Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Camping Tips To Help Make Your Camping Adventure Tons Of Fun

The best camping tip you can get is to abide by the Boy Scout motto and “be prepared.” There are all sorts of things that can happen on a camping trip so expect the unexpected. Make lists of items that you should bring and pack all the essential equipment. Take into consideration the area where you will be, any rules for the camping site, weather conditions, safety and fun.

The Campsite
Make sure you have the proper equipment for camping. Know what sleeping arrangements are and where you will be cooking. If you are using a camper or RV, much of this will be supplied in your facilities but you will need to know any rules for the particular campsite. If you are sleeping outdoors, make sure you have tents and sleeping bags as well as warm clothing. Bring waterproof matches for campfires and cooking. Set up tents according to instruction. Always leave your campsite the way you found it. The best rule of thumb is to make sure it looks like you were never there.

Bring only the cooking utensils you will need to prepare meals and eat. You will not have a dishwasher and may not have trash bins available. So, make sure you can easily clean and dispose of food items and waste. Bring lightweight, non perishable and easy to cook and clean food items. Canned foods, trail mix, soups and stews are great nutritional meals that are easy to store and carry.

My favorite way to cook while camping is over the fire, using a tripod and aluminum foil. There are lots of delicious meals you can cook by putting a few ingredients in a piece of foil, sealing it, and cooking it. Cleanup is a breeze. There are no dishes to wash. You just need to properly dispose of the used aluminum foil. Do an Internet search for “campfire recipes” and you’ll get lots of delicious foil/pouch campfire meal ideas. While getting ready for camping, do not forget the water. Make sure you have plenty available to keep hydrated and to cook with.

Plan for the expected weather conditions in the area but do not be surprised if there is a sudden climate change. For summer bring hats for protection, sunscreen and insect repellant. For winter, make sure to dress in layers, wear sunscreen, and have waterproof footwear. Always bring extra clothing in case of a climate change. Even in hot weather it can get very chilly at night. Prepare for rain by ensuring you have shelter, tarps and waterproof attire.

A first aid kit is a required piece of camping equipment. These can be found pre made in pharmacies and outdoor sporting goods stores. Rope, a flashlight and waterproof matches are also important. Having a compass available will help in case you get lost and a whistle can help you call for help even if you are fatigued. If leaving the campsite, make sure you bring food and water supplies.

Bring games and toys, especially if you are traveling with children. A game of Frisbee or football is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Bring your fishing rods and canoes for fun on the water. Do not forget to bring binoculars and a camera for hikes and nature walks. You may want to bring art supplies and books in case of inclement weather. For nature walks, insect and plant guide books are usually lightweight and can help you identify wildlife and items in nature.

Camping can be great fun but you should always prepare for things that may come up. Sudden changes in weather can occur and accidents can happen. Make a list of the supplies you will need and carefully pack for your trip. Being prepared will help ensure you have a great time and stay as safe as possible in all conditions.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Borneo Adventure Vacation - Conquering Mount Kinabalu Via The Mesilau Summit Trail

If you are visiting Borneo for an adventure vacation, then conquering the mystical Mount Kinabalu is not really an option - it is 'the' priority.

The mystical Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia, is strategically located at the Kinabalu National Park, a designated World Heritage Site. Kinabalu National Park is just about two hours drive from the city of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

Mount Kinabalu, which stood at around 4,095 meters above sea level, is an icon for Sabah as well as for Malaysia tourism. Therefore, it is of no surprise that every year, thousands flocked to climb or rather, trek up the mountain. Although the traditional route up Mount Kinabalu is via the Kinabalu Summit Trail at Kinabalu National Park, there is an alternative route on the other side of Mount Kinabalu called the Mesilau Summit Trail, a newer and more challenging route. This trail is definitely one for those who are more adventurous to consider seriously.

The Mesilau Summit Trail at the Mesilau Nature Park on the Mesilau plateau is about 30 minutes by road away from Kinabalu National Park or about 108 km from Kota Kinabalu.

It is advisable to stay a night at Mesilau before starting your ascent up Mount Kinabalu as the journey from Kota Kinabalu will likely to leave you rather exhausted. Take a rest and acclimatize with the higher altitude at the eco-friendly Mesilau Nature Resort, which is nestled amongst the trees at the foot of the mountain at about 2,000 metres above sea level within the Park. The resort has a total of 22 lodges and 96 resthouse beds.

As for the climb up to Mount Kinabalu, the Mesilau Summit Trail is definitely more rugged, about 1.5km further than the trail from Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu National Park. But it offers more opportunities for viewing flora and fauna. The Mesilau route is still relatively new, but some shelters and toilets have been built along the trail for the convenience of trekkers. The route is also less crowded than the old summit trail. You won't bank into many mountain climbers on the way up.

The first ascent of the Mesilau Trail does involve a climb up, then a drop into the Mesilau valley, and then another ascent to regain the lost height. You will get to see both the Kinabalu and Mesilau routes at higher ground. The trail is also more "jungle" than the traditional Kinabalu Summit Trail. When trekking uphill, it is fortunate that the trail is well laid with steps cut into the earth and thus, making walking easy.

Layang-layang (Place of Swallows) is where the Mesilau Trail meets the Kinabalu Summit Trail at 2,740m. From there onwards, you will notice that the vegetation zone is like a forest of bent and twisted silvery-grey trunks with peeling bark.

A short hike after the sixth shelter, you will reach the mid-summit (i.e., Laban Rata). Conservatively, it should take a normal fit person an average 6-7 hours to reach Laban Rata, where you will be required to stay a night at Laban Rata Resthouse or at other nearby accommodations (i.e., Mountain Huts and VIP Lodge). From there, the second and more grueling ascent will follow the traditional route all the way to the summit (i.e., Low's Peak), which will start early morning the next day at around 2 am to 3 am

The ascent should normally take a few hours but it is much more challenging than the initial ascent as the trail gets more tiring with each step up the slope as the air gets thinner and thinner. On top of this, you have to battle the freezing cold temperature (sometimes below zero degrees Celsius). If its rains and windy, it will be doubly challenging.

But once you get to the summit and catch the truly magnificent glimpse of the sunrise, you would have forgotten the tough climb. You will feel on top of the world looking down at the tiny villages and small islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.

For those who had climbed Mount Kinabalu before via the Kinabalu Summit Trail or for those who are searching for a more challenging trek, the Mesilau Summit Trail definitely offers a fuller Mount Kinabalu climbing and adventure vacation experience. To quote an avid climber: "You have not truly conquered Mount Kinabalu if you have not conquer it from both sides of the mountain".

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Leatt Adventure Neck Brace Helps to Prevent Axial Loading:compression of the Spinal Column Due to the Effect of Force on the Helmet

Thorough efforts finished to guaranteeing safety motorcycle riding will append up to zero if the Protective Cover is not Immaculate. For illustration, leather jacket will not signify that much if the hands, the knee, or elbows are not decently fortified with plodding or buffer pads to soak up the impact when these areas are concerned in a crash. In the same token, a helmet will put up only partial Aegis if there is no neck brace to accompany it. For this rationality, some dealers usually put up packets of helmet and neck brace for Clear Protective Covering.

Potential Essences of Unstable Neck Brace

In some illustrations such as in motocross races or merely taking a roundabout way via off-road or unpaved paths, the head unremarkably tilts and trends to adapt to the precarious terrain the motorcycle is constrained to stride on. Neck braces aid by performing as a stabilizer of the head, forestalling the neck and the surrounding domains from accidental injuries whenever the neck is carried from side to side. Notwithstanding, when employing a neck brace, one should not barely apply anything. Instead, employ just the finest in Adventure neck braces such as the Leatt Risky Venture Neck Brace.

Innovative Neck Protective Cover

Leatt Venture neck brace is the current creation in motorcycle-riding Protection. There's a secret for the advanced degree of Protective Cover that the Leatt Risky Venture neck brace caters. The product was grown with the help of medical experts in right coordination with true motocross riders to formulate the strongest Possible Protective Cover for the neck that is in Leatt Dangerous Undertaking neck brace. The brace is constructed from molded glass and strengthened nylon to help forestall the following injuries:

# Injuries resulting from strong forward motility of the head

# Injuries caused by profound rearward head motion

# Hurts caused by vehement sideways motility of the head

# Accidental Injuries to the spinal column resulting from the impingement of pressure given on the helmet such as in a crash or head-on collision

The conclude why Leatt Risky Venture neck brace is so impressive is that it does not try to intervene with the motility of the head, but renders to bring the head to a contained stop in situations where strong head motion takes place. The total structure of the neck brace is cushioned, which stimulates it an idealistic shock absorber for the thrusts that endeavors to tilt the head to and fro and side to side. As such, in instants of shock, the impel is disordered and equally distributed without causing any physical injury.

