Photography Is Ruining Travel

Traveling is all about gaining new experiences and seeking new environment's to gain a wider knowledge of other regions on our planet. Every man and his dog has a camera these days presented in different formats from your standard digital camera to SLR cameras to camera phones and i-pads. In most cases these are the…

Traveling is all about gaining new experiences and seeking new environment's to gain a wider knowledge of other regions on our planet. Every man and his dog has a camera these days presented in different formats from your standard digital camera to SLR cameras to camera phones and i-pads. In most cases these are the first thing we ensure we have packed before traveling abroad, and they are one of a few items that we take out with us on our day-to-day adventures. The problem with cameras is that they seem to get in the way of our day-to-day activities. Everybody seems to have the urge to take a picture of just about everything they see, rather than savor the moment with their own eyes.

It's fair to say that some people spend their entire holiday looking through the viewfinder of a camera rather than with their own eyes. In many respects people are more interested about going home with a few good images representing their holiday rather than experiencing the holiday at the time for what it is. Not long ago I was on a boat trip in Namibia and we were being followed by a pod of dolphins riding the crest of waves behind our boat. I spent the whole time looking through the viewfinder of my camera trying to capture the perfect image of the dolphin's instead of enjoying the experience for what it was, and that was the experience of a lifetime, I never really got the perfect shot I so desperately wanted.

If we're not careful we could all find ourselves in a situation where getting the perfect picture takes priority over the experience, where does it end? When you travel on safari these days all you see is hundreds of tourists all peering down their camera lenses at the animal in front of them rather than just sitting back and saving the moment of being in the presence of such a wonderful creature. Although technology is positive in most ways, this certainly does not seem to be a great indication of things to come. There seems to be so much pressure these days for people to get great pictures to impress their friends and families back home that half of the holiday is spending trying to get yourself into a scenario where creating this picture is possible.

There was once a time when taking a camera on holiday was not important and it was all about the experience instead. These times seem to have come and gone and the future certainly does not look promising judging by today's standards and people actions whilst on holiday. With almost everyone having access to a camera these days competition between people to get the best picture is always going to be rife and until there is a fundamental change, photography over the experience of a holiday seems to be the way it's heading.

Topes De Collantes Cuba

Covering approximately 80 square miles, Topes de Collantes (Collantes Highs) is a nature reserve park in the Escambray Mountain range in Cuba, 3 miles above the city of Trinidad. At near 2,600ft above sea level it is the third highest peak in the range with San Juan peak at 3,740ft and Potrerillo peak at 3,054ft…

Covering approximately 80 square miles, Topes de Collantes (Collantes Highs) is a nature reserve park in the Escambray Mountain range in Cuba, 3 miles above the city of Trinidad. At near 2,600ft above sea level it is the third highest peak in the range with San Juan peak at 3,740ft and Potrerillo peak at 3,054ft higher. The Escambray Mountain range spreads across three provinces; Villa Clara to the north, Cienfuegos to the east and Sancti Spiritus to the west. The north face of the mountains are home to a variety of plants and animals while the much drier south face is home to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Trinidad City and Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills).

In 1954 the Cuban president built a massive sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in the area owned by coffee growers. It is believed that the president's wife Martha became a victim of the disease and whilst at the sanatorium fell in love with the place, persuading her husband to build her a house in the area. After the revolution the hospital was used as a school and then in the 70's it was converted into the Kurhotel specializing in rehabilitation and special therapies. Scattered through the seven storey high hotel you will find a huge collection of original Cuban art with 750 pieces from Cuba's most famous painters. In the 1980's the Mountain Campus of Las Villas University was built here.

Many species of animals are found in the reserve including Cuba's national bird the Tocororo, the Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the Cartacuba and some beautiful unique hummingbirds. When exploring this amazing reserve you will come across rivers, natural pools of crystal clear water, waterfalls, caves and if you are lucky enough to take your cheap holidays between June and September you will see hillsides covered in Cuba's national flower the Mariposa (Butterfly Lily ). This tropical rainforest boasts more than 40 indigenous species of orchid, 100 species of ferns with some more than 20ft tall, more than 40 species of coffee which grow in the shade of 130ft tall pines, West Indian mahogany, eucalyptus, banana trees, wild plantain , species of ginger, magnolias, jasmine and begonias.

There are lots of trips to be taken in the reserve including;

Paseo Ecologico – an ecology walk of just over half a mile which takes a path connecting the Kurhotel with the hotel 'Los Helechos'. Along the walk you will see mariposa flowers and ferns under a canopy of pines and eucalyptus.

Parque La Represa – built around 'Martha's House' on the banks of the River Vega Grande, the park is home to many exotic species and the tallest, oldest mahogany tree in Cuba.

