Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
a) Nature ( wild life, birds, flowers, sceneries)
You may send your colour prints in the size 8” x 10”. Please mention details of location and date of photography, your name, group No. and address on the reverse of the photograph. Perhaps you may be the one to get a cash award or certificate of merit. YHAI, WB State Branch has the right to retain/ use even the entries, which are not selected for award with due acknowledgment/compensation. Last date for submitting entries is 31st December 2010.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I was a foreigner in their land. To them, I smelt of money. Masai women with necklace and bracelets pressed their wares on me. Children posed for pictures and demanded money for doing so. They stuck and refused to go till Reuben stepped in. The tyre had been fixed. We were off on the game drive. “Let’s play,’’ grinned Reuben. Tarangire National Park promised much adventure. It was also here that I first saw a baobab tree. The grass was tall which meant animal sighting would be difficult. We drove around, changing tracks, surprising hordes of gazelles and the occasional ostrich, while giraffe continued to strip trees of their green. In the distance, River Tarangire, muddy and swollen, snaked through the silent green landscape.It was exhilarating.
Out in the middle of nowhere, life took on a different meaning. I had been told that game drives were addictive. It was true. Not a bad day after a lousy start. I spent the night at Sun Bright campsite in Mosquito River town, close to Lake Manyara. The town lived up to its name. It was where I had my first taste of fried cassava and (acidic) fish from the lake Manyara. The next morning the folly of sampling exotic food made itself known. Hakuna Matata, I told myself, popping another pill as we drove towards the Lake. I would soon get used to the African ways!Unlike Tarangire, Lake Manyara was dense, and we drove straight into a herd of elephants! Reuben warned me to keep the roof shut while passing under trees, fearing snakes would drop into the car! I didn’t believe him till I saw a poisonous green mamba crawling up a branch above me. A few metres away, a warthog stood on the road, refusing to move. I hesitated to bring out my camera, fearing he would run. But not until I had taken a couple of shots, did he show any signs of moving. Who would think that warthogs loved showing off! Something above me then caught my attention. A monkey with a strange blue-coloured behind! ‘‘Vervet monkey,’’ explained Reuben, knowing well the sudden encounter with the blue-scrotum primate had left me wondering. The hippo pool was particularly fascinating. It was my first real close encounter with them. By that time, Reuben had decided that it was best to leave me alone, and didn’t utter a word as I inched closer to the pool. I didn’t get past the fence as the pool was flooded. The best shots I managed were from the top of the safari car.Lake Manyara, which made up most of the national park, was beautiful. Thousands of flamingoes stood on the water’s edge while giraffe, buffalo, zebra and deer grazed peacefully nearby. Mongooses scurried about looking for food and bright coloured birds broke into a cacophony. Manyara could easily be called an ornithologist’s paradise!
The NCA, I was told was unique as it was the only conservation area that allowed humans to co-habit with wildlife! However, the thought of waking up with a lion was not a pleasant one. The smell of dung directed us to a Masai Village, built in a circle. Tall, skinny men in traditional Masai shawls welcomed us. They even spoke English. Reuben warned me to leave money behind, for Masai, clever as they were with swords and sticks, also loved dollars!If it weren’t for the thrill of meeting the Masai, I would have stayed away from the village. It smelt of dung. Dark children in tattered clothing and running noses, women in colourful necklaces and earrings and smelling of the village eagerly surrounded me while the men tried to talk business. “You give sunglass, you take this,” said one, pushing a gourd decorated with plastic beads in my direction. They clearly didn’t know their math!Masai lived within the enclosure with cattle, their only source of income, that and the occasional dollar which came their way from generous tourists. (That morning there were a few.) We returned to the Crater. Time to greet the Big Five!Not so soon, for as we descended into the crater, thousands of zebra and wildebeest blocked our way! There was no hurrying them. We were in their territory, after all! I applied myself to the binoculars and was duly rewarded. At the edge of the water far away, sat a cheetah, a tiny speck, but even through the lens, he looked majestic. We drove slowly past buffaloes, zebra, gazelles, wildebeest, ostriches and the occasional elephant till we came upon the rare black rhino. He was coming straight for us! Reuben stiffened, but I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. There were very few left. The rhino thundered his way through grass, passing few meters in front of us. It looked like he was marking his territory!The danger had passed.But I still hadn’t seen the Big Cat and was disappointed. “In the jungles, you need patience,’’ Reuben said. I suppose he was bored too, having no one but me to speak with. I could live with not seeing the tiger or the buffalo, but lions were something else. No game drive was complete without them. We drove around till we came upon other cars parked in a bunch close together. That could only mean one thing — The King had made an appearance.The Crater fell silent. I saw why.A few metres away, the royal couple was engaged in a private moment. The King, unmindful of watchers, let out satisfied roars. We must have stayed there for what seemed like an eternity, not breathing. It seemed vulgar to photograph them in their domain.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
|From Doodh-Ssagar 2010|
|From Doodh-Ssagar 2010|
|From Doodh-Ssagar 2010|
|From Doodh-Ssagar 2010|
|From Doodh-Ssagar 2010|
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
'Travel' derives from the Old French word 'travail' which means work. This in turn apparently goes back to the Latin word 'tripalium' which was a three-legged sort of whip used by the Romans to drive slaves. Being on the move was work, walking miles and miles to get from A to B, getting dirty and sweaty in the process.