Relieve Neck tiredness

One incremental and very welcome gain applying the Leatt Risky Venture neck brace has is that it services Alleviate fatigue from the neck muscles. Amazingly, the brace is a errorless associate for most helmets, and so anyone can function the brace with just about any helmet they already sustain.

For you to possess the highest level of Aegis for the neck and adjoining areas, check out Bob's Cycle Provision for the fullest deal on Leatt Venture neck brace.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

White Water Rafting On The Arkansas River, A Colorado Adventure, A Family Affair

Picture this. It’s the 3rd week in June, it’s 10:30 AM, and our party of six and our guide shove off into the cool waters of the Arkansas River Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The 15 minute ride from the office to the departure point was light-hearted and filled with anticipation. The guides added to the excitement with their friendly banter.

After the guides unload the rafts from the bus top and the trailer and the rafts are put into the water, the group gathers around at the river’s edge. Casey, our guide, runs through the safety rules and the worse-case emergency situations with the final question, “So, are you scared yet? Good! Then let’s go.”

Within the next 2 to 3 minutes we practice our left back paddle, right paddle, and all paddle 3 commands. By the end of the rafting trip two hours later, we are just beginning to feel like a team that can respond to our guide’s commands and ride victoriously through the river’s challenges – any challenge. We might at this point be a little over confident. As first-time rafters, we may not know the subtle differences between class II-III rapids and those farther down the river through the Royal Gorge.

Somehow, from our beginning skill level of zero, we manage to ride the rapids, maneuver successfully around the rocks jutting up in the middle of the river (most of them!) and around the rocks that the current drives us toward, and with Casey’s expertise and adventurous spirit we ride down a few rapids backwards.

With some gentle persuasion after I have been well washed with a few soaking rapids, he obliges my request and we meet the next rapid’s challenges with the opposite side of the raft, for my wife’s benefit. She has stayed all too dry up to this point.

How can I describe it? We point the raft straight toward the rapids. “All paddle!” Casey shouts. We all paddle forward. As we hit the first rapid, the front of the raft hardly takes any water. We seem to skim over the troughs formed by the rapids, from top to top. Sometimes as I stroke forward with the paddle to pull it back, I pull air. Only the trough is below us. I can’t reach the water. Then the next wave crashes into the raft, soaking us all, the two leaders in front gasping a breath through the streaming water. From someone in the raft erupts a shout, “Yeah! Wow! What a ride!” And we’re through that set of rapids.

During the more quiet moments, some of the younger boys in one of our neighboring rafts jump in for a swim. We take some pictures, and trade stories, fully enjoying one of nature’s challenging forces, fully enjoying our newly-found unity and purpose as a river rafting team. Seldom in my life has the sky seemed more blue, the water more inviting, or the adventure more satisfying. The two-hour trip is all too short, and I loathe getting out of the river and back on the bus. I am ready to do the Royal Gorge and its class IV-V rapids!

RIVERRUNNERS can host your entire family (8 years of age and older) for an exhilarating, unforgettable rafting excursion on the Arkansas River through Big Horn Sheep Canyon. Now during early summer is an ideal time, but don’t write off late summer thinking the water level will be too low. For the family the entire summer is a great time. RIVERRUNNERS offers a variety of half day or full day trips from easy to demanding even for the experienced rafter. In addition to Royal Gorge and Bighorn Sheep Canyon, the company offers trips through Browns Canyon, the Numbers, and Pine Creek. Their Utah based ADRIFT ADVENTURES offers daily, 4-day and 5-day rafting vacations through the Yampa River Canyon, Green River, Lodor Canyon, and Dinosaur National Monument. Indeed, there is a trip and an adventure for everyone.

The staff is experienced, requiring 100 hours of rafting experience before being allowed to guide a raft. The equipment is kept in excellent repair, and the company’s attention to detail, including each participant’s personal needs and limitations, is admirable. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip with RIVERRUNNERS, and our next full-day rafting trip, including the Royal Gorge and class V rapids, will be with them. Get ready Casey, because we’re requesting you for our guide.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Good Belize Hotel as a Base For a Belize Adventure Vacation

Belize has such contrasts from the beaches to the jungle to the Mayan ruins, from the rivers to the Cayes, needs a good base to see it all, so check out the Black Orchid Resort..

Any Tour Package to Belize must include all the sights. It seems a shame to hide away on a Caye, even if diving is your passion. Equally silly to spend your entire time in the jungle viewing ancient Mayan Ruins, or just sitting on a beach in the Caribbean sunshine, when there is so much to see and do. The problem is where do you base yourself so you can be sure your tour package to Belize gives you the adventure you want, and the relaxation and down time your body needs as well.

Such a place is the Black Orchid Resort on the banks of the Belize Old River on the outskirts of Burrell Boom Village, is just twenty minutes from the international airport so its easy to reach and easy to leave from.

There are three different types of people here, with the first being people who have spent a week or more on their Belize adventure vacation who now need some R & R. The Black Orchid Resort is a great place for that, because you can just lie in a hammock sipping a cool tropical drink and then taking a quick dip into the pool for body refreshment. All they really want to do is chill out and relax, and if they feel up to it they go down to the river and canoe, kayak or just paddle boat, or even take a power boat trip up the river.

The second group have just arrived off a long haul flight, and are recovering before starting an arduous round of all that Belize has to offer, with packing and unpacking, a different hotel or inn every two or three nights to return exhausted to await their flight out.

You are the third group who know exactly what they want to see and do and the wonderfully helpful staff at the Black Orchid Resort will ensure it happens. You see the rest of belize can easily be reached from the Black Orchid Resort. As a consequence of this they arrange a whole host of Belize adventure vacation tours, and give you the best of all worlds with a great tour package to Belize. So if you want to go diving, snorkelling, fishing, sailing, then you can. If you want to go hiking or visiting some of the offshore Cayes, then just ask. The ancient Mayan Ruins and their archaeology can be explained and explored on a private tour if that is what you want.

Wonderfully there is the Black Orchid Resort to return to with its very comfortable accommodation, a great three meals every day, and the pool to wash away the dust and the tiredness.

When it is time to go, you will be very sorry to leave such a hotel, that has such willing staff, that organizes wonderful trips, and probably you are one of the few guests who is in on the secret, that there is no need to leave the Black Orchid Resort to have your Belize Adventure vacation, because you can organize it from here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fun Adventure Action and Skills- Cars Games and Balloon Games for the Entire Family

This is one of those afternoons when you don’t feel like doing anything- just staying in with your kids and have family fun. But you need to keep the little ones truly entertained otherwise your day is going to be difficult. Therefore, two very good suggestions would be to play car games and Balloon games. Even if these games are not multiplayer type of games, they can certainly be played in rounds, then sum up the points and check who won. The winner gets to select the next game from the list. You can also put a few “awards”, like sweets and candies for instance- and here is your perfect stay-in family day: playing and having fun.

The car games are perfect for measuring skills and speed, and they are all the perfect type of game for father and son. Just have fun with your little one, but be careful he might outsmart you in driving skills. If you are a good driver in real life that does not necessarily imply that you are the best “online driver” too. You can be surprised how many tips and tricks you are going to learn from your little one, who is much better acquainted with the online gaming world than you. Here are a few top suggestions:

• FFX Racing- this is a cute 3d game in shockwave. In order for you to win, you must be smarter and faster than all your opponents. Let’s see whether you can face competition well! Rated 5 stars out of 5.

• Hot Wheels Race Car – you need to drive vigilantly but quite fast, avoid all the obstacles arising in your way, and arrive at the finish line in one piece! Challenging and very entertaining little game, which will have your adrenaline pumped up as well!

• Driving School- you need to successfully complete all the tasks in order to be called a good and reliable driver. Some tasks are easy, but as you progress from task to task, your job will get harder.

When you are done playing the challenging cars games, it is time to try something lighter and funnier: the Balloon games! These are generally shooting games filled with color, wonderful graphics and very nice sounds. Some suggestions from the top 10 list:

• Balloon park- you have a time frame within which you must complete all levels. It might be difficult at start, but don’t give up that easily!