Hacienda Codina – the estate has many species of orchids, medicinal mud baths, medicinal and ornamental gardens and Altar's Cave which has a secret passage which ends with amazing views of Trinidad and Ancon.

Parque Codina – ideal for camping and birdwatching with many hiking trails to caves and waterfalls with numerous viewpoints along the way.

Parque Guanayara – this park is home to the Cascada El Rocio waterfall, canyoning cascades, camping, hiking trails and swimming opportunities.

Caburni Falls – a 2 mile hike, through coffee plantations where you will see traditional farmer's houses, to the Caburni River which falls over a 203ft rock wall into a series of pools.

La Batata – a scenic walk which ends in an underground river-cave system with natural ponds.

This is just about as close to nature as you can get so do not miss a visit to this amazing nature reserve park when on your last minute holiday deals to Cuba, wonderful memories of Topes de Collantes Cuba will live with you for ever.

A Day In Dartmoor National Park, England

Stepping over another gnarled and twisted tree root my foot reaches for the wet slate bedrock path beyond. I pause to watch streams of water gush down the muddy bank before disappearing underneath the path below my feet. Glancing across to where the bank drops away on my right I watch the water suddenly reappear…

Stepping over another gnarled and twisted tree root my foot reaches for the wet slate bedrock path beyond. I pause to watch streams of water gush down the muddy bank before disappearing underneath the path below my feet. Glancing across to where the bank drops away on my right I watch the water suddenly reappear before tumbling down the hillside and disappearing between the ivy consumed trees.

From the rumble of flowing water that emanates from the bottom of the gorge, through the moisture hanging thickly in the air, to the droplets which coating glistens on every surface, water is definitely the theme of this lusciously fertile environment.

Out of the three possible options I'm taking the three-mile 'long and easy' walk through Lydford Gorge in the west of Dartmoor National Park.

During the 17th Century Lydford Gorge was infamous for being the hideout of the Gubbins family of outlaws who violated the neighborhood. Its turbulent history now long gone the gorge serves as a haven for walkers, almost Tolkien-esque with its idyllic moss-covered rocks and fallen timbers.

I follow the path as it twists and winds its way between trees that seem to cling willingly to the steep sides of the deepest gorge in the southwest. As I descend from the hilltop I follow the River Lyd until reaching the hubble spectacle of the longest waterfall in Devon.

The water from the river tumbles almost vertically down the 90ft drop that constituents White Lady falls. After pausing for a few moments to stand in awed admiration I cross the river and continue my journey.

Occasional the water appears silken as it flows peacefully over the riverbed but mostly it courses, surges and crashes over the rocks with unbounded energy. At this point of my journey the reason for the warning about treacherous paths I received becomes irrelevant. As I cling to the metal handrail while carefully stepping over the water-soaked rock my feet remain only inches from the gushing waters edge. After some arduous climbing my efforts are rewarded by the sight of the second natural spectacle this gorge harbors, The Devil's Cauldron.

The cauldron is a whirlpool whose circular shape has been carved deep into the steep-sided cliffs by trapped rocks. The water sees to furious bubble as if boiling as it thunders between the rock faces frothing manically. I step out onto the metal walkway that permits an aerial view of the cauldron to appreciate the awesome noisy power of the torrential water flooding through the restricted passage. After a few minutes and a few photos I leave the cauldron behind and ascend the gentle stroll back up the gorge. The sudden change of environment as I step from the dark, damp gorge into the warm daylight makes it seem almost otherworldly.

I then enjoy a forty-minute drive through the heart of the Dartmoor National Park that offers the opportunity to really appreciate the spectacular dancing of light on the moorlands rustic color scheme. This large expanse of pristine moorland being the origin of Dartmoor's national park status

My next destination starts at the Bellever Forest. Upon arrival I decide to take the historic bridleway called The Lich Way to my destination. During medieval times The Lich Way was known as the 'Way of the Dead' due to it being the path along which coffins were transported on their way to the churchyard. My destination is the Bellever Tor. A Tor is simply an outcrop of rocks that rises abruptly from the surrounding gentle slopes. This particular Tor promises spectacular views across Dartmoor.

The path to the Tor is a fairly gentle walk presenting easy access for all abilities.

I am more than happy to enjoy the number of opportunities the route offers to pause and admire the views of the yellow and purple blanket of heather that races off towards the horizon.

As the Tor comes into view the striking forms of the rippled rocks jutting from the soil contrasts imposingly with the soft contours of the hillside. The rocks seem to stare out timelessly across the Dartmoor landscape like monuments or unfinished statues. Their hard weathered faces standing as silent witnesses to the ravaging wind and rain which often punishes this beautiful but barren part of the country.

