A Wild, Roaring, White Water Rafting Adventure Through The Upper Salt River Canyon, Globe, Arizona

Discover an ancient canyon wilderness, rich in riparian nature and pristine, natural beauty, and enjoy a fun and exciting outdoors adventure, white water rafting the Upper Salt River. Located just 135 miles from Phoenix, near the town of Globe, the roughly 52 mile stretch of the Upper Salt River, after receiving run off from the nearby White Mountains during early spring, is home to some of Arizona’s best Class III and Class IV river rapids. Even if you are a beginner, white water rafting doesn’t require having prior experience or training is relatively inexpensive and best of all, it’s a thrilling and exciting adrenaline rush and a great way to experience nature and the outdoors with your friends or family. So if you consider yourself an outdoors adventurer, and would like to experience something new and exciting to do, that’s not expensive and close to Phoenix, then I highly recommend you go white water rafting down the Upper Salt River, Globe, Arizona!

I really enjoy the adventure of white water rafting and have previously been down the Snake River in the Teton’s National Park, Wyoming, as well as the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California. I had heard about white water rafting trips down the Upper Salt River here in Arizona, however, I had never done it before because the season for running the Upper Salt is very unpredictable as well as very short. To time it just right when the perennial run off and water flow is at its optimum and peak, ideally you’re looking at about early-mid March. However, this is dependent on how much snow is received up in the mountains each winter. The season for running the Upper Salt they say actually extends from as early as February until mid May. So when I saw that there was a local group called the Desert Mountain Paddlers, led and organized by Ron Russell, who was planning a white water rafting trip down on the Upper Salt River, I quickly invited my friends and got signed up at a discounted group rate through Canyon Rio Rafting, based out of Flagstaff, Arizona, and the professional outfitter company who runs the Upper Salt River.

It was a beautiful spring morning during the first week in April that my friends and I met Ron Russell, aka “The Canoe Guy” and the rest of the Desert Mountain Paddlers team and began our day’s journey, heading out US 60 east, aka “The Old West Highway” and arrived in Globe by 7:30am. After a short break for food and restrooms at McDonalds, we made a left onto US 60-Hwy 77 North and enjoyed the beautiful mountain drive for another 30 minutes until we finally arrived at the top of the hill overlooking the Salt River Valley below and were all completely stunned and amazed at how absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous it was. Wow!

We drove down the steep hill, and after crossing over the bridge, made a quick left onto the short dirt road where by 8:30am we had finally arrived at Canyon Rio’s meeting and parking area. We got out and were warmly greeted by the staff of Canyon Rio who quickly provided us the equipment we would be needing for our day’s river rafting adventure including full wet suits, nylon splash jackets, helmets, paddles and PFD’s (personal flotation devices). We were advised by Canyon Rio in advance, to not only bring with us bottled water but also, when river rafting early in the spring season when water temps are very cold and outside air temps a bit more chilly than in summer months, to wear clothes that are made of either synthetic or quick drying fabrics, and shoes that are old sneakers or river sandals with socks that are neoprene or wool material to keep your feet and body from getting too cold.

Once fully suited up, and with our paddles in our hands, we began to walk down to the river’s edge together where our river guide, “Scratchy”, a veteran river guide with 9 years experience behind him, met us and provided an excellent introduction to river rafting including learning how to use a paddle, as well as what to do in case of an emergency, such as falling out of the raft, what to do should the raft get flipped over. After this thorough overview, we were finally ready for what was sure to be a very adventurous and also very scenic 9 mile river rafting journey down the Upper Salt River! After getting together for a few quick group photos, we eagerly got into all of our 6 man rafts and one by one launched out onto the river by about 10 am.

