Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lagunas de Ruidera - Albacete - España

¿Oasis? Sí. En España, en pleno corazón de Castilla la Mancha se encuentra el Parque Natural de Las Lagunas de Ruidera, paso obligado en la ruta de el Quijote, (Cervantes quiso que trancurrieran los capítulos XII, XIII y XIV de su obra).

Son un total de 15 lagunas, dispuestas a lo largo del valle. Con mucha vegetación y variedad de aves y animales que llenan de ruido el ambiente entranto en contacto directo con la naturaleza.

Los saltos y cascadas son impresionantes, dependiendo del caudal del río. Hay muchos dispersos por varias lagunas.

En las lagunas puedes alojarte en pueblos cercanos o en el camping, que ya os podéis imaginar las vistas.

Yo no he lo he visto, pero dicen que la puesta de sol en las lagunas es inolvidable, así que tendré que volver para contemplarla.

Hay actividades en el alrededor de algunas de las lagunas, así como paradores. En general te trasladas a otro mundo.

Sus colores son espectaculares, el brillo del sol reflejado en las montañas y al mismo tiempo éstas reflejadas en el agua como si fuera un espejo.

Es impresionante.

Recomendación: Ir con tiempo y disfrutarlas.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

African Rock Python Facts

Latin name: Python Sebae

Lifespan: In the wild adults can reach up to 30 years of age.

The African Rock Python is the largest of all snake species on the African continent. Large adults, especially females measure between 4 – 5,5 meters. Larger specimens of 7 and 8 meters have been recorded.

Venom: None.

African Rock Pythons are often found near water in savannah and grassland biomes as well as rocky outcrops. Their preferred retreats are under piles of driftwood and inside old termite mounds and abandoned aardvark (ant-bear) burrows.

Mammals such as small to medium sized antelope, dassies (hyrax), rodents, hares, monkeys, monitor lizards, crocodiles and occasionally fish are eaten.

During the summer months the female lays between 20 and 60 eggs in a termite mound or aardvark burrow. Large pythons can lay as many as 100 eggs.
The female remains with her eggs for the 2 – 3 month incubation period. During this period she will not feed but will leave on occasion to drink.

On warm days she will often bask in the sun and then use the absorbed body heat to help incubate the eggs by coiling around them. By constantly twitching her body she also generates heat to help raise the temperature of the eggs. Another advantage of coiling around the eggs is their protection against predators such as mongoose, rats and monitor lizards.

After the eggs hatch, the female remains with the hatchlings for a further 2 weeks and once the have shed their first skin they then leave the security of the female to go off on their own.

The African Rock Python lacks venom glands but is still capable of inflicting a serious bite. Its sharp, recurved teeth often cause severe tissue damage and infection if not disinfected properly.
There are recorded incidents of large African Rock Pythons killing and even eating humans but this is very rare.

Prey that is captured is suffocated to death before consuming. Small prey species are sometimes swallowed alive! Pythons do not crush their prey to death.

The African Rock Python is a highly protected species that plays a very important role in the control of rodent populations.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

AMEX Travel and Medical Insurance

Emergency Air Ambulance may be a fairly rare need, but does your health insurance cover it?
Travel insurance should provide virtually all of the benefits that a standard health insurance policy can provide, especially if you plan to reside abroad for a significant length of time. Travel insurance may be purchased individually or at a family rate.

Emergency travel medical insurance is another type of available coverage. This type of insurance is meant to supplement your standard policy by providing coverage of any emergency medical costs incurred abroad. Emergency travel insurance is recommended for short-term travelers, particularly those entering dangerous or politically unstable areas. Upon return to your country of residence, you would resume care under your regular health insurance policy.

Similarly, medical evacuation insurance is a contingency plan for the same type of unexpected circumstances as emergency travel medical insurance. Should you become injured or unable to return home, medical evacuation insurance will cover the cost of the air ambulance and attending medical staff. However, unless you plan to engage in an extremely risky venture (like bungee jumping, cliff diving or deep sea diving), emergency travel medical insurance should be sufficient.
AMEX Medical Insurance
AMEX Travel Insurance


Araw ng Marinduque logo designed by Ton Monteagudo

Sta. Cruz' Seafoods Festival expected to make an appearance.

"HAPIT-HIMIGAN" for local choir groups.


The indispensable MORIONES group, Kapatiran. Also set to make a presence in this year's PANAGBENGA FLOWER FESTIVAL in Baguio City to promote MARINDUQUE TOURISM.

The SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN NG MARINDUQUE presided by Vice-Governor Tomas N. Pizarro has passed ORDINANCE NO. 81 declaring February 21 of every year as “ARAW NG MARINDUQUE” to commemorate the final establishment of the Province of Marinduque as an independent province through Act No. 2880 dated February 21, 1920, sponsored in the lower house by then representative Ricardo Paras, who later rose as chief justice of the Supreme Court. The new odinance was authored by board member Yolando R. Querubin, Chair of the SP Committee on Tourism.

Araw ng Marinduque celebration was started last year by the provincial government as part of Governor Jose Antonio N. Carrion's efforts "to incite and support the take off of a vibrant tourism, economic and social development".

Marinduque’s foundation day will be celebrated in fitting ceremonies with activities showcasing its traditional arts & culture, history, and uniqueness as a province. Aimed also to promote Marinduque as a green-tourism and cultural tourism destination in line with the development thrust of the provincial administration, the activities lined up by the provincial government in cooperation with the six municipalities of Boac, Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Torrijos and Sta. Cruz are expected to strengthen the Marinduqueno’s cultural identity, foster unity and promote collaborative development efforts and initiatives among Marinduquenos.


The cultural and artistic activities that have been programmed include “Viva Marinduque”, a series of performances that will be toured province-wide on scheduled dates within February. This project has been made possible in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Education, the six municipal governments and various cultural groups.

The two-hour evening performance features local folk dances, songs, indigenous music, dance-dramas and traditional rituals. Performances have been set to Feb 13 (Gasan), Feb 17 (Mogpog), Feb 21 (MSC), Feb. 23 (Boac), Feb 24 (Buenavista), Feb 25 (Torrijos) and Feb 26 (Sta. Cruz). “Viva Marinduque: Ani ng Sining” is part of the national celebration of Philippine International Arts Festival 2009. Contact person: Eli Obligacion #0909-6830654)


“Hapit-Himigan”, a choral competition will be held in the evening of Friday, Feb. 20 in Boac. This will be participated in by municipal groups, religious choirs and school-based choral groups. Participants will be singing “Marinduque Akin Ka” as contest-piece and another song of their choice. This activity is aimed to provide an opportunity to develop love for the province and enhance skills through songs. The contact person is Fe Corazon Recalde (Tel. No. 0928-2278739).


On Saturday, Feb 21 a “Putong Festival” showcase with the municipalities participating will be held in Gasan from 2:00 pm. This traditional song and dance affair is expected to be graced by local tourists, visiting media representatives and delegates to the Southern Tagalog Regional Conference to be held in Marinduque by members of the Philippine Dental Association.


On Monday, Feb 23 a grand parade and Marinduque’s municipal festival showcases will be held at the capital town of Boac from 7:00 am. Expected to be featured here as part of the municipal government efforts to promote local festivals are “Moriones” (Boac), “Gasang-Gasang Easter Festival” (Gasan), “Kangga Festival” (Mogpog), “Seafoods Festival” (Sta. Cruz), “Tubaan Festival” (Torrijos), “Putong” (Buenavista). (Contact person: Marian Cunanan, #0928-6760316)


Meanwhile, provincial administrator Allan Velasco, also chair of the provincial tourism council, extended an invitation to local hobie enthusiasts and the general public to witness the Marinduque sojourn of the Philippine Hobbie Challenge 2009. The event will involve 15 competing Hobie, 16 sailing boats, a motor yacht ‘mother ship and 4 safety power boats. The fleet will also be supported by a rally fleet of 6-9 sailing yachts providing logistic, safety and communications support.

The fleet is expected to arrive mid-afternoon of February 9, off the coast of Pinggan (Gasan) depending on the prevailing wind, and depart at 8:00 am the next day. Their next stop is Romblon, Sibuyan and Tablas and finish in Boracay.