As I embark upon the climb to the top of the Tor my hands grip tightly to the coarse surface of the lichen covered granite rocks. Upon reaching the top I witness the heart-stopping exhilaration as I stand up to be satisfied by the stunning rolling views across the rugged landscape. I look out over the autumnal shaded patchwork of rusted oranges, dusty browns, faded greens and the striking but delicate mauve of the heather. In the distance can be seen the massive lines of the nearby prehistoric houses.

After leaving the Bellever Tor I embark on the twenty-minute drive to the lovely village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Thankfully as I traverse the winding single-track road the only opposition traffic that greets me is a couple enjoying a leisurely trip in a horse trap.

The world-famous St Pancras Church, also known as the Cathedral of the moor, dominates the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. The elegant stone built cafés, craft shops, pubs and art galleries that make up the rest of the village center seem to gather around its imposing stature.

After exploring for a while I decide to stop at one of the cafés to enjoy the day's generous weather and relax with a cream tea. As the sun's rays beat lazily down in the fading afternoon I sit and watch the numerous other visitors as they explore the village. Cars patially crawl along the roads weaving between the many tourists crisscrossing the road. Since its compact size the village is busy with people out to enjoy it's delightful charm. Many join me at the café; many poke around the shops investigating the goods on offer while many sit on the park benches simply watching the world go by.

After soaking up the atmosphere it's time to depart for my next destination. Found only a few minutes up the road The Hound Tor is steeped in local history and mystery. The tor is so named due to the similarity of the rock formations to dogs' heads peering over the hillside. It is also supposedly the inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Hound of the Baskervilles

I pause at the foot of one of the rocks as a petrified girl of about ten is patiently guided down by her father. The climb to the top is not demanding but it's certainly not for the faint hearted. But for those who do dare to rise to the challenge the reward is a view even more stunning than the Bellever Tor. Despite the wind it is certainly worth standing up and absorbing the 360-degree panoramic views.

To the southeast of the tor can be seen the remains of Hundatora, a deserted medieval village. After descending from the rock I decide to pay a visit to Hundatora.

Despite the busyness of the village it's interesting to look around, soak up the atmosphere and take a moment to imagine the history of the lives that once occupied the site. People stand in discussion of the villages' plan. Children play enthusiastically between the rocky outlines of the houses and run down the ancient streets. In one house sets a tie-dye wearing couple with a flask of tea relaxing in meditation on the thought of the long gone village.

After my walk around the village it's time to head back to the car and end my day in Dartmoor.

Touring The Sunshine Coast

Australia is a gorgeous land filled with fantastic beaches and tropical rainforests. It is also a rugged land that is better suited for touring in a four wheel drive vehicle since most of the natural settings of this region can be challenging to navigate. Some tourists prefer to tour the area on their own, although…

Australia is a gorgeous land filled with fantastic beaches and tropical rainforests. It is also a rugged land that is better suited for touring in a four wheel drive vehicle since most of the natural settings of this region can be challenging to navigate. Some tourists prefer to tour the area on their own, although there are also a lot of 4WD day tours provided to individuals that would like to see it all with a guide.

The Colored Sands and Rainforest tour offered by a business called Noosa Safaris is one that's well worth the price. It begins on the Noose River on a ferry created to carry not only passengers but passenger vehicles additionally. This tour makes it possible for you to travel along the 40 mile beach and pay a visit to some of the most untouched regions in the Sunshine Coast. Travel by 4WD vehicle enables you to simply navigate through many areas that are not accessible by rented vehicle. These tours allow you to look out and delight in the stunning Rainbow Beach with its unbelievable sand dunes of colors that will delight and amaze you. Tours with this company will even include taking in the sights from the exceptional Double Island Point Lighthouse from which you'll be able to view the whole region not to mention a number of the underwater creatures, such as turtles and dolphins. If you visit in the Sunshine Coast's winter season you might even have the unique opportunity to watch some whales.

Another fantastic one day 4WD tour on the Sunshine Coast is one that is carried out by Sunrover. The Sunrover Fraser Island tour is one that will take you through the Glass House Mountains and down to Rainbow Beach. At some stage in this tour you are going to also get to visit the stunning Fraser Island and its 75 miles of sand and surf. You are coming to come across various creatures while you tour Fraser Island and sometimes this is one of the most incredible parts of touring this region.

You'll be amazed and pleased when you take a 4WD tour of the Sunshine Coast. It'll allow you to tour the most genuine parts of this land with help and let you encounter, in a rare natural environment, all this area has to offer. The Sunshine Coast is way more than magnificent beaches; it is also one of the most natural corners of the Earth that is filled with intrigue and tropical adventures.