• Bloons- a favorite for quite many online players, Bloons is a funny and entertaining game that will keep you glued to your chair for quite some time.

• Balloon Duel- you will have to pop your opponent’s balloon in this little game. The more you can pop, the better your chances of winning the game!

• Karmaball- mystic, adventurous and challenging. These are the three words that best describe Karmaball, where you need to blow up bubbles to increase your karma and to have a better overall energy for life! Start your adventure following the simple instructions.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Historic Transportation Adventure On The Hull-chelsea-wakefield Steam Train

Transportation is an integral experience of any trip, and when you get a chance to experience a unique mode of transportation it's even better. Even though today we didn't have the best weather, I drove from Ottawa over the bridge to Hull (now officially part of the Municipality of Gatineau), and not far from the famous Casino duLac-Leamy is the train station for the Hull-Chelsea Wakefield Steam Train. This tourist train runs on the former Gatineau Railway Line, built between 1890 and 1903 by the Ottawa and Gatineau Valley Railway whose purpose was to connect downtown Ottawa with the Quebec town of Maniwaki in order to facilitate lumber transports. Due to a shortage of funds the entire railway line was never fully completed and passenger service through the Gatineau Valley ceased operation in 1963.

Today the 64 km stretch covered by the Hull-Chelsea Wakefield Steam Train winds its way through a scenic landscape wedged in between the Gatineau Hills and the Gatineau River. The idea for this tourist train was conceived by a private and public consortium in 1992, and in 1994 a local businessman, Mr. Jean Gauthier, bought the tourist train, restructured the enterprise and turned it into a successful tourism venture that has since won a variety of prizes and awards, including several Grand Prizes awarded by Quebec Tourism.

The Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train consists of an authentic steam engine of Swedish origin, built in 1907. Sweden used to have an entire fleet of steam engines which they phased out in the 1950s when the country’s railroad system became electrified. They did not scrap the old steam engines, but put them into storage. Due to the threat of the Cold War, they feared that their electricity production capacity might be attacked by invaders, and the old locomotives were hidden in shelters, just in case they were needed to provide an alternate source of transportation.

By 1990 the threat of the Cold War had subsided and the Swedish government decided to sell its 200 steam locomotives, one of which (the “909”) was picked up by the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield project along with a 1962 General Motors diesel locomotive. Each engine is capable of about 1000 horsepowers and when there are more than 8 coaches attached, usually both locomotives are in service.

The nine coaches themselves were also built in Sweden during the 1940s. The Quebec coach holds a snack bar while the Club Riviera is the luxury car. The seven other coaches feature comfortable seating and there is limited wheel chair capacity in the Wakefield coach. The Riviera car was refurbished and upgraded a few years ago and features a great room and 3 private rooms. It is often used for private and corporate events.

My ride was going to be in the luxury Club Riviera coach, and as I settled into a comfortable armchair, I sat back and thought of the grand old times of train travel. Our tour guide and attendant Maxime welcomed us through her wireless microphone in both official languages and our trip had begun. We started rolling slowly through the north end of Hull and soon Maxime jokingly pointed out a “car museum” on our right hand side. Turned out it was a junkyard, I guess “museum” is another, definitely more upbeat way of looking at it.

Our trusty steam train pulled us slowly northwards and we moved into a forested area with the Gatineau River on the right and the forest on the left. Hundreds of trilliums were blooming in the woods and occasionally we heard the whistling of the steam engine. Soon after our departure, Maxime brought an assortment of baked goods, coffee and orange juice to each table. She explained that the Gatineau River is 400 km long and has its origin in Northern Quebec. On the right hand side she pointed out the Chelsea Hydroelectric Dam which was built in 1927 and ended up creating enormous floods. Maxime explained that due to the dam the river is now 75 to 80 feet deep.

In Tenaga, a native word for “water tank”, trains used to fill up their water tanks while in Kirk's Ferry, Thomas Kirk, an American businessman had created a horse-drawn ferry in the 1850s with horses walking on both sides of the river, pulling the boats across the river with a pulley system. Once the dam was built, this became too dangerous and the ferry operation stopped.

Maxime also explained that the train today is propelled by heating oil, not coal. This was one of the safety requirements imposed by the Canadian government when they issued the permit for the tourist train. Heating oil is not only less expensive than coal, it is also less polluting. We chugged by the Morrison Quarry, a now abandoned gravel pit featuring a variety of run-down, yet almost picturesque industrial equipment. On the other side of the quarry is actually the highest bungee jumping tower in Canada.

Two young musicians, one with a guitar and one with a fiddle, came into our railway car and played some folk music which the crowd greatly appreciated. Every outing on the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train features an element of live entertainment. In addition to daytime excursions, the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train also offers evening excursions featuring a 4-course dinner.

After an hour and a half we finally arrived in the quaint town of Wakefield, location of many restaurants, tea rooms and souvenir shops. The big spectacle was yet to come: the operation of the manual turntable! Once the train reaches its final destination the 93 ton steam locomotive needs to be turned around for the drive back to its original location. The engineers slowly drive the train onto a swiveling circular platform. Then the musicians get to manually push the platform using lever arms and this turns the locomotive around in the opposite direction. This is one of only two manual turntables left in North America.

A lunch at the Trois Erables Bed and Breakfast was included in the Riviera Club package, however, I had already made plans earlier to explore one of the most historic properties in town: the Wakefield Mill Inn and Spa, a historic gristmill just a 10 minute walk outside of downtown Wakefield.

Following my discovery of the Wakefield Mill Inn and Spa it was time to get back on the train at 1:30. There are several sound signals using the steam whistle to announce the departure of the train back to Hull and there are 2 departure points inside the town of Wakefield. People were coming back on the train, somewhat soaked from the rainy weather, and quite a few of them had obviously been to some of the crafts shops or chocolate stores around Wakefield.

It was time for our leisurely hour and a half ride back to Hull, and the mood in the car was noticeably quieter. The chairs in the Riviera Car are so comfortable that a few passengers took a little nap, myself included. The rhythmic chugging of the train is an extremely relaxing experience and made me doze off a couple of times on the way back.

Once we had reached our final destination, I experienced a real treat: the two engineers, Vic and Nikolas, invited me into the cab of the steam locomotive for a few minutes just before they were going to turn around the train around for the dinner excursion at the railway yard. I had missed my turn to climb aboard the engine in Wakefield, but now I got to catch up and see this mechanical beauty up close.

Vic himself is a retired RCMP officer who has found the perfect part-time job. Nikolas, a recent immigrant from Croatia who is very experienced with steam engines, works on refurbishing and maintaining the locomotives during the winter time and drives them in the summer. Both of these gentlemen visibly love their job, they enjoy working with this close to 100 year old steam engine and take good care of it to make sure it has many more years of life left.

The Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train is a great example of how a historic travel experience has been revived and become a major local tourist attraction. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Global Adventure Travel Entrepreneur With A Conscience

Yesterday I had a chance to meet Bruce Poon Tip, owner and CEO of G.A.P Adventures, one of Canada's most successful travel entrepreneurs. You may wonder, what is he like? Bruce is the owner of Canada's largest adventure travel company, an attractive man of about 37 years of age, dressed in casual attire and not afraid to speak off the cuff. Certainly a charismatic personality who was able to captivate last night's capacity crowd at the G.A.P. concept store in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood.

In 1990 Bruce went on an organized backpacking trip to Thailand where he had a chance to explore the people and the country on $10.00 a day. This experience gave him the idea to create G.A.P Adventures, today Canada's largest adventure travel company that now sells thousands of different trips and annually sends 40,000 passengers on their own small-group adventures. G.A.P has about 300 employees today, headquartered in Toronto, with operational offices in various countries of Latin America. It's most recent endeavors are the G.A.P concept stores which have recently been opened in high-traffic areas in Toronto and Vancouver, places where travellers can research their adventure trip, get more information about their desired destination and book their once-in-a-lifetime experience supported by good advice with no sales pressure.

For his entrepreneurial savvy Bruce has won numerous awards, besides receiving an award as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, Bruce has been also been honored as one of Canada's top 5 entrepreneurs by Canadian Business as well as Canada's 100 leaders of tomorrow. Profit Magazine named him in their 20th anniversary issue cover story as one of Canada's Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the last 20 years. Bruce also received the Global Traders Leadership award from the government for his ground breaking ideas in exporting services.

