Saturday, January 8, 2011

Affirmative Motion

The history of the growth of equality for African Individuals in America has been one in all great accomplishments adopted by many small features and plenty of set backs as well. The outlawing of slavery did not immediately make all blacks equal with whites in America. It took many subsequent legal actions in addition to a whole bunch of social efforts, large and small, to slowly make the progress we've got seen today. However even at the present time, in a new century, there's an ongoing battle against racism. It seems we'd like management to guide society to true equality as a lot now as ever in our history.

The abolition of slavery solely started the long onerous struggle for African American tradition to change into a real part of what it means to be an American. That is as a result of though the authorized definition of slavery had been thrown down, the attitudes and cultural systems in place to maintain the races separate and to disclaim black individuals rights equal with whites had to be addressed one by one.

Slowly over the many years, we have now seen big modifications however many got here at an excellent cost. From the legal granting of the correct to vote to African Americans to the civil rights motion to high school desegregation, every step ahead got here with resistance, great issue and important sacrifice from leaders and extraordinary citizens alike to make every step toward true equality a fact.

Of all the efforts to “stage the enjoying subject”, none has been more controversial than the Affirmative Motion program. In its starting, it was intended to be a complement to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Over time it had turn into clear that regardless of removing of laws that enforced segregation or discrimination, there appeared to be a pure segregation in the work place that was conserving African Individuals from getting a fair likelihood at jobs because of the prejudices of an employer, even when that prejudice was not officially acknowledged within the company charter.

There were two significant executive orders that made affirmative motion a reality. The primary was Executive Order 10925 signed by President Kennedy on March 6, 1965 which was the first law to make mention of the phrase. This was adopted by much more sweeping Civil Rights Act which was signed into regulation by President Johnson. Collectively these laws attempted to right by legal means the disparity of alternative that existed in the workplace for people of coloration by instituting a system of quotas that employers needed to meet to fulfill federal affirmative action minority employment levels.

But as is commonly the case when the government makes an attempt to impose proper attitudes through legislation, these laws often created as many problems for minorities as they cured. Nonetheless as the appliance of the quota techniques started to turn out to be widespread, it did open many doors for African People that would not have opened because of racial prejudice and silent segregation that was protecting the African American group from reaching its financial potential.

In fact, no person really preferred this kind of imposed fairness system. For whites, they felt the sting of a synthetic system of judgment that was sometimes known as “reverse discrimination”. Whereas there was some justice that the white community acquired a style for what it felt wish to free out on alternative as a result of coloration of your pores and skin, it did not help the country in our aim of rising collectively to become one “color blind” community.

Affirmative motion was a blended blessing for the African American community. Whereas it did its job in the short time period to opening doorways that have been closed resulting from racism, it is not the best solution. That's as a result of it did not fulfill Dr. King’s vision of a world where a man is judged not by the color of his pores and skin however by the content material of his character. We will hope that we are going to grow to that point as a tradition and look back on affirmative action as an unfortunate but vital provision to assist us develop and mature as a truly integrated culture.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Review of a Zambian Safari to the Victoria Falls

