities, but without the formal air of an upscale hotel. My review of the accommodation can be found here.
Common Dining-Kitchen-Hall

We all know wine industry is new to India, traditionally we are not a wine drinking society and therefore it came as no surprise when most of the executive staff we interacted with had no previous knowledge of wine-making. Most of them had picked up the required skills and know-how on the job. On the contrary- it was also good to see young people exploring opportunities in new fields- our assistant winemaker was a girl of modest background from Pune with a Master Degree in Science of Wine Technology, our viticulture expert in Garwad was again a young man with degree in Agricultural Science. But it was best interacting with the staff from local villages- mainly assigned to jobs in the winery or kitchen and housekeeping.
I was curious to know the impact of such lavish and markedly elite business proposition in an area which is largely rural, relies heavily on agriculture and often marred by drought. This curiosity grew manifolds after noticing a massive book-cum-album placed neatly in our room and common areas about the ‘development’ work done in Akluj region. The young staff from local villages seemed happy to be working in the winery albeit owning farmlands themselves (as much as 80 acres ! – claimed by one). They preferred working as kitchen or housekeeping staff over toiling in their own farm lands- pretty much the same story everywhere I travel in rural India. Its so ironical, on one hand there are city folks craving for couple of feet of space in their balcony or rooftop to grow their own vegetables, on the other hand is the youth from villages totally dis-interested in farming and ready to quit their traditional inherited work.

Vast Open Landscape of Surrounding Villages

My vineyard trip also included a guided tour through the winery and the cellar, a wine tasting session, ATV ride in Motewadi, lunch at gorgeous straw gazebo built atop a hill in Garwad with 360º views of Fratelli’s largest vineyard and generous helpings of wine with unpretentious tasty Indian food.

The Winery
The Cellar
Pre-Lunch Wine at Garwad Gazebo

It was during my drive to Garwad (10 km from Motewadi) that I noticed several women and children carrying water in several aluminium pots down the hill. It was obvious, they did not have a water supply in their humble homes- they had to carry water on their shoulders every single day. We were also passed by several nomadic groups- moving alongside their horses carrying pretty much all their worldly possession. We were told that villages nearby have been helped immensely with establishment of Fratelli- they’re able to get water easily now. Fratelli has built its own small dam and water storage facilities, which not only helps its own vineyards but the local population too.
The Garwad Vineyards

Nomads of Maharashtra. Photo By- Pari Ali

But my question is to our government and ourselves- how is it possible to arrange water for the business of winemaking meant largely to quench thirst of elite few and not be able to supply simple drinking water to homes of hardworking local farmer who is producing our next bread and butter? Aren’t we silently killing our own food producers ? Why is it that younger generation in farming villages do not want to work on fields any more ? When did we become so lost in our consumerism that we lost track of where our food, clothes, shoes came from ? Why are we bombarded with choices in everything we consume- from juices to type of sugar, while the very producers of this food have no access to basic amenities? Have we really forgotten them ?

This is what travel does to me- make me think.

I drifted towards anti-consumerist way of living couple of years back- buying only stuff that I ‘need’ not ‘want’. My phone is over 4 years old and laptop 5 and I am very happy with them. This trip gave me yet another push in this direction. I am definitely going to give a thought to origin of things I consume and try make fair choices.

Note: This trip was sponsored by Fratelli Wines Pvt. Ltd.

[P.S.- Since long, I had been intending to switch to glass water bottles from plastic ones. I finally got the push when visiting Fratelli. Apparently they threw away all the consumed wine bottles and upon my request happily gave me 8-9 of the ones with screw caps. So now I’ve finally made the switch.]

australia travel diary {sydney & bondi beach}


here and here, if you’re just joining us now), we headed over to Australia for the last leg of our trip hoping to unwind and decompress a bit after non-stop travel and high-adrenaline adventure. And Sydney did just the trick for us! While our stay was on the short side, we couldn’t have asked for a better city to relax, drink, eat and generally enjoy each other in — and definitely plan on visiting again very, very soon! Sydney, you haven’t seen the last of us, yet!

Hazelnut gelato from Messina — seriously craving this right about now! // While bouncing around on this trip, I acquired a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on how you look at it) amount of New Zealand and Aussie glossies. In total, I probably came home with around 15. Sorry, not sorry! :)

While staying out at Bondi Beach, we fell in love with all the local coffee shops. There’s something to be said about NOT seeing a Starbucks for two weeks. Sensory Lab was one of our favorites and I may have tried to steal these copper chairs of theirs. // A Dion Lee dress that found it’s way home with me. 

What to do:
Since we only had about four full days in Sydney, we wanted to knock out as many of the must-sees as possible. Right after touching down in town, we headed straight to our hotel to freshen up (and so Dan could iron his suit) and walked over to the Sydney Opera House. We saw the symphony perform and I still can’t get over how magical the whole evening felt! From watching the sunset over the water to grabbing drinks later that night at the opera house bar, I have to say it was one of my favorite evenings of the whole trip. Hands down. Of course, I’ve arguably said that about a lot of our experiences, but I really mean it for this one. :)
For our next full day, and I hesitate before admitting this, we signed up for the “Hop on, hop off” sightseeing bus tours. Now before you judge, I just want to say that I’m actually a big fan of these IF I know I have a very limited amount of time in a city I’m traveling around in. It’s convenient, relatively cheap and you can pack a lot of sights in before deciding which one you want to spend more time at. We fit in time at Hyde Park and Centennial Park and even got to duck into a few residential neighborhoods (loved the old Victorians! Reminded me so much of SF!).
At this point of our trip, I was craving some retail therapy and after a little hunting around and great tips from our hotel, we (I mean, I) headed over to Oxford street. Hello Zimmerman, Willow, Josh Goot! I managed to escape before too much damage was done to my wallet.
And for our last days in Oz? We were in desperate need of beaches and Bondi was the perfect spot. Think Santa Barbara meets Santa Cruz meets a little bit of LA. Beautiful beaches (even despite the spurts of rain toward the end) and countless restaurants to keep us content and full.
Where to stay:
In Sydney: We stayed at the Establishment Hotel, located in the Financial district, and at the heart of a string of boutique restaurants and tucked away speakeasy alley bars (popular with the nearby work crowds for happy hour cocktails). Of course, I fell in love with our room decor (cowhide rugs, gold accents and succulents) and was a sucker for the tea and cookies they leave in your room at night.
In Bondi: Originally, we attempted to book a flat through AirBnB — only to have it fall through at the last minute. Luckily, Bondi has plenty of beach condo/apartment hotels and we eventually went with the Adina. Minutes from the beach, on the main drag next to coffee shops and dangerously close to Messina Gellateria.
Eat + Drink:
Otto: It’s rated as Sydney’s best Italian food — and they’re definitely not lying about this. It’s on the pricier side, but well worth it. Plus, it’s set out on a harbor so there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Iceberg’s: If you’re out in Bondi, you simply cannot miss Iceberg’s! We had meant to try dinner here but didn’t make reservations in time so we snuck in for a late lunch after catching some sun earlier that day on the beach. The restaurant itself is nestled on a cliffside toward the end of Bondi Beach, meaning the view is phenomenal. We sipped on summery cocktails (it is summer over there right now after all!) and leisurely ate our way through oysters, burrata and risotto.
Neighbourhood: Also in Bondi, this came highly recommended via Instagram and we could instantly tell why. Intimate bar setting without feeling too cramped, inventive cocktail assortments and an overall fun weekend scene.
Messina: We decided to visit Messina on our last full day in town — which was probably for the best because I could have easily gone there multiple times each day. The lines can get a bit crazy but the wait is worth it (especially if you’re getting hazelnut).
Well there you have it! I hope you enjoyed traveling along with me during these trip recaps — and if you have any questions about where we stayed or what we did, happy to chat! Just leave your questions in the comments below!