There are various four wheel drive touring trips available through the region. You can unforgettable more information about the variety of tours available online or through your Sunshine Coast travel agent.

Bike Trails of Palm Springs

This is a cycling enthusiast dream, for the beginner up to the most experienced. Bring a camera with you, and plenty of water. This is also home to the annual Tour de Palm Springs, which raises money for many local charities. The systems of bike trails, which are some of the most beautiful in Southern…

This is a cycling enthusiast dream, for the beginner up to the most experienced. Bring a camera with you, and plenty of water. This is also home to the annual Tour de Palm Springs, which raises money for many local charities. The systems of bike trails, which are some of the most beautiful in Southern California, are broken down into sections called, “Loops”. These loops vary in term of distance and intensity. Here are just three of the most popular;

Deepwell loop

The Deepwell Loop Bike Trail is about 13 miles long and starts along the Mooreten Botanical Gardens, with pleasant views of the flowers, plants and forests, depending on the time of year. The Beginning of the deepwell route is at the corner of Mesquite Avenue and South Palm Canyon Drive. That stretch of the trail is the part that passes the gardens. From there it heads south until it reaches Laverne Way and turns east. At Sunrise Way the trail heads north across South Indian Trail until it reaches Mesquite Avenue and heads west. At the end of Mesquite is the South Palm Canyon Drive, the beginning of the trail. This is a reliably easy ride with stunning mountain vistas and desert beauty.

Canyon Country Club Loop

This is an easy ride only eight miles in length. The Canyon Country Club Loop goes all around Murray Canyon. The trail goes north up Toledo Avenue, west on Laverne Way, south on South Palm Canyon Drive and then east on Murray Canyon Road until it intersects back at Toledo. Here you'll see some of the most beautiful desert scenery, mixed with a suburban setting.

Citywide Loop

If you really want to see the city of Palm Springs, this is the best view you're going to get. This 35 mile bike loop is one of the longest, and goes around the entire city. Bike riders begin at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tachevah Drive. From that point, the trail heads west and loops around heading south on Belardo Drive.

This is the section of town called Las Palmas. Many of the homes that line these streets belong to many celebrities. The trail then goes east for a short distance on Sunny Dunes Road, and quickly turns south onto South Palm Canyon Drive. On South Palm Canyon Drive, the trail goes past the Mooreten Botanical Gardens. When the trail reaches Murray Canyon, it turns to head northeast up Toledo Avenue. At Mesquite Avenue the trail turns left followed shortly after another left at the Bel Air Greens. The trail continues north until it reaches Tachevah Road.

Bear Pepper Spray: A Must for the Outdoorsman

While enjoying the outdoors can be a very rewarding experience, it can also be very dangerous at the same time. One of the most exciting things about hiking and camping in the backwoods is the chance to see wildlife living in their own habitat. The chance to be right in the middle of deer, elk,…

While enjoying the outdoors can be a very rewarding experience, it can also be very dangerous at the same time. One of the most exciting things about hiking and camping in the backwoods is the chance to see wildlife living in their own habitat. The chance to be right in the middle of deer, elk, bear, wild boar, and all types of other animals that we never get a chance to see is pretty surreal. Although these encounters can be pretty awesome most of the time, they can turn dangerous very quickly if we are not careful. Always give these animals the respect they deserve. Do yourself a favor and learn how to avoid close contact with these animals.

Some of the easiest creatures to find in the wild, and some of the most interesting to watch are Black Bears and Grizzly Bears. I could sit and watch these creatures all day long. If you do a lot of hiking, camping, or hunting, I would suggest learning the differences in the Black Bear and the Grizzly. Learn how to tell them apart. There are a lot of differences in their behavior; therefore, your response to an encounter with one of them would need to be different with each, especially in the event of an attack. The nonprofit Center for Wildlife Information website has a lot of helpful information about bears. While your intent should always be to avoid close encounters with these creatures, always be prepared to protect and defend yourself in the case of an incidental face to face with one of these 400 – 600 lb. giants. You might be surprised to know that research published in 2008 by some of the top bear researchers in the country confirmed that the most effective defense against a bear attack is bear pepper spray. It has been proven over the years to be far more effective than guns, with far less injuries to the victims. An analysis of 20 years of bear pepper spray accidents in Alaska found that the product effectively halted aggressive bear attacks in 92 percent of the cases. Out of 175 people involved in the incidents of this study, only three suffered injuries. Of these three, none of the injuries were serious enough to require hospitalization. You can read the full report from the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Bear Pepper Spray is a must for any outdoorsman. Do not make the mistake of thinking that Bear Pepper Spray and conventional pepper spray made for humans are the same thing. They are both made with the same active ingredient Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). The difference between Bear Pepper Spray and conventional human pepper spray is that Bear Pepper Spray must pass several EPA tests to ensure the use of the spray is humane to the animals. The EPA has also set size, strength, spray distance, and spray time standards for all EPA approved bear sprays to ensure their effectiveness in bear attacks. Although this spray will temporarily disable an animal by causing an intestinal burning of the eyes, nose and mouth, there are no drinking health effects that will affect the animal.