The Upper Salt River Canyon, about 4000 feet elevation, was windy and chilly that morning, I’d estimate somewhere in the 50’s in temperature as we began our journey and I was happy to have been provided a full wet suit as well as a wind breaker for added warmth. As we were slowly drifting down from our river launch site, I looked up and was just completely amazed at the very beautiful, pristine scenery of this wilderness area, which stretched 52 miles from Globe all the way down to Roosevelt Lake. Located on ancestral Native American Indian grounds, the Upper Salt River Canyon is highly restricted by the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and is only accessible by river raft or kayak with a permit.

It only took a few minutes on the river before we came to our first rapid, the “Bump & Grind” rapid, classified as a “Class II” rapid. And wow, what fun that was too! But that was just a warm up. There were a whole lot more to come, we were headed for an entire series of excellent “Class III” rapids, and although we had missed the peak flow a few weeks earlier, the river’s cfs, or flow rate, was still very good that day, “Scratchy”, our river guide advised, so we were in for a real adventure! How rapids are classified is really pretty subjective, I learned. Basically it’s determined by water levels, flow rates, obstructions or obstacles in the river’s bottom such as rocks and boulders or anything that would cause the water, always flowing down hill, to spin, swirl or cause to spill over such as a water fall. Rapids are rated anywhere from 1, which is your scenic float, all the way up to 10, and extremely dangerous. However, if you’re a beginning to intermediate river rafter, like myself, the Class II & Class III river rafting trips are perfect and the Upper Salt River offers some of the best rapids in the entire western U.S.

After warming up at the “Bump and Grind”, Class II rapid, and with the rest of our team of Desert Mountain Paddlers now closely behind us, we looked up and were excited to take on the next rapid, our first Class III rapid of the day, the “Maytag” rapid! Wow, now that was fun! But that was just the beginning of the adventure! From there it was all Class III”s, an entire series! With our team behind us and mostly out of sight by now, we continued on to move on to the next rapid and the next, the “Grumman”, the “Mother Rock” and the “Overboard” rapids, rocking, splashing and spinning, crashing against the waves and twirling through the torrent of current of the Upper Salt, I almost got tossed out of the boat twice!. Wow, what a wild, thrilling and exciting adventure ride!

After successfully running the “Overboard” Class III rapid, we veered our raft over to the river’s edge to wait for the rest of our team to arrive. This was turning out to be one heck of a wild river run, and I noticed I wasn’t the only one to get tossed out either! There were a few solo kayakers also attempting to run the river that day and one of them got flipped over and tossed out of his kayak! Thankfully, after swimming through the rapid while still hanging onto his kayak, he eventually he made it and was okay. We waited along the river’s edge until everyone had made it successfully through the last rapid and once we had all of our rafting team back together again, we continued on.

From here we had a break from the rapids and had a chance to enjoy some of the gorgeous canyon scenery and wildlife that is along the Upper Salt River. So absolutely beautiful and majestic, I found it so amazing that the Upper Salt River Canyon is a backcountry wilderness area, consisting of about 32,000 acres, that has managed to remain completely remote, and untouched here within the state of Arizona. What a great day and adventure this had been so far, I thought to myself.

It was a little after 12 noon when we arrived at Canyon Rio’s camp site on the river and where we’d pull our rafts over to the shore and have a picnic lunch and mid-day rest break. And what a lunch it was too! Canyon Rio really provided us a delicious and fantastic lunch, that had it all, right down to the last details too. Wow! We were really enjoying everything but by 1:30 pm, and after a quick group photo with our river guide extraordinaire, “Scratchy”, it was time to get back in our rafts again and begin the second part of our journey and adventure down the Upper Salt River.

After pulling our rafts out and continuing on from camp, and next taking on the “Exhibition” Class III rapid, the scenery was even more beautiful and spectacular as we quickly approached the gorgeous Cibecue Canyon, the crossed Cibeque Creek. After running the Cibecue Rapid, a Class II rapid, we turned a corner to the left and continued to enjoy the journey heading down this very serene and tranquil stretch of the Upper Salt River until we came to what would be the best but final set of rapids of the day.