Otway Fly Treetop Adventure


Set amongst the beautiful Otways rainforest the Otways Fly Tree Top Adventure  provides a great opportunity to see the rainforest from a different angle.

The walk takes about an hour over its 2 kilometre length and features a thrilling cantilever section where you feel totally above the beautiful forest below.


Views from the highest point – the 47 metre high tower are also amazing.

You start the walk from the Visitor Centre and Cafe and wander, at your own pace, down hill to the start of the treetop walk. Its then a gradual climb as you wander along the walkway where you’ll find interpretive signs that provide interesting information on the range of trees and flora nearby.


A free shuttle service is available making the trip from or to the Visitor Centre easier.
Cost is a very reasonable $25 adults, $15 children, $70 family and $21.50 for seniors.
We include the Tree Top Adventure in our 2 day Great Ocean Road Tour or our 3 day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour.
If you have plenty of time and are ready for adventure you can do the Zipline Tour which takes 3.5 hours and includes flying on a series of cable spans from one platform to another.

Palawan Travel Adventures

Entrance to the Big Lagoon
The highlight of our Palawan trip: island-hopping in El Nido!
I was most excited to engage in this activity. After all, the limestone islands of El Nido are world-famous. And we get to snorkel, too. So, what more can I ask?  Well, another day of island-hopping, probably.
We sailed on a motorized banca around 9am last Wednesday.  According to our guide, our first stop would either be the small or the big lagoon, depending on the tide.  And from our resort, it would be a 40 minute or so ride.
I guess, we were blessed that day.  The sea was as calm as it could be.  We were literally cutting through crystal-clear, glass-like sea.  There was not even a small wave or a ripple in sight.  The sea was so still that it perfectly mirrored the skies and the islands.  It was so serene and beautiful that I had to utter a prayer of thanks to the Lord for letting me witness the marvel of his creation.  I was glad to be alive.
The islands of El Nido are scattered quite a distance from one another unlike in Caramoan.  No wonder there are 4 types of island-hopping tours, tours a, b, c and d.  And each tour takes up a whole day which I think is perfectly fine.  It is better to enjoy and savor what the islands have to offer than rush from one point to another.
For Tour A, we went to the Big Lagoon, the Small Lagoon, Shimizu Island, the Seven Commandos Beach and the Secret Lagoon.
The Big Lagoon is located somewhere in Miniloc Island, the famed Ayala resort.  The Small Lagoon and the Secret Lagoon are located somewhere there, too. We were quite lucky since there were few tourists.  It was a Wednesday, after all, and the peak season for El Nido had ended in March.
Limestone formation, Miniloc
Miniloc Resort
As with all the islands we visited, the Big Lagoon is breathtaking.  Achingly beautiful.  The waters in and surrounding the island were a myriad of colors: emerald green, turquoise, aquamarine, deep blue and the prettiest and stunningly vivid azure I have ever seen in my life.
Anyway, we had a photo ops at the entrance of the lagoon, between two limestone cliffs, or island or whatever it may have been.  We just happily traversed the water on the safety of our boat.
View from inside the Big Lagoon
From the Big Lagoon, we went to the Secret Lagoon, a short distance away.  One by one, we entered a small, sort of triangular crevice.  To safely reach the Secret Lagoon, one must sit on top of the rock-opening, then slide the lower body towards the other side slowly, making sure that your head does not hit the edge of the opening.
The docking site for the Secret Lagoon.
There is a small beach as shown in the photo.
And yes, the water is crazy clear.
View from inside the Secret Lagoon
Can you see the small triangular crevice?  That is the entrance.
Afterwards, we headed to Shimizu Island for a swim while we wait for our lunch to be cooked.  The boatmen and our tour guide took care of the cooking.
Shimizu Island
The beach is small but perfect for a swim.
The view  from Shimizu Island

Bring your goggles or snorkeling gear.  There are many fishes of various sort even in shallow waters at the Shimizu Island.  Apparently, the island was named after a Japanese scuba diver who died while diving in an underwater tunnel off some sorts per the request of the diver’s mother.  If I have to die before an island is named after me, I’d gladly pass.
Fishes abound at the Shimizu Island.
The same is true in every island we visited.
To reach the Small Lagoon, on the other hand, we had to pass through another small rock opening.  For added fun, the tour guides would assist the tour groups in making a sea train.  The first person would be hanging onto a life buoy, with the next person holding onto the feet of the first person and so on and so forth.  The tour guide would then pull the life buoy and the train into the narrow passageway which is just enough for a one or two persons to fit in at a time.  Corny, but it was fun nonetheless.
Inside the Small Lagoon
Our final stop was the Seven Commandos Beach.  A resort is currently being constructed but the bar is open and fully operational.  They sell drinks at tourist prices.  The beach, though, is beautiful, the shoreline is wide, and the water, shallow.  Plus, the view is just so picturesque.
Seven Commandos

Still at the Seven Commandos
The skies turned slightly gray and the waves became bigger.  The fair weather was turning into a cloudy one.  Hence, the dark horizon as pictured above.  But the view remained beautiful.
I told you…the water on this beach is  shallow.
Crystal-clear.  The sandy shoreline, wide.
My office mates, who grew tired from island-hopping, wanted to return to the resort even though it was only past 2pm.  Oh well.  I just vowed to myself that I shall return to El Nido.
Post script:  Going to the Seven Commandos beach, I saw a pawikan swimming in the sea.  I thought it was a huge piece of plastic bag, colored green.  But when we got closer, it was a sea turtle.  Like a child, I squealed in delight.  To see one means you’re lucky.  And I was the only  one who saw it in our group.  Yay!

International Travel with an Autistic Child


Could this be the year you take your child overseas for a family vacation? Yes! …and you can have a fabulous time. Travel is enriching, educational and fun. It offers a break from therapy, homework, housework, deadlines and bedtime battles.  Travel is pure, quality, family time with no distractions. And in our case, our son always rises to the occasion by being on his best behavior. Here are some tips for those brave enough to travel internationally with an autistic child.

Practice. International flights are not for novices. A child (and his/her parents) will find it comforting to have had at least a few domestic flights under the belt before heading off on a long-haul trip. Using a combination of credit card points, frequent flier miles and fare sales, we’ve been traveling since our son was three years old. Starting out, we used pictures to preview and practice the transitions from car to parking garage; through security lines to gates; from jetways to planes; and from baggage claim areas to trains, subways and taxis to hotels. Through our travels, we’ve worked through the logistics of connections, delays, loud passengers, strange noises, turbulence, crowds, lost luggage, bad hotels and equally bad food. We have always managed to have a good time, and our son is now a seasoned traveler who doesn’t become unduly upset with the common travel annoyances.*

Destination. A major part of our success resulted from choosing the right destinations. For a first international trip, pick a country where English is widely-spoken and the customs are similar to those of the U.S. Layer levels of cultural diversity during the trip via restaurants and sight-seeing to practice for more exotic destinations in the future.

Price. The price of International travel can be intimidating. After the holidays, passenger traffic dries up, so airlines stimulate travel by heavily discounting fares for trips from the U.S. to Europe.  For a few short weeks in January, transatlantic fares are priced similarly to those of full-fare domestic tickets. The fares are usually valid for trips from January through early April.

Prepare.  Prepare your itinerary ahead of time, and engage your child in the planning process.  What does he like –History? Nature? Sports? Researching the various sightseeing options is easy to do online and travel forums are a wonderful place to start. Trip Advisor members for example, are a great help, and many have posted itineraries from some of their favorite trips. My son is a whiz with maps, and he was able to help us plot out the most efficient routes to get from point A to point B.