This highly publicized spectacle has introduced many people from around the world to the wonders of the Philippine islands through print, photographs and films.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

29 destinations to visit in 2009

Warsaw -- Why it's a hot ticket in 2009: The big year in Warsaw is going to be 2010, the 200th anniversary of composer Frédéric Chopin's birth. But if you go before the hoopla starts, you can visit scores of Chopin sites and take advantage of cheaper hotel rates, which are generally lower than those in Western European capitals. For instance, in early April, doubles at the stylish Warsaw InterContinental will start at around $140 a night, and there are plenty of nice guesthouses for half that amount. The city is nuts about Chopin, who died in Paris in 1849 but left instructions for his heart to be returned to Warsaw for interment.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

20 Secrets to Save on Travel

The travel industry is shuddering as frugality becomes fashionable and a new word, staycation, creeps into our vocabulary. So to spur sagging sales, operators are offering steep discounts to entice you to leave home. Of course, some bargains are better than others. To help you maximize your savings, we did the homework for you and put together a SLIDE SHOW of eight destinations on sale this spring. Plus, no matter where your wanderlust takes you, check out our insider tips below to help you snag the deepest discounts on hotels, airfare, vacation packages and cruises...
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Where Times readers plan to travel in 2009

Each new year brings more opportunity for travel. Your choices span the world, but how do you choose? To help you in your travel planning, here's a look at where Times readers plan to travel in 2009.
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Classy old Saga Rose liner dodges the icebergs

Sailing from Liverpool, England, the Saga Rose, a 43-year-old liner that is aging with considerable grace, called at the Irish port of Cobh before heading northwest to Greenland and Iceland, its main destinations for this July trip. Perhaps Cobh was an add-on, but it lent a delicious fillip to the voyage that my wife, Laurel, and I were making. About 2 1/2 million Irish immigrants have passed through Cobh, many to the United States. Countless ships have called there.

Of all the callers to this port, one is by far the most famous. And Cobh was its last port of call. The ship was the Titanic. To the extent that the Titanic's officers thought about ice -- and it was clearly not enough -- their goal was to stay as far away as possible. But the Saga Rose, with Capt. Alistair McLundie in command and an "ice pilot," Capt. Niels Kallesen, providing local knowledge, would seek close, though wary, encounters with icebergs.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All aboard a historic train to the Grand Canyon

Take advantage of the fewer crowds of winter season and get on a train — a vintage one, even — for a short and sweet tour of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Deal-wise, it’s a superb time to hop aboard.

Deal: Half of the Grand Canyon Railway’s “50/50″ deal involves discounted accommodations ($109 per night, pre-tax) at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, Arizona, 65 miles away from the park’s South Rim. In addition, you get round-trip, coach-class travel on its train trip to and from the park for 50% off the normal price. High-season rates at the hotel generally run $169 per night, and train tickets are usually $65 per adult. Thus, with this package and in this low season, you’ll save significantly, paying as little as $174 per couple for a night’s stay and a train trip.

This adventure is more about the journey (aboard a historic train) than the destination. With the 50/50 package, you spend just three hours in Grand Canyon National Park, but four and a half hours on the 130-mile round-trip train journey to and from Williams and the park. When: Available for stays now through March 14, 2009.  

Guiyang Guizhou Chinese Nightlife and Bars Coffeeshop

Guiyang view at night

The Yao girl in festival dressing unique headwear and charming smile make them more attractive.

Guiyang (贵阳) is the capital of Guizhou Province, the People's Republic of China. Guiyang is one of China's Spring Cities like Kunming.

Guiyang is home to more than 30 minority ethnic groups including Miao, Buyi, Dong and Hui, etc.

Nightlife in Guiyang usually begins at 09.00 PM. There are so many coffee shops, bars, pubs, and cafe.

Coffee Shops

1. Zuo Ri Chong Xian
Location: on Shaanxi Lu, Guiyang

2. UBC Coffee
Locatioin: No. 155, Ruijin Bei Lu, Guiyang

Guiyang Bars and Pubs :

1. 9 Ku Music Bar
Address: Cishan Xiang (Lane), Fushui Bei Lu
Average cost per person: CNY100

2. SOHO Club
Address: F2, Sheng'an Hotel, Zhongshan Dong Lu
Average cost per person: CNY100

3. Lvdao (GreenIsland) Bar
Address: Yan'an Dong Lu
Average cost per person: CNY200

4. Shangri-La Bar
Address: on Hequn Lu is where young people like to gather.

5. Coffee Shops
Master Morgan
Address: No.178, Hequn Lu

6. Zuo Ri ChongXian
Address: on Shaanxi Lu, Guiyang

7. UBC Coffee
Address: No. 155, Ruijin Bei Lu, Guiyang

8. Victoria Coffee
Address: Xi Hu Lu

9. Theaterand Cinema

10. Guiyang Grand Theater
Address: No.2, Shi Nan Lu

11. Renmin Cinema
Address: No.79, Zhonghua Zhong Lu

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seoul Cheap Hotel and Motels Accomodation List

Journey to Seoul will be remarkable, but will cost you a lot with the expensive hotel and apartments. Why don't you plan your accomodations including cheap hotel but still comfortable.