The English Lake District – A Hiker’s Guide to Blencathra

The motorist hurtling westwards on the A66 approaching Keswick in the northern Lake District will be aware of a vast mountain rising to the right of the road where, between Scales and Threlkeld, a series of ridges soar skywards to meet a main ridge over 2000 feet above . This is Blencathra, one of Lakeland's…

The motorist hurtling westwards on the A66 approaching Keswick in the northern Lake District will be aware of a vast mountain rising to the right of the road where, between Scales and Threlkeld, a series of ridges soar skywards to meet a main ridge over 2000 feet above . This is Blencathra, one of Lakeland's most impressive fells and it is a popular ascent.

Despite the mountain's imposing presence, all of these south facing ridges are negotiable by the walker as are ascents from either end of the main ridge. Here is a brief outline of a few of the routes to the summit.

From Threlkeld a path leads through fields and patches of woodland to pass above and behind the kennels of the Blencathra Foxhounds before beginning the relentlessly steep ascent of Hallsfell and the ridge that leads directly to the summit. This is the route known as Narrow Edge. If the name conjures images of a vertigo inducing climb fear not – it's an interesting and exciting route up the mountain but the fun sections of scrambling can be avoided if desired and are not difficult anyway. The last part is steep but again not difficult and leads directly to the summit cairn. Probably the best route to the top of Blencathra.

Sharp Edge is another popular way up and this time the fearsome name is – at least partly – justified. From Scales at the mountain's eastern end a path climbs towards Scales Fell before heading across the slopes above the wild valley of the Glenderamackin River to the North. This path then branches up to the left to reach the beautiful setting of Scales Tarn. Sharp Edge is the ridge rising to the right of the tarn up towards the craggy eminence of Foule Crag which from here appears to be the summit of the fall.

A path climbs up towards this ridge and the route gets more exciting the further you progress. It becomes narrow and exposed for a short section with one awkward move but in calm dry conditions is safe enough. It is easier to stay on the crest of the ridge as the sides can be slippery especially after rain which is frequent here! In windy or icy conditions this route is not recommended. Once the arete has been negotiated a steep rocky scramble takes you up to Foule Crag from where it is an easy walk over to the summit – in all a fine route and probably harder than Helvellyn's Striding Edge but much shorter.

As mentioned earlier; any of the ridges above the A66 can be used to ascend Blencathra though Narrow Edge is probably the best and from Scales a path carries on up Scales Fell to lead directly to the summit up above and to the left of Scales Tarn – a bad weather alternative to Sharp Edge from there. Likewise at the far end of the mountain a constructed path climbs from the Blencathra Center above Threlkeld to ascend Blease Fell to Knowe Crags. This route in my own opinion is better as a descent after traversing the fall but both of these are easy – all weather – walks.

Another walk I like is the route from Mungrisdale. This is longer at over 9 miles or 15km return but is varied and interesting with the advantage that the climb is more gradual and sees to avoid the inevitable uphill slogs of the others.

From Mungrisdale village follow the path along the Glenderamackin – keep following the river and do not branch off.After a little over two miles the valley turns north west and you are below the Sharp Edge path on the far side of the valley. Follow the path up to the end with some good views of Foule Crag and Sharp Edge ahead and passing beneath these you reach a col. Turn left and follow the path to the top of Foule Crag and on to the summit. The climb to Foule Crag is steep but is a walk not a scramble.

This route heads through some wild remote country and you will see far fewer people especially in the Glenderamackin Valley. Whiche route you do, pick a clear day for Blencathra's location along with its 868m or 2848ft altitude make for some of the best views in Lakeland.

Caravan Parks and Campgrounds Perfect for Quick Weekend Getaways

Going on a quick trip out of the city is easy if you live in Perth. This Western Australian city offers many locations you can go to for a quick weekend out of the hustle and bustle of city life. Outside the city of Perth, campgrounds are easy to find and take no more than…

Going on a quick trip out of the city is easy if you live in Perth. This Western Australian city offers many locations you can go to for a quick weekend out of the hustle and bustle of city life. Outside the city of Perth, campgrounds are easy to find and take no more than an hour's drive to get to. Each place offers a variety of activities you can choose from. Take a trip to one of these locations and relax as you experience the beauty of south-western Australia.

