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Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Manaslu Circuit Trekking

Hiking around the Manaslu region provides a very unique chance to explore a genuinely undamaged province of Nepal. This province of Nepal witnesses a lesser number of trekkers throughout the year, which makes a trip here more exclusive & untouched. Opened for hiking since 1991, Manaslu offers an exceptional raw splendor along the border of Tibet and Nepal and now is a controlled trekking trail, permitting organized trekking groups special permits to get access into this province to explore its awe-inspiring circuit. On the whole, you can say Manaslu circuit trekking is a lifetime experience.

Manaslu boast a very unique atmosphere, which’s wonderfully affluent in biodiversity that has made this province one of the best traveler destinations in Nepal since long. The grand Himalayan ranges inside this province encompass cultural diversity & natural splendor with high elevation romantic glacier lakes & exquisite flora and fauna, which make this the most liked trekking areas in Nepal.

The Manaslu Circuit trekking starts with a drive to Arughat then to Soti Khola. The route then go through several settlements such as Jagat, Machha Khola, Philim, traditional hamelets, dense woodlands and relishing the picturesque vistas of the enclosing mountains concurrently. On the route, you’ll also come to see diverse flora and fauns of the Manaslu Conservation Area. The hike includes crossing the Larkya La Pass at a stature of 5,213m, then finally trek towards Besisahar, Dharapani and drive back to Kathmandu. Manaslu circuit trekking can be customized from moderate to difficult as per your wish. With adequate time to rest & acclimatizing during the journey you can successfully clear the obstacles.

Ideal time for Manaslu circuit trekking:

Ideal time for Manaslu trekking would be throughout the months of March to May and early September to November. Being a demanding hike for more than 2 weeks, it’s pretty essential to be in an excellent shape with great fitness level prior to joining this expedition. Just like Everest base camp trekking and upper mustang trekking proper acclimatization & other essential safety measures should be taken care of. Moreover, you need to ensure that you’re prepared to encounter the challenges that will come on your way.

Because the mountains are unpredictable places, be ready for the adverse weather, landslides or other natural causes. These changes almost always throw up something you had not thought you would do but end up being glad you did. I’d thoroughly recommend this trek.

Adventure Treks to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu offers great conditions for trekking. The world famous trails are surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, historic places and is least polluted making it great for anyone who wants to enjoy beautiful sceneries, learn some ancient history of the people of south America and suck in the fresh air from the environment. No wonder the Machu Picchu wilderness is one of world top trekking adventure destinations.

For anyone interested in choosing their own tour, it is important that you understand that trekking the Machu Picchu trail requires at least four days for you to be able to fully appreciate the beauty if the picturesque landscape marked by beautiful forests, rivers, and the ancient Incans kingdom ruins. When you arrive in Peru for the great trek head straight to the city of Cuzco where your trekking adventure should start and pass through a beautiful country before reaching the historical and once lost Machu Picchu city.

Before you start your adventure treks to Machu Picchu it is important to note that this is a very popular adventure trekking site in the world. This popularity has negative effects on the trail. In order to conserve the trail, the government of Peru sets restrictions on the number of trekkers on the trail. Because of this, you are required to obtain a permit from the government before you start your trek. This means that you should try and organize your trip in advance and before traveling to Peru and if possible book into a group tour with one of the local tour organizations which will help seek all the permits you need for the trek. Most people just travel blindly hoping that they will be allowed on the trek. This blind travel often ends up in disappointments.

So what should you expect when you choose your own trekking tour in Machu Picchu? There are three major crowd pullers to this treks; the great history of the Incans, the ability to exercise in a serene environment and being closest to nature that you can get.

The world famous Incans had a rich and quite interesting history. It is believed that the Incans were among the first civilized communities in the world. The community is believed to have emerged in the 1200 AD and developed tremendously over the years. They build Machu Picchu as their capital city around 1450 AD but abandoned it a century later because of the Spanish conquest. Other than Machu Picchu which seems to defy aging, the trail has lots of pieces of history from the past that will both fascinate you and cause an itch in you to want to know more about the people who lived here a thousand years ago.

If you love to exercise and stay fit, then the Machu Picchu trail will help you do that in a beautiful and serene environment and without having to undergo the rigors of having to run around your neighborhood or on a treadmill. The trek should take you about four days walking across the Anders. Here you will have to climb mountains, descend steep hills and if possible bicycles uphill. All this makes up for a perfect moderate fitness exercise that will not only help your joints but will also help tone your body.