March is at the height of the rainy season in Zambia. It is also the green season again - water and green everywhere. This morning is special and we are ready to go! We live in Chingola on the Zambian Copperbelt. It s about 400 kilometers north of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. My wife, Molly and I had decided that I take a few days off from work. I work as a geologist for one of the mining companies. So you guessed right, rocks and minerals are my business! But so is the Victoria Falls. Did I mention that it was our destination for that day s trip ? Livingstone is home to the awe-inspiring, mystic...Victoria Falls. It is over 500 kilometers south of Lusaka. Now you know why we had to brace ourselves for this small trip, a trip covering some 1000 kilometers - a great driving test for a day! The look of the morning suggests fine weather, but as usual afternoon rains were expected. You learn to predict such with age, you know : - )! It is 6:00hrs in the morning and we are packed ready to go. The children, there are four nice guys we wouldn t like to be without, are hovering around. The youngest Martha says, See the falls for us too and come back home safely. They had to remain because they were going to school later that morning. I threw the hold all bag in the boot of our family car. It s a Toyota Chaser, a saloon car still good on its wheels. It still drives effortlessly on asphalt roads and that was our type of road all the way; from Chingola to Livingstone. Literally cutting Zambia in half. See the butterfly-shaped map of our magic country Zambia. Kitwe Zambia s Second City We were on our way...and stealing from a Chinese saying a journey of thousand miles starts with one step . Just about thirty minutes later we arrived in Kitwe. This is the first town outside Chingola. It is the hub of the mining activities in Zambia and the town is centrally located on the Copperbelt. Its wealth comes from the four surrounding mining towns of Chililabombwe, Chingola, Mufulira and Luanshya. Kitwe has a small central business district surrounded by residential areas. There are a few tall buildings within the business district. But business is growing and is now encroaching onto the nearby suburbs. Fancy offices are coming in the suburbs. You know, they pull down homes to replace them with office blocks. Kitwe is a small cosmopolitan city, sort of busy, people crisscrossing, shopping and some with all sorts of wares for sale. Hawker traders are everywhere. It’s like everyone is selling some thing and everybody is buying ...incredible! The central business district is small, just a couple of blocks or so and we were on the other side of the town center. Ndola, the Friendly City We left the town behind as we drove on. Another thirty minutes later we arrived at Ndola, the capital of the Copperbelt Province. Dubbed the friendly city of the Copperbelt. Ndola was built as a commercial and distribution center. You can still see the impressions of its former glory when times were good. It has suffered the fate of the former regime s economic experiments! The manufacturing companies either shut down or migrated elsewhere. A most hurried privatization took its toll here! The central business district of Ndola is much larger and more spacious. The roads are wide and clean. The shops are many and you see a lot of people and cars everywhere. Lots of tall buildings too! In the old days the beauty was complete. There was a lake on the river that bordered the town center in the south. It separated the town from the southern suburb of Itawa. The International airport of the Copperbelt is beyond Itawa. Planes land here straight from Jo burg (South Africa), Lubumbashi (D R Congo) and East Africa. It was built before the International Airport in Lusaka. The little lake in Ndola has a history. It used to be large and serene. Quite a beauty really. Now only a boating club still exists but the water spots, which used to be the usual weekend activity, are gone. Now you see people in a dugout canoe fishing illegally. What brought about this sad story? One bright fellow brought from abroad a water lily, a water hyacinth we called Kariba grass. It attacked the lake and nearly chocked it into extinction. So there is no boating, no water spots, nothing! Just a small dam in the center of what was the lake. The municipality is busy fighting the wed, claiming back the lake. The lake is slowly coming back growing. It appears great times are coming ahead, I hope? Kapiri-Mposhi We are back on the road and over an hour later we made it to Kapiri-Mposhi. This is the only town in Zambia with a hyphenated name. Kapiri as it is normally called is a small town but on a rail and crossroad. It must grow to meet the challenges of crossroad settlements. It is here where the Chinese great railway to Dar-es-Salaam begins. The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) railway connects Zambia to the east coast of Africa in Tanzania. Using Chinese technology the hills were cut and the valleys were buried during construction of the railway line. Over a thousand such engineering fits are found on its 3,000 plus kilometre length to East Africa. Kapiri is a gateway to East Africa. If you feel adventurous you can drive to the northeastern of Zambia. Then cross Tanzania to Dar-es-Salaam on the east coat of Africa. I have done this trip once and driving just over a thousand kilometers to the border was my frequent pastime in my earlier life. But that is another story! We did not stop at Kapiri but drove through the small but growing shopping center. Kabwe, the First Mining Town Forty minutes or so later, hello Kabwe. I think the Bemba speaking people will not object if I say the name means small rock . Kabwe has a great history. It was once called Broken Hill. Yes you can guess it, the famous Broken Hill Man, a skull of our recent ancestors (homo rhodensiensis) - we as human beings are homo sepiens. This skull is now resident in a UK museum. The Broken Hill Man skull was discovered at the start of mining operations. Kabwe is the first mining town in Zambia. There s a billboard saying just that at the entrance of the town. The mining operations ceased in 1994 but Kabwe did not become a ghost town. Help came from the fact that it lies on the Great North Road that joins Lusaka, Zambia s capital city and the Copperbelt in the north. Farming has taken root here. The central business district continues to be a hive of activity. It’s rather a sprawling town center, spacious and lots of room. The largest textile manufacturing company in Zambia is found in Kabwe. It is an example of Chino-Zambia government partnership. Lusaka, the Capital City We were back on the road and after one and a half hours of driving brought us into Lusaka. Hello Capital ...and the traffic is just dissipating after the morning rush hour. Its 10:00hrs two hours after the factory and office workers had managed to sneak into their work places! (I wouldn t want them to hear me say that). Lusaka was once described the fastest growing city in Sub-Sahara Africa. In 1964, at independence from Great Britain, Zambia was born with a silver spoon in its mouth , or should I say a copper spoon? With the excitement in the air and pride boosting the egos Zambians were a happy lot. The neighbouring countries to the south were all still under colonial rule. The economy was booming buildings were going up everywhere. The government was building schools; in fact a school in every district and a hospital too! Education was free. The times were great. Voila! Wake up Zambia! The country has fallen on bad luck. Poor policies, high oil prices, etc did get paid to that. Now it s a struggle for Zambians BUT there are signs that better times are yet to come. However Cairo road is still a great major street. Beautiful skyscrapers cover the horizons. Shops are in every building. And the people... they re everywhere. Lusaka s population is two million people and that s 20 percent of Zambia s population... all in one city. Like every great cosmopolitan city in Africa you will find anything you want. The street venders are everywhere selling all kinds of goodies and nice ones too! When you look at the cars on the main streets of Lusaka no one would blame you if you momentarily thought you were in Japan. Japanese cars are everywhere. And most are brandy new too! Cars from South Africa, the UK, Germany, and France are all found here. New buildings are popping up everywhere and in sundry places as if space is in short supply. Is this country poor, you might ask. Sorry I digressed... We decided to surprise Molly s cousin at her home. Well, perhaps I should say we were more interested on the homemade breakfast? Remember we started off without it that morning. After some greetings and enquiries about her children who were then at school and her husband who was busy at work, they were at each other! Chatting and hooting happily like schoolgirls - who ever said schoolgirls do that, I wonder? Suddenly it was lunchtime and a quick light lunch was served. But we decided to leave before the family was back. We didn t want a further delay that would result if the family arrived while we were still at their home. Remember the Victoria Falls was still further than the distance we had already covered from Chingola. Oh, before I forget. Looking back we probably drove through rains twice or three times. You stop to count rainfalls when it s a daily occurrence. I never seem to stop enjoying this though! Windows closed, a touch of heat from the car AC, my favourite music on - this time it was an African beat by Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe. The sound of the raindrops and the swishing sound of tires on the wet asphalt road, occasional cars and trucks going the other way! Just imagine that feeling, the sense of security against the elements of the weather - rain and wind as you drive past. Unfortunately driving in the rain gives Molly some discomfort. Poor her! She couldn t enjoy that great pleasant feeling! Kafue Kafue is like a dormitory town being a mere 35 kms south of Lusaka. That was our next town but it took about thirty minutes - what with the heavy traffic and a few turns on the hilly road. The turns are great for those with a dare devil attitude. Imagine, you re driving down the hillside and then up the slope... and suddenly a speeding truck shoots out of a bend! But I kind of enjoy that. The excitement of danger, you know! Kafue is a stone throw away from the banks of Kafue River from which the town derived its name. The Kafue River comes out of the Kafue Flats as it meanders on its way down stream. The Kafue Flats are home to Lochinvar National Park , a bird sanctuary situated up stream of the river within the flats. More than 741 bird species have been recorded in Lochinvar and the counting continues! Birders, this is your paradise. Outside Kafue we cross the bridge over the river. There is a new bridge now. The former bridge was a transplant from the UK, a present from the British Overseas Office. Its stay lasted nearly a century on this site. After its usefulness was gone the bridge was replaced with a brand new one - a Japanese technology! And that s what we drove on. Mazabuka, the Sweetest Town Hello Mazabuka! The town is nicknamed the sweetest town in Zambia due to the sugar cane and the sugar factory. Zambia Sugar Plc owned by the Ilovu Sugar Group has a sugar cane plantation. It s situated a few kms outside the town on the Kafue Flats. In it s meandering the Kafue gets very close to Mazabuka. Zambia Sugar produces more sugar than the country s local demand. The surplus ends up filling part of the African quarter on the market of the European Union. Opportunities are great in Zambia. Just recently another sugar company has sprung up on the other side of the Kafue, outside Lusaka. Mazabuka is now experiencing a lot of activities. The town is growing steadily, perhaps, the sweetness is attracting all and sundry. But then Mazabuka is right on the Great North Road in the farming block of Southern Province, once called the maize belt. Large quantities of maize grain used to be grown around here in the 1960 s and 70 s. Not any more, at least not as much! We are on our way again. This time we were heading for Monze, a small town on the highway. We drove past it without stopping except to slow down a little to avoid the wrath of the traffic police. They pitched a tent , I mean, put up a road block to check for car road fitness, driving licences and road tax. So we had to pretend that we were driving below the maximum speed limit through a built up area. I don t know about you, but it seems to me that the traffic police are the same everywhere. They ll delay you unnecessarily. When they stop you just watch them walking towards you slowly and majestically, like they own the world. You get filled with chagrin as you see the minutes tick by. What a torture they re! Back on the road and another trading center, a really small town flicks by. We don t bother to stop because our target the Victoria Falls is still way too far ahead. Choma It is now Choma town. Once again right on the highway. The traffic is light at this time of the day. So driving is a pleasure. We stopped for some refreshment. Nothing beats a little stretching after seating in the car for so long like we had endured. Choma is another town I love so much. This love emanates from those old university days as a student on a field excursion - you know, learning rocks and all, geology again! During my student days and on two occasions we ventured into the Zambezi Rift Valley, south of here, to have a look at a coal deposit and how it was being mined. You know, coal formed under intense heat due to a huge covering layer of rock deposited many millions years ago. Coal is a cousin of black gold, oil , but unfortunately it doesn t pull in as much cash. What a pity! So I digressed again... Choma is a neat town with its main buildings and shops all on the throughway. We took some drinks and a little rest at a popular stop for buses and motorist. And we had to leave. This was only just about half way to Livingstone from Lusaka. As we leave town it s raining again and I m pleased to note this. Molly is a touch too unhappy. This horrible rain is back again , I can almost read her mind and audibly she remarked, Won t it ever stop raining? Bad me I answered to spite her. You know, we need the rains, at least the farmers do . I deliberately avoided looking at her but I could feel the mood. I knew what she thought. I was incorrigible just as the persistent rain itself. Kalomo is another of those trading centers on the highway. A lot of farming activities in the surrounding area and shops to siphon the hard earned cash from the farmers. It s a two-way thing really. Farmers are happy to buy goods after selling their crops. Again no stopping. We were now kind of tied. Only looking forward to a good night s rest in Livingstone. Quickly we were past this small town. Here is a beauty. There is a town, uncomfortably small though, named after me, yes me! Well, it s only a coincidence. The town is called Zimba exactly spelled like my name is. So you see, how proud I feel about it. I actually pretend the town is named after great me. What a wish! Sadly our desperation was now heightened and we really wished we could just be up and we re in Livingstone. But unfortunately we were only driving past my beautiful little town. We were now on our last leg. We were driving again, the Toyota Chaser eating up the road with ease, heading to our destination ... Livingstone ...and the Mighty Victoria Falls ! Don t forget that! 76 kilometres later and as the French say Voila we had arrived in Livingstone and safely too... ------------------- Enestle Zimba is geologist of over twenty years and manages Zambia African Safari (ZAS) part time. Enestle is dedicated to the promotion of safaris and tourism in Zambia and the conservation of wildlife and the environment. Do You Know What is Africa’s Best Kept Secret? Visit at Get 7 FREE Zambia African Safari reports by sending a blank e-mail through:

Top Three Family Hiking Adventures While Visiting Oahu

While Oahu s Waikiki beach may be the most popular Hawaiian destination, the main island offers several family friendly hiking adventures to balance out those hours of surf and sand. Here are the top three, must see hiking sites on Oahu. Hiking at Diamond Head Diamond Head is the most famous Hawaiian mountain. Its actual name is Mt. Leahi, but early visitors mistook the glittering calcite crystals of the crater at the base of the mountain to be diamonds and named the area Diamond Head. The spot was once a strategic military lookout and today is home to a National Guard Depot and an FAA building. Remains of the former heavy military presence can still be spotted, like gun emplacements and tunnels built into the mountain. The trail itself is easy to hike and takes about 45 minutes. The trip offers panoramic views at the top. The adventure will take you through the mountain and up 100 concrete steps so wear sensible footwear. The trail is equipped with safety guardrails and begins at the crater floor and continues for 0.7 of a mile to the 760 foot summit. A circa 1908 military bunker remains at the top and was originally a U.S. Coast Artillery Observation Station. Hikers should pack plenty of fluids, a flashlight for the trek through the mountain tunnel, binoculars and a camera to capture the spectacular sights from the top. The Clean Air Team sponsors free guided hikes from Honolulu Zoo to Diamond Head every Saturday at 9 AM. Hiking at Manoa Falls Manoa Falls is a spectacular 150 foot waterfall off a nearly vertical cliff set in lush rainforest surroundings. The trailhead begins over a footbridge and continues for 0.8 miles with a gradual ascent. Access is prohibited at the small pool at the base of the waterfall. Safe boundaries are clearly marked with signs and cables in the viewing area. Visitors should not bring along dogs on this trail as hunting dogs are used in the area to control the wild pig population. Hikers should wear proper footwear as the trail travels through bamboo and rainforest terrains that may be wet or muddy. Bring along water, rain gear and mosquito repellant. Visiting Pali Lookout Pali Lookout offers spectacular views from the tops of steep and very windy cliffs. In fact, the area is so windy that it carries mist from the nearby waterfalls and makes the trail nearly 20 degrees cooler than in Waikiki, so bring a jacket, rain gear and prepare for a windy trip. The trail is easy to transverse and can offer a cool change of climate on especially hot days. Climb to the top and you will be rewarded with spectacular unobstructed views of the windward side of the island. This spot is rumored to have been the place where King Kamehameha drove some 16,000 warriors to their deaths over the steep edge of the cliff. These three hiking trails are suitable for all ages and nearly all fitness levels. Always bring along water and a small first aid kit and never stray from the marked trails. Don t forget to pack your camera to record the breathtaking sights and create a memorable family keepsake of your Hawaiian hiking adventure. Jim Dornfeld has been offering his own private and distinctive Hawaiian condo rentals to guests since 1998. Today he has 96 of the finest privately-owned Oahu condo rentals available to choose from, offering some of the finest accommodations on the islands.

