Annapurna Base Camp Trekking

110Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a famous trek in the Annapurna Region. Annapurna Base Camp is situated at an altitude of 4130 m from the sea level. This trek is also known as ABC trek, a trek which is full of excitement to the trekkers. According to the Government of Nepal this area receives almost 70,000 trekkers a year.

The trek moves along the Oak and Rhododendron forests. Rhododendron flowers blooming on the hills makes the scenery more beautiful for the trekkers during the spring season. And the panoramic view of the Himalayas including Annapurna ranges, Machhapuchhre and other mountain ranges from a close range makes the trek more interesting and lively.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a relatively shorter trek that can be completed within 11 days by the regular trekkers and within 14 days by the trekkers looking for a relax trek to the base camp. This trek is a unique experience for adventurers, beginners and experts alike. Trekkers get an opportunity to behold the high raising Himalayan peaks from as close as you can imagine. It is reputed trekking route for the trekkers all over the world. ABC offers spectacular and dramatic panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks.

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Ethereal Forests of Sri Lanka

109People travel to faraway places to watch in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home’, said someone somewhere. For some this may encompass more. Living in India, I was aware that we shared a few endemics with the Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean. The determination being stronger, I ended up seeing more endemics than I would have had I not ventured out on this weeklong trip.

After a few months, I set forth this journey to feast my eyes, nourish my soul and impregnate my bird list. We arrived in Colombo on a late April night and were welcomed by a pleasant weather. Early next morning, after picking up our guide, we embarked on our journey to the Rainforest region. Sinharaja National Park is approx. 120 kms from Colombo. The road conditions are quite good. As soon as we left the somewhat occluding city, harnessing our binoculars, we moved closer to the window seats. The trailing city life always invigorates a birder’s zealous eyes. The desire to see the Sri Lankan endemics was kicked off by our first sighting of the Yellow Fronted Barbet. The country- side of Sri Lanka is similar to our coastal areas. Clean, rain-washed narrow lanes, lined with archetypal village houses with lush green open fields are weaved into the landscape. Several water bodies including rivulets and billabongs are perfectly synchronized with youthful bushes and tall palms. All these yielded several common birds. We stopped at a nearby bend to ask for directions, our guide’s keen eye quickly spotted a Purple Heron on its nest in a sour sop tree. Intermittent electric poles graciously hosted several White – Rumped and Scaly – Breasted Munias on their swinging wires. Several Shrikes and Doves later we stopped for lunch at a restaurant serving local food. It seemed more like a home with a large dining room open to visitors. Our host came and told us that the only option available at this meridian was fish curry and rice. Maintaining our unflappable conduct we nodded meekly. In a few minutes time the food arrived. I counted, there were a total of eight dishes. This included, some local greens, fried and tempered, a variety of vegetable curries with plantain, gourd and legumes, and finally in a large bowl the main dish, fish curry. I sought clarity, why did he say only fish curry is available? ‘ Rest are all accompaniments, he politely answered. Filling up ourselves with ‘accompaniments’, barely strumming the fish curry, we finished our meal. A few more hours of languorous drive and we were warmly embraced by the magnificent cloud forest.

Sinharaja National Park is 21 km by 11 km wide range, receiving an annual rainfall of about 2500 mm. The park is opened throughout the year. Our hotel for our 4-day stay was the rainforest Lodge. It is situated a few kilometers away from the main park. It is at a beautiful canopy level. As we disembarked and stretched ourselves, the National bird, a beautiful threesome of the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl crossed our path.

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Mountaineeering in Nepal

108Mountaineering is taken as a thrilling and adventurous activity. Mountaineers put their lives at high risk just in order to climb the mountains for pleasure. Sometimes they climb the peaks just to keep or break records, sometimes to earn respect and sometimes to be popular. During the expedition mountaineers use various tools and gears in order to maintain safety. Though they use necessary precautions sometimes the climbers do not return back. In other words, it can be said that climbers bear losses of their lives. Many of the climber’s family are left to mourn in grief due to mountain accidents. Most of the deaths of the climbers are caused due to Avalanche, extreme cold temperature, lack of oxygen, falling into the crevasse, etc.

Nepal is known as the “Country of Himalaya” because Nepal shares a large part of the world’s Himalayan range. Being a small country in territory it is a great privilege for the country to have shared most part of the Himalayan range. Nepal’s Himalaya is backed by the 8 of the world’s fourteen peaks above 8000 meters. It also consists the peak that the world talks about, the Everest. It also has got many more peaks below 8000 m.

Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation (MOTCA) issues climbing permit for 135 mountain peaks, and Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) issues climbing permit for 18 smaller trekking peaks, that range from 5,587 to 6,654 m in altitude above sea level. Climbers must pay expedition royalty and should also receive permission from Nepal Government in order to be eligible to climb the mountain.

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Papua New Guinea’s Fascinating Fjords

107To the north-east of the island of New Guinea in the country of Papua New Guinea you will find the area known as the Fjordland. In and around the small town of Tufi you will find a beautiful and beautiful land and sea-scape with a fascinating human and natural history. Aside from its natural beauty, this area is known for its production of a decorated cloth, called tapa, which is made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree. This cloth is also found in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. The production of these beautiful pieces of material is low and so being able to purchase a piece, as you may be able to do in Tufi, means that you will own something rather special.

Some people may also come here to explore not just the longer cultural history of the area but also its more recent 20th Century history. This was a temporary base for US naval vessels in the battle against the Japanese. Two boats sunk in March 1943 and these are now popular dive sites. Seas are at their best for these two dive sites and for other dives like those on the Cyclone Reef with its abundant marine life between October and mid-June.

The main reasons that people come to Tufi and the surrounding area are the tropical fjords themselves. Not only can you participate in some world-class dives in and near them, you can also enjoy kayaking on the fjords or taking a boat trip of some other sort. The spectacular fjords are around 90m deep and the banks rise steeply out of the water, reaching a height of 150m. They are vertical or near vertical in places and are scenically spectacular. The fjord sides have a lush covering of moss and different orchid varieties and reach up to tropical, mist-shrouded forests growing greenly in the warm sun.

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Adventure Travel in Central America

106The new upcoming destination for adventure travel in Central America is called “Atlantida” (Spanish for Atlantis!). With three main hubs to choose from, Atlantida offers a variety of adventure travel options that will fit into the most experienced travelers demands. The three main tourism hubs in Atlantida are the cities of Tela, La Ceiba and the Cangrejal River Valley. Now you are probably asking yourself, where on earth is this so called Atlantida? Well you already know it is in Central America, but where exactly? Atlantida is located right in the heart of Central America: in the beautiful country of Honduras. It is also the gateway to the World famous Bay Islands of Honduras, three lovely, unspoiled Caribbean Islands that are close to the mainland, yet retain a unique heritage.

So what kind of adventure is available in this new destination? With a total of 7 national parks or protected areas, Atlantida offers unique opportunities to hike in the different national parks. There are a network of trails available throughout the area, and you can choose the difficulty of them, that can go from easy to very demanding. With a total of over 400 bird species accounted for in Honduras, you can find a very large variety within these protected areas. One of the most important birding hot spots in Honduras can be found precisely in Atlantida.

The City of Tela is famous throughout the region for its spectacular white sand beaches. All inclusive resorts as well as smaller boutique hotels and hostels. La Ceiba is famous for its great night life, as well as for the adventure activities within the Cangrejal River Area.

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