Recently Bruce was asked by the World Bank and UNESCO to represent a team to visit the Peoples Republic Of China to lecture on Sustainable Development. In January of 2002 Bruce was the only Canadian operator invited to speak at the United Nations Launch of the Year Of Eco Tourism in New York. Bruce defied the odds once again last year by winning Canada's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as the National Citation for Entrepreneurship.

G.A.P's additional awards include having two trips chosen among the TOP 25 Adventures in the World by National Geographic Adventure magazine, the Ethics in Action Award, the Global Traders Award and the Clean Air Commute Award for five straight years.

Although a consummate business man, Bruce Poon Tip has a conscience and he has founded his entire enterprise on the concept of sustainability and established travel practices that show consideration of natural surroundings and local cultures. By limiting the travel group size to 12 people, by taking local transportation and staying in small, locally owned hotels and guesthouses, G.A.P travelers are able to minimize their footprint in foreign communities and get maximum exposure to local culture.

Planeterra is a non-profit organization founded by G.A.P to give back. Today Planeterra raises funds for a number of community projects, international charities and an endowment fund to ensure long-term support of community development and conservation projects for years to come. Some of the community projects that G.A.P sponsors through donations include a community school in Ecuador, a foundation in Honduras to help women start their own businesses, an NGO in Costa Rica for environmental and wildlife conservation projects, a local battery recycling project in Chile, a drop-in center for street children in Cuczo, Peru, and many more. G.A.P Adventures itself also initiated a Women's Weaving Project in Peru that taught local women ancient weaving techniques as well as natural fabric dye processes. Today all G.A.P travel groups visiting the Sacred Valley in Peru have a chance to see and purchase high quality textiles produced by these weavers, all sold at fair trade prices.

As another example of the innovativeness of his company, Bruce shared with us the story of how he went out to purchase the "Explorer", the world's first purpose-built expedition cruise ship. In March of 2004 Bruce went on an expedition cruise through the Antarctic and fell in love with the experience. He figured he need to buy his own expedition cruise ship and started looking for suitable vessels. In April of 2004 he found the "Explorer", a historic expedition ship with a capacity of 112 passengers and a crew of 60 people. The ship had been docked in Genoa, Italy, for many months due to the financial problems of its owners. Just another 2 months later, but after many complications, G.A.P took possession of the ship. Only another 4 months later, after extensive restorations, the Explorer went on its inaugural journey and today offers expedition cruises to such unique places as Antarctica, the Amazon, Spitzbergen, and Greenland. (Incidentally, G.A.P. has agreed to sponsor our first Travel Story Contest and the grand prize winner of our contest will win an exciting adventure cruise on the Amazon in the Explorer - all thanks to G.A.P. Adventures.)

G.A.P's innovative business ideas don't end here. G.A.P also has a travel TV Show: Great Adventure People TV shows viewers the world – G.A.P Adventures style. The camera accompanies small groups of G.A.P Adventure travelers and follows them on unique G.A.P. adventure trips– cycling through the fascinating country of Vietnam, exploring exotic Morocco, and hiking, biking and rafting through captivating Spain and Italy. New episodes can be seen in Canada on CTV and will soon also be available in Great Britain on the UK Travel Channel.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Learning Adventure - Exploring The Beauty Of Sicily And Sailing Through The Eolian Islands

The name alone conjures up images of an exotic island, a mysterious and fascinating past. I have wanted to explore Italy for some time now since I had not been there for a long, long time, and when I was pondering which region of Italy to explore Sicily came to mind. I figured this island would offer a combination of fascinating history, rich culture, scenic beauty, and an opportunity for a wide variety of activities. One activity I definitely wanted to pursue was to combine my journey with language studies: my earlier language study trips to Havana and Cuernavaca, Mexico, not only got me closer to the Spanish language, but these on-site language learning experiences really allowed me to explore the culture from within.

So this time I was going to focus on learning Italian, and I was able to locate two language schools in Sicily that would both provide a totally different experience and a different way of exploring the island. Armed with no prior knowledge other than having read through an Italian grammar book, I was going to see how much of this beautiful language I would pick up in my three weeks in Sicily.

My first eight days were spent in Taormina, a gorgeous mountain-top town on the eastern side of Sicily, whose main distinguishing feature is an ancient Greco-Roman Theatre that is still in use today. The town itself has to be among the most picturesque destinations anywhere, with its beautiful buildings, narrow streets and passageways and stunning views of Mount Etna and the Mediterranean.

Shortly after my arrival I got to meet the people at the Babilonia Language School where I would be learning Italian for a week and exploring the culture of Sicily. My accommodation was in a lovely 13-room privately owned hotel that has been operated by the Sciglio family for more than 50 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Sciglio are in their mid-eighties and continue to work extremely hard, without even a thought of retirement, and their son Salvatore works with them. In an interview I learned more about the hotel’s history and the family’s involvement in this business. On the second day I joined my first guided excursion with the Babilonia language school: a guided hike to the ancient village of Castelmola which was followed by a tasting of Sicilian delicacies in a local bistro.

My first weekend in Sicily promised to be great: an excursion to the ancient town of Siracusa and an exploration of the gorgeous coastline just east of Taormina, including the town of Mazzaro and Isola Bella. The following Monday was my first day of language studies: first we went through the placement test, and then we had our first lesson which included some unique yet effective teaching methods. The next day was May 1, Italian Labour Day and a national holiday: a perfect opportunity to rent a car and drive into the countryside surrounding Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano, which by the way, had erupted the night before.

The next day it was back to school, and Alessandro, the director of the Babilonia language school, gave me a personal history lesson about Sicily and also explained the origins of that famous Sicilian institution, the Mafia, to me in detail. That evening I joined in a cooking class in a private home offered by the language school. I was going to see first-hand how a real multi-course Italian meal was prepared, using authentic, locally grown ingredients. And of course, I would have a chance to taste the finished delicacies afterwards and partake of a nice meal with other language students and the local Ferrari family.

My language studies the next day were followed by a visit to a local pottery painting artist, as Babilonia also offers pottery decoration courses, in addition to hiking, biking, golfing and diving programs. Perched on the rooftop patio of a Taormina hotel, with a perfect view of an ancient palazzo right next to Mount Etna, I learned about Sicilian pottery painting techniques. In the late afternoon I joined another excursion to hike up the southern flanks of Mount Etna. A visit to a winery and a nice dinner followed.

Then I had reached my last day in beautiful Taormina and after my final language lessons it was time to say goodbye to the folks at Babilonia, and to my co-students, whom I had gotten quite fond of. With the exception of the occasionally grey and drizzly weather, my experience in Taormina had been great: the language learning, the interesting excursions and activities and the interaction with my international co-students had been a really great experience. I was a bit sad to leave Taormina where I had gotten so comfortable.

But a new adventure was about to begin: I took the train to Milazzo on the northeastern side of Sicily, where the next day I would embark on a seven-day sailing trip through the beautiful Eolian Islands, offered by Laboratorio Linguistico, a Milazzo-based Italian language school. After meeting some of my six shipmates, who were really cool by the way, we were off on our sailboat, the 4 cabin "Solitaire II", to our first destination: the island of Lipari, the largest of the Eolian Islands, and an extremely scenic place.

Our expert skipper Francesco, a licensed captain, also happened to be the co-owner of the language school, and one of our two resident language teachers on this sailing trip. After Lipari we continued our sailing trip to Salina, a neighbouring island, where three of us went on a driving tour to see local villages and also the house where “Il Postino” was filmed. An Italian lesson on the backyard patio of a bar was our first introduction to Laboratorio Lingustico’s language teaching program. Of course Francesco and Franco, our second teacher and co-owner of the school, conducted all conversations during the entire sailing trip in Italian only, which allowed us to be fully immersed in the language all the time. After we had nourished our brains, a Sicilian seafood feast capped off our second day on the boat.

On the third day we set sail for the island of Stromboli, which is still an active volcano. The town of Stromboli features such narrow streets that they are impassable to regular vehicles. No wonder the local “carabinieri” (Italian police officers) have to ride in golf carts.

After a somewhat turbulent late-night voyage from Stromboli to Panarea we arrived late and anchored in a bay off the island. On a gorgeous morning the next day we first had another language lesson – where else but on the outdoor patio of a bar in Panarea, surrounded by gorgeous sunshine and beautiful flowers. Panarea is an extremely photogenic destination and offered great opportunities for hobby photographers like me.