Explore Murcia in Summer Time

Murcia is easy to locate on a map of Spain. This is because of its proximity to the Costa Blanca as well as the association that it has with the salt swamps in the area. Its capital city has the same name as the province and within its boundaries, there is a lagoon called the Mar Menor (or small sea) separated from the Mediterranean by the Manga, a stretch of land which looks like a sleeve and is sandy. Next the land curves around a peak and the important city of Cartagena can be seen distinctly; when you are near exiting the province you have a fantastic beach resort area and city called Aguilas near Torrevieja. This region of Spain is known to have very hot summers, many a day reaching temperatures as high as 40 degrees while the winters are mild and not very long. It is best described as having a very dry landscape on the interior areas but has managed to be known to have fertile land for producing vegetables and legumes. We Shall See When We Get Murcia You can come in either to the airport that is in San Juan for a short 30 minute drive to arrive at the actual city or you can fly into Alicante which is just a short 40 minute drive from the city. Determine which will give you the best rates on flights as well as car rentals so as to best plan your trip. When you do arrive your lodging will be waiting for you to take advantage of it. The first thing that you will want to see when you get there will be the Cathedral which is a magnificent blend of architecture that mixes designs from five different centuries. There are many other architectural delights for you to see as well. The Sanctuary of Fuensanta is from the 18th century and is in homage to St Murcia. During Easter and the festival a statue of the saint is carried around in honor of the holidays. Good Food And Good Times In Murcia With many different festivals happening all of the time you will always find much good food and times while you are visiting. Two of the biggest occur during the week of Easter as well as another festival in the spring that demonstrates all of the great culture of the area. Clinton Maxwell s detailed reports can be encountered on lots of online sites associated with Alicante and Torrevieja. You might discover his abstracts on Alicante and Murcia at .

Make Friends With a Tree: How to Make Tree Bark Rubbings and a Tree Shaped Poem

Trees have different shapes depending not only on their species, but on their living conditions. Bring a journal or field notebook while taking a walk in a nearby park or woods and look at the shapes of the trees growing in swampy areas, open areas, sloped areas, mountain tops. Notice the shapes of the trees and the characteristics of their bark (smooth or rough), leaves (net veined or parallel veins), branches (alternate or opposite). Materials: a sheet of light weight paper for each type of tree you want to study- newsprint paper works well a dark color (preferably fat) wax crayon, and a piece of string or thin rope long enough to tie around the trunk Procedure: 1. Poke holes in the top corners of your paper 2. Thread your string through one hole, wrap it around the tree trunk and tie the end to the other hole 3. Remove the paper from your crayon 4. Hold the crayon horizontally, rubbing it in one direction from the top of your page to the bottom. Make a scrap book of your rubbings What can you learn about each tree? Notice the texture (smooth or rough) the pattern of the bark, the thickness of the trunk. Study the tree in winter, spring, summer and autumn. What differences do you notice? Upon return to the classroom, look up the identity of the tree in a field guide, and then write a poem so that the words form the shape of the tree and reflect something about one or more characteristics of the tree. Here is an example: I Chop White pine Needles, steep them In boiled water to make tea That warms and nourishes my body And my spirit when brutal northeast wind Forces me to abandon my hike and seek shelter Indoors JJ Murphy is a freelance writer who helps companies, small businesses and individuals to express their awareness and dedication to developing sustainable technology and to preserve our natural resources. She writes articles for natural magazines, hiking publications, simple living publications in print and online. She also creates curricula to help public schools home schooling groups, private schools, wilderness camps, adult learning groups, and continuing education programs stretch and expand their students’ knowledge. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and a B.A. degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her client list includes writers, business consultants, motivational speakers, psychologists, financial planners, educators, and politicians. Visit her website for articles, wild food recipes and for more information, including JJ s favorite places for gear and supplies.

Your Almost Complete Fun Guide to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, sometimes referred to as the Canadian Falls, draw tourists by the thousands each year to catch a glimpse of the stunning view of the falls, making it one of the most well-known and famous waterfalls in the world. The falls are situated right on the border of Canada and the United States. Further, the name Niagara Falls may at first be deceiving to people who have never visited the falls as it sounds as if it only refers to one waterfall. In essence, Niagara Falls is actually a total of three falls: the American Falls, the Bridal Falls and the Veil falls. This immense water feature allows the passage of well over 160,000 cubic meters of water to topple over its immense crest line every sixty seconds! Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls Niagara Falls and the surrounding area is an area that is exposed to a variety of weather. All four seasons occur in Niagara Falls because the area is roughly equal distance from the equator as is the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Thus, Niagara Falls experiences cold winters, and balmy springs and equally warm summers. Finally, autumn is a fantastic time to tour the Niagara Falls regionâ€"the landscape and changing leaves make for a truly memorable experience. The coldest temperatures in Niagara Falls occur during the months of early November to late March: in November the temperature ranges from 22 degrees Fahrenheit to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, while the month of March displays similar temperatures anywhere from 30 degrees Fahrenheit to nearly 43 degrees Fahrenheit. January is typically the coldest of all months, with low temperatures averaging around 15 degrees Fahrenheit and highs peaking right around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow is typical and abundant during the winter months in Niagara Falls. Spring, especially in the time period between late March and mid-May, offers a mixture of mild to brisk temperature changes, as does the months of September through October. In striking contrast, the summers are comfortable enough in Niagara Falls that tourists can feel comfortable in casual shorts and short-sleeved shirts. In late May temperatures begin to warm considerably, averaging just about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the months of June through August offer temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. No matter what the weather in Niagara Falls, no matter what the season, it is imperative that you are prepared for the weather. If you plan on visiting the falls, they should also make sure they have a change of clothing or they may even want to bring some rain gear along. Windy days can move the splashing water about and tourists often get wet while viewing the falls. Traveling Around the Niagara Falls Area Taxi services are available while staying in Niagara Falls. The taxi service is available 24 hours a day and tourists can be picked up when they arrive at the airport. Further, handicapped accessible vehicles are available upon request. Taxi rates vary depending upon destination, but taxis will transport you to all of the main attractions in the region. Shuttle buses are another transportation choice for tourists, and there is an equal diversity in the various routes offered by shuttle bus companies. Places that can be visited via shuttle bus transportation include the American Falls, Casino Niagara, the Clifton Hill Amusement Area, Garner Road, Great Gorge, the Horseshoe Falls, the IMAX Theatre, Lundy’s Lane, Lundy s Lane Historical Museum, the Niagara Whirlpool, The Skylon Tower, and the Spanish Aero Car just to name a few fantastic destinations. Tours Available at Niagara Falls If you are visiting Niagara Falls for the first time you might want to take advantage of the numerous tours available. From guided to self-guided tours, you are bound to find a tour offered with a variety of services which include bus tours, limo tours, boat tours, and walking tours all available while visiting the Niagara Falls region. Limo Tours Tourists can explore the Niagara Falls region in style when they book one of several limo tours available. View the city’s sites while riding in a climate controlled limo. Some touring packages even offer picnic options to tourists. Further, tourists viewing the sites in Niagara Falls can choose their destination: check out great places like Buffalo, Lewiston, the Lower Niagara River, and Niagara on the Lake, Old Fort Niagara and Toronto during a stay in Niagara Falls. Bus Tours Bus tours offer site seeing opportunities equal to those of limo tours. Depending on the package you select, you can take a ride on the world famous Maid in the Mist, and see fantastic sites like the Dufferin Islands, the International Control Dams, the Marineland in Niagara, the Niagara Parks Greenhouses, the Old Marooned Scow, the Sir Harry Oakes Estate and the Toronto Power Plant. Some bus touring packages even have sight-seeing opportunities that include the Angel Inn, the Apothecary Museum, Fort George, Fort Niagara, the Shaw Theatre and the Old Town Clock. Walking Tour Walking, self-guided tours can be taken any time at the Whirlpool Park. A walking tour along the hiking trails in Whirlpool Park takes roughly three hours to complete. One final note: some tours are only offered on a seasonal basis. Night Life You will certainly want to take advantage of the nightly entertainment available at Niagara Falls area. Music, dancing, exhibits, shows, and plenty of cultural activities are in abundance in this region. Clifton Hills, Ontario From night time miniature golf games at the Dinosaur Park to unbelievable sites at the Ripley’s Believe or Not Museum, Clifton Hill is the place to visit when looking for diversity in terms of entertainment. You can catch a movie, play video games in a fantastic arcade; bowl a game or two; or watch your favorite television show on one of several big screen televisions. Other attractions offered at Clifton Hill include an all star wax museum and a number of thrill rides! Meanwhile, for those looking for a little music, the Café Etc…located at 462 Third Street in Niagara Falls, New York offers live jazz entertainment every weekend. The hours of operation for Café Etc… are from 3 pm to 3 am every day and the menu the eatery offers is diverse. From Italian cuisine to seafood, the Café Etc…has something to please every palate. Other Nearby Tourist Attractions From gorgeous gardens and lakes, to fun recreational activities for the entire family, the Niagara Falls region offers something for everyone’s enjoyment. Aquarium Tourists and their families are sure to love the Aquarium of Niagara Falls, located at 701 Whirlpool Street. The aquarium’s operating hours are from 9 am to 4 pm each day and the aquarium is the home to penguins, seals, sharks, sea lions, and more. The cost of admission into the aquarium is reasonable: adults pay $8.00, children from 4 to 12 pay $5.50, and children under 4 are free. Group rates are also available at the aquarium. Whirlpool Park Whirlpool Park is also a fantastic family attraction in the Niagara Falls region. Whirlpool Park is easily accessed from the Ross State Parkway; it’s a natural park with hiking trails, and a view of incredible rapids and whirlpools. What’s best about Whirlpool Park is that it is open all year long and there is absolutely no cost for admission. Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens Again, there is an abundance of fantastic sites in the Niagara region and tourist might enjoy visiting the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, located at 2565 Niagara Parkway. With more than 100 acres of land consisting of herbal, rock, vegetable, and floral gardens, in conjunction with the fantastic exhibits available, the entire family will have a memorable experience at this popular tourist destination. Copyright Statement This article was written by Jonathan Tan and may be reproduced on any travel-related website provided this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML code to ensure a clickable link back to the author s site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more information. Copyright © The most affordable way to make a weekend trip to and within Canada is via last minute getaway deals! Check out last minute getaways before the weekend is up!