Once again we were advised by our excellent river guide “Scratchy” what we were to do as we approached first the “Three Way” rapid, a Class III rapid, followed by the “Salt River Draw”, a Class II rapid, then on to our final rapid of the day, the “grand finale” and saving the best for last it seemed, as we crashed, splashed, bumped, grinded and glided our way down through the rocking and rolling “Mezcal Falls”, a Class III-IV rapid that was absolutely the best one of them all! Wow, what a total adrenaline rush!

After pulling to the side to wait for the rest of our team to successfully make it through “Mezcal Falls”, we then floated for a few more final minutes on the river until we finally reached the end of our 9 mile river rafting adventure by about 2:30pm, and the access point where Canyon Rio was waiting for us to transport us back to the parking area where our cars were and by 3:30pm we had arrived back at the parking lot, ready to head back home to Phoenix again.

In all, what an incredibly fun, exciting and scenic outdoors adventure on the Upper Salt River! Really a great day spent with friends and everyone from the Desert Mountain Paddlers group. And also, an excellent river rafting expedition put together by the professional and experienced team of river guides from Canyon Rio Rafting. So if you’re looking for something new, exciting, fun and adventurous to do, then I highly recommend you be sure to check out white water rafting down the Upper Salt River, Globe, Arizona!

Laura K. Halik is a writer and published author with over 20 years experience of outdoors travel throughout the state of Arizona and the western region. She is passionate for nature, the outdoors, travel and adventure. Laura enjoys hiking, canyoneering, white water rafting, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, writing, and photography. She is also a co-hiking leader and organizer in a hiking and outdoors adventure club for advanced and experienced hikers.

How to Plan a Cactus League Spring Training Trip to Arizona

Are you crazy about baseball? Is “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” your favorite tune? Are you passionate enough about your home team to follow them across the country? If so, you’re going to love planning a Spring Training trip to Arizona in March which includes everything from airport parking to the best seats in the stadium. And even if you’re not that nuts about America’s favorite game, you’ll still have a great time soaking in the sun and watching major league players go head to head in pre-season (in Arizona referred to as the Cactus League).

What Baseball Teams Play Where

Cactus League teams include: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

Where are the teams based during Spring Training, which takes place throughout the month of March? Scottsdale is the temporary home to Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants; Mesa hosts the Chicago Cubs; Phoenix is where the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s train; Goodyear is the spring home for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians; Surprise hosts the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers; Tempe is where the training facility of the LA Angels is located; Glendale is where you’ll find the LA Dodgers; Maryvale hosts the Milwaukee Brewers; and Peoria hosts the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

When you make your airline reservations, you’ll want tickets that fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. As soon as you’ve got your flight booked, reserve offsite airport parking so you don’t have to worry about arrangements for your car.

Getting Your Spring Training Game Tickets

There’s a couple different choices for game tickets when you plan a Spring Training trip to Arizona. You could start by selecting a hotel close to the stadium where your team plays and contacting them to book a Spring Training package. Usually the hotel package includes your room, tickets to the game and sometimes breakfast or happy hour hors d’oeuvres and transportation to the stadium. Check with several hotels to see which one offers the best deals. For a quick overview, visit the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors and Convention Bureau websites in the locale you’re considering. And although the information is not disclosed, you might get lucky and stay at the same hotel that is housing your favorite team!

Keep in mind that when you stay in Mesa, for example, to watch Chicago Cubs’ games, the hotel package is likely to only include tickets for those games at Hohokam Stadium and not any at other stadiums across the Valley of the Sun. So if you want to watch several teams at various locations, you will be better off buying the tickets yourself.

If you buy your tickets online early enough, they can be shipped directly to your address. If you are more of a last minute planner, however, it’s best to order directly from the stadium and have your tickets held at the will call window.