Seoul is one of the highest cost living in Asia, or in the world. The hotel in Seoul is too expensive for ordinary people to stay.

Here are some inexpensive or cheap hotels and motels, that found on the net. I summarize the article into one posting.

1. Best Western Premier Hotel Kukdo
Best Western Premier Hotel Kukdo is located at the center of Seoul Business District.
Address : #310 Uljiro 4-ga Jung Gu (Hotel)

2. Brown Hotel
The Brown Hotel Seoul boasts an unparalleled inner city location in the heart of the downtown area within close proximity of man key attractions and major transport links.
Address : 77-2, Bomun-dong 4 Ga, Seongbuk-gu (Hotel)

3. Best Western Vision Hotel
Vision Hotel is a member of the world's largest hotel chain with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries. Vision Hotel newly opens to make your visit a delightful one with superior services, high quality facilities and guests' satisfaction by offering true value at a reasonable price.
Address : 2 Dosun-Dong, Seongdong-Ku (Hotel)

4. Saerim Hotel
Saerim Hotel is located in Insa-dong, Jongno, the center of culture and tourism. We are the most prominent hotel in Insa-dong.
Address : 192-17 Kwanhun-Dong, Jongro-Ku (Hotel)

5. Western CO-OP Residence
Western CO-OP Residence is located in the heart of downtown Seoul. We are situated right next to Dongdaemun, a very popular tourist destination for its phenomenal shopping, food and aesthetics. Subway lines #2, #4, #5 are easily accessible from Dongdaemun Stadium Subway Station.
Address : 77-2, Uljiro-5 Ga, Jung-gu (Hotel)

6. Centro Hotel
Hotel Centro is located at the center of southern Seoul, the business center of Korea. Our staff will offer the best service during your business and travel to Seoul. Our English speaking staff can assist you in any of your activities in Korea.
Address : 1594-3 Seocho-Dong, Seocho-Ku (Hotel)

7. ChungJin Motel
You are invited to stay in Chung Jin Motel with newly constructed and modern facilities in a cozy atmosphere at the most convenient location in the center of Seoul.
Address : 152, ChungJin-Dong, Jongno-Gu (Hotel)

8. Hamilton Hotel
Itaewon has long been named as the city of foreigners. Itaewon is the Mecca of international shopping, and Hamilton Hotel is at the center of this Itaewon. It is the hotel equipped with the optimal location convenient for business, sightseeing, and shopping. Itaewon has a combination with things to eat, see, and enjoy, which makes your travelling special and memorable.
Address : #119-25, Itaewon-dong Yongsan-ku (Hotel)

9. Hotel Elle Inn
The Elle Inn Hotel offers great value-for-money accommodations in an extremely convenient location. Within just ten minutes' walk you have access to two major train stations, many subways stations, the National Museum, the War Memorial Hall and Yongsan and shopping areas like Namdaemum and Dongdaemun markets.
Address : 98-14, Galwol-dong Yongsan-gu (Hotel)

10.Hotel Victoria Seoul
Victoria Hotel is located near the city center and is well-connected to the main streets. This helps the guests to commute easily. The hotel is situated at Mia 4-dong, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul. The most important reasons for choosing the hotel as a comfortable nest to take rest. And Hyundai and Lotte department store is nearby the hotel.
Address : 42-8 Mia 4-dong Gangbuk-gu (Hotel)

Cheap Hotel Seoul
Cheap Hotel Seoul

The Queen Hotel is a very well appointed Cheap Hotel in Inchon Korea very close to Seoul Pudong Airport.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shenyang china city nightlife cafe nightclubs

Shenyang (沈阳) is a sub-provincial city and capital of Liaoning province in Northeast China. The city was also known as Shengjing (盛京) or Fengtian (奉天).

Shenyang nightlife has a lot of various attractions. Besides KTVs, pubs and other entertainment centers, there are slap-up clubs available. Shenyang Shengjing International Golf Club (No.201, Dongling Lu, Dongling Dstrict) is the only forest golf course in accord with the international level in Shenyang City. Shenyang Fangcheng Racing Car, Ltd. is the largest indoor car-racing field in Asia. You can fully enjoy the fun of exciting but safe car racing.