Vacation in the Paradise of Switzerland

If a vacation spent trekking through high mountaintops doesn t sound like your ideal pastime, perhaps you should think again. Think of spending your days walking along well-structured paths, with views of glaciers, flowered meadows, and glistening lakes. Then imagine spending your nights in an inn with luxury hospitality, fluffy down comforters, and homemade dinners and desserts. Imagine spending a few days between hikes exploring the finest chocolate shops, and shopping in some of the world s most well-known cultural cities. Or spend your day exploring a museum or relaxing in the meadows by the comforting sound of a river, followed by a night out on the town in the hottest club in Europe. If any of these activities sound appealing to you, you should consider Switzerland for your next vacation spot. Switzerland holds the best activities to please everyone. You can explore the famous city of Geneva, the birthplace of the U.N. It is a perfect vacation spot where you can easily walk to the famed water fountain, the Flower Clock in the English Garden, see the Reformation Wall, and be awed by St. Peter s cathedral. Close by, the city of Zurich can offer you the shopping and clubs of Paris. Or if you want to experience the culture of the Swiss, Lucerne hosts the International Music Festival every year or stop by the Musée de l Art. Perhaps the best part of Switzerland is the background of the city, the Alps. Hiking is a national pastime for the Swiss, and there are plenty of signs directing you to hiking paths, called wanderwegs. You can plan a few easy hikes through the footpaths or into the mountain trails. If you plan on exploring the Alps by yourself, you should pick up an informative book such as Trekking and Climbing the Swiss Alps. Not only does this offer you a range of hikes from a short day hike to a longer 3 day journey, but it also provides clear pictures and concise directions. With the directions, it includes interesting cultural and historical information as it guides you through planning your trip. If you want more direction than a book can provide, you can book a Swiss hiking tour . A guided tour can offer you a small group trek with an expert lead. This type of tour can also show you the best that the Western Alps have to offer, so you don t miss anything during your trip. Another benefit of using a guide is that they shuttle your luggage, so all you have to worry about is carrying a few snacks and capturing the beautiful scenery with your camera. At night, you can rest in traditional chalet-styled inns, with all the comforts to restore you and rejuvenate you for the next day s adventure. Switzerland can offer you an adventurous and active vacation, so you re never bored. You can return home feeling inspired, challenged, and rejuvenated by the Swiss culture, Swiss Alps, and Swiss hospitality. Haute Route

Holidays in Goa

Sun, Sand and Surf â€" an apt description for Goa? But Goa is much more. Ancient temples and old churches? Yes. Portuguese Colony? Carnival City? The original refuge of the hippies? Yes again! Beach Paradise, India’s holiday capital… the list goes on. Goa, ‘Pearl of the Orient’, is located in South Western India on the coastal belt known as the Konkan. While naturally blessed with a fortuitous combination of vast expansive beaches, forested hills and fertile plains, Goa’s potential as a holiday hotspot is the result of potent intermingling of historical occurrences and the absorption capacity of its own compelling spirit. Goa, Past and Present Its creation divinely attributed to Lord Parshuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Goa’s ancient rulers included the Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Silahar, Chalukyas and the Bahamanis. More recently, significant from the holidaymaker’s point of view, Goa became a coveted colony of the Portuguese, remaining so till liberation by the Indian Army granted it Union Territory status, later upgraded to State of the Indian Republic. It is to this fact, perhaps more than any other, that a Goa holiday owes its special appeal. For, had Goa been a British colony, history would have been written very differently. Under Portuguese domination, the Iberian culture found a ready crucible to amalgamate with the original sensuous, fun loving Goan spirit. The best of what both worlds had to offer was assimilated into one people, leading to a flowering of the aesthetic, musical, even culinary arts. The spirit of Sucegado â€" carefree enjoyment and tranquil peace is probably Goa’s most important, if intangible, export to the leisure holiday industry. Also reflected in his ‘happy’ acceptance of the Portuguese cultural invasion is the Goan’s inherent adaptability and willingness to mix, qualities that hold the holiday and tourism industry in good stead. A melting pot of races and religions, the fusion of the Eastern and Western cultures into its own unique ethos of mirth and self-contentment is what attracts Indian and foreign tourists, choc-a-bloc, to holiday in Goa. Such a thriving holiday destination on the world tourism chart, Goa has many attractions to offer. Carefree beach bumming in the true spirit of Sucegado, adventure, watersports, high culture, churches and the appealing anachronism of Old Goa, wild party hopping, culinary adventures … Goa’s holiday tourist is charmingly eclectic in his calling. Beaches Holidays in Goa India’s unchallenged beach capital, Goa’s coastline is generously sprinkled with sand and surf: From popular tourist spots where one usually sees more skin than sand, to untouched havens that are worth taking that extra trouble to discover. Starting from Calangute in North Goa , clustered around Panaji, the capital of Goa, and further down, Margao in South Goa, are the most popular beaches on the tourism circuit. These are thickly surrounded by the usual agencies of tourism - hotels and facilities offering modern day luxuries, restaurants, shops, resorts, entertainment centers, spas, resorts, the works. Outside this ring, moving either North from Calangute or South of Margao the Goa s beaches become refreshingly more pristine and unpopulated. There, it’s just the sea, surf washed sand, sparkling or alternatively shaded by abundant palms fronds, and you! Some of Goa’s Popular Holiday Beaches Vagator: 22 km from Panaji, this crescent shaped beach on the Chapora River basin, in the shadow of the Chapora Fort, is a quiet place to unwind, but during the holiday season is a scene for all night parting. Anjuna: 18 km from Panaji, nestled between the sea and hill, this is a scenic beach with superb natural beauty makes for an excellent holiday. Baga: One of Goa’s northern beaches, it is comparatively emptier and surrounded by scenic beauty. Calangute: A favourite with holidaymakers, Calangute in North Goa, 15 km from Panaji, is the ‘Queen of Beaches’. The down side of holiday rush means that this stretch of sand is overcrowded at any time of the year. Sinquerim: 13 km from Panaji, Sinquerim is a popular holiday beach for its water sports facilities offering water-skiing, para-sailing diving and surfing. Miramar: Located just 3 kms from Panaji, it understandably sees the tourist rush and is dotted with holiday homes of the rich and famous. However, lying along the mouth of the Mandovi River as it meets the sea, it is interesting for its view of the Aguada fort. Aguada : Famous for the17th century Portuguese fort, this has now been converted into a Hotel. Though it’s grounds occupy much of the area around, the beach is open to general tourists. Agonda: Secluded, this beautiful stretch of silvery sand is refreshing - just the holiday to unwind on the sand and listen to stories of the sea. The nearby Cabo de Rama is historically interesting. Local legend has it that Lord Rama stayed here with Sita during his exile. Majorda: A local version of the ‘Ramayana’ has it that Ram was kidnapped as a child and brought up at Majorda. Later Jesuits discovered the best Goan toddy here and today’s holiday attractions remain the bakeries, the best in Goa. Colva: 39 km from Panaji and immensely popular, Colva offers a comfortable holiday with hotels, discos, shops and restaurants. Colva is also famous for the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, which has the statue of Menino Jesus. Benaulim: Less than 2 kms from Colva, this lovely holiday destination also has thriving handicrafts center attracts tourists for its traditional rosewood furniture. The Church of St. John the Baptist on a hill is quite famous as is the monsoon feast of Sao Joao celebrated as thanksgiving. Varca, Cavelossim, Mobor: These beaches south of Benaulim are really inviting. Cleaner and less crowded than others, they are studded with some exclusive beach resorts in Goa and food shacks. A holiday here also offers opportunities for watching wild dolphins. Palolem: 70 km south of Panaji, this white sandy beach is some commercial activity, including restaurants and shops. Weekends especially tend to get crowded here. CHURCHES IN GOA- HOLIDAYS Another contribution of the Portuguese rule to Goa’s holiday potential is the occurrence of splendid churches, especially in Old Goa. Originally spread with passionate fervour by the former rulers, Goa, Rome of the East, sees the dominant influence of Christianity, both in the religious and cultural spheres. Visible expressions of this are the Churches of Old Goa. Historically, these can be classified into the following periods, reflecting changing architectural styles and iconography. Early Period: Typified by Goa’s oldest surviving church, Our Lady of Rosary on Monte Santo in the ‘Manueline’ style named after King Emmanuel of Portual. This is a blend of Gothic and Renaissance with the motifs featuring Portuguese seamanship. The construction being unsuited to Goa’s weather, very few of these can be seen by tourists today. Baroque Period: ‘Golden Goa’ time of hectic missionary activity including the arrival of St. Francis Xavier, saw many grand churches in the contemporary European style built. These include the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Augustine Church of Our Lady of Grace. Indian Baroque Period: Reflecting local Goan influences in style and design, including the outer façade and inclusion of tropical motifs such as flowers and fruits. Outstanding amongst these are the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Church of Holy Spirit, Margao. Rococo Period: Typified by the smaller size of construction but with excuisite ornate finishing with local motifs, it is also known by the use of Stucco on the exterior façade. St, Stephen at San Esteyan near Panaji is a notable example. Modern Period: Starting from the nineteenth century onwards, this period saw the liberation of Goa’s churches from the rigid norms of the past as different styles flowered. An example is the Nossa Senhora employing the gothic style. Most churches in Goa continue to fulfill their spiritual purpose, revered by Hindus and Christians alike, while also serving as artistic and cultural attractions for tourists. Goan Hindu Temples Goan Hindu Temple architecture is another tourist attraction of a Goan Holiday, typified by the influence of local style over the rigid architecturally rigid structure. The maratha influence on Goa’s religious architecture lies in the Deepmal or Lamptower which is from two to six stories high, decorated with oil lamps on festive occasions. Mughal influence seems to express itself in the dome that covers the central shrine in place of the traditional shikhara, as also the Naubat Khana - a small tower at the entrance of the courtyard. Portuguese Christian influence is visible in the curving roofs of the Mandapas. Not many of Goa’s earliest temples survived the Moghul and later the Portuguese invasions (exceptions are the “Pandava Caves” dedicated to Lord Shiva, located at Aravelam and the Shiva Temple at Tambdi), which saw temples being razed and churches erected in their place. As a result most surviving temples that the tourist in Goa comes across are comparatively modern. The Mahalaxmi Temple in Panaji was the first temple allowed by the Portuguese, following much deliberation, in 1818. Goan Cuisine Food is another attraction for the tourist in Goa. Touring in Goa is a wonderful way to encounter Goa’s inimitable cooking is as much a mélange of different cultural invasions as its art, music, culture and literature. The staple for Hindus and Christians alike is rice and fish curry. And while tourist’s taste buds succumb to the temptations of Ambot Tik (Prawns/fish in a sour hot gravy), Sorpotel (fiery wet pork) and Xacuti (spicy meat dish), washed down with Feni (a pungent potent brew made from cashew nuts) it can be too much for the uninitiated palate to handle. Deserts in Goa come in the form of sinfully delicious Dodol (made from coconut and Goa jaggery) and Bebinca (a baked dish with coconut juice and egg yolk) Truly, this amazing pot-pourri of beach, nature, food and drink, culture and kitsch, religious fervour and profanity and fun galore that represents tourism in Goa would be hard to find anywhere else in the world. Roozbegh Gazdar Content writer