The city is lucky to be near river systems and the Indian Ocean. Adventurers can choose between parking in caravan parks near the beaches of Western Australia and going to one of the Perth campgrounds near the rivers where you can fish and cook, soak in the beauty of nature, and discover wildlife. Once you make your decision, consider a few of Perth's popular weekend destinations for your next trip.

Wilbinga is the nearest campsite you can visit. It only takes 40 minutes to get the beach, and you can choose camping behind the sand dunes or by the rock formations in the area. Bring your 4×4 for an adventure in the dunes, or try out stunts and be a daredevil in your motorcycle as you navigate the trails. If you want to go on a day trip instead, head to Lancelin, which has big sand dunes and is a great location for windsurfing. You can also go to White Hills, which is a popular day trip destination offering diving and fishing sites.

If you want to see more of the ocean and try your hand at fishing, Lancelin offers rock lobsters and crayfish to catch and 14 different shipwreck sites you can dive on. You can also park in one of the caravan parks in Guilderton or in Ledge Park if you want to stay in quiet places with rich fishing sites. You can fish where the Moore River meets the ocean in Guilderton and spend a quiet night under the stars. On the other hand, in Ledge Park, you will find a golf course that offers a beautiful view of the ocean, as well as shipwreck sites you can drive to.

You can choose to camp further inland in one of the campsites near the city. Avon Valley National Park offers various camping sites, but make sure to ask rangers where you can set up camp legally. If you want to go water skiing and you have your own boat, you can go to Waroona Dam or Logue Brook Dam and camp there. Dwellingup is another popular site quickly becoming a favorite with campers. You have to pay to camp in the park, but it is well worth your money if you want an adventure. Go canoeing in the rapids, take your mountain bike and ride downhill, hike in one of its beautiful trails, or swim in fresh water. These are only some of the activities you can choose in Dwellingup.

These are only a few examples of Perth campgrounds you can visit over the weekend. Explore the rest of the region to find more adventures and activities you can try. Going on a memorable camping vacation is possible when locations like these are within your reach.

Some Things To Do In Queens With A New York Limo

So you're hanging around Queens and need something to do? With the large selection of activities your options seem limitless. With amazingly diverse food, parks, museums, an active nightlife and not to mention the Mets, you can not go wrong. So hop into your New York Limo, grab some friends and prepare for an exciting…

So you're hanging around Queens and need something to do? With the large selection of activities your options seem limitless. With amazingly diverse food, parks, museums, an active nightlife and not to mention the Mets, you can not go wrong. So hop into your New York Limo, grab some friends and prepare for an exciting day. Get your friends or family ready for a day that they will remember for a long time.

When it comes to choosing a place to eat in Queens things can be difficult. With all the different choices for food it's understandable. If you are looking for a good place to get some lunch check out Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, with its great beer and Czech food it makes for a great spot to eat. Feeling that Italian food is what your craving? Il Toscano is the best spot in town if you're looking for classy or Italian. If your a vegetarian look into Dosa Hutt. It has an Indian spin that is strait delicious. These are just a few of the choices, there are many more that are just as likely to please.

Now that food is done with we need to look at activities. Your New York Limo will take you anywhere so that is not an issue. Take a look at the cultural deep museums located in Queens. Many of these are free or at least have free days for the budget conscious. The public parks in Queens have everything you could want, from hiking to birdwatching, and even playing cricket! Maybe watching the Mets play in Flushing Stadium is more up your alley. So buy those tickets and do not forget to give your New York Limo Service a ring.

The nightlife in Queens is rather active. There are many options as far as bars go in Queens and we will only cover a few. Woodhaven House is an Irishman's fantasy. A beautiful pub that is family friendly with an emphasis on attention and care. If your looking for a crowd in the 20-30s range then try out the NoNo Cocktail Lounge. With absolutely no TV's, NoNo's is the best kept secret on Bell Boulevard. Maybe you want a burger with your drink? Lounge 47 is a 70s style bar that serves great food and is in general a good place to hang. So hop into your New York Limo and pick one of these great locations.

Queens is a great place to hang for a day, with so much to do you cant go wrong. With museum's and parks galore there is plenty for you to do, as well as an awesome sports team. The variety of food making Queens one of the best cities to find something to eat at. Complimenting all of this is a great selection of bars and pubs. How can you go wrong? So call up your New York Limo Service ( http://www.gothamlimo.com/ ) provided by Gotham Limo and go pick up your friends or family. Be Prepared for a memorable day that will be sure to please anyone.