Our voyage continued to Lipari again where we would end an eventful day with a scrumptious outdoor feast on the main square. The next day three of us went on a driving tour of this beautiful island and from the south end we already saw our next destination: the island of Vulcano, which also features an active volcano. We anchored in a bay off this island, enjoyed some Italian lessons on the boat and after a delicious on-board dinner, our shipmates Franco, a gifted guitar player, and Agnieszka, a talented singer, entertained us with soulful melodies by candlelight on the back of the boat – magical moments that I will not forget for a long time.

Then our final day on the boat arrived: we hiked up to the “Gran Cratere”, the active crater of Vulcano. Yellow rocks and thick clouds of sulphur announced that the forces of geology were indeed active right underneath our feet. And the view from the top over the six other Eolian Islands was breathtaking. After another Italian lesson on an outdoor patio overlooking the Mediterranean we had to say goodbye to the Eolian Islands and start to head back to Milazzo.

Just as I thought our 7 day sailing trip would come to an anticlimactic end, one of my shipmates announced “DOLPHINS!!!”, and indeed four of these playful sea creatures were accompanying our sailboat, jumping in and out of the water, and having fun with us. The excitement continued when we ended up catching three tunas on a fishing line we had been dragging behind our boat. The following decapitation and evisceration scene though was a bit hard on my tender vegetarian soul…

So we had reached land, and to celebrate the conclusion of a wonderful sailing trip and one of my shipmates’ birthdays we enjoyed another big Sicilian feast in Capo di Milazzo. The next day, we had a chance to relax a bit in our five-bedroom apartment conveniently located above the Laboratorio Linguistico Language School and do simple things like laundry and sit on the balcony. Franco, our language teacher took us on a guided walk of Milazzo which features a huge fortification that dates back more than 1000 years.

After saying goodbye to my roommate Claudia I spent my final Sunday in Sicily in the picturesque medieval town of Cefalu, about a two-hour train ride from Milazzo. That city’s medieval core and huge Norman cathedral together with the ruins of an ancient castle on top of the rock that towers over the town left me with many vibrant treasured memories. Now I only had two full days left in Sicily.

Following a tour of the Milazzo headquarters of Laboratorio Linguistico I went on a country excursion into the surrounding Nebrodi Mountains with my two Italian teachers Francesco and Franco. We visited the Rocks of Agrimusco, a cluster of mysterious-looking rocks on a high plateau with a gorgeous view of Mount Etna. Then we headed into the hilltop town of Montalbano Elicona, an authentic small Sicilian town, completely untouched by tourism. I finally had a chance to snap some pictures of the locals who love to congregate next to the church and discuss important issues of the day.

My final day in Sicily had arrived – I had to say goodbye to the great team at Laboratorio Linguistico and board the bus towards Messina and from there to Catania from where I would catch a plane in the early morning the next day. After my arrival in the late afternoon I had a chance to briefly explore this city, the second-largest city in Sicily, and get ready for my flight home.

On this trip I found out that Sicily is gorgeous, and a visit in the late spring around April / May is perfect since everything is in full bloom and the hoards of tourists do not really arrive until June, July and August. Sicily has remained amazingly authentic and is fortunately free of many of the signs of mass tourism that mar other Mediterranean coastlines.

Taormina and the Eolian Islands are all stunning destinations, but the Sicilian hinterland in itself holds many hidden treasures. The history, architecture, culture and scenic beauty are astounding. And seafood lovers will definitely fall in love with this destination.

I myself really enjoyed the language learning experience at Babilonia and Laboratorio Linguistico – as a matter of fact, my three weeks in Italy took me all the way up to Intermediate level and when I came back I was quite capable of communicating fairly competently in this new language.

The people were great: the staff at both language schools was very helpful and knowledgeable, and the interaction with my co-students from all different countries was a real treat. Our crew on the sailboat in particular came together really nicely and some close personal bonds had developed after this experience.

Without a doubt, language study travel is one of the best forms of travel in my opinion, giving you the chance to learn, to expand your mind, and to really discover the local culture. And without a doubt I’ll be back in Sicily – this fascinating island has so much more to explore.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alaska Vacation - An Extraordinary Family Vacation Adventure

Adventure awaits in America's last great frontier. Every one of Alaska's 586,000 square miles invites you to its own extraordinary adventure. Rich in wildlife, this great frontier is home to more animals than people. Its magnificent scenery inspires awe in the beholder. So an Alaska vacation is your passport to a thrilling adventure.

Alaska's National Parks

Alaska is home to 8 national parks. These parks occupy one-half of the land area in the U.S. national park system. So, an Alaska vacation would not be complete without a visit to at least one of these parks.

Each park has is own unique characteristics. The centerpiece of Denali National Park is Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. Denali's more than 6,000,000 acres is home to grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose and wolves.

The Wrangell St. Elias National Park contains the largest number of glaciers. Remote mountains, deep valleys, wild rivers and an abundance of wildlife are dominant features of this park. This is a great park of the avid photographer.

The Kenai Fjords National Park is located in southeastern Alaska. It is dominated by great fjords and the Harding Icefield. Fjords are deep valleys carved by ancient glaciers. These fjords are now filled with sea water. The Harding Icefield sits on a mountain platform above the coastline. Only rarely does a mountain peak penetrate the flat ice surface of the field. The Exit Glacier is extremely popular with vacationers, and it is easily accessible.

These parks are representative of all Alaska's national parks. A visit to any one of them on your Alaska vacation will offer rich dividends.

Adventure to Alaska's Glaciers

Imagine the spectacle of ancient glaciers dropping massive chunks of ice into the sea. The glaciers of College Fjord, Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier Bay National Park offer some of the most spectacular sights and sounds you'll experience on your Alaska vacation adventure. After moving ponderously down the mountains and fjords, these massive rivers of ice drop their bounty into the sea. The process is known as "calving," and some tidewater glaciers shed enormous chunks of ice several times an hour.

In most cases, the cascading wall of ice you see is several hundred years old. While these newly formed icebergs melt rapidly in the warmer water, some are large enough to support seals and other wildlife looking for a free ride even though it is temporary.

Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage

Cruising the Inside Passage is one of the most popular Alaska vacation adventures. Ancient glaciers carved the passage. Now blanketed with majestic hemlock and spruce, it is a region of pristine water, snow capped mountains, deep fjords and forested islands. The area, with its mild, maritime climate, is a prime habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, porpoise and whales.

The picturesque communities along the coast continue to reveal the area's rich history. Quaint churches and other historical buildings preserve the Russian influence. You will relive the Gold Rush era as you make your way through the Passage.

Ancient totem poles are constant reminders of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indian cultures. You can watch as this generation of Native Americans preserve the art of totem carving. You can also see demonstrations of their traditional dance and music.

An Alaska vacation is no ordinary experience. The rich variety of options assures that you will have the time of your life. From the majestic mountains that dominate Denali National Park to the massive tidewater glaciers, from abundant wildlife to remote lodges, your Alaska experience will be permanently imprinted in your memory. If you never get to visit Alaska again, your Alaska adventure will still live within you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Choose The Right Bass Fishing Tackle For Your First Fishing Adventure

If your going on your first Bass fishing trip and you haven't done any fishing ever before it can be a bit daunting to try and find the right fishing tackle. The moment you step in to a shop that sells fishing tackle, or better yet a shop that specializes in fishing, you will see that there are thousands of items to choose from. Things like lures, reels and rods are there in so many forms and variations and they exist because each one is needed in its own situation. For a beginner this can be shocking and even a reason not to go fishing but you should not let this huge assortment of fishing items to choose from get you down. As a beginner you don't have to know what all the different items are for just try and get the basics.

A Rod

We begin with the most difficult item in your bass fishing tackle, the decision which rod you need to buy. You already know that there are a lot of rods you can choose from. One can get a special rod for every type of fish you can catch or for the special lures that are available. The choice of rod largely depends on the type of lure you will be using.

Looking at them you would not say so, but a fishing rod is a complex piece of tackle. When we talk about bass fishing rods there are four points to look for and these are tip action, length, power and sensitivity.

Tip Action

This tells you if the tip is soft or maybe more stiff. When the tip of your rod is soft then you will be able to make a more accurate cast, but on the other hand it will make the choice of lures a lot smaller.


The type of fishing you are going to do and the type of lures you will be using will dictate the length of the rod.


When we talk about power what this means is the weight of the rod, is it heavy or light. When you are going for bigger fish then you will need a heavier rod.


This specifies how much the rod will let you feel. The more sensitive the fishing rod is the more you will be able to feel what the bait or lure is doing under water and of course when the fish are starting to take little bites.