Remember, don’t kill yourself trying to see and do everything. Make sure to build in some free time to relax.  Also, don’t be afraid to let someone else do the work for you — take advantage of sightseeing tours to get a native perspective (and give yourself a break from driving!).

Hotels and Accommodations.  Splurge. Finding the right hotel(s) are the most critical part of the entire process. After all, that’s where a family will spend the most time. My son is miserable at so-called ‘family’ hotels. The kids can be noisy, and the kid ‘camps’ are run by staff that have little or no experience with children with autism.

Generally speaking, the better the hotel, the better the trip.  Look for at least a four star property which is willing to give away free nights during off-season travel. We went during our son’s spring break—when most families are headed to warm, sunny destinations, Europe is begging for tourists. Many hotels also offer free breakfasts, which is a plus.

As you map out your sightseeing destinations, select hotels that can serve as a base of operations for day trips. For our trip to Ireland, we stayed just outside the city of Dublin and explored the eastern coast, then we spent one day exploring the middle of the country to visit famous sites such as Blarney Castle before setting up camp in Killarney, on the Western side of the island. For our last night, we stayed in a hotel close to the airport since we had an early morning departure.

If you plan to tour, keep the number of hotels to no more than two or three for a full-week vacation to minimize transitions.

And one more tip: keep it small. The big convention hotels are noisy – people, elevators and clanking service carts can cause significant disruption during the night and nap times.  Smaller hotels tend to be easier to navigate, are much quieter and more intimate, like home.

You will usually fly overnight, and arrive at your destination in the morning.  Even if you’ve managed to sleep on the airplane, you’ll be tired and will want to stretch out after the cramped quarters. Many hotels do not allow check in until the afternoon, so try to find a property within a main area of exploration that allows early check-in.

Pack. Oh happy day! International flights usually don’t charge luggage fees, so pack away, as long as each bag doesn’t weigh more than fifty pounds, and you don’t go over your allocation of on carry-on and one checked bag per person.  So bring pre-packaged snacks, MP3 players, DVD players and headphones with favorite DVDs, crayons and card games, as well as a change of clothes and travel-sized toiletries on the plane. If you are traveling in the off-season, the weather will likely be unpredictable, so a rain poncho or light windbreaker is a must.

Protect.  Buy trip insurance, just in case something comes up or your child is going through one of those bad times where everything seems to be wrought with difficulty. That way, you can get most of your money back if you need to cancel your trip.

As extra protection, enroll the family in the US State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  That way, if a passport is lost or stolen, or if there are any other emergencies, the US Consulate can quickly make arrangements to help. Also make sure you add an emergency contact to your flight reservation or tour booking.  I also emailed the airport to let them know that if security happens to see us running through the airport, to please don’t shoot – we are merely chasing our wayward son, who might have been spooked for something he saw in the airport, and that he might be more susceptible to eloping and meltdown behaviors due to the time change. (By the way, he didn’t have any of the above).

While abroad, practice the same vigilance you would do at home, stay in safe areas and don’t go out late at night.

But most of all have fun.  These are the memories that your child will recall with joy for life.

* If your child is not comfortable traveling, keep trying. Begin with day trips by car, then overnight stays, then work back up to airline flights.

NEWS BREAK! Largest Privately owned Faberge Imperial Egg Collection will go on permanent display in St. Petersburg, Russia.

News has broken that the largest privately owned collection of Imperial Faberge Eggs part of the
amazing collection acquired by Viktor Vekselberg, an oil and gas tycoon, who, with a fortune 
estimated at $18bn, is often described as Russia’s richest man, will go on permanent display inside the Shuvalovsky Palace in St. Petersburg Russia.

Vekselberg, who purchased the collection from the Forbes Family months before it were to be auctioned, is estimated to have spent between $80 million – $120 million dollars for this collection.

Asked what his intent was for the newly acquired illustrious collection in 2004, Vekselberg said he would return the eggs to Russia. The collection “represents perhaps the most significant example of our cultural heritage outside Russia”. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to give back to my country one of its most revered treasures.”

There are only 50 Imperial Easter Eggs in the world, including the nine sold to Vekselberg by the Forbes family. Ten are seen in the Moscow Kremlin Collection, five are at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Va., and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth owns three. The whereabouts of eight are unknown. The others are in various displays throughout the U.S., Switzerland and Monaco.

Packing For Europe: Winter Travel Edition

Recently I’ve had several former students ask me for advice on how to pack for a trip to Europe in the winter. It’s a little funny, the Floridian giving advice on what to wear in cold climates, but I have actually done quite a bit of winter travel in Europe — England in November (cold and wet), Germany, Italy, and Turkey in December, and Greece in January.

I really like visiting Europe in the winter. Flights are cheaper and there are less tourists. But packing for a European winter can be challenging. It is not like living in cold climates, where you spend most of the day in doors at work or school. When you travel and sightsee in the winter, you are out in the elements! Also winter clothes weigh more and take up a lot more space in your suitcase.

My general rule of thumb for packing is you need enough outfits for half the length of your trip. So if you are going for 10 days, you need 5 complete outfits. However, for anything longer than 2 months, you should attempt to pack at least 4 weeks of complete outfits. The key to this system is to select a color, or color scheme, that every piece works with. That way you can mix and match all of these pieces to double your travel wardrobe.

The Essentials:


  1. Boots/Wellies – Boots are a must, but I highly recommend wellies if you are traveling to wet or snowy locations like England. Plus Hunter makes a packable welly now!
  2. Scarves, Hats, Gloves – I suggest wool accessories and gloves with smartphone tips! You will most likely be wearing these accessories in all your photos, so pick a vibrant and flattering color!
  3. Tights – Tights are a must because they can be layered under jeans/pants on really cold days or with skirts on warmer days. They can also add interest to an outfit. Since they are lightweight, I pack a lot of tights!
  4. A Good Coat – Not only is it necessary to keep you warm, but let’s be honest, your coat is all you will see in most of your pictures, along with your hat, scarf, and maybe gloves. So select a well-fitting classic shape that will look great in all your photos!
  5. Raincoat – Rainy days shouldn’t stop you from sightseeing! Be prepared with water proof jacket.
  6. Mini Umbrella – A mini umbrella is perfect tucked away in your bag for unexpected weather.
  7. Tall Socks – When layered with tights or under jeans, good socks go a long way in keeping you warm and dry!

I also suggest a nylon purse like Longchamp. Nylon can resist the elements, keeping your electronics safe, and it is also lightweight (easier to carry all day while sightseeing).


Image Map

When selecting items to pack (after the essentials), I first select my basics. These are usually comfy and flattering pieces that would go with anything — jeans, navy leggings, cream colored sweater, grey long sleeve tee, etc. Then, I select a couple of more interesting pieces/jewelry that will add color, texture, pattern, and shine, making my outfits more versatile and interesting.

The more you can mix and match what you bring, the less you need to pack (50 pounds does not go far when it comes to winter clothes!) I could make over 30 outfits with the items shown above!

And of course, remember to wear your boots and coat on the plane to maximize luggage space.

Happy (Winter) Travels!