Salty Love and Sanity

First off, I would like to say “My Bad!” for being out of touch for so long. My computer flipped me the bird and got an attitude. Yes, I did back up my data in case you are wondering. What a relief when I accessed my back-up account and found all my files. Blog posts,…

First off, I would like to say “My Bad!” for being out of touch for so long. My computer flipped me the bird and got an attitude. Yes, I did back up my data in case you are wondering. What a relief when I accessed my back-up account and found all my files. Blog posts, articles, pictures, podcasts in progress, videos in progress, you name it, all there.

My computer is fixed and back in action (Thanks Sal! You are an awesome tech bro!). It took me about a whole month to restore harmony but that's peanuts compared to the big picture.

Lessons?

You bet! Back up! Back up! Back up! Those instants of anxiety and uncertainty soon become a memory once you confirm your intellectual work is safe and sound. Loving cloud technology!

Anyways, back to business and onto the main topic. What's up with this ” Salty Love ” thing? Hey, get your mind out of the gutter, is not nothing like that. The Salty Love comes from the beautiful waters in my backyard, Puget Sound .

Those who know me know how much I love scuba diving. There's a power in salt water I can not describe and there is a need in me to be close to it and be part of it. The first time I visited the underwater world in scuba gear was one that changed my life, a moment of enrichment and completeeness. My fellow divers know very well what I'm talking about.

Alas, many of you also know how I allowed my previous commitments to keep me dry and how I allowed them to create a creeping time gap. ” I'll dive next week ” turned into ” I'll dive next month ” and ever ” I'll dive next season “. And within an eye blink, a year went by. I regrouped with the best intentions and returned to the water. I promised myself I would not neglect my diving again.

But I did not let it last.

I was still in the process of discovering myself, of learning to prioritize, and learning to step out of my comfort zone. I was in the process of learning to separate my work life from my personal life, and I fooled myself into thinking both could co-exist in the same dimension. The unimportant appeared crucible and again, I started compromising my personal life. And just like that, ” I'll go diving next week ” turned into ” I'll go diving next month ” and so forth until without warning, two years went by.

Without realizing, I distanced myself from the world I love so much. I was so overwhelmed I even contemplated selling my gear gear, and had the ads prepared.

Do not get me wrong. That hiatus was a time of tremendous learning and professional growth and has allowed me to help people like never before, but I was lacking balance. I could only see myself occupied every hour with every aspect of what I thought should have priority in my life. Leisure seemed an irrelevant waste of time and going back to diving out of the question and I thought I could close a chapter of my life by selling my gear.

Yet something stopped me. Somehow I knew I'd be back in the water, but the reality I had created stood in the way. I was not miserable but I was not happy either. I was just copying and though I did not see it then, frustration was marring my health and creating stress for my loved ones.

There seemed to be no escape. There, was my diving gear, gathering dust, beckoning me to return and remembering me life is not complete if one does not know how to fully enjoy it.

And that is when life determined enough is enough and kicked my butt to teach me a lesson and open my eyes. Life sternly showed me that extremely, I, and only I, was in charge of my decisions and the opportunities they bought. If I was away from the water is because I had let it happen.

The lesson was painful but it did not escape me. As my life started changing, I made it a priority to return once again and this time for good. The curious part is things started unraveling as if they had been meticulously planned. Every event, every major action led me back to my forgotten passion and to my fellow divers.

There is a curious effect I call ” the sealer of gaps “. Whenever I meet with good friends I have not seen in a long time or visit dear places to which I have not been in a while, the time lapsed seems irrelevant. I see my friends and I feel as though we saw each other a few days ago. I visit the old familiar places, and even when they boast change, they still feel comfortable and homey. The time gap ceases and we pick up where we left off.

And that is how June 18th finally saw me return to the underwater realm which I so very much love. The weather was not the most stellar at Cove 2 (chilly, drizzly, rainy, hey it's Seattle!) But the dancing was awesome! Some of the top visibility in Puget Sound and a nice array of critters welcomed my return.

I was privileged to have my friend and instructor, Bob “Grateful Diver” Bailey , as my move buddy to help me get my feet wet again. Diving is a skill and equipment intensive activity and it holds true to the “use it or lose it” mantra.

Getting into my cold water gear felt suffocating and restrictive, just like it did the first time I donned it. I knew the feeling would dissipate in a matter of minutes as my body reacquainted with it but it only took a few seconds, Booyah! I was ready to get in the water.

My rig was a single tank configuration with long hose and Bob was diving side-mount. We went over emergency procedures, gear check, and reviewed our plan; it was time.