So what does this mean for the choice you have to make. When you are going to fish with worms the best rod of choice would be the one which is sensitive because you want to feel what is going on at the bottom of the water. But the rod also needs to be fairly heavy and have a soft tip so you can do some accurate casting.

On the other hand when you will be using a spinner as bait then the rod needs to be a bit lightweight. This is because you will be casting a lot and a heavy rod would be costing your arms. When you get a short rod this will help in making those very accurate casts and with a medium to soft tip this will only get better.

These are only a simple and very basic examples of the type of rods and what the differences are, we haven't even touched the subject of reels, lines, lures etc. etc. We don't want to scare you away from fishing. Talk to someone that has done some fishing and who can tell you what type of rod you will need to take with you. Make sure you take the right bass fishing tackle with you. You could even talk to the people in the tackle shop, they can give you some good advice.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Leatt Adventure Neck Brace

Leatt Adventure Neck Brace: Protection Isn’t Immaculate Without One

Leatt’s Collection

If you bear a caring for off-road racing, you should be definitely searching into the variety of neck braces and other motocross accessories from Leatt. They carry a deluxe collection that is designed to supply elated quality protection, which is needful in this sport. Otherwise, you will end up with fatal injuries and bad falls. Leatt’s neck braces like the Leatt Adventure neck brace confines the rider from exercising a range of overwhelming moves but leaves enough coverage for any sort of severe damage. All you necessitate is five minutes to realize used to wearing the neck brace, and after that, the rider senses open and bare with them them off. The braces from Leatt work with all safety and seat belt contours, and it will also retain the safety harness in place specially during an shock. It adjusts and follows with all safety touchstones and is SFI 38.1 certified. So when we say Protective Cover is not Complete without them, then are detailed for telling you the truth.

Protecting the Neck Up

There is a Leatt Adventure neck brace specifically intended for the racers with a small and thin build, particularly in the age bracket 4 – 16 years old. There is also a dissimilar one for those with an average build with a maximum weight of 235 pounds, specially racers who are 16 years old and above. These neck braces carry been interjected with glass reinforced nylon that is contrived by medical professionals specifically for motorcycle enthusiasts. It in general protects the head and the neck from hyperflexion, hyperextension, lateral hyperflexion, posterior hypertranslation, and axial loading. It holdscurbs head deceleration that may stimulate sensitive trauma to the brain. It also regulates other in-car head movements after incurring multiple impacts such as during rollovers. These high-end detailed neck braces have got GP and X straps which assure the rider in place and render a higher degree of protective cover.

The Braces for the Masses

There are concludes why Leatt-Brace Moto GPX Club resolved to have a model neck security device for all mass motocross and off-road racers. There arrived a postulate for a more cheap neck protective gear, and so Leatt made a model device that will specifically supply to the market of off-road riders. Leatt Adventure neck brace was then presented. It was produced specifically for the mass market and for the touring and the commuting market. To cope with the monetary value, it has been contained and it is non-adjustable in the front but with a solid frame structure on the rear. It used akin conception and biomechanical function with other Moto GPX braces and will also establish relief from neck tire.

You will discover all motocross apparel, supercross gear, and other off-road sports apparel at Bob’s Cycle Supply. They carry all sorts of protective gears like the Leatt Adventure neck brace. Their online store provides over 26,000 items which is also proposed in their catalog. They have all of these items from renowned makers. You do not have to look anywhere else because you will certainly find out what you’ll require at Bob’s Cycle Supply.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Excellent Hiking Tips to Bring on Your Next Hiking Adventure

If you are planning on going on a camping trip, one of the camping activities that you should not miss is hiking. Hiking will allow you to see and enjoy the majestic beauty of nature. It will also let you explore wondrous parts of the campground. And of course, it will give you close encounters with the amazing creatures that reside in the place. Before you go on the trip, here are some excellent hiking tips to keep in mind.

• Buy hiking tents. Hiking tents are ideal for hiking adventures. You can buy this specific type of tent from many camping stores online. Just make sure you find a reputable and reliable online camping store that will give you the best value for your money.

• Be physically fit. Since hiking is a physical activity, it will demand energy and stamina. In short, you have to be fit and healthy for you to enjoy it fully. Prior to your trip, make it a point to exercise regularly to increase your strength and endurance. Jog around the neighborhood, do squats when you get up in the morning, and stretch your muscles any chance that you have. This way, you will be physically ready for your camping adventure.

• Bring sufficient water. When walking under the scorching heat of the sun, it is easy to get dehydrated. Make sure you bring and drink sufficient water for the hike. Even if you are not feeling thirsty, make it a habit to drink water every few minutes. This will keep your fresh and energized.

• Pack the right snacks. Bring food high in energy such as energy bars to supply you with the energy you need to accomplish the activity.

• Study your hiking trail. Do not go on a hiking trip without first studying your hiking route. Choose a trail suitable for your skills. Do not overestimate yourself. It is always better to start with a novice trail so you do not tire out easily.

• Learn survival skills. Another thing you should do is learn some survival skills. Learn how to put up a fire using sticks and stones. Study what items in the forest are edible and not. For example, if you see berries, eat only those that are red in color. Stay away from those that are dark colored, as they are poisonous. You can also determine if a fruit is poisonous by slightly tasting it on your lip. If it is bitter, do not eat it.

• Let somebody know about your plans. Before you leave for the hike, let someone else at the campsite or back at home know about your plans. Tell them what day and time you plan to leave and come back. Inform them about your route. This way, if you get lost, somebody will know where to find you.

• Bring your cell phone. A cell phone is a great device that can help you during a time of emergency. Make sure it is fully charged when you bring it on your hike.

Hiking is fun and exciting but it can also be quite dangerous if you do not follow safety precautions. Keep in mind all the tips mentioned in this article to make your trip safe and enjoyable.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Zealand Is For Lovers – Of Adventure

Although often times in the gigantic shadow of its Australian neighbor, New Zealand is worlds apart from any experience found elsewhere and it is geographically much farther southeast than most people imagine. New Zealand is a former British colony, with fascinating cultural influences due to its location in southern Polynesia. Large swaths of rolling green meadows, churning geysers, creaking glaciers, and never-ending stretches of magical overgrown beaches encourage travelers to make the long haul across oceans to indulge in the disarming natural beauty of New Zealand year after year.

New Zealand was one of the last landmasses to be inhabited, only discovered in 800 AD by Polynesian navigator Kupe. The discovery initiated a steady stream of migration from today’s French Polynesia until Dutch Abel Tasman and finally James Cook came across the islands and claimed them for the British Crown, ruled from Australia. The native Maori people are still a considerable minority, enriching the cultural climate of the largely European (Pakeha) nation.

Cinematic Sanctuaries and Bungy* Jumping Buffs
New Zealand’s geography is divided into two major north-south islands. Depending on where you travel and the time of year, the activities and topography will change dramatically. The South Island is famous for its unique relics of the last Ice Age, the Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers, which plunge just below the islands tallest peak in the Southern Alps, Mount Cook. These glaciers are particularly spectacular because they continue to flow through temperate rainforest strikingly close to sea level. Winter in the Alps region is excellent for skiing, mountaineering and filmmaking – scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed here. For a thrilling wildlife experience, do not miss the South Island’s Otago Peninsula where you can enjoy a cozy bed and breakfast among sea lion, sea elephant and penguin habitats, to name a few.

The North Island is relatively warmer during the summer and milder all year long. Put yourself ‘on edge’ with a trip to serene Lake Taupo, which also happens to fill the caldera of one of the largest super-volcanoes in the world. Extreme outdoor sports abound on both islands, as New Zealand is the original inventor of Bungy Jumping (also found at Lake Taupo) among other creatively dangerous activities. The west coasts are extremely popular for black water rafting, otherwise known as cave rafting. This exhilarating experience should not be missed, even by the beginner. If a new heart rate is not what you are looking for, make your leisurely way to Ninety Mile Beach at the very north end of the island; the name is not deceiving and the experience is absolute paradise in the summer months. The Great Barrier Island to the east is a mind blowing underwater experience for most scuba divers and an equally sensational getaway for the sand-bound.

New Zealand is a destination for all seasons, with activities spanning the elements and progressive cities to keep up with those of faster pace. Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown are all very youthful and spirited cities with the distinct eclecticism of New Zealand culture to overload the senses and invigorate the spirit. New Zealand may be far from most places in the world, but it is certainly worth any length of travel to reap the fruit of this nation’s existence. Travel to New Zealand and experience it all for yourself.