Australia Travel Guide

Australia, the land of beautiful mountains, reefs, rivers, flora and fauna, architectural, artistic, unruffled and cool and the atmosphere is very beautiful, is the continent of Europe. Australia is a vast continent with a population less. It ranks 6th in the world. Australia Guides aware about all the attractions of Australia a decent watch when coming here. Australia is the perfect holiday destination for all. Whether you’re with friends, family or the couple is the best option to enjoy your holidays.
The Great Barrier Reef is a group of beautiful coral reefs. Nature loving people admire him the most and get them locked clicked on this beautiful reef. This is a very long reef stretches up to thousands of kilometers. The main cities of the attraction is the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, etc. all this city filled with attractions that beautify Australia. When planning your trip to the continent this is amazing, make sure you have seen this Australia Travel Guide.
From Sydney we will pass all the important cities. Sydney is located in South Wales, and has many attractions to see such famous art galleries and museums that hold Australia’s finest collections of paintings and sculptures.These include the Art gallery of NSW, Australia museum, Museum of Sydney etc other attractions of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo where you can discover the wildlife of Australia, Manly and Palm Beach and the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Now coming to Melbourne in Victoria, Australia this map will tell you about the fantastic places to visit Melbourne. Melbourne is a city of high-class Australia has all the latest fashion lifestyle of the people. There are restaurants and cafes where you can find the best food from Australia. The main places of visit is Luna Park, Melbourne museum, dance and musical theatre shows, gardens and beaches. Brisbane in Queensland also has some interesting features like Morton Island cool, the city Botanical Gardens, Lamington National Park and the famous Café Verve. All these sights worth a watch. Hopefully reading this Australia Travel Guide, you need to know about Australia, and so you have to plan your next trip up to the Australia of course.

52 week tour Down-Under Western Australia

Thank you for stopping by my blog. As an introduction below is a photo of your hosts – your tour guide – myself, my driver and tripod and sustenance bearer – my husband Rod, and my son Mark – who travels with us with good humour even when his mother stops to photograph yet another wildflower! (well sometimes with good humour…LOL….)

Without them I would have never travelled around my wonderful state Western Australia and been able to bring these photos to you. I thank them for their support. There is so much to show you – from beautiful coastlines, to towering forests, shady pathways and river banks, to desert vistas, rugged gorges, gorgeous wildflowers, and beautiful sunsets.

When I decided to do a 52 week project, I thought about all the wonderful photos I had seen on DPS from people all over the world and I decided I wanted to share my corner of the world, Western Australia with you. I live in a truly remarkable state where you can go from oceans, to mountains, streams and gorges, rolling hills and deserts. We have it all. And I love every part of its infinite beauty.

As much as I would like to take a year off work and go touring – that might have to wait till I retire. Western Australia is huge, and as I thought about how I could possibly bring this tour to you, I realised that we had travelled over a lot of Western Australia over the last few years. So I wrote down a plan of how to travel around my State in a logical manner, starting from our capital Perth, then travelling south, then through the middle to the north and back down the coast. To cover all this ground would indeed take many months. So the photos you will see are not all new, but 90% of them have been taken in the last few years. The Kimberley leg for instance were all taken during our trip in 2009. So some photos are from my archives of thousands of photos, and some are new this year as we travel to places new to us, or we have revisited some places to bring you new photos.

I hope you enjoy the ride as I take you around Western Australia. Start from week 1 in January and work onwards through the year to December.  I hope to “see” you along the track. I’ll make sure the billy is boiling and the damper is on the fire cooking!  Make sure you bring the marshmallows!

and for a sneak preview of what is to come ………..


I will be updating these posts from time to time with new images and info. So drop back and see me sometime. I look forward to seeing you up the track! Want to send me a message – drop a comment in the “comments” box at the end of any post  – I look forward to hearing from you!

World Tourist Attractions

Located not far from Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul the main attraction of the tourist who come to the city of Macau. In fact many people think that tourists do not complete it if to Macau, without a visit to the Ruins of St. Paul.
Ruins of St. Paul itself is a land mark of the city of Macau. The church was built in 1602 next to the Jesuit College of St. Paul’s. However, in 1835, a fire broke out and devoured the university and the church building, the result leaving only the front of the church building like now.
Although you could say the old building, but the building is still sturdy and preserved. Macao government’s seriousness in maintaining Macao’s cultural heritage is shown by the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt around the Ruins of St. Paul Church. The museum was opened to the public 10 hours without being charged an entrance fee, as well as the garden and stairs are neat and clean.
In the Ruins of St. Paul you can take pictures fun with the background historical building. In addition, if you’re interested in here you can climb the ruins of this church to enjoy the scenery around the Senado Square.
Satisfied enjoy the view from the Ruins of St. Paul, in this place there are some cakes and a souvenir shop of the most famous throughout Macau, Pastelaria Koi Kei. In this store you can buy Egg Tart, buy souvenirs, or just sit around at the park in the Ruins of St. Paul.
Ruins of St. Paul location is not so far from Senado Square. You only need about 10 minutes walk from Senado Square. Try to go to the attraction in the morning and not much more than hour 9 am. When the passing of the hours of 9 am, the place is crowded with tourists. At certain times in front of the Ruins of St. Paul are typical Portuguese dance performances are held, with music and singing lacks typical of Portuguese.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventure


Set amongst the beautiful Otways rainforest the Otways Fly Tree Top Adventure  provides a great opportunity to see the rainforest from a different angle.

The walk takes about an hour over its 2 kilometre length and features a thrilling cantilever section where you feel totally above the beautiful forest below.


Views from the highest point – the 47 metre high tower are also amazing.

You start the walk from the Visitor Centre and Cafe and wander, at your own pace, down hill to the start of the treetop walk. Its then a gradual climb as you wander along the walkway where you’ll find interpretive signs that provide interesting information on the range of trees and flora nearby.


Dame Nellie is known as one of the most famous singers in the world in the early 20th century. Born in 1861 in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, Dame Nellie moved to Paris and became a Prima donna of the opera famous in  Australia, England, Europe and the US. She travelled the world during her career and the small museum/ art gallery at Coombe contains some memorabilia including her Louis Vuitton trunks.The Estate has been significantly refurbished by Dame Nellie’s great grandsons the Honourable Mark Vestey and Lord Samuel Vestey. They’ve done a fantastic job converting old buildings into modern facilities whilst still retaining a sense of charm and history. The cellar door area was previously the tack room, the gift shop the stables and the restaurant the motor home where Dame Nellie kept her cars including a Rolls Royce.

View into the restaurant
A free shuttle service is available making the trip from or to the Visitor Centre easier.
Cost is a very reasonable $25 adults, $15 children, $70 family and $21.50 for seniors.
We include the Tree Top Adventure in our 2 day Great Ocean Road Tour or our 3 day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour.
If you have plenty of time and are ready for adventure you can do the Zipline Tour which takes 3.5 hours and includes flying on a series of cable spans from one platform to another.

Wooden Churches of the Carpathian Mountains # 36 – Bodružal, Slovakia, Eroupe


This Greek Catholic church is found on a small hill above the village of Bodružal among the forest covered mountains in the north-eastern corner of Slovakia. The church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and was built in 1658, making it one of the oldest churches with a Lemko design in the Carpathian region. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 together with seven other wooden churches in present-day Slovakia.

The three-part Lemko design (narthex, nave and sanctuary) are intended to represent the holy trinity. An onion dome projects above each of the three room sections with the highest dome placed above the narthex (entrance room) which is a typical feature of the Lemko style. The tower above the entrance contains three bells, the oldest of which was cast in 1759. The iconostasis wall in the interior is entirely original, dating from the 17th century, and is one of the finest examples of icon painting in this region of the Carpathians. The church grounds are surrounded by a low wooden fence with a main wooden entrance gate with a small shingled roof.

The church is in use at least weekly with regular services held on Sunday morning. The key keeper lives 50 metres down the road from the church and since this is a popular church with tourist visitors it’s usually not a problem to find someone willing to come and open the door. They will expect an entrance fee of about two Euros per person to be paid, and donations can be left in front of the icons.

There is no direct transportation to Bodružal, but it is an easy 15 minute walk from the village of Krajná Poľana which is on the main road between Svidník and the Polish border and there are frequent buses throughout the day from Svidník. A walking trail through the forests connects four villages with wooden churches (Bodružal, Príkra, Miroľa and Krajné Čierno) which makes a perfect day hike to experience both the villages and the surrounding countryside.