Excellent Places to Hike Around Las Vegas

Travel to Las Vegas and you ll likely hear plenty about nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead. There are even places right on the Strip where you can take part in guided tours of these places. These highly publicized attractions are well worth it and have many interesting sights and are great ways to escape the lights of Vegas. But in addition to these high traffic tourist spots, there are a couple of not so highly publicized areas that are well worth your time, and cost no more than a rental car and a camera. Red Rock Canyon is located about 15 miles west of the Strip. It is just outside of the city - you can take Charleston Boulevard all the way there. Charleston crosses the strip just north of the Stratosphere. Hop on Charleston and go west. Once you pass Red Rock Casino and Highway 215, you re almost there. When you first get to Red Rock, there is a visitor s center where you can get out and check out some of the history of the canyon. You can learn about the Native American s who first lived in the area as well as the animals and plants that populate the canyon. The canyon itself is made up of red sandstone which is very striking in color when the sun bounces off the canyon walls. There are numerous hiking trails that you can stop and hike. They range from easy to difficult. The canyon is also popular to rock climbers, who can often be seen scaling the cliffs and rocks of the area. From the visitors center you can take the scenic loop, which is a 13 mile loop that winds its way through the canyon with numerous places to stop to either hike or take pictures. One of the stops along the loop is the Ice Box Canyon trail which is a two mile moderately difficult hike that includes some rock scrambling. This trail works it s way back into a canyon which is known for the cooler winds that blow through the rocks. While hiking be sure to look up the canyon walls as you can often see the climbers scrambling up their lines. Along with the desert vegetation you re likely to see different animals in the conservation area. Bighorn sheep and deer accompany the wild burros that roam the land. The burros are rather tame and will often come up to car windows looking for food - though it is recommended not to feed them as this increases their independence on the tourists of the area. A picture of a burro sticking his head in your car window is often a great picture to share with friends back home. The great thing about Red Rock is that you can see the sights without ever leaving the air conditioning of your car - or if you re feeling a little adventurous you can venture out on one of the trails and make your way a little off the beaten path. Even though you are just outside the sprawling city of Las Vegas, a trip to Red Rock is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city - a great way to take a vacation inside your vacation. Patrick Treadway is a writer living in Las Vegas. He is editor of Vegas24Seven - The Las Vegas Webzine.

Off The Beaten Track

There are many off-the-track destinations and some wild-at-heart attractions for you to explore in Southern Africa. Sabi Sabi â€" Game Reserve â€" Eastern Cape The choral sounds of birds before morning light, hot ‘boere’ coffee and a muffin, and you’ll be ready to embrace the wildlife of SabiSabi. Land Rovers leave before dawn, and Rangers share information via radio, ensuring the occupants of each Land Rover have the best chance of a wide range of sightings. The Tracker will watch the road for spoor, leaning forward intently to find any print left by a predator during its hunt in the dark. Guests on guided walking trails can experience this natural environment on foot; no two walks are ever remotely the same. Sabi Sabi boasts approximately 350 different species of birds, and their nests and calls are fascinating. There is an endless diversity of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, whatever the time of year. The dusk period tends to be quieter. There is a lull as the animals sense the transition into a time of increased danger. The nocturnal hunters start stirring, and their prey needs to be alert for survival through the night. The Ranger will choose a spot where you can stretch your legs and enjoy a sundowner alongside the vehicle. If you are lucky, you may be able to watch a lion or his pride prepare for the evening hunt. With the help of the spotlight, a leopard s eyes may reflect back from a tree. Other smaller predators that are often encountered at night include the Genet, African Civet, and African Wild Cat. Bushbabies are nocturnal primates that feed on insects and fruits; their large eyes shine red in the light. Each morning and evening, Safaris in open Land Rovers drive through a wide variety of habitats, allowing you to view the vast interactions of the wild. After breakfast, the dedicated, skilled, and passionate Rangers lead you to discover miracles of Nature you may never have dreamed existed. Cango Ostrich Farm â€" Oudtshoorn â€" Western Cape Would you ever ride an ostrich? Cango Ostrich Farm is located in the lush Cango Valley, 14km outside of Oudtshoorn on the main route towards the world famous Cango Caves. It offers comprehensive and complete information regarding the ostrich - and ostrich industry. You get to see, the eggs, incubators and chicks (in season) and feed the ostriches by hand. Daring types get to ride the ostriches (within weight limits) and to stand on the eggs (no weight restrictions). There is a 45-minute farm tour, every 20 minutes. Multi-lingual guides are available (English, Afrikaans, German and French.) The farm delicatessen stocks Ostrich pate s and biltong. Distinctive ostrich handbags and feather boas are also available and of course, an extensive variety of decorated and plain Ostrich eggshells. St Lucia Crocodile Centre â€" St Lucia â€" Kwazulu Natal Situated some 2 km north of St Lucia village on the road to Cape Vidal, the Crocodile Centre offers an exciting and informative outing for visitors who would like to know more about the lake system and one of the world s oldest and most fascinating animals - the crocodile. The centre interprets the Lake St Lucia system and the habits of the crocodile and serves as a centre for crocodile monitoring and research. Crocodiles are a protected species in Natal, and all the African species of crocodile can be seen in the various ponds; the Nile, long-snouted, and dwarf crocodile plus American alligators. The crocodiles on display range in size from hatchlings to specimens of up to four metres. A series of informative displays on the Nile crocodile provide details about the breeding, feeding, physical structure and distribution of this prehistoric creature. Butterfly World â€" Paarl â€" Western Cape Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in South Africa. The location of this park is set conveniently at the junction of the main Wine Routes of Stellenbosch and Paarl, on the Route 44 near Klapmuts, just off the N1. Butterflies fly freely in an exotic indoor garden. Tropical plants abound and there are butterfly-friendly birds and water features that complete this idyllic picture. Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Schmetterling Coffee Garden and have a browse in the craft shop. You can photograph or video these beautiful creatures to your hearts content. . The park is open every day of the year except 25th December, and trading hours are 9am to 5pm (except June, July and August) when the opening hours are 10am to 4pm. If you’re looking for a wild-at-heart experience, look no further than the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve . The advantage of the Sabi Sabi Safaris stems from the fact that animals on the Reserve have not been hunted for over half a century. Because they have become habituated, they perceive the outline of a vehicle carrying humans as non-threatening.