Although prices are much lower than you’d paid for regular season games, you may be surprised at how expensive Spring Training games can be. Most of the stadiums offer lawn seats (where you sprawl on a blanket behind the field), which are the cheapest option. And don’t forget you can’t bring your own food to the stadium (although you can bring unopened water bottles) so that’s another expense. Still, this is an inexpensive way to enjoy a great spring vacation that’s fun for the whole family.

If you’ve never experienced a Spring Training trip to Arizona in March, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! Arizona’s weather is beautiful at this time of year and what better way to enjoy it than to take yourself out to a ball game?

Arizona’s Legalization Of Medical Marijuana With Prop 203

Medical Marijuana was passed in November 2010 Arizona with Prop 203, becoming the 15th US State to recognize its medicinal qualities for various debilitating medical conditions. The Arizona Department of Health Services is now assembling the Rules and Regulations for its dispensing and usage.

Marijuana was legal until 1937 in the US. It was commonly prescribed medicinally. The Marijuana Tax Act was brought before Congress in 1937, which was passed and placed a tax on the sale of cannabis. This tax equaled roughly one dollar on anyone who commercially dealt marijuana. The ACT did not criminalize the possession or usage of marijuana however. The American Medical Association opposed the bill, arguing that cannabis was not dangerous and that its medicinal use would be severely curtailed by prohibition. Within 4 years, medical marijuana was withdrawn from the US pharmaceutical market because of the law’s requirements.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed, making Marijuana a Schedule 1 Narcotic. A Schedule 1 Narcotic is supposedly one that has a high potential for abuse, no medical use, and not safe to use under medical supervision. As you will read soon in this E-Book, a lot of states disagree, and Arizona is the latest to realize marijuana’s benefits medicinally.

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The California Compassionate Use Act, known as Proposition 215, allowed patients freedom from prosecution with a physician’s recommendation. The federal government went after the initiative and threatened to arrest physicians for recommending it, but a federal court decision protected physicians under the First Amendment.

Despite persistence of federal oppositions, numerous states have passed their own medical marijuana laws, with the latest being Arizona. Canada has also changed their laws with regards to medical marijuana as well. In 2005, the Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on marijuana but did not question the validity of the state laws. Therefore, patients are protected from state prosecution in the states with legal medical marijuana, but not federal. Both the DEA and Justice Department have said they don’t want to go after patients, only large traffickers.

There were not many regulations put into place in California upon passing medicinal marijuana. Colorado subsequently passed it in 2000. Due to federal regulations neither state had widespread abuse of medical marijuana with the prospect of federal prosecution looming.

That all changed in 2009. President Obama announced his administration would no longer use federal resources to go after dispensaries and patients as long as they complied with state laws. Dispensaries began to multiply like rabbits, and within a few months patients were signing up in Colorado at a rate of 1000 per day. In Los Angeles alone, medical marijuana dispensaries outnumber McDonald’s and Starbucks by 2 to 1.

Arizona became the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana with Prop 203 passing in November of 2010. It was an extremely close vote that took over 11 days after the actual election to finalize the count. 1.7 million people voted and initially the vote was 7000 votes against it, but when it was final it won by slightly over 4000 votes.

Voters have passed medical marijuana in Arizona twice in the past but because of wording and conflicting federal laws nothing actually went into effect. Marijuana remains completely illegal under federal law. It is a Schedule 1 Drug under the US Controlled Substances Act, which means it is regarded as having high abuse potential and no medical use. Its possession, sale, manufacture, transportation and distribution for any purpose are against federal law.

However, more and more states continue to recognized its medicinal purposes. Fifteen states now have laws permitting medical use of marijuana. These laws exempt patients from criminal charges for personal possession and/or cultivation of small amounts with a doctor’s recommendation. What this means is since the overwhelming majority of smaller scale drug offenses are prosecuted by state law, patients are generally safe in these states from arrest (as long as local law is followed).