Best Travel Guides Help you Get Excellent Travel Ideas


Our life’s journey, besides the time to go yet simple and monotonous life position, take Coverage. Basically I do for this purpose, the disease causes changes in the health of the environment can return to care do not receive it. This is your best guidance possible reasons why conflict needs Guide.

Only the best buildings, including a model guide, travel guide. Each of the leading countries visited the world’s best place to be, and will be described in the regional guidelines. Paper book this Release, the Internet, online book contains all the information in a meeting, because the place is also possible. Cost will be described in this book. A tourist destination, and a detailed description of the book, and what are the cost of the food available hotels and how to be mentioned because, well get to choose from a list of information will be several days.

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Guide to exchange some foreign country does not describe the problem below. This is the right place to guide available on the international market with the latest exchange rates are added on. So think twice before with a guide and may be the best choice. The best travel guide to see some photos and some information you might read a book does not mean that all of this information must be correct in all respects. Depending on the leader, then your personal contact by phone.

8 Bali Shopping Destination



Shopping is a very famous activity for travellers to Bali. In fact, tourist shops are sprinkled all over bali in the hope of getting lots of tourist visitors as customers! I’ve come up with 8 destinations for tourists to visit for your must-do shopping activity during your Bali Vacation! However, before you embark on your shopping adventure, do read up my “Shopping In Bali” guide to ensure that you get the best buys and good prices.


Denpasar being the capital of Bali, is the main “market” for the Balinese. Kumbasari market, which is nearby Badung River, is the biggest traditional market. It is the perfect place to get an insight into the traditional Indonesia market where local people do their daily shopping. Fruit, vegetables and meat can be found in the basement; on the second level is the place for spices and dried goods; while household wares, clothing, art and craft is on the third level. Here you can get a very good price if you’re smart in bargaining. To find handicrafts, shoe shops and restaurants, you can head towards the northern part of Gajah Mada Street. To the east is Sulawesi Street, where you can get textiles and fabrics. On both sides of Sulawesi Street, you can find shops providing household wares. The area here is very colorful with all types of material from the traditional “songket” (cloth woven with strands of gold or silver) to modern day stretchy and shiny material. Why not buy your cloth by the meter and have a suit or dress made up by a local tailor. On the west Side of the market is the place for locals to buy coconut leaf and ceremonial supplies. In the southern part is Hasanudin Street where you can see gold and jewellery shops, tourists are always welcome butUbud

Ubud is well-known for fine arts with international standard. This is where you can get the best Balinese culture arts and crafts. Highly-regarded art galleries such as Sumertha, Neka, Agung Rai, Rudana and Sika are highly  recommended. Big names like Hans Snel and Antonio Blanco is recommended too however they may be really expensive.

The Kuta Area
As an international village almost all of the shops and restaurants here are for tourist market. You can find handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, CDs, furniture and leather crafts on each side of the road. But you can also see many street hawkers with their various offerings along the road. If you do not want to buy anything from them, do not make eye contact and do not ever look at their products, for if you do, they will follow you along the street and pester you to buy something.


On the border of Denpasar and Gianyar, lies Batubulan, the home to sculptures made of stone. You can find various kind of sculptures here ranging from traditional to minimalist, small to large, cheap to expensive :) The craftsmen can sculp random and custom orders and even ship them to your home address back in your country.


This area is popular to shop for Balinese arts. If you ask the locals where to get the cheapest Balinese arts and crafts, Sukawati will be their answer. Besides arts and crafts, you can also find statues, paintings, cloth, Balinese jewelry and also Balinese ceremonial needs,


Very colourful wooden carvings of flowers, objects and more are displayed gracefully along the road. Various woodcarvings can be found in this village and its nearby neighbourhood at cheap prices! Here’s the place to really master the art of bargaining.


The village to shop for anything made of Bamboo! Yes practically everything from furnitures to mats to window blinds! The villagers are really good at making use of Bamboo for their crafts. You’ll be amazed at their talent and creativity!


This is where the native Balinese are located. The “Bali Aga” village in Karangasem, is the only village in Bali that produces the sought-after Balinese Geringsing textile. The materials for Geringsing are all acquired from the surrounding nature. To process Geringsing fabric, traditional methods rooting back to the old Balinese times, are used. The fabric is very delicate, durable and long-lasting thus the expensive price tags! No chemicals are used in the process and great care is taken to ensure the “natural” process.

Merapi Mount Yogyakarta


Merapi in Central Java and Yogyakarta, name volcano in Indonesia is still very active. Since 1548, this mountain 68 times as much. Very near the city of Yogyakarta, and up to 1700 meters and the slopes of the village are still there. The people in the room, Merapi, blesses content of sand, but local, Merapi, a major tourist attraction for visitors. Merapi Merapi has been included in the national park.

Merapi volcano in the southern island of Java collection is small. Mountain to the bottom of the Indo-Australian plate continues Eurasian plate, which is located in the target area. Eruption 400,000 years and 10,000 years in the form of the eruption was exuberant. Then thick lava dome lava causing explosive. Small eruptions of 2-3 years, and 10-15 years. Merapi years 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872, 1006, 1930, due to a large outbreak of gray wind of the central part of the island of Java, including the impact of large volcanic eruptions. The eruption of ancient Mataram Kingdom is due to go to East Java is estimated.

1930 eruption that destroyed 13 villages and killed 1400 people. In November 1994, stepped down the heat to reach several villages, beautiful clouds, which claimed dozens of lives. July 19, 1998, eruption is big enough, but not killed, so it seemed. Caution 2001-2003 ongoin high activity as it was the last eruption Mount

Eruption cycle:

The process first
Love that ateinakasa Starting a small explosion. You can get a high volume and formation where kubahlava closed the main stage. Month cycle repeated mild awanpanas lava dome creation process ends.

The process of the second
Kubahlava established before the Convention. Burst type Vulcan key stages and develop the framework of the dome and destroyed awanpanas. 2. At the end of the process, a new dome growth. Upper or older dilongsorkan increased past the maximum, or any other place in the dome a new dome.
In the process according to the third
Time Line 2 is the same, the difference is not at the top of the dome, but dull crater. The eruption of the big stage allows great Vulcan awanpanas (Type St. Vincent?). The last stage of the new dome terbentu.
In the process according to the fourth
After extensive vertical eruption of the first phase of further development sumbatlava Starting from small packages to awanpanas and final stage of the huge explosion of smoke.

Almost one in particular after Merapi eruption always clear signs stars 80s, looks good in the beginning. Typically, the more common (type A) shallow volcanic earthquakes (type B), the surface was the acquisition of liquid flow begins terekamnya volcanic earthquakes. Began to build the dome, several seismic phase (MP), due to the increasing number of abortions increased Lava earthquake began to follow. In such cases, the Foundation’s Board Merapi began pushing and bad checks increase.

Ascent Route
Merapi is the subject of popular Descent. The most common way VIA and Selo, Merapi, which lies between Merbabu Boyolali district, Central Java, the northern region. Selo climb to the top of about 5 hours. South Kali Rang, Pake district, Sleman District, Yogyakarta popular channel. The steep road, and about 6-7 hours maximum. Otherwise clean Sawang, Magelang Regency, Central Java and East ,, Kemalang district, Klaten Regency, Central Java, in the north-west side.

Merapi Mountain National Park History
The benefits of environmental water and very active volcano, a condition that is a kind of tropical forests, the Merapi forest area state forest land, which is valuable and strategically important. Forest area of ​​the old series, based on the designated forest conservation Plawangan turgor and 131 hectares of Nature Park Sleman Regency is located in the area of ​​198.5 hectares, with the exception of forest protection services was a question of Agriculture No.155 / kpts / About / 8/1975 . In 1461, in protected forest areas in the city of Yogyakarta HA.
Minister decision Forestry, the National Park, Mount Merapi Merapi appointment forest area as the number of districts in Central Java Magelang district, Boyolali and Klaten ± 6410 acres located in Merapi forest group and Sleman district, especially in natural areas, nature and natural park safe transition process 134 / Menhut-II / 2004, in Yogyakarta.