Top Five Honeymoon Safari Destinations In Africa

An African honeymoon safari is the perfect way to celebrate your marriage. The pampering that you get is second to none and the surroundings are as beautiful as you will get anywhere in the world. All you have to do is turn up and your safari company caters to your every whim while you enjoy excellent cuisine and the incomparable African wildlife. So it s not in doubt that a safari is an awesome honeymoon experience but Africa is a big place so it does beg the questions where the best honeymoon safari destinations are and who the top honeymoon safari companies are. I speak from experience because I went on a honeymoon safari myself in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and in the first hand accounts of previous travellers in the trip reports at African safari journals these are the top five honeymoon safari destinations in Africa... 1. Serengeti and Pemba Island - Tanzania By combining a safari and beach honeymoon you are getting the absolute best of both worlds and for this not much beats the Serengeti and Pemba Island close to Zanzibar. The Serengeti rightly ranks as one of the best national parks in Africa and will give you a wonderful safari experience. You can for example stay at the Ngorongoro crater lodge which is built on stilts right on the lip of the fantastic crater which affords you some awesome views and from there you can make forays onto the Serengeti plains themselves too. Then, once you have covered most of the Serengeti move on to the secluded island paradise of Pemba and stay at one of the handful of luxury resorts there like the Funda Lagoon beach resort. The big advantage of Pemba island is that it is far less commercialized than Zanzibar and offers you a true island hideaway experience complete with azure blue, crystal clear seas, white sands and palm trees. Magical. 2. Kruger National Park and Cape Town - South Africa Another safari and beach combination honeymoon but with much more variety. Cape Town offers far more than just stunning beaches. Visit the winelands in the area, take a trip up Table mountain, watch whales at Hermanus, sip champagne at the Victoria and Alfred waterfront and that s just for starters. There is more to do and see than you will be able to get around to. The Kruger National Park provides an amazing safari experience also with a wider variety of wildlife than any other reserve in Africa. Stay at the recently refurbished Lower Sabie camp in one of the luxury tents situated right next to the Lower Sabie River. I have watched elephants crossing the river sitting on the veranda with a beer in my hand. Can t get much better than that. 3. Victoria Falls and South Lungwa Reserve - Zimbabwe and Zambia My own honeymoon took me to the place that should rank as one of the seven wonders of the world. The Victoria Falls lives up to its reputation and is a natural wonder that must be experienced. The Victoria Falls hotel provides good views of the deluge of water as you take tea in the gardens of this charismatic hotel oozing with colonial magnetism. To get your dose of safari, mix your falls visit with a trip across the border into Zambia for a visit to the South Luangwa National park. This reserve was the birthplace of the walking safari and is famous for its leopard sighting potential. Stay at the Tena Tena camp which has been ranked as one of the finest in Africa. 4. Okavango Delta and Chobe Game Reserve - Botswana The Okavango Delta is unique in all the world and a stay at Selinda camp will bring out its full potential for you. See all the usual wildlife suspects and enjoy gliding along the river in a canoe called a mokorro while you watch elephant and antelope along the banks of the swamp. Chobe National Park provides more opportunities to spot your favourite wildlife especially elephant and buffalo. Take a sunset cruise on the Chobe river and dine watching hippo and elephant only a few feet away from the boat. 5. Timbavati and Sabi Sabi Nature Reserves - South Africa The camps in the Timbavati and Sabi Sands nature reserves which lie adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa have raised the bar on luxury worldwide. The Singita Boulders Lodge in Timbavati is the first and only accommodation in the history of Conde Nast Gold List Reader Poll to get a perfect 100 score, an honour it has held for three years. It doesn t get better than this in terms of luxury. And on the wildlife front you are virtually guaranteed of seeing the big five animals because these are private reserves and the vehicles are allowed to go off-road to track the big game. The Top Three Honeymoon Safari Companies List ranks the best of the best honeymoon safari operators by using trip reports from previous travellers. Find out the best places and times to get the most out of a Serengeti migration safari and learn who the top three wildebeest migration safari companies are.

Traveling with Sports Equipment: How to Prevent Damage

Whether you’re a cyclist or a surfer, all athletes undoubtedly have the same dilemma: how to safely transport sports equipment without damaging it. A little forethought â€" and access to the right resources â€" can ensure the preservation of your equipment, from bikes to skis to surfboards, regardless of your destination. Some of the logistical problems will be the same. For all sports, you’ll need to plan ahead. You can’t assume that you’ll be able to take your equipment everywhere you’re going without special accommodation or advanced notice. If you’re traveling by air, it can’t hurt to call the airline in advance and ask if there’s anything you need to do before you arrive at the airport, or if you need to allow for more time at the check-in counter. You should also ask them if traveling with your particular piece of equipment will incur extra fees, or if there are any limitations regarding the type of aircraft you’ll be allowed to travel on. Major airlines should have this information easily accessible on their websites. Each sport also has specific needs to be addressed. A surfboard, for example, will introduce more complications into your travel plans than would skis or snowboards. Perhaps the most complicated sports equipment to tote on your trip relates to kayaking. If you’re traveling by air, you should contact the airline to ensure that kayaks are allowed to be checked as luggage, and then you should ask about associated guidelines, fees, or restrictions. Often, the easiest route to take is to rent a kayak once you arrive at your destination. If you’re traveling with a company, it’s possible they’ll make kayaks available for you at no additional charge. For example, Access Trips, an adventure travel company, provides all kayak equipment for their clients, eliminating the stress of transporting your personal equipment. If you’re traveling with a mountain bike, you have even more options. Bringing your own bike on domestic travel should be straightforward and cheap (some airlines even allow bikes as checked luggage with no additional fees). The best way to travel with your bike is to partially dismantle it and put it in a bike box, either the one it came with or one you’ve acquired from a bike retailer. You’ll need to remove the front wheel, seat, pedals, and handlebars in order to fit your bike into the box. Foam padding wrapped around the bike frame and parts will prevent in-flight damage, and you can even pad the sides and bottom of the box with the clothing you’ll take on your trip. If the idea of submitting your mountain bike to the abuse of air travel makes you sweat, you might prefer shipping your bike ahead of time or leaving it at home and renting a bike once you arrive at your destination. As with kayaks, some travel companies provide equipment for their clients or offer equipment at a reduced rate. There’s an added bonus for renting from a travel company specializing in bicycle tours: your bike will ‘meet you’ when you arrive, and you don’t have to worry about taking it to a specific drop-off for the return. With the frequency of ski and snowboard travel, you should have little difficulty transporting the equipment for these sports. You should still call ahead to clarify any logistical details with the airline if you’re traveling by air, but you should expect that no one will raise any eyebrows when you bring your skis or snowboard to the check-in counter. With snow sport equipment, your main concern will be finding the right bag to ensure that your equipment is protected from other luggage. Finally, surfers interested in taking their boards on the airplane should take special precautions when packing. You should duct tape thick towels and pillows to the vulnerable parts of your board â€" the tail, nose, and rails â€" to shield them from other passenger luggage. If you don’t have a board bag, you can ‘package’ your board inside old bedding for safety. Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll need a soft rack or rope to secure the board to your car, unless you anticipate there will be room for storage inside the car (as is the case with a Jeep or truck). Even without surfboards and ski poles, traveling is stressful enough. By planning ahead, you can ensure that both you and your equipment arrive safely. For more information about traveling with sports equipment, visit Traveling with Sports Equipment , provided by Access Trips for client reference in preparation for their mountain bike tours . Access Trips also offers equipment rental for clients, including top of the range bikes during their bicycle tours . For more information on traveling with a bike, including information about airports around the world, visit George Farnsworth’s Bike Travel Website .

How To Distinguish High Quality Boots From Poor Ones

What are high quality boots? We know brand names that are associated with quality for example Doc Martins. In the past they have been so well thought of that the police and the military have used them. We all know this, if not consciously, then unconsciously. The name Doc Martins is another word for excellent footwear. But how do we really know that they are good quality. We are basically relying on there reputation and probably don t study the seam and the weight of the boot itself. It s a pair of Docs so why not buy them. Everyone else does. This article is going to give a brief overview of what to look for when buying high quality boots. First all have a look at the heel. The boot may look very nice from the top with just the style you are looking for, but a real quality boot will have a leather heel. If you look closely at the heel you can see that the leather is stacked. This is a mark of quality. Cheaper shoes tend to have laminated heels. The stitching is also a major factor. We all know the famous yellow stitching of Doc Martins, yet if we look closely at this stitching we will see it is very intricate, and if weren t for the color would hardly be noticeable. Cheaper shoes tend to have bigger stitching that not only looks unattractive but also comes apart after a short space of time. Boots don t have to be perfect. The main aim for a shoemaker is to get it to fit the feet. That s where the real quality comes in. So by far the best way to check the quality of the boot is to try it on. But don t just sit there admiring the style, walk around the shop. A good quality shoe or boot should be comfortable. There should be absolutely no rubbing on your feet and you should feel support on the ankles. Remember though to think why you are buying the shoes. They maybe of fantastic quality, but if you buy Doc Martins for mountain climbing they just won t last. Hiking boots are best for this and for these you maybe looking for slightly different features. For example grip and cushioning. If you want quality shoes you will mostly like have to pay a lot of money for them. Real boot makers no doubt make the best quality handmade shoes. You can also get excellent quality in specialist shops that have a small client focus. Shops like this tend to try and attract people that want quality, so have a look. Discount shoe shops will not necessarily be of the highest quality, but this in the cheap prices. Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as quality western boots at