Peak Water and Arizona Landscaping Practices

The Phoenix metropolitan area, with an annual precipitation of approximately 7.7 inches per year, is designated as a desert region. Nonetheless, grass lawns are a surprisingly common occurrence in the Valley of the Sun, and in those lawns, sprinkler systems are nearly omnipresent. At the same time that Phoenicians are watering their lush, green lawns and gardens, the Southwest is progressing ever closer to what is known as Peak Water, or the point at which the demand for water extends beyond physical, economic, and environmental limits on meeting that demand. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego has assessed the Peak Water situation and predicts that Lake Mead, which is the primary reservoir in the Colorado River system, the major source of water for most of the Southwest, and the largest reservoir in the United States, may run dry by 2021. Already, the water levels in the Colorado River are so low that the river no longer reaches its natural delta.

With major supplies of water reaching these dire conditions, the Southwest can no longer sustain its current water consumption.

Large industries and utilities like Intel’s manufacturing plants in Chandler, the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant outside of Phoenix, and agricultural projects on the outskirts of the metropolitan area share a large portion of the total water usage, but average citizens, particularly homeowners, also consume considerable amounts of water per year. With the Phoenix metropolitan area’s rapid population growth, homeowners increasingly share a role in the Peak Water situation. According to an article on Peak Water in Wired magazine, the population of the greater valley “is expected to nearly [sic] double in the next 20 years.”

With the understanding that water is reaching such a startling scarcity and the demand is consistently rising, time has come to rethink the ways in which water is used in the Arizona. Arizona is simply not equipped with the resources to sustain any frivolous applications of its water supply, and maintaining a lawn is, unfortunately, one of the many water allocations with which Arizonians could do without.

Although Arizona’s climate and its water resources cannot sustain most landscaping practices indefinitely, some possibilities for creative, sustainable landscaping projects still do exist. The natural biodiversity of a desert region is surprisingly high. Xerophytes (literally “dry-plants”) have the water conservation mechanisms and heat tolerance necessary to survive in a desert climate, and Arizona has a plethora of indigenous xerophytes. Brittlebush, mesquite, desert hollies, hackberries, poppies, sotols, ephedras, ocotillos, cacti, prickly pears, paloverdes, junipers, yuccas, Joshua trees, and desert pines are all xerophytes indigenous to Arizona.

The best way to limit water usage when landscaping is to conform to the limitations and demands created by the local ecosystem and climate, and try to cultivate as many indigenous species as possible. In addition to the ecological sustainability of indigenous-only planting, there are also a manifold of other benefits behind indigenous-only planting. Indigenous plants are cheaper and easier to obtain, transport, and transplant. Indigenous plants require drastically less maintenance than non-indigenous plants. Aesthetically, non-indigenous plants, such as palms, may appear exotic or paradisiacal, but indigenous plants create a more unique and authentic appearance of natural beauty and continuity with the surrounding landscape. Many Arizonian species, such as saguaros, have distinctive, sometimes bizarre colors and shapes, which, through Western films, National Geographic spreads, and postcards, have become icons and symbols of Arizona and are embedded in the popular conception of the Southwest. Perhaps the greatest reward for focusing on indigenous planting is the profound connection with the land that is engendered by studying the climate, soil, flora, and fauna of Arizona and learning how to cultivate plants under the challenging conditions Arizona presents.

The Top 9 Best Beaches of Goa

Have you explored it yet? GOA is a destination of beaches. Explore till you get your peace and your favourite spot. Discover the ones, which have not been explored by many.

Butterfly – If you are planning a quite vacation, then this is the place to be.It lies towards the north of Paloeum beach. Best way to reach is via boat ride from Paloeum beach. Calm peaceful with no disturbance away from the hustle bustle.

Tiger – Located in South Goa. It is one of the most isolated beaches in Goa and truly a wild one. Taking a stroll with your loved one on the soft white sand is a delight here. Fresh breeze hitting the rocks, sea looking at you with all the brightness and shine is breathtaking. Ferry from Kola beach can be rented to take you there.

TIP: carry your snacks and water and other important items.