Friday, June 26, 2009

An African Safari Jao Can Be Described As The Ultimate African Adventure

For a true African adventure, the African Safari of Jao in Botswana is the vacation to book. Jao is known for its high concentration of Lion. It can offer both land and water activities on the river Okavango. This area is known for its predators and, Jao Camp itself, is located on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve.

The camp is on a densely wooded oval shaped island that overlooks the vast flood plains of Botswana. It has incredible habitats and permanent waterways and lagoons. An African safari in Jao is a very memorable safari. The skilled staff at Jao Camp will see to it that all of your needs are met, African style.

The Jao African safari wildlife experience is pure African wildlife at its finest. Chances are good that every wild animal that you want to experience will appear. A Jao African safari experience is the safari of a lifetime.

The Accommodations

Your Jao African safari accommodations will consist of African style luxury rooms. The bedrooms are raised wooden decks above palm carpets, constructed of split bamboo and thatch with canvas walls. Each room also has a “sala” for midday siestas with a superb view. Each camp can sleep a maximum of 16 people. Each suite includes a flush toilet and basin, shower and an outdoor shower. Underneath a tree canopy of cool thatch you will find the main dining room and pub area. There is a pool and an outdoor boma for dining under the stars. A raised walkway connects the rooms to the dining rooms and lounge areas.

Game Viewing

Your Jao African safari experience offers excellent game drives, mokoro excursions, short guided walks and boating trips. Since Jao Camp is next to the Moremi Game Reserve, night drives are permitted. This allows your African safari Jao trip to include an exclusive view of the nocturnally active animals in the area.

Your Jao African safari will most probably include views of Lion and Leopard in their natural habitats. Tsessebe, Lechwe and Wildebeest roam all over the flood plains. The wildlife appearances in Jao depend mainly on the water levels in the area. But, generally, a diverse group of wild animals will be plentiful on your safari.

The lagoons are the home to the Hippo and Crocodile. The permanent water areas attract large numbers of these two animals. But the King of the Jungle, the Lion, will be a sure thing. The Jao African safari is known for its abundance of Lion sightings. Have your camera in hand and don’t miss this one of a kind jungle experience.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Would Like to Present to You the Ontario Walleye - Ontario Walleye Fishing- Maybe Your Next Adventure

Ontario Walleye Fishing is not only exhilarating and pleasurable but also some of the best in the world. Meet the Walleye and learn their habits and other facts that will enable you to plan a successful Ontario Walleye Fishing adventure!

A fish most beloved by Canadian anglers is the Walleye. And Ontario Walleye Fishing is some of the greatest in the world. The reasons behind why Walleyes are so admired is very fascinating and can also aid you in planning a winning Canadian Walleye fishing quest.

They get their nickname from their bizarre and uncommon eyes. The eyes of Walleyes have a distinctive covering that most fish lack. This covering is light sensitive, gathering even limited light in poor conditions. Because of this skill Walleyes have a clear advantage over their prey. They like to prowl for their next meal in low light conditions such as dusk or sunrise to make the most of this advantage. Knowing this, knowledgeable fishermen will toss lures and crank baits in the early hours and at the end of the day, as the sun in not on the water.

An additional trait of the Walleye is that they contain nerve endings along the sides of their body. Sensors that can feel the smallest of vibrations, the flip of a fin or a thumping heart. Again they employ this talent to their advantage, they don't have to "set eyes on" their prey to identify their position. This is particularly a leg up close to shoreline in the weeds or where mucky banks cause the water to have inadequate visibility. Walleye will affix to these locations all through the day and will feed on any unwary victim that swims by. Bait anglers will seek these conditions during daytime hours for greatest outcome.

Don't overlook their teeth! These will not let go prey when they latch on and of course this is not where you would want any of your fingers. Many an angler has landed a second larger Walleye latched on to a smaller fish they were unwilling to let go of! Walleye are strong and powerful and because of this they are great fighters. This makes for some exhilarating fishing for anglers of all ages. Their antagonistic actions makes for some volatile strikes that will catch you by surprise no matter how many times you go through it.

Ontario Walleye fishing is quite productive with dozens of fish caught by an angler each day. They can develop to as much as 20 pounds and be an average of 2 to 5 pounds. I saved the best for last... Walleyes are great tasting! Although Canadian anglers have a lot of species available the Walleye is a favorite meal. Practicing catch a release most of the time is a great idea for preserving the future of Ontario Walleye Fishing alive but don't forget to save a couple for the skillet.

If you don't have any Walleye in your neighborhood you might want to plan your next fishing expedition to include a location where they thrive. Happy Fishing!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Driving in Canada

Levi Quinn

Driving in Canada has changed in recent years. Changes to the way border crossing is done has been recently undertaken in order to increase and enhance security. You need to know about driving in Canada before you set off. Ignorance could get you sent right back home if you fail to gather all necessary information first. If you are not familiar with the laws and border crossing regulations, there are many sites that supply this information for free. Be sure to look them up.

You must bring your photo identification with you to Canada as well as your driver’s license and your passport. Recent changes require everyone to bring a passport when crossing the border from either side. This allows officials to verify that you are who you claim to be and that you are not a breach to security. Make sure that your driver’s license and all other I.D. is up to date. Any expired information will need to be renewed before you can enter Canada. Check that it will not be expiring while you are there either.

Everyone that is travelling with you inside the car will need to provide the same information. Border control has to verify every person that wishes to cross the border, not just the driver. Even children will be required to show a passport so get this type of information gathered before your planned trip. It can take time to get a passport if you do not have one so factor the timing for that in as well if necessary.

The rules regarding what you can and cannot bring into Canada tend to change so make sure you are up to date on the latest. This information will be listed online so check it out and make notes of anything important. It would be unfortunate to pack things you can’t take and then have to dispose of them at the border.

You will always be asked for the legal information for your vehicle. Have everything on hand to show border patrol. They are always on alert, watching for stolen vehicles which many criminals attempt to bring over the border to flee authorities. Have your information up to date so that you can get through that much faster. When you are organized and ready to show information, the process will go much faster and smoother.

If you buy anything while you are in Canada make sure that you keep all of the receipts. The border guards may ask to see them when you pass through on your way home. It’s just another way of making paperwork help you get through the line that much quicker. You can also look up border wait times online to get an idea which crossing will be the quickest. Some are longer than others so consider that.

Keep in mind when driving in Canada that some of the traffic rules may vary. The speed limit is posted in kilometres rather than in miles so remember that too or you may find yourself with some speeding tickets. Driving in Canada can be beautiful and exciting if you take care to arrange it accordingly.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Driving in Mexico

Driving to Mexico can be a fun trip to take with some friends or family. But before you head out of the country there are some things that you should make sure are in place first. Crossing from one place to another can involve a lot of legal aspects. If you fail to have them all in place you risk not being allowed into Mexico. Also, if you neglect certain requirements you could find yourself in trouble or facing a fine. Get all of the necessary information before you plan your trip so that you have no delays holding you back.

Look up the traffic rules and laws in Mexico before you go. Driving in Mexico is not like driving in the United States. If you don’t know what to expect you may find it to be an overwhelming experience. Many people opt not to drive in Mexico because they find it intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. You just need to know what to expect. Browse traffic signs and their meanings online and make any notes if you feel it is beneficial. If you know how the rules work you will have little to worry about.

You will need to take out some form of Mexican auto insurance. Most American insurance policies are not recognized in Mexico in the event of an accident. You must have insurance provided by a Mexican company. Many people do not realize this and then when an accident happens they are left with a huge bill to pay. Look up reputable Mexican insurance agents that deal with American visitors often. They will be able to serve you quickly and get you on your way so that you can focus on enjoying your time in Mexico.

Make sure to bring all of your legal identification information to Mexico with you. You will need a valid driver’s license from your own state and country to drive there as well as proof that you are who you claim to be. In many cases you will be required to apply for temporary importation of your vehicle. This is something that has to be done as you are crossing into Mexico. You will have to have all of the legal documents for your vehicle with you for this. There will be a fee associated with this so be prepared to pay it. The fee is based on the age of your vehicle. Newer cars are subject to a higher rate.