Travel in Singapore Zoo

SINGAPORE: Starting Jan 5, 2015, elephant rides and other activities where elephants are taken out of their exhibits will cease at the Singapore Zoo.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) on Monday (Dec 15) announced it would be introducing the protected contact elephant management system for the two elephants at Night Safari and eight at the Singapore Zoo. The two attractions will be among the first zoological institutions in Asia to implement the protected contact management system for all elephants in its collection, it added.

The new system, which will take three to five years to be implemented, will require all staff training and interaction with elephants to be conducted through a physical safety barrier. The system will be based on positive reinforcement where animals are motivated by rewards such as food.

Said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, the Chief Life Sciences Officer at WRS: “The decision to adopt the protected contact management system was made after an internal review by our elephant managers and healthcare experts, who found that this system of management offers a safer work environment for the elephant keepers.

“Importantly, the new system will continue to allow our keepers access to the elephants for their daily care, although separated by a safety barrier.”

Though elephant rides and other activities where elephants are taken out of their exhibits will cease, “visitors to Singapore Zoo will still be able to enjoy the Elephants at Work and Play show, and take part in elephant feeding sessions which happens after each show,” added WRS.

– CNA/ek

Singapore Zoo to cease elephant rides
Today Online 15 Dec 14;

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Zoo will no longer offer elephant rides and other activities where elephants are taken out from their exhibits, from Jan 5.

This is part of a new elephant management system being adopted by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which enhances the safety for those working with elephants while ensuring proper animal care and welfare.

However, visitors to Singapore Zoo will still be able to enjoy the Elephants at Work and Play show and take part in elephant feeding sessions which happen after each show for now.

Under the new protected contact management system — which is already in place at zoos elsewhere in the world — all staff training and interaction with elephants will be conducted through a physical safety barrier. The system is based on positive reinforcement where animals are motivated by rewards such as food.

By ceasing programmes involving direct visitor contact with the elephants, the animals will be able to spend more time in the exhibits and to socialise among themselves.

WRS chief life sciences officer Cheng Wen-Haur said in a statement today (Dec 15): “The decision to adopt the protected contact management system was made after an internal review by our elephant managers and healthcare experts, who found that this system of management offers a safer work environment for the elephant keepers. Importantly, the new system will continue to allow our keepers access to the elephants for their daily care, although separated by a safety barrier.”

The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari currently have 10 elephants. The new system will take three to five years to fully implement as it will involve major redesign and construction of the elephant exhibits, back-of-house facilities, re-training of the elephants and elephant keepers.

No more elephant rides at zoo from Jan 5
Tanjeetpal Singh, My Paper AsiaOne 16 Dec 14;

Elephant rides will no longer be offered at the Singapore Zoo from Jan 5.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is phasing in a new elephant-management system at the Night Safari and zoo over the next few years.

This is to improve the animals’ welfare by allowing them to spend more time in the exhibit socialising among themselves.

It will also offer elephant keepers greater safety. A bull elephant gored its keeper in 2001, but no other serious injuries have been reported since.

Under the new management system, all contact with the elephants can take place only while they are in their enclosure. Visitors must stand outside the exhibit’s safety barrier.

At present, visitors to the zoo can ride elephants and catch them during special appearances.

Cheng Wen-Haur, chief life sciences officer at WRS, said: “The decision to adopt the protected contact management system was made after an internal review by our elephant managers and health-care experts, who found that this system…offers a safer work environment for the elephant keepers.”

Visitors will still be able to see the elephants at the Elephants of Asia exhibit.

“I remember taking the elephant ride when I was five or six. It was an experience which I enjoyed and treasure,” said Simon Tang, a 25-year-old sales executive.

“It’s sad to think that children will no longer be able to enjoy the rides, although if animal welfare and staff safety will be greatly improved after this, then I think the zoo is doing the right thing.”

The new system will take three to five years to implement, and involves major redesign of the exhibits.

See mountains in the sky


One of the things I try to do is go to places that are cut off from the world for a moment, and do not, in short, stop thinking about our problems for a while.
Therefore, there are places like Puigmal, we can make all that matters to us, and we will focus on this mountain with a beautiful and wonderful than we can imagine other sights. Interestingly, they are not occupied.
Of course there is the case, the opposite, such as St. Jerome, and the top of Montserrat, is without doubt one of the busiest places in Catalonia, as unconsciously one of the balconies of the most impressive of all parts of the country.
After our tour, we will see Matagalls with charm and landscape are also printed here in the middle if necessary. One of the traditional spikes, which becomes more trips to the difficulty is very low, which makes it very difficult to climb, even with children.
Therefore, we have some suggestions for Catalonia visit, including, without a doubt, and the three we have mentioned, but there may be many others, it all depends on the intention and desire to have.
No doubt, it is an excellent opportunity to start in the mountains for a while and see the incredible emotion and many in the auto-scene, which is not always possible, because where we propose is not much, if not more for the very close and easy accessible. No need to travel far to go to be satisfied.


Pantai Pok tunggal_3
When you are visiting Kuta Beach, make sure to allocate your time to go to Seger Beach. The beach is located only about 2km from the East of Kuta Beach. Since the location is near with Kuta, make sure to take a visit it also. This beach is in the same coastline with Kuta Beach. Not only serve us a great beach view, but also the stunning underwater life. Just like in other beaches, the common activities that you can do in Seger Beach are swimming, surfing, sunbathing and definitely watching the sunset.
lombok surfing seger beachIf you love snorkeling or swimming, then Seger Beach is an ideal place. Each part of the beach is perfect for the calm water sport, there is one favorite part of the beach for snorkeling. You can also find the best place for surfing with excellent and quite challenging wave intensity, just like the waves we can find in Kuta Beach. It is said that many tourists prefer to have snorkeling and Lombok surfing in Seger Beach than Kuta Beach due to the wave and view.
Finding Seger Beach is an easy thing, the route is simple and the location is not hidden. You just need to go about 200 meters to the East and follow the sign when you have reached the first intersection. When you hit the intersection, turn left and about 1km from there, you will find Seger Beach. The easiest way to reach Seger Beach is by using a motorcycle service from Kuta Beach to Seger Beach by paying about IDR 10.000 to IDR 20.000.
kuta and seger beachOn certain months, usually February to March, you can watch Bau Nyale ceremony or catching the sea worm in Kuta Beach and Seger Beach. This ceremony done annualy and it is signed with the appearance of sea worm or nyale, which is believed to be the incarnation of Princess Mandalika. Not only can you watch and catch Nyale, but also taste some foods from Nyale. Some local Lombok people said that Nyale is tasty. Therefore, don’t ever miss this chance because Nyale can only be found in Lombok island.

Singapore Botanic

This post is written in homage to the Singapore Botanic Gardens whose previous posthas proved, by far, to have been the most popular on this blog. My pilgrimage began from the new Botanic Gardens MRT station at the north end of the gardens.

A male Asian Koel showed brilliantly in the low dawn light but flew before I could get the camera trained on him. Luckily, a female replaced him almost immediately and sat for a moment. Eco Pond can be found at this end of the gardens and has matured greatly since my first visit. It used to be possible to get a close look at the birds on the island from a short boardwalk that reached out into the lake.

This has sadly been removed and I had to check off the Pink-necked Green Pigeons,Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Yellow Bittern from a distance. Australian Black Swansgrace the lake with their presence, but are there as exotics. The approachability of theLesser Whistling Ducks always makes me wonder about their provenance.