Womens Flipflops - Fashionable and Stylish Too

Flip flops aren’t what they used to be â€" and they aren’t just for kids and men anymore either. Womens flipflops have come a very long way in recent years. Womens flipflops are available in a variety of styles, colors and designs, and they have become a huge part of many women’s wardrobes. Flip flops are even commonly seen in the work place these days! The designs of flip flops have become so flattering that they are now suitable to wear with dresses, skirts, slacks, and jeans. Of course, flip flops and shorts will always go well together! Flip flops come in a wide variety of styles and designs. Some have heels, and some are flat. Some have the traditional rubberized soles, while others are made of leather, wood, plastic, and a huge variety of other types of materials. When it comes to flip flops, anything goes, and all things are possible! Flip flops are very flattering when worn with Capri style pants. In fact, it seems that the Capri style pants are what made flip flops more attractive to women. Designers were forced to sit up and take notice. They finally realized that women will not be content with the same old â€" ugly â€" style flip flops that were available for years in a one-size, one-style fits all fashion. Today, women want their footwear â€" even their flip flops â€" to be fashionable and stylish â€" and designers have answered that demand! Many famous designers now have flip flop designs out on the market, and there are shoe companies that specialize only in flip flop sandals. Because each woman has an intricate style of her own, many of them even decorate their flip flops to make them even more stylish and unique. Flip flops are not as cheap as they once were either. Of course, you can still find the old style of flip flops and purchase a pair of those for less than three bucks, but the more stylish â€" cute â€" flip flops cost quite a bit more. Some women even pay upwards of $100 for a pair of flip flops â€" and flip flops by famous designers go even higher! Aside from the overall appearance of the shoe, many flip flop designers have taken more of an interest in comfort and support when it comes to flip flop designs as well. There are many styles of flip flops on the market today that feature arch support. The thong that goes between the toes is often made of the softest leather to keep the material from rubbing blisters between the toes as well. Comfort, support, fit, style, and design are all factors when new flip flops are made today! Fit is something that was never important in the past when it came to flip flops. Women had a choice between small, medium, large, and in some instances, even extra large. Today, quality flip flops have actual shoe sizes so that women can get a better â€" more comfortable fit. This is revolutionary in the flip flop world â€" kids and men still have to settle for small, medium, large, and extra large in most cases, and their choices are very limited when it comes to flip flops. Flip flops are seen everywhere you look â€" everyday. Women even wear flip flops in the winter. They are easy to slid into to step outside, or even to make a quick trip next door or to the store. Many women even use flip flops as substitutes for house slippers â€" because they are comfortable, and they serve the purpose without making a woman’s feet too warm. We expect the flip flop to evolve even more in the future. The renewed interest that women have shown in these types of shoes will ultimately drive designers and manufacturers to give women even more of what they want â€" before the competition does. We definitely haven’t seen the last changes in womens flipflops! Keep an eye on the flip flop section at your favorite shoe store to see what the designers have in mind for us next! provides you with information on the latest womens shoe fashion, womens flipflops and much, much more. For shoes, come to!

Winter Vacations For Skiing And Snowboarding Enthusiasts

If you love to ski, snowboard, or play in the snow during the winter, a winter vacation with these amenities is the perfect trip for you. Even if you re not good at skiing or snowboarding, resorts offer various class levels from beginner to expert. You can also enjoy the other winter activities, such as snowmobiling, sleigh rides, and ice skating which require less coordination and athleticism. Whichever activity you enjoy, a winter vacation to one of the following states can offer you the best snowy conditions for a romantic getaway or a family vacation this year. • Lake Tahoe On the border of California and Arizona, Lake Tahoe has 7 ski resorts, offering back country powder and huge views of Lake Tahoe, the nearby mountain regions, and the small town of Truckee. Lake Tahoe always has plenty of snow in the wintertime; in fact in 2005 they had the most snowfall in North America. Besides outdoor fun, there is an ample nightlife with casinos and entertainment for tourists. • Park City If you want a vacation fit for the stars visit Park City, Utah. This popular town has world-renowned skiing and snowboarding. The Utah license plate even says, The Best Snow on Earth! . You can even visit the Utah Olympic Parks that were used for the 2002 Winter Olympic games. There are numerous ski resorts in this mountain city, with three major ski areas. There are plenty of other activities too, such as snowmobiling and snowshoeing, or try the bobsled, luge, or sleigh rides. It also holds some of the best shopping, restaurants, and galleries in the nation. You may even catch a glimpse of some celebrities. • Colorado With plenty of resorts (over 25), there is plenty of snowfall and lodging whether you re traveling to Aspen or anywhere else in Colorado. Colorado provides a total of 41,648 feet of vertical rise, 29,460 acres of terrain, and 4,241 inches of annual snowfall. With breathtaking scenery, Colorado s Rocky Mountains provide skiing terrain for all levels. Colorado is the perfect vacation for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway (according to the movie Dumb and Dumber ). • Northern Arizona Although you don t think of Arizona as a snowy place, Northern Arizona has elevations of about 8,700 feet and gains about 10 feet of snow each winter. Whether you want a romantic getaway or a family fun vacation (you can even bring the dog), an Arizona vacation rental can offer you 65 ski runs and a mountain fit for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, cross-country skiing, and snow mobiling. At night you can relax in front of the fireplace and rest in the down comforters and Egyptian cotton sheets at your bed and breakfast inn. • Vermont With 2,000 feet of vertical (more than East coast states Maine, New Hampshire, and New York combined), Vermont has around 30 resorts throughout the small state to fit whatever type of winter sport you enjoy. They even have their own magazine, Ski Vermont magazine, to help you plan the perfect vacation. This state makes it easy to find the best resort and the best days to ski, snowboard, or take the kids out. They even have a saying, Winter in its original state. Don t forget to try the famous maple syrup while you re in this state.

February in Connecticut

Connecticut is another winter destination for February that features many winter activities as well as several indoor educational and arts events that make your trip in February well rounded. The Annual Associate Artist’s Show is held through February every year. Associate Artists are invited to submit artwork and the annual exhibitions are to be hung in three front galleries. The event contains a variety of art from including landscapes, still life, figurative, and other subjects. The event is held at the Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme. The Wonders of Winter is another event that is held in February at the Lyme Art Association. This event is located in the Goodman Gallery. The artwork celebrates winter life in New England. Elected and Associate Artists are also welcome to exhibit their art but all work must be for sale. In Hartford you will find the Annual Big Red for the Arts. The food and wine event features samples from the Greater Hartford area’s best restaurants. They feature wines from California’s Napa Valley, Tuscany and other worldly locations. The event takes place at Joe Black’s Irish Pub. In Greater New Haven you can find the annual Orchestra New England: Baroque Fest. The event is an evening of Baroque music from such artists as Bach and Handel. The Annual SweetArt Auction Art Night can be found in River Valley. The event includes studio and regional artists that are on hand to create “quick” works of art on paper and hold demonstrations. There is also a silent auction in addition to the live auction. The Annual Eastern States Ski Jumping Championship is an Olympic level competition held in Litchfield Hills. The competitors jump off a 55-meter jump at the Satre Ski Hill. This is the oldest ski jumping program in the nation. The jump was built in 1926. The Mark Twain House is located in Hartford and is a great place to get out of the cold. The house is Tiffany decorated and the place where he worked from 1874 to 1891. Here he created The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The Mark Twain Museum is the “new wing” to the house. The museum provides a deeper understanding of the man and the effect that he had on history. Rob Vrabel is the webmaster of , the #1 Source for Things To Do in Connecticut. Check out his site at .

How to Make Compost Tea for your Garden

Would you like to give your garden a boost of natural fertilizer? Here s a way to make your own by using garden clippings and leftovers from your kitchen. I enjoy taking a cup of tea or coffee outside to my “thinking” spot as my 5-year-old grandson calls it, and enjoy the beauty of nature around me. I noticed that some of my plants look like they could use a boost, perhaps some fertilizer, but I’m not into putting chemicals into my body or my garden. I found a great natural recipe for compost tea that I’d like to share with you. It takes a few weeks to prepare, but you’ll only need a few organic ingredients. If you have a compost pile, you won’t have to buy a thing to get started. Composting is a great way to get rid of your meatless kitchen scraps, and provide natural nourishment for all your plants. Use grass clippings, leaves, plant material, and any uncooked scraps from the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Compost Tea ½ Cup Epsom Salt (optional) 5 gallons of non-chlorinated water (rainwater is perfect) 5 pounds of compost (stinging nettle or alfalfa meal may be substituted) Mix all ingredients in a large container, then cover with a lid and let it ferment for about 1-3 weeks, stirring everyday (it will smell bad). Once it stops bubbling it’s ready to use. Strain the tea into plastic or glass jugs and store in a cool place. When ready to use, you must dilute the tea! Add 1 cup of tea to 10 cups of water. Drench the soil around your plants. Your flowers will love this natural boost of energy from Mother Nature and you will enjoy knowing that you are being environmentally responsible. Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and the owner of Write On! Creative Writing Services based in Nashville, Tennessee. She and her team of ghostwriters service clients all over the globe by offering quality writing on a variety of topics at an affordable price. If you need a brochure, web text, business document, resume, bio, article or book, visit .