Machu Picchu is a great place to trek. It has a perfect environment filled with beautiful mountains and historical ruins for you to see.

Way Pack for Trips

Where are you going? The wilderness

The elements will be both a marvel and a maverick force. Often finding yourself miles from shelter and civilisation, you’ll need to carry protective kit. Advances in the design of walking shoes mean clunky hiking boots might not be essential, but a quick-drying, wind- and rain-proof shell or jacket will be. Large plastic bin liners, ziplock bags in different sizes and/or waterproof bag liners will help keep kit dry.

Packing essentials

Temperatures will vary wildly with weather, season and altitude, so embrace the layering system.

  • Base layer: a high-wicking, close-fitting top and possibly bottoms. Merino wool is warmest and needs less frequent washing.
  • Mid-layer: fleece or similar on top; quick-drying walking trousers on the bottom.
  • Outer layer: a breathable waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers.
  • Extra-warm layer: a down jacket for use at night can be spirit-lifting, and adds comfort on chilly damp days.

Where are you going? The cool culture city

While perhaps not so culturally unfamiliar, this destination still demands careful suitcase strategy. Many of the essentials will be digital. Want to hotfoot it across town to bag that gold-dust restaurant reservation/show ticket/cheap hotel room? Then download interactive offline maps or apps that access wi-fi without resorting to roaming charges. And while the scene may be hot, the weather might not. Layers are key for looks that balance comfort and style.

Packing essentials

  • Comfortable shoes: your kicks should be stylish but should also sit happily on your feet while pounding miles of pavement.
  • Sunglasses: it might not always be sunny, but life in the city, from the glare of the morning-after to that dazzling check-in moment at the hotel, demands sleek shades.
  • Cashmere jumper: this softie packs down to almost nothing and is the perfect defence against ferocious summer air-con in hotels and on the plane.

Where are you going? Rainforest expeditions

Packing for protection in the tropics is paramount. You’re most likely modes of transport to explore this part of the world will be exposed: canoes, kayaks, jeeps and your own two feet. It’s hot, but you’ll need to cover up.

You may be here to see the big mammals – howler monkeys, jaguars, orangutans or even tigers – but the most prevalent beasties are the smaller, biting kind. The other stinger is humidity, which will play havoc with everything from skin to suitcases if you’re unprepared.

Packing essentials

  • Shoulder the burden: a sturdy backpack is best for this terrain.
  • Quick-dry: the tropics can cool down at night so you’ll need layers, but ensure they’re made of quick-drying material (not cotton) or you’ll be clammy and chilly.
  • Itchy and scratchy: insect repellent containing DEET (diethyltoluamide) and an anti-itch ointment are must-haves.

cruiseYou’ll need high-spec binoculars to hand if you hope to spot Antarctica’s elusive wildlife © Andrew Peacock / Getty Images

Where are you going? The Antarctic

You’re going outside… you may be some time. But, in fact, as most Antarctic trips are cruises, much of your southern exposure is likely to occur in the comfort of a very well-equipped ship, with short excursions by motor boat and on foot. As such, Antarctic forays don’t require huge amounts of specialist gear. It’s worth investing in a decent pair of insulated waterproof boots, though.

Packing essentials

  • Parka life: most Antarctic ships provide a take-home parka jacket for each passenger, so leave that hulking great down-filled puffer jacket at home.
  • Chill out: Antarctic cruising is generally casual, so you don’t need that ball gown. Each operator has different dress codes and supplied kit, however, so read up before you travel.
  • Best bins: pack the highest-spec pair of binoculars you can afford, and a camera with a good zoom, unless you want to see nothing but the occasional finned blob.

Where are you going? High-desert trekking

From the Great Basin and the Mojave deserts of the USA to the Sahara-backed Moroccan Atlas Mountains, take a high-altitude desert trek and it soon becomes clear that not all deserts are made of sand. Packing for active trips here needs to take temperature extremes into account, along with footwear and kit that can tackle rough, rocky, exposed terrain. Take a leathery leaf out of a cowboy’s book and stay covered up. The more skin is exposed to the elements, the more evaporation (and dehydration) occurs.