Another birder was circling the lake in the opposite direction and we joined up for the morning. Bob, from Birding 5s, works on the basis of only knowing 5 birds well at any one time. He was in Singapore for even less time than I was. A flock of Tanimbar Corellas flew over. Tanimbar Corellas were only described properly in 2004 after the original Goffin’s Cockatoo was found to have been described from 2 unrelated birds. Again the provenance of these birds disqualifies them from the list below.

We walked along the lower path parallel to Cluny Park Road in the hope that we might come across the Red-breasted Crake, but no luck there. The path slopes up to where the visitors centre sits atop a ridge. From the ridge we were able to look out over the Symphony Lake and check the palms on the small island. A couple of tiny Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots were seen on the gently bending fronds. In the far distance, a White-breasted Kingfisher was perched high in a tree and a Blue-tailed Bee-eaterflew high, fast and direct across the open area. The rainforest area was very quiet today with a few calls heard, but only one Asian Brown Flycatcher seen high on a snag. Bob had a flight to catch, so we took a quick amble around the lake before he had to head back to the airport.
A Laced Woodpecker stopped on an overhanging branch ahead of us. This action shot was the result of a fluke as all my settings were wrong.
The Yellow Bittern however gave us all the time in the world to get some shots. After Bob left, I took another look in the forest as I was sure that it must have more to offer today.
A Black Drongo was calling madly but was perched deep in the gloom. The Live View on Canon’s DSLRs allows the mirror to be locked up and vibration reduced. Luckily the drongo sat very still for the long exposures.
In the Ginger Garden, one of the workers took me by the hand and led me to a tiny pond watched over by a Stork-billed Kingfisher.
Heliconia Walk passes between beds of the Bird of Paradise flowers. A Crimson Sunbird came to feed from the nectar and an Olive-backed Sunbird followed shortly afterwards.
I began to think that this would make a good place to wait for a while during my next visit. The gardens are rich dragonflies as well as birds and the heat of midday had stirred many into life.

A selection is included below as well as a link to a previous odonata-heavy post from the gardens.

Ictinogomphus decoratus

Crocothemis servilia


Brachydiplex chalybea
The odonata watching took me for another tour of the Symphony Lake and I enjoyed another close encounter with a Yellow Bittern (before the blackmail begins, I must confess to having called it a Cinnamon Bittern when anybody stooped to ask).
A photographer with a big 500mm lens joined me and had to stand back on the path to achieve his minimum focusing distance. A Banded Woodpecker and a Stork-billed Kingfisher stopped into the tree above us as we watched the Bittern. On my way back to Eco Pond as I was leaving the gardens, three Black Bazas flew over.
They landed in a distant tree, but would not settle and this was the best look that I had. It was here that I met a couple who spared my blushes by correcting my Cinnamon Bittern error. I had some nice pictures and was already planning a 10,000 Birds post and I would never have lived it down if the post had gone live with a mis-ID.
They also saved me a lot of trouble identifying a Paddyfield Pipit, which has replaced the old Richards Pipit.

Singapore Tourism Board Unveils Differentiated Marketing Campaigns

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) today launched its series of differentiated marketing campaigns, starting with the New Discoveries campaign in Beijing, China. This has been tailored to suit the needs of consumers in China.

In the coming months, customised marketing plans will be rolled out in phases across other key markets, including Australia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The new approach, which is focused on addressing consumer needs, marks a departure from the destination marketing strategy that STB used to employ across different markets. The consumer marketing approach has resulted in more targeted and integrated marketing campaigns that will comprise PR, above and below-the-line advertising and digital marketing.

“In the past year, we have deepened the understanding of consumers in the various regions. This has allowed us to develop strategies that are customised to the needs of individual markets. By understanding consumer needs, we can create and deliver better quality experiences to visitors. This is a natural evolution of the YourSingapore destination brand that emphasises the personalisation of experiences. We believe that this visitor-centricity will increase the appeal and relevance of Singapore, and help build a stronger brand in the long term.” said Ms Sophia Ng, Executive Director, Brand and Marketing of the Singapore Tourism Board.

Earlier this year, STB embarked on various in-market engagements with consumers and trade which have provided an increased understanding of the consumers from these initial launch markets. This, coupled with STB’s market knowledge gleaned from years of operating overseas, enabled the team to develop customised marketing plans. With these insights, STB will also work with industry partners, both locally and in the markets, to develop and package more meaningful destination experiences.

Chinese Consumer Insights & New Discoveries Campaign

From conversations with various consumers and trade, STB found that whilst Chinese still come on packaged tours, many are increasingly making their own online bookings and travelling as free, independent travellers. More significantly, they sought a greater depth of travel experiences that include new, unique experiences.

“The New Discoveries marketing campaign leverages this consumer insight in order to enhance our engagement with the Chinese audience. Singapore is a city that is constantly evolving and renewing itself. On top of what consumers already know of Singapore’s well-known tourist attractions, we want to help Chinese deepen their understanding of our city, providing them with compelling reasons to visit Singapore again and again.” added Ms Ng, “Not only do we want to share the new experiences that Singapore offers, we would also like to encourage our Chinese visitors to look beyond the surface and uncover for themselves the hidden gems.”

STB has also partnered with three major travel agencies in China, namely GZL International Travel Service, CYTS and Ctrip to launch a series of New Discoveries packaged tours. In addition to pre-arranged flight and accommodation options, these free and easy tour packages come with a fully personalisable itinerary. Chinese can choose from a menu of dining, culture and retail recommendations, coupled with essential travel services such as car rental and guided tours. Alternatively, semi free and easy tour packages, with guided tour services for the first part of the tour, can help first-time visitors familiarise themselves with Singapore, before they customise their itinerary for the remaining part of the trip.

The New Discoveries launch event was held at Beijing’s edgy 798 art district with home-grown celebrity Stefanie Sun playing her part as Singapore’s Tourism Ambassador for Greater China by sharing her favourite spots in Singapore. In the coming months, the campaign will also feature local Chinese advocates at various PR and communication touch points, including social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, Douban and Renren to reach the Chinese audience.

Ancient World History Of The Great Wall Of china

Great Wall of China

Beginning in 324 b.c.e. three northern Chinese states with nomadic neighbors—Qin (Ch’in), Zhao (Chao), and Yan (Yen)—began to build defensive walls. After Qin unified China in 221 b.c.e. the first emperor ordered his most able general,Meng Tian, to connect these existing walls and extend them to form a unified system of defense. The result is the Great Wall of China.

For 10 years beginning in 221 b.c.e. Meng Tian commanded a force of 300,000 men (soldiers, convicts, and corvee laborers), who simultaneously campaigned against the Xiongnu (Hsiung-nu) and other nomads and built the wall. There is no detailed information about the project.

The great historian Sima Qian wrote this account in The Historical Records: “He [Meng Tian] … built a Great Wall, constructing its defiles and passes in accordance with the configurations of the terrain. It started at Lin-t’ao and extended to Liao-tung, reaching a distance of more than a myriad li. After crossing the [Yellow] River, it wound northward, touching the Yang mountains”.

Controversy remains over the length of the Qin wall. Sima Qian used the word wan, which translates as “ten thousand” or “myriad” in English; myriad was often used to designate a large but not precise number.

Regardless of its precise length, the logistics for its building was daunting, far more so than building a pyramid, because the wall advances and so the supplyline is always changing.

Moreover, it extends over mountains and semideserts where the local populationwas sparse and the weather inclement. A vast army of support personnel was also involved, and death among the workers must have been high.

Legends that the bodies of the dead were used as wall fillers have proved untrue from excavations; however, they reflect the resentment the relentless demand for labor for the project created. Unlike the Ming wall built almost 2,000 years later of rocks and large fired bricks, the Qin wall was made of tamped earth from local materials.