Shenyang most favourite bars, cafe, pubs, nightclubs in town are listed here :
1. Irish Bar
Address: the first floor of Holiday Inn City Center, No.206, Nanjing Beijie

Address: No.37, Nan Sanjing Jie

3. Bee House
Address: No.220, Fengtian Jie

Recommended Cafes:

VIGO branch: VIGO Shopping Center, Taiyuan Jie
Zhongshan branch: the first floor of Holiday Inn City Center, No.206, Nanjing Beijie

2. U. B. C. Coffee
Zhengyang Jie branch: Taiyuan Beijie, Heping District
Huigong branch: Zhonghan Dasha, No.124, Huigong Jie
China city Shenyang nightlife view and photos :

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Boomslang Facts

Latin Name: Dispholidus typus

Length: 1 – 1,5 m.

Lifespan: Average 8 years in the wild.

Throughout Africa except in the arid regions, preferring grassland, savannah and woodland often found in shrubs and trees.

Chameleons, lizards, birds, birds’ eggs, frogs and small mammals.

10 – 25 eggs are laid in the late spring to midsummer with an incubation of 2 – 3 months.

The boomslang has extremely powerful haemotoxic venom.
This venom affects the blood clotting mechanism, resulting in headaches, and loss of blood through the bodily openings and if left untreated internal bleeding of the organs will occur.

Unlike most snakes, the boomslang has a full colour vision aiding it in the detection of still standing prey. The boomslangs' eyesight is so keen that it is even capable of detecting motionless chameleons!

The Boomslang is a very placid snake, but if provoked it may bite.
It is predominantly arboreal but will also hunt on open ground and has also been known to cross water in pursuit of prey.
A Boomslang can open its mouth as wide as 170 degrees, and even with its fangs at the back of the mouth it is still capable of biting an arm or leg.
The name "Boomlang" derives from the Africans language, meaning Tree snake.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jodhpur, Blue City

Next day we left Jaisalmer in the early morning and reached our next destination Jodhpur in the afternoon. We stayed for 1 night in this place. We could not not spend more time here due to the schedule we had sketched. Another extra half day would have really helped. (Click on the images for bigger view)

Once a major trade center of the 16th century A.D. it is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. While the graceful palaces, forts and temples strewn throughout the city bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts, folk dances music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city. The jumble of wide winding streets are flanked with pavement stalls. It is also referred as the Blue City due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort.

The major attractions in the city are given below:

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort was built in 15th century by the Rathore Rajputs when they shifted their capital from nearby Mandore to Jodhpur. The architecture is such that, one can not separate the fort from bluff-colored sandstone hill on which it is constructed. Past the gates, the fort-palace takes one's breath away.

Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. To enter the fort, seven gates have to be crossed. The fort encloses many palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards.

Jaswant Thada

The Jaswant Thada, is located on the long road that takes one to the fort. It is the traditional cremation ground of the rulers of Jodhpur.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

We reached this place at 6 p.m and the gates were closed for us. The snap here is from my friend. If one wishes to visit this place be here before 5 p.m. After 5 p.m the gates are closed for visitors and they are allowed nowhere near the gates.

From Jodhpur we traveled to Ranakpur, the temple town of Rajasthan.

Distance: Jodhpur ---> Ranakpur 180 kms

P.S: December is the month when lot of tourists land in Rajasthan. So if you really want all the arrangements to be done properly this has to be done before October end.

For more visit Thursday Challenge

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Great Wall: Across China's great divide

Built to keep out the Mongols, it's now facing a new kind of invader: tourists. Visit a crowd-free stretch and behold the legendary barrier in its natural state. At Badaling, the Great Wall rides the ridgelines like a dragon, its gray brick scales glinting and its crenelated spine writhing. Built at a strategic pass in the mountains north of Beijing, it crosses stout gates, plunges into narrow defiles, climbs back up to the heights and seems to go on forever.

Long after this month's Olympic Games end in Beijing, people will flock to Badaling, where seeing is believing in the Ten Thousand Li Long Wall of ancient annals and legend. But contrary to the impression it makes at Badaling, the Great Wall may never have crossed China in one mighty, continuous span, nor is its length precisely known. (Some say it's 4,500 miles, others a mere 3,100.) Experts now think of it as a series of disjointed segments built at different times in the last two millenniums and scattered in a maze all over northern China.
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Thursday, January 1, 2009