Be careful when you drive in Mexico. Livestock is known to wander on to the road at times and other drivers can occasionally be aggressive. It’s best not to drive at night if at all possible. It is not always safe, especially for those from other countries. Visitors have been known to be robbed while driving in their car at night or in unsafe locations. Stay safe at all times and stay alert regarding what is going on around you. Driving in Mexico requires planning, patience and making sure that everything is legal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top 10 Attractions in Spain

Nicholas Muyonjo

Don't Let One Pass You By!

When you look at a country such as Spain, it's difficult to narrow down all of the attractions and experiences to the top ten. However, here are the top ten attractions in Spain that we think you shouldn't miss.

1. Museo del Prado in Madrid

The Prado is considered to be the world's most premier art museum. With some 4,000 masterpieces, you can explore the history of Spain and the art movement all under one roof. Many of these art featured in the museum was acquired by the kings of Spain and include the works of the masters including Goya, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Hieronymus Bosch.

2. La Alhambra in Granada

La Alhambra is a Moorish fortified palace. The palace complex is vast and occupies a large portion of the city. Be sure to plan an entire day for exploring the grounds. If you're visiting in the summer, be certain to purchase your tickets well in advance. La Alhambra is considered to be one of the greatest representations of Islamic art and architecture. The La Alhambra provides a variety of sights within itself including the Alcazaba, the palace's fortress that offers spectacular views of the city.

3. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia is Gaudi's unfinished cathedral. Work began on the cathedral in 1882 and two years later the architect resigned. Gaudi secured the commission to complete the cathedral and he secluded himself on site to work on it. He lived and worked on the cathedral until he died in 1926 and the cathedral was never finished. The building features Gaudi's transformed Gothic style including sidewalls, vaults and piers. In 1979, work was started on the cathedral to complete it as Gaudi himself would have.

4. The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Experience the design of Frank O. Ghery at the Guggenheim in Bilbao. The museum opened its doors to the public in October of 1997 and is considered one of the most significant architectural structures of the 20th century.

5. Cordoba and the Mezquita

Founded by the Romans, the city of Cordoba features a variety of treasures including a mosque-cathedral, the Calahorra Fort, and the Jewish Synagogue, which is now a museum. You also want to check out the medieval quarter of La Juderia.

6. The Running of the Bulls, Pamplona

It's not recommended that you run with the bulls yourself, but definitely have fun watching others do it! This is one of the most famous festivals in Spain, but do go with caution, because it's not only the runners that have been injured.

7. Las Ramblas, Barcelona

The Las Ramblas is just for pedestrians and offers outdoor markets, shops, cafes and restaurants. You can spend the entire day strolling and looking for hidden treasures and sampling all of the great cuisine that Spain has to offer. Don't forget to hit the tascas for some tapas.

8. Experience the Art of Salvador Dali, Figueres

Salvador Dali is one of the most beloved painters in the world. Experience his mausoleum and museum; it's one of the highlights of northern Spain.

9. Ronda

Driving through the Andalucian mountains, you'll upon Ronda. This little town is set atop a huge cliff and features a magnificent bridge that spans a gorge between new and old Ronda. You can also find the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain and roman baths.

10. The Food

You've simply not seen everything in Spain without enjoying the cuisine of the country. No matter which city or town you'll visit, you're going to find a new style of cuisine to try. Take your time and try them all from the ensaimada and tapas to the coffee and paella.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Best Western Premier Holiday Regency in Moradabad

Moradabad is a nice place to visit. Find some hotels in this place. Here is Best Western Premier Holiday Regency.

Moradabad is a very booming place in Uttar Pradesh. This is a very important commercial town in the whole of India. This is, in fact, the largest copper producing town in Asia, and they belong to the top five copper stuff export centers of the world. They are also known for alloy production. It is reputed for its subtle production of copper. Their bronze works are exported not just in Asia but all over a hundred countries worldwide. They are sometimes called as the Peetal Nagari (the Coppers Town). This place has been known by many people as the 'Brass City' due to its specialty on many things. Indeed, they are experts in metal, wood and glass works.

Moradabad is specializing in exporting these metal works. It is their top earning industry that contributes highly to their recent developments. Business here is booming, and what follows is a stream of curious people who wish to see this city.

Moradabad has many hotels to accommodate their visitors. Here are some of the recommended hotels to stay in this blooming city.

The Best Western Premier Holiday Regency

The hotel is located at the Delhi Road, Moradabad, India. This is a hundred miles away from the capital of India, northeast of Delhi. This is classified as five stars. This hotel has a total of 74 rooms with complete amenities of a satellite TV or cable.

The lobby immediately induces a homey feeling upon entering. The spacious area is adorned with modern and elegant furnishings. The classic mix of lighting adds to the warm and cozy ambiance. The interior decors stand out as the guests walk along the hallways.

They also have an on site restaurant serving delectable and varied cuisines. Their health club and gym are free to use, compliments of the hotel. Visitors can access it any time they wish. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, and barbecuing is allowed on the side. This is good for those who feel like having an impromptu barbecue and swimming party. The hotel will only allow a small gathering though.

The hotel provides well for your business needs too. They have banquet halls, meeting places like meeting halls and lawns. This is located at the national highway. This is a major hub that connects to other cities nearby.

The attractions present near the hotel are the Moradabad City Center, Rampur Historical Town, Handicrafts SEZ, Jim Corbett Wild Park and Nainital Hill Town and Lake. The two listed above are nearby cities with great places to visit. They range from 10 km to 35 km. the last three are located within the city.

The hotel is quite far from the airport, but is near the bus and train stations. Rest assured that the long travel will be worth it once you experience the luxurious services of the hotel.

This hotel features a front desk available for 24 hours, bar, elevators, minibar, spa, tennis court, baby sitting, beauty salon, coffee maker, complimentary newspaper, meeting facilities, modem jack, room service, and shopping center.

Best Western Premier Holiday Regency is just one of the hotels that you can find in Moradabad. There are many other hotels in this place. If you search online you can find some. But it is better if you look for a travel agency to make all the preparations for you. There are a lot of them available everywhere.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Colours of Bali

Bali holidays are full of colour. Bali is a visually stimulating island of traditional costumes, brightly painted canoes and sailing boats on the shore, craft markets, and decorated dragons in the temples. In this article we explore the vibrant colours you can experience during your stay at the hotels in Bali.

Red Bali

Red is for chillis. Sambals are Balinese relishes made from red chilli, which are served with coconut rice. The food you’ll enjoy on Bali holidays is a regional take on Indonesian cuisine, with simple and tasty dishes like fried rice (nasi goreng) or fried chicken, Indonesian style.

Look out for the rosy glaze of Balinese roast pork during your meals. Called Babi Guling, this is probably the most popular dish of the Balinese people. It is prepared with chilli, coriander, garlic and lime leaves or lemon grass, and it’s spit-roasted until the meat is tender. Sometimes in Bali, pork is steamed in banana leaves; in either recipe and you are likely to see the see the pork presented on the table as a whole, shiny red pig.

Green Bali

Bali is a lush green island of rich forests and tropical gardens. In the forests around Ubud you can spot the playful monkeys, and there are elephants on the island too. One green haven often visited on Bali holidays are the waterfalls at Gitgit. Here, you can see clear water falling between the trees, hammering down from a height of forty metres as you float in the deep plunge pool below. Taman Burung is another attraction; the gardens are home to hundreds of bird species, including the rare and endangered Mynah bird. There are also magnificent colours to see at the Bali butterfly park, the largest butterfly sanctuary in Asia.

But you won’t have to travel far from your sun lounger to appreciate the verdant natural character of the island because the hotels in Bali have sophisticated, tropical and well-tended gardens, many with lively with hot pink and purple blossoms.

Yellow Bali

As well as the hot equatorial sun and the golden sandy beaches, yellow is the shade of the intricate decorative costumes worn by Bali’s dancers during graceful oriental performances of fan and butterfly dances.

The island has a number of diverse traditional performances: some are graceful ceremonial dances; others tell stories with masked characters representing mythical demons. Some shows are slapstick and comical, where the characters interact with the audience. You can enjoy dance shows daily on Bali holidays, and the town of Ubud is especially famous for this.

Blue Bali

The colour that brings most pleasure on Bali holidays is the beautiful blue of the ocean. Looking out from the beach, the clear water takes on a bright turquoise colour under the clear blue skies. Exploring the ocean will introduce you to an array of tropical fish with the variety of colours of a rainbow. You can take PADI Scuba diving courses in the warm ocean waters, made available by hotels in Bali such as the Legian Beach Hotel or The Oberoi Bali.

All these colours combine to make a Bali holiday a vivid and rich experience.