The completed wall stretched from Gansu (Kansu) in the west to north ofPyongyang in present-day North Korea. The building of the wall and earlier Qin defeat of the Xiongnu also had the unintended result of solidifying and unifying the various Xiongnu tribes under their leader Maotun in 209 b.c.e.

The fall of Qin in 206 b.c.e. resulted in neglect in China’s northern defenses and Xiongnu incursions, which the first Han emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) was unable to check. After defeat by Maotun in a major battle in 200 b.c.e., Han and Xiongnu made peace under the Heqin (Ho-chin) Treaty, which made the Great Wall their boundary.

Appeasement of the Xiongnu ended in 133 b.c.e. with major Han campaigns that ultimately broke up the Xiongnu confederacy and led to Han expansion to the northwest. The Great Wall was extended across the Gansu Corridor to Yumenguan (Yu-men Kuan), with forts and frontier posts along the way.

Military colonists guarded these posts, growing food, supplying provisions forgovernment missions, and safeguarding horse stud farms for the cavalry. Many of the ruined Han forts and outposts remain to show the cost of the Pax Sinica that the Han created and that the Great Wall safeguarded.

Temple of Heaven is one of the place in Asia Travel

Universal Studio Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in the unincorporated Universal City community of Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use. Its official marketing headline is “The Entertainment Capital of LA”, though during the summer it is often advertised as “The Coolest Place in LA”.


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It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios soundstages and sets. It is the first of many full-fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks located across the world. Woody Woodpecker is the mascot for Universal Studios Hollywood. The entrance to the theme park may be accessed by the Metro Red line subway line at Universal City Station and other Metro bus routes.

Outside the theme park, a new, all-digital facility near the Universal Studios backlot in an effort to merge all of NBCUniversal’s West Coast operations into one area. As a result, the current home for KNBC, KVEA and NBC News with Telemundo Los Angeles Bureaus with new digital facility on the Universal lot formerly occupied by Technicolor SA.

Universal City includes hotels Universal Hilton & Towers, the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, the multi-screen Globe Theatre, often used for banquets and receptions and Universal CityWalk, which offers a collection of shops and restaurants.
In 2013, the park hosted 6,148,000 guests, placing it 17th in the world and 9th among North American parks.

Himalaya Mountains

US National Aeronautics and Space Administration Landsat-7 imagery of Himalayas Mountain Range

This  is the highest mountain system on earth, the name Himalaya means the House of Snow and it consists of several parallel mountain ranges. 30 to 50 million years in different stages the Indian Plate has collided with the Eurasian Continental Plate to form the Himalaya Mountains.  The Himalaya system is the most common type of mountain formation, folded. They are created by tectonic plates pushing against each other and the only direction for these earth to move is up.
The mountains nearly extend 1,600-miles in an ellipse across southern Asia from the bend of the Indus River in the northwest to the Brahmapytra in the east. They form a barrier that . The Himalaya system, averaging 200 to 250 miles in width, rises sharply from the Indo-Gangetic Plain and separates northern India from the plateau of Tibet, in China. The Himalayas form the earths highest mountain region, containing 9 of the 14 highest peaks in the world.
IN 1807 a Survey detachment was deputed by the Surveyor General of Bengal to explore the source of the Ganges: this was the first expedition to the Himalaya undertaken for purely geographical purposes. Two hundred years have now elapsed, during which geographical and geological information has been steadily accumulating and we have at length reached a stage where there is danger of losing our way in a maze of unclassified detail: it is therefore desirable to review our present position, to co-ordinate our varied observations and to see how far we have progressed and what directions appear favorable for future lines of advance.
First we look at a  paper that originated in a proposal submitted by the Survey of India to the Board of Scientific Advice at the meeting of the latter in May 1906. The proposal was as follows:
“The number of travelers in the Himalaya and Tibet is “increasing, and a wider interest is being evinced by the public in the geography of “these regions. It is therefore proposed to compile a paper summarizing the geographical position at the present time.”
Subject to the modification that the scope of the paper should be geological as well as geographical, this proposal received the sanction of the Government of India. The paper is intended primarily for the use of the public, and its writers have endeavoured to avoid purely technical details and to present our results in a popular manner. The  subject was fallen naturally into four parts, as follows:
Part I.—The high peaks of Asia.Part II.—The principal mountain ranges of Asia.Part III.—The rivers of the Himalaya and Tibet.Part IV.—The geology of the Himalaya. 
Though the four parts are essentially interdependent, each has been made as far as possible complete in itself and will be published separately. The first three parts are mainly geographical, the fourth part is wholly geological: the parts are subdivided into sections, and against each section in the table of contents is given the name of the author responsible for it.

Vernon MorningStar Fall 2009 article: Sayers descends on Pantagonia

Sayers descends on Patagonia

Outdoor adventurer Chad Sayers climbs a slope to do some extreme back country skiing.

Pro skier, Paddler, Rock and ice climber, Snowboarder, Surfer…pick a sport and pick a country, and former Vernon resident Chad Sayers has been there and done that to the extreme.  In his ninth winter of skiing and living at Whistler, the 31-year-old VSS grad had gone around the world for the past 10 years working on his photography and enjoying outdoor challenges. He has been on the cover of ski magazines, he plans to publish a gallery book of his photos, and his chilling Patagonia trek five years ago will, sometime this fall, be featured on a TV documentary.  Life, as a fun-seeker on pretty much his own terms, is a blast for the 5-foot-7, 147-pounder who nearly perished in a ski crash in Utah five years ago, and has suffered numerous injuries tackling the mountains and streams.
Sayers, who each summer visits his parents at their home in Honduras to heal his body, is stoked about the documentary.  “I travelled back to Patagonia with Pioneer TV to document a ski expedition that I did with friends Mark Tinholt and Steve Ogle five years ago for the Discovery Channel’s new epic series called Raging Planet. You can look for this documentary sometime this fall. A dream for us to be able to share and inspire.”Located in the southernmost portion of South America in Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is known for its windswept lands, glaciers, low bush, bleakness and danger. It is scattered with dinosaur bones and living relics. Sayers and company endured several near-death calls on the journey.
“The Patagonia documentary that I was a part of this past April was a dream-come true for my two friends and I. It was a 30-day expedition that took place five years ago on the Southern Icecap in Argentina, which proved itself to be the moment when at 25, I became a man. We experienced a two-week storm once we made it on the icecap which repeatedly buried us and nearly ended our lives. Somehow, five years after the trip, the adventure was researched and chosen to be part of the Raging Planet series.”
In the past five years, Sayers has been to India, South America five times, Central America 15 times, all through the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Greece and all over Europe seven times.
“I have experienced so many beautiful moments of stillness in solitude where I can truly feel the simplicity of life. The travelling lifestyle is not always easy especially when you are in countries that have such poverty and crime.  “There are moments when you find yourself sitting on a dirty old curb in some far off country asking God how one self will find their way back home. I have been so very fortunate to have seen most everything in the past five years moving through the mountains, and surfing oceans wandering far off countries. The lowlights in my travels have given me the chance to truly embrace life for what it is and open myself to grow as an individual.”
Sayers figures this unique lifestyle was definitely something that just manifested as he became more passionate about seeing the world and taking his own photos.  “When my folks moved to Honduras nine years ago, it gave me a great opportunity to be in the tropics and find a passion for surfing and being by the sea. As time went on, and my ski career blossomed, it also gave me a chance to travel year round and be in the mountains in the most stunning landscapes, so I like to think that it was meant to be.”  He hopes his book will inspire and motivate people to follow their hearts and make the most of the gift of life.  “It’s a big bright world out there and for someone that wants to see it, it’s there waiting. The book will be hardcore coffee table with my 100 best (photos).”
Sayers carries sponsorship from Arc’teryx, Adidas, Kastle, G3, Hestra, Leki, Suunto, Peak Performance Physio and Silver Star Mountain Resort.