Hollant – This beach is a delight for travellers. It’s a great beach to go for nice swim unlike the others in Goa. Enjoy a swim and get your perfect tan here. It’s well connected and can be reached in your scooty or car from Vasco. Good cafes and hotel are around.

Betul – is a secluded beach and picturesque. The stunning side of the Mobor peninsula is around the Betul hills giving a spectacular view. It’s a great place to do some fishing the goan style. Trust me worth an experience.

TIP: carry your picnic basket

Cola – A romantic beach, it’s mesmerising and magical at the same time. It feels the sea is begging you to visit again and again. The beauty of the beach is the river flows very close to the beach. Highly recommended. Take a ride from Palolem- Cancona to reach here.

Arambol – It’s a non-crowded beach unlike the Baga and Candolium beaches. Away in the extreme North Goa this beach is located. You can take a long walk by the seaside. Heavenly isn’t it. Arambol takes care of the basic amenities from food to shacks and if you want to relax, then get a nice massage done by the sea.

Morjim – is the now called: Mini Russia, as lot of Russians prefer this beach. This beach gives bird enthusiasts a reason to keep coming back again and again. Great place for bird sighting and travellers thrill lies in dolphin sighting.A must visit place in North Goa if you want to watch turtles by your side.

Vagator – is a great place to enjoy the sunset by the rocks with a beer in your hand. Quiet yet a ravishing place to visit. Lot of tourists prefers this to Anjuna and other beaches.

Siradio – It’s a beach with all that can interest a traveller. A beach great for shell collection to a rocky sandy beach, which entices you to explore the caves around it. It has the great history, which is best explored when you are there.

Why Should You Go for Team Building in Bangalore?

Bangalore is not only an IT hub of India but it is also the party capital of India. It provides ample of opportunities for doing adventures, indulging in fun -activities, night parties and relaxation in luxury resorts. The city not only demands the hard work of the people but it also serves the people with some wonderful team building activities and places so that they can have fun as well as learn.

There are numerous team building activities in Bangalore. Manchinbele is an ideal spot for team building activities in Bangalore. It has some fun water and adventure sports in which the employees and employers can involve and strengthen their relationships with each other.

The city has many resorts as well which provides a luxurious home like stay, fun activities for team building, amazing food and all the other basic and amazing amenities. Staying in resorts makes the team members comfortable with each other. It also helps in establishing communication with the bosses. A thin line between the bosses and the employees can be broken while having fun activities as a team as well as staying in a comfortable environment.

Shilhaandara Resort is for rejuvenating the nerves of the team members. It is placed at the foothills of the Ramangara. It is surrounded by lush greenery and is a perfect place for nature as well as adventure enthusiasts. It has a swimming pool, space for fun-activities indoor as well as outdoor, different cuisines of food and many more amenities. There are many activities like zorbing, paintball, rope climbing in which you can take part with your team. There are many resorts in and around Bangalore that boost team building activities and are perfect for corporate team outings.

The city serves many opportunities for team building. There are many adventurous trekking and camping spots in Bangalore as well which helps to boost the confidence in employees. Adventure sports bring back power and vigor back in the lives of the employees. Savandurga is one of the best places in Bangalore for trekking. This place provides tranquil surroundings as well as thrilling treks which boosts up the employees. Similarly, there are many more trekking places in Bangalore. Employees can head and stay in night camps. They can play games around the campfire, roast food in the early man’s way, stay in camps among the wild animals, and enjoy the scenes of a bed of stars in the dark sky at night. Together with getting involved in camping and trekking enhances the bond and they get to work better as a team.

Bangalore is a perfect city for corporate outings. There are many other activities like archery, rappelling, rock climbing, boating, and much more in which the teams can take part and work as a team. It is rightly said that sports activities not only provide enthralling experiences but also build skills in people. Skills like teamwork, confidence, risk-taking abilities, better planning and development skills are inculcated while performing sports activities.