No modern-day traveler is required to submit himself to torture, but a little bit of 'travail' by exploring our destinations on foot, as opposed to hopping on a tour bus and letting yourself be guided to pre-selected destinations, goes a long way to increasing the pleasure of travel. We travel to satisfy our curiosity and to discover the real side of the country of our choice. If we don't put in a bit of legwork we will miss out on all of the following:
She continued to explain that said Marias had been three sisters who, during the times of Franco, had suffered serious hardship. Bound on pulling themselves out of misery, they began to design and sew their own clothes and, every day at the dot of 3pm, set out on a walk around the city center, modeling their clothes and, as they had a lot of wit and a sharp tongue, flirting with the students and providing entertainment for an entire city during dreary times. After their death, a statue was erected in their honor and Galician poets even dedicated poems to them. No guidebook mentions this story, which I would not have discovered without taking to the street.
Our cruise ship had just docked in Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the Caribbean island of St. Thomas. I saw that the town center was approximately 2 miles away and decided to walk along the ocean front up to the 99 steps which I wanted to visit. My fellow passengers were not inclined to follow my example and headed for the buses and taxis. "Two miles," one gentleman huffed, "you can't walk that!!" No? I thought to myself. Watch me.
Charlotte Amalie is a small town and the roads are not equipped to accommodate the sudden influx of thousands and thousands of cruise ship passengers, all arriving at once and all headed for the same direction. Result: they got stuck in a traffic jam and looked slightly miffed when I overtook them on foot, happily waving at some very long faces. Moreover, I arrived at the 99 steps and the World Amber Museum well ahead of the crowd and had the place to myself.
I was richly rewarded for this in Kusadasi, a lovely Turkish port town on the Aegean Sea. Discarding the more elegant places, I opted for a small, half-open place called "Toro" where I saw a lot of Turkish businessmen having their lunch. It had long communal tables and benches and an open hot and cold buffet where you just pointed at what you wanted. Or you could ask for fish and then sit down by the waterfront and watch fisherman pulling out what you were about to eat a few minutes later. The lamb shanks I had were so tender that I didn't need a knife and a rich fruit platter came as free desert. The total bill was a lot cheaper than anywhere else, because if not, the locals would have protested.
Again in St. Thomas, I saw the Skyride, a cable car going up and down Flag Hill to Paradise Point. I admit, I took it up, but when I discovered a path leading down, I decided to follow it. My first companion was a bright red butterfly which settled on my shoulder and stayed with me all the way. I saw colorful birds and lizards scuttling out of the way and enjoyed wonderful views of the island and the ocean peeking through the trees. Best of all, I was all alone.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The jatha, which is being carried out in connection with the Greater Canara Green Tourism, will cover 250 km from Dudhasagar Falls to Jog Falls. The jatha will begin at 8 am on October 8 and reach Jog on October 10.
He said the jatha will showcase the green tourist spots of the district, apart from conveying a message to protect the forests and environment. It will also give job opportunities for the youths, he added.
Cyclists of national and international fame will participate in the jatha, along with cadets of National School of Defence, Bijapur, for whom, a cycle race of 70 km will be arranged. The first three victorious candidates will be awarded the Greater Canara Parisarashri award.
Mallesh said it is mandatory for guards, foresters, forest officers and assistant conservator of forests to participate in the rally, while interested youths, college students can also join in, he added.
The CM will inaugurate it at the Railway school ground at Castle Rock on October 8, along with cricketer Anil Kumble, vice-president of Karnataka Wildlife Suggestion Committee. Tourism minister Janardhana Reddy will inaugurate the adventure camp and forest minister C H Vijayashankar will participate in the rally, apart from ministers, MLAs, MP, other public representatives, environment experts and writers.
Read more: Cycle rally to popularize tourist spots - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubli/Cycle-rally-to-popularize-tourist-spots/articleshow/6638418.cms#ixzz10pqYRXK8
Nearest Towns: Sirsi, Kumta.
From Bangalore: 400+ km From Sirsi: 40 km From Kumta: 25 km From Karwar :86 km
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
By Jonathan Simmons, Guest Columnist
Worried you won’t be able to follow the water cooler chatter as your co-workers talk about the Tour de France, which starts Saturday? Here’s a short list of bicycle slang for beginners :
Animal is a strong rider.
Bail is to quit a race or a ride.
Bonk is to lose all your energy, usually from overexertion and a lack of food or fluid, it happens to the best of us, even Lance.
Broom wagon is a van that follows the race and picks up riders who are injured or unable to finish.
Cadence is how fast you pedal.