It would be an understatement to say how awkward the first few minutes of recovering ” my diving legs ” were. For a second I thought I did not have enough ballast but Bob reminded me to stop kicking during the descent. Timing between BDC inflator, Drysuit inflator, equalization and trim were rusty, the first few minutes were a silted mess and I felt horrible I was ruining the visibility for other divers.

And suddenly I relaxed and let go. The ” sealer of gaps ” was effectuating its magic and what appeared foreign started to feel familiar again. The struggle ceased and that incredible, addicting, mesmerizing feeling of weightlessness returned as I was now able to focus on the underwater world and its beauty.

Dungeness crabs with the boys protecting their mates, Red-Rocks crabs in their fighting stance, shy shrimp scurrying at our presence, sculpins giving a lazy glance, lingcods, rockfish, plumose anemone, and massive starfish minding their business, and attesting for the rich life of our waters.

The highlight of the dive was seeing my first Giant Pacific Octopus tending to her eggs. What a beautiful sight of the majestic creature nursing and protecting her soon-to-be offspring. I plan on returning to check the progress of the young ones in the hopes of witnessing the hatching!

On our way back I realized I was slightly underweighted. I had not taken into account the thick (but awesomely warm) undergarments I had under my suit. More often than not, thicker undergarments mean more ballast is needed. No biggie, I would add two pounds for our next dive.

What a way to return to the water! The surface conditions were gloomier, rainier, and darker but I did not care; to me it was a magnificent day where the mist of the air accentuated the aroma of the salt water to reawaken happy memories.

After our surface interval, gear fine tuning, and discussing our venture for our next immersion, we headed for our second dive. The tide was almost at peak low and dragging silt and snot. The visibility of the first dive would not be there but it was still decent.

Shortly after my descent, a sharp sensation came from the left side of my neck, radiating down my chest and left arm.

I slowed down and stopped briefly.

The sensation larger stronger and continued down to my midsection and my left leg, eventually reaching down my left foot.

Crap!

My suit was flooding!

I had not experienced a drysuit flood before and what an unpleasant feeling it is. I signed Bob and we ascended. Since we had been underwater for only 2 minutes, Bob offered to check my neck seal and see if this was operator error or the suit itself.

We moved to an area in which we were able to stand up and I could remove my hood.

Oh Wow !” Bob said as he helped me unroll a bunched up neck seal – ” No wonder you are getting drenched there “.

We discussed whether continuing the move with wet undergarments or call it a day, the decision up to me. I knew the undergarments were designed to stay warm even when damp, it would only take a little longer for temperatures to catch up. I decided to go ahead with the dive with a conservative profile.

This dive was highlighted by the little critters as we made our way to wreck of the Honey Bear. Lots of Nudibranchs, shrimp (I'm amazed at how incredibly FAST they move underwater), and my first ever lumpsucker, beautiful tiny critter in a funny looking way. Bob has a fantastic eye!

I have to say that in regards to Bob, I was amazed at how freely he was moving underwater in his side-mount rig. He could easily turn sideways and even went upside down. I have never seen anyone in doubles do that. It is something I will definitely consider for the future.

As much fun as I was having, damp undergarments started up and I started getting chilly. We headed back to shore and I was pleased at how two extra pounds of ballast made a tremendous difference. I found myself hovering in five feet of water without issues.

What fun! Nothing like that feeling of opening your neck seal at the end of the dive to relate the vacuum of the drysuit.

Poof !! Ahhh !!

That was the reminder of my damp undergarments and time to change.

A distant fog quietly sat on the sound, the Invigorating drizzle mixed with the salty breeze and the farming aroma of fried fish. A cup of coffee with a bowl of soup followed by a cold beer sounded pretty darn good! Bob, my loving wife Kat, and I headed to the international district for Dim Sum, meet some friends, and talk diving.

The ” sealer of gaps ” had done its magic again. I felt as I had never been absent from the underwater world. All the resentful feelings I had within me for prohibiting such hiatus vanished. All that remained was the euphoric post-dive feeling, the camaraderie of other fellow divers, and knowing I would be sleeping great that night, dreaming weightlessness and bubbles, and planning my next dive.

I am in charge of my decisions and my destiny. I do not mind working hard and doing everything I have to (and then some) to grow as an individual and as a professional, but I have also learned about the importance of pursuing the activities we enjoy to reward our efforts and keep our sanity.

Being part of the saltwater is critical for my own mental health. Too long it went neglected, and too long I went paying a price I did not even see.

I look forward to many more adventures with my fellow divers. If I do not see you benefit the surface …

I'll see you on the exercise floor!