Packing essentials

  • Be bio: go for biodegradable soaps and lotions where possible and, if you want to up your chances of spotting wildlife, ditch scented deodorants and perfumes.
  • Go solar: in these sun-soaked parts of the world, a solar charger will get more than enough exposure to be useful. That said, wi-fi and phone signals are likely to be scant, so while your devices may be charged, their use will be limited. Consider a GPS as a back-up, and perhaps a traditional compass, too.

Where are you going? Big-Five country

The tiny charter plane that delivers you deep into the African bush dictates all when it comes to suitcase strategy. For over-packers, the associated weight restrictions are as brutal as a lion kill – limiting you to luggage that averages as little as 10kg. And within this small soft duffle (forget wheelie cases) you need to combine kit that is functional, photogenic and, ideally, includes some outfits that have at least a little fashion flair.

Packing essentials

  • Colour me glad: up your chances of getting nose to whisker with the big game and blend in with the bush by wearing natural, earthy tones.
  • Get protective: Buy a couple of choice pieces of clothing that are UV-protective and pre-treated with bug repellent.
  • Camera kit and caboodle: powerful binoculars, a compact camera for snaps, SLR and long-range lenses, extra batteries, memory cards, charger… Photographic gear will already account for much of your luggage, but it’s worth considering an additional item: a rubber air-blower to remove grit and sand from clogged cameras and lenses.

Where are you going? Round the world (RTW)

How to fit kit for two hemispheres into one bag? Doing so is the key to packing successfully for a true RTW trip. Consider what you can ditch as much as what’s essential. If you need heavy trekking boots and a down jacket in New Zealand or South America at the start, but won’t use them again as you travel via the South Pacific/Asia, consider sending stuff home as it becomes redundant.

Packing essentials

  • Pull the cord: you can use a bungee or parachute cord to tie things to the outside of your pack, make a line to dry clothes, or strap your bag to the roof of a bus.
  • Plug it: does your room-mate snore like a howler monkey? Pack earplugs. These will also serve you well when bedding down for that long airport layover, or during that clattering long-distance train journey.
  • Travel trilogy: the lucky formula for light packers comes in threes. Namely three pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear and three shirts; one to wear, one to wash, one to dry.

Losar Festival of Ladakh

The festival of Losar dates back to the pre Buddhist era. This festival is celebrated in many places across the world which includes India, Nepal and Tibet. Especially, in India, the celebrations are highly eventful and ostentatious. It is celebrated in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. It is the celebration conducted to mark the beginning of the new year. The Losar festival in Ladakh is really popular among the people and is also known to be the best. Usually, the celebrations involve an elaborate schedule. A huge concentration of Buddhist population gets together to celebrate this important occasion of the land. A lot of preparations are undertaken way before the festival date arrives. It is conducted during the winter season and is one of the most distinctive events of the region.

Basically, Losar is also commonly known as the festival of Ladakh. It is a ceremonial event where prayers and religious offerings are made to the deities in the Gompas and domestic shrines and to the spirits of the land. During the preparations, the houses are cleaned and washed, old and unused items are usually replaced with new ones, or disposed to ward off negativity, houses and similar areas are decorated beautifully to welcome positive vibes, abundant offerings are made to each other known as ‘Lama Losar’, people visit, meet and greet one another. It is a festival of colour, lights, love, joy, happiness, laughter and so on. The picturesque landscape of the region adds to the beauty of the festival. There are huge crowds grooving to the lively atmosphere of the region. There is an exorbitant display of traditional dances, cultural events, local music, stage plays and fights, sumptuous and delectable food and much more. There are joy and entertainment in every step. This festival continues to be celebrated for about three days in a row during every winter. However, the place of the event and the dates tend to change each year. The Ladakh Festival 2016 date is December 30 as per the current record.

As mentioned above, this festival is an important affair of the entire region. During this period the place is full of tourists enjoying themselves with the local crowd. Many prefer to plan their trips during the celebration time itself in order to make the most of their vacation. Ladakh is an awesome place and the chilling winters are too exciting for any traveler. The tourism department of Ladakh is hospitable and responsible. However, one can plan their trip with the help of any reputed and authorized travel agency to visit Ladakh. All the needful details and itinerary will be provided accordingly. One must surely visit the region and enjoy every bit of the scenic place.