Cleat is the plastic on the bottom of your cycling shoe that clips into your pedals.
Crump is another word for bonk.
Cobblestones are roads paved with stones that jut out and look like cracked teeth, they are technically challenging to ride and usually result in a nasty crash.
Dialed in means your bike fits you perfectly.
DNF is did not finish, meaning you bonked, crashed or bailed.
Echelon is a line of cyclists that snakes across the road so that each rider blocks a crosswind for the biker behind him.
Domestique is a biker with no hope of winning, he’s only riding to assist the team leader.
Endo occurs when you crash and vault end over end across your handlebars, often you land on your head
Epic is a long ride that animals love.
Gap is the distance between you and the rider up ahead.
Grand Classification, or GC, is the overall winner, the rider with the lowest cumulative time; he’s the one he gets to wear the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey.
Green jersey is awarded to the rider who wins the most points for sprinting.
Grind is to use a hard gear and really push, it’s bad for your knees and you have to be built like a fullback to effectively ride this way.
Hammerfest is a ride where everyone grinds.
King of the mountains is the best climber of the Tour, he wears the polka dot jersey.
Lantern rouge is the last person to finish the Tour de France, like the red lamp on a caboose.
Peloton is a group of bikers riding together to block the wind for each other and make the pedaling easier.
Stage is a single day of a multi-day bike race.
Prologue is a short time trial that starts off a stage race.
Tacoed is when your wheel collapses and looks like a taco shell.
Toasted is when you are spent but you have not bonked.
Wheel sucker is someone who hangs onto your back wheel and uses your draft to get a free ride without sharing the load.
White jersey is given to the best young rider of the Tour.
Jonathan Simmons is a Brookline psychologist and avid cyclist. Read his column about the Tour de France here.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Negotiating potholed roads in India is easy; convincing parents, friends, lovers and the rest of middle-class India that women are in the driver’s seat is the hard part. Having said that, wanderlust is taking a handful of women onto Indian highways and this emerging tribe of roadies has traveller’s tales that are both hair-raising and exhilarating. Driving through cattle can be easier than arguing with irate male road hogs. Thumbing a ride with the average Indian male is a strict no-no.
Whether travelling with the boys or the girls, travel writer Puneet Inder Sidhu has been voted the best driver. She is always behind the wheel, on a gut-busting trip to Bhutan or a joyride in the German countryside in a sporty Mazda Cabriolet. Sidhu believes that the gender you travel with is not so important, though “taking instructions from a male navigator is admittedly hard”.
Of course, life throws those curved balls at you. Mariwala and Chakravarty found themselves lost in Karanataka, with language not on their side. “None of us speak Kannada and we were trying to find our way to Mandagade where our host for the night was putting us up. We saw a signboard that announced Mandagate, a village. We should have guessed it was the wrong one,” says Chakravarty. They were stuck on a narrow road, looking for a hospital, the landmark that their host had told them about. “With a bullock cart in front of us, all we could do was join the laughter of the occupants of the cart,” says Mariwala.
Sidhu, who was behind the wheel in an old and trusted Maruti Esteem on a Patiala to Delhi trip with a woman friend, faced many stares from fellow travellers on the way. “Some of them made U-turns to race or unnerve us. We actually welcomed the dark, so no one could see who was driving,” she says.
The important thing about being with a group of girls is that there is no ‘head of the pack.’ “There is no man ‘in charge’ and that can be very liberating. The onus of taking care, fixing the vehicle or getting food and drinks was on all of us,” says Timsey Zaveri, (33), a techie who was also part of the Goa group.
She believes that women need to get over their technophobia. “I’ve never done road trips with guys but prefer the company of woman travellers. A lot of women are just scared to drive, my mum has learnt, but not my sister-in-law,” she says.
But if you are looking to seek help, here’s some tried-and-tested advice. “Look for old male truckers, they are more helpful and chances of it turning into a bad scene are remote,” says Lakhmana. She should know. She’s been sneaking out her dad’s car when she was all of 13. Today, Lakhmana is a safe, cautious driver who has travelled 55 cities spread out in 17 countries.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Countrys premier youth travel and adventure organisation Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) is conducting adventure sports training to students of Madhya Pradesh.
Gwalior, Jan 4 : Country's premier youth travel and adventure organisation Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) is conducting adventure sports training to students of Madhya Pradesh.
According to YHAI, the training is aimed at overall development of the youth and also to reduce internal fear. The students are trained in rock climbing, archery, shooting, wall climbing, night tracking and etc. The training not only enhances physical fitness but also the concentration level. The participants were excited to attend the training camp, as it would help them in pursuing their career.
"I want to join the armed forces for that I will have to undergo hard training. If I continue to undertake such exercise I would not face much problems in future," said Nishant Singh, a student.
According to organiser of the camp Shahnaz Khan training helps students to gain physical fitness and reduce their internal fear which is indeed required for coming generations. "We want that children should not sit at home. They should come forward and participate in these events," Khan said.