Plumas Eureka State Park: A Beautiful Family Oriented Wilderness Destination

The Plumas Eureka State Park is one of the hidden gems of the California state park system. Few people seem to know about this beautiful family oriented destination, but it has much to offer to kids and adults alike. It is situated in a forested valley at the foot of Eureka Peak, site of the famous old Plumas Eureka gold mine. Wildlife and nature trails thread through the park, exploring the history of the locality, and fishing is available in the streams and lakes. About a mile above the Eureka mine and the park offices, there is a beautiful campground called upper Jamison Creek. It has 67 camp spots available most of which are both shady and beautiful. It is a fantastic place to experience the history of the California gold rush and a great base camp for exploring the Plumas County area in general. There is a fine, top quality restaurant located in the adjoining town of Johnsville, and several golf courses in the area. The California Parks Department has rebuilt many of the old buildings at the Eureka mine. The old miner’s boarding house has been converted into a museum and park offices. Both the natural history of the area as well as the past mining operations are displayed at a small museum located in the old boarding house. The blacksmith and old assay office have also been restored. The old Eureka mill is in the process of being restored and put back in the condition it was when the mine shut down. It is a very educational place to visit. The park allows panning for gold in Jamison Creek, although more significant operations like dredging, sluicing or high banking are not permitted. I have panned there myself and found some small gold flakes in the gravels of Jamison Creek, but nothing of any great size or richness. The story of the discovery of the mines in the area is an interesting one. During any great gold rush, tales of fantastic finds abound -- some are real and some are not. In the mother lode country of California in the fall of 1850, there were a lot of fantastic finds but probably the wildest tale of that time was the story of a lake surrounded with gold nuggets â€" the “Gold Lake”. A prospector named Tom Stoddart, supposedly discovered a lake paved round with gold nuggets in the high Sierra country between the Sierra Valley and Downieville. These lake gravels were supposed to yield an ounce to the pan full. He and his partner were lost at the time and the partner died in the struggle to get back to civilization. His story spread like wild fire. It was late in the year when he first straggled into town, and so the whole winter folks throughout the area waited and prepared to begin a spring time search for this great new discovery. When the winter snows melted, hundreds of prospectors took off in the hunt. No lake of gold was ever found, but many important new discoveries were made by the prospectors who set out into the high Sierra backcountry searching for that fabled gold lake. In that fateful spring of 1851, a few prospectors found some gold in a small stream that is now known as Jamison Creek. The placers were not especially rich, but still they paid wages and the prospectors kept looking for better deposits. They decided to send a few members of their party up a steep hillside they called Gold Mountain to see if they could get the lay of the land and figure out the best spots for gold deposits. As they climbed up the mountain, they found a huge quartz vein exposed on its slopes. The vein had an average width of 20 feet and cropped out for over 400 feet along it s length. It consisted of rose colored quartz with plenty of decomposed sulfide pockets and was rich in gold. It was called the Eureka Lode by the original nine discoverers. Several nearby gold veins were also staked by other prospectors. The early miners of the 1850s had a difficult time with hard rock mining even with those rich bonanza type ores, they had so little experience that they had a difficult time making the operations pay. In 1855, the company which owned the rich Eureka vein decided to invest some money and erected a 12 stamp mill, with each stamp weighing 800 pounds. The mill was driven by water power. For a number of years, the mines provided good ores and the little towns that grew up around the mines prospered. Between 1851 and 1865, the local mines yielded nearly $2 million in gold (67 million at today’s prices). During this time, the Eureka mine paid its shareholders over $250,000 in dividends. Although a rich new chimney of ore was discovered in 1868, by 1871, the rich ores had begun to become scarce, and the mines were not paying as well as they once did. Although the mines continued to produce into the 1890’s the town and area slowly declined as residents left the area. After World War II the region and all its mines were acquired by the state of California who made them into a state park. - A full description of the Plumas Eureka State park including photos of the area can be viewed at: Basic information on Prospecting for gold, including how to get started, can be found at: Chris Ralph writes on small scale mining and prospecting for the ICMJ Mining Journal. He has a degree in Mining Engineering from the Mackay School of Mines in Reno, and has worked for precious metal mining companies conducting both surface and underground operations. After working in the mining industry, he has continued his interest in mining as an individual prospector. He can be reached at P.O. Box 3104 Reno, Nevada 89505. His information page on prospecting for gold can be viewed at:

Giant Sequoias - Hiking Boole Tree Loop

The Giant Sequoia trees of California are a site to see. Despite heavy logging efforts, you can still hike through these massive trees on the Boole Tree Loop. Giant Sequoia National Monument The park system in central California is incredible. You have Sequoia National Park, the first national park ever designated in the country. Next to it is King Canyon National Park, created in 1940. Surrounding a good portion of these two is the new Giant Sequoia National Monument, designated such by President Clinton in 2000. The three parks form a sanctuary for incredible scenery, including the Giant Sequoias on the Boole Tree Loop hiking trail. Although directions are included below, I have to mention the drive to Boole Tree is incredible. As you drive through Stump Meadow, you will see some of the biggest stumps in the world and get a real feel for what has been destroyed. The biggest is the Chicago Stump measuring 70 FEET around its perimeter. Sadly, the tree was cut down so it could be displayed in a museum in Chicago in the 1880s when such trees seemed plentiful. The Boole Tree Loop is only 2.5 miles, but will take a couple of hours since you’ll be staring up in the air like an idiot and looking at some incredible views. Since it is a loop, you can go either direction you wish. The first part of the trail will wind through at least 40 Giant Sequoia stumps that will boggle your mind with their size. Passing these, you’ll head up to a plateau where you can look down upon valleys in the canyon with Spanish Mountain in the distance. Regardless of which way you go, you’ll eventually come upon Boole Tree. Boole Tree is big, but not as big as many of the stumps you’ll see. Boole Tree stands roughly 275 feet high with a perimeter of some 35 feet. It is estimated to be over 2,000 years old and is one of the biggest living trees in the world. Ironically, the tree is named after a lumber mill owner that spared it. To bad he wasn’t feeling as gracious with the other Giant Sequoias as all the stumps attest. The Giant Sequoia National Monument is roughly an hour east of Fresno, California. Highway 180 is the most used entrance to the park from the west coast. Upon entering the park, you’ll pass through a ranger station. Drive north from there and hand a left at Grant Grove after traveling just over a mile. Continue until you hit Grant Grove Village. Just after it, you’ll see sign for Stump Meadow. Take a left and start driving. After a couple of miles, you’ll see a parking lot with a sign. If you’re coming from Los Angeles, the drive will take five hours as will driving from San Francisco. Of course, drive times are dependent on traffic conditions in both cities. Taking a hike through the Giant Sequoia National Monument is tremendous. It will give you a perspective of Mother Nature that few see. Rick Chapo is with - makers of writing journals for hiking, backpacking and camping. Writing journals are great Christmas gifts for him or her. Visit for more hiking articles and stories.

A Trip To The Grand Canyon

One of the world s most popular tourist attractions is the famous Grand Canyon. Located in the northwest region of Arizona, it is also one of the most famous natural tourist attractions. The National Park Service manages the Grand Canyon, as a major portion of the Grand Canyon lies within the Grand Canyon National Park. If you have decided to plan a trip to the Grand Canyon for your adventure holidays then it is best to be prepared for everything before you leave. 1. Plan out your trip: First and foremost you must decide on how to get there. Do you want to take a family road trip to the Grand Canyon or do you want to save time and money and fly to the place instead? Before you embark on your journey you should always take into consideration all factors like the rising gas prices and which of the two options would benefit you both physically and economically. It is after you have thought about all these factors that you should make your plan when traveling USA. 2. Self vs. the travel agent: while planning your trip you should also decide whether you want to plan out your trip by yourself or do you want to hire the services of a travel agent. By enlisting the services of a travel agent not only will you save on money and time, but they will also help you to experience the complete wonders of the magnificent Grand Canyon, as it is their job to plan the best vacations for others. 3. Child friendly environments: keeping in mind the different ages of your children, you should try to find out whether the destination or the trip will be suitable for them or not. For instance, if you have a baby, then try to find out whether the hotel or resort where you are staying offers services such as providing cribs or childcare. 4. Pet care: if you are one of those people who love to take their pets along with them on holidays, then you should always remember to ensure that the hotel or resort in which you will be staying in allows their guests to bring their pets with them. If you don t want to keep your pet locked in the room for the whole day while you are out enjoying, then definitely ensure that the destination is pet friendly. 5. Home protection: to protect your home while you are gone you can talk to your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on your home. You can also ask a family friend or a relative to check in your home while you are gone. 6. Clothing: you should always remember to pack appropriate clothing for your trip. Always remember to pack clothes, such as, sweatshirt or sweater, bandana or a hat, gloves, jackets, shoes, raincoat or ponchos, cut off pants for hiking and socks. 7. First Aid: first aid is an essential item for all trips; so do not forget to pack first aid items for your trip. The items that you should essentially carry are antiseptic, band-aids, ace bandage, chap stick, burn ointment, gauze compresses, foot blister pads/powder, first aid tape, sun-tan lotion, salt tablets and a sharp knife. 8. Miscellaneous items: you should also carry a few miscellaneous items like maps, compasses, eye wash, ear plugs, water, flashlight, blankets, fire starter, anti-bacterial soaps, waterproof matches, paper/pencils, moist wipes, a sewing kit, sun glasses and toilet paper. 9. Sunscreen: to protect your family form sunburns, you should pack a sunscreen lotion that has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. 10. Toiletries: you should also pack a few toiletry items, such as, wash cloth, laundry bag, mirror, tooth paste, tooth brush, soap, sleep wear, sanitary supplies and shaving articles. While traveling do not carry a large sum of money or all of credit cards with you. It is always advisable to carry traveler s checks or traveler s debit card. These will help you to replace your funds incase they are stolen or lost. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so even if it means over packing, prepare yourself for everything. However, in the end do not forget to have a safe and sound trip. Kurt Schefken s summaries can be found on a large number of online sites with information about Spain. Writing for publications like , he demonstrated his deep knowledge on subjects corresponding to Murcia weather .