Peru Travel: Qeswachaka Festival and Alternative Inca Trails in Peru

Many people travel to Peru to hike the famous Inca Trail. There’s an undeniable allure to the idea of treading the same path once used by the ancient Incas as they traveled to the great citadel of Machu Picchu. However, the Inca Trail is not the only impressive remnant of the Inca Empire. In addition to the well-known Inca Trail path to Machu Picchu, the Incas built a vast and elaborate system of roads hundreds of kilometers long that traversed the entire Inca Empire.

The Inca construction, however, didn’t stop at roads. In addition to building paths, the Incas were master bridge builders, and these bridges were an integral part of the road system. Q’eswachaka, commonly known as the Inca Rope Bridge, is the last of these bridges still in use, and is located just outside of Cusco in the Quehue District. Though originally destroyed in an attempt to halt Pizarro’s attack on Cusco during the Spanish invasion, it was reconstructed and continues to remain in use to this day. The bridge spans the raging Apurimac River as it cuts through the breathtaking Apurimac Valley.

Q’eswachaka is made of fibers woven together to create a strong rope, and small slats of wood are used to reinforce the footpath. Part of the reason the bridge has lasted almost 600 years, however, is that every year, the people of four local Quechua communities come together to replace the old bridge with a new one. The Q’eswachaka Festival, four days of work and celebration, marks this occasion. This ancient tradition has been carried out annually since the days of the Incas, and continues to be an important connection to tradition and culture in the high Andes.

Every year, the four communities enthusiastically come together for the process of rebuilding the bridge- an important and ceremonial tradition. Certain members of the community hold the role of engineer, while others serve as weavers. One male holds the important position of “Chakaruwak”, meaning he is a specialist in braiding and construction. In order for the sacred art to be carried on from generation to generation and to keep the spirit of the bridge alive, fathers teach their sons the process, just as their fathers did before them.

Before the festival begins, community members collect the building material, primarily consisting of grass and natural fibers. These fibers will be woven into the cables used in the bridge’s construction. Before the festival and bridge building can begin, however, the spiritual leader of the community must ask the apus, or the mountain spirits, for permission to begin the process, and make offerings of coca leaves and corn to Pachamama, Mother Earth. After this offering, the weaving of the cables begins. In the afternoon, the men divide into two groups, one each side of the bridge, and begin braiding the cables towards each other.

On the second day, the engineers begin by untying the old ropes, which are attached to stone nails, and attach the new ropes to the nails. This is a time consuming and intricate process, but finally the base and handrails of the new bridge are in place.

On the third day of the festival, construction finishes on the handrails and footpath, and when the construction has finished, the bridge is officially opened to the tune of music accompanied by traditional dances.

The festival reaches its climax on the fourth day, which is a day of celebration. The communities once again come together to celebrate the completion of the bridge through song, indigenous dances, and eating traditional foods. This final day serves as a culmination of all the hard work, and a celebration of the lasting traditions that have allowed these communities to keep their vibrant culture alive.

This year, the Q’eswachaka Festival falls during the second week of June, with the principal day of the festival on the second Sunday of the month. The bridge reconstruction and subsequent festival will take place once again, as it does every year, as the local communities gather to honor both Pachamama and their ancestors, and celebrate their community and heritage.

TOP 10 Must Visit Places in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

1) The Ridge:

This is one of the most popular points in Shimla. Located on the Mall road, at the heart of Shimla, this is a much appreciated and enjoyed stretch here, where visitors arrive and drench themselves in the views of mountains and surrounding Beauty.

2) The Mall:

If you love shopping and want to get yourselves bagged with some shimla arts and other accessories then the best place for you is THE MALL. One can shop for local handicrafts, shawls, woolens, exquisite jewelry etc. here.

3) Kufri:

Kufri is just 13 km away from the main town of shimla. You can book a taxi or catch a regular HRTC transport bus from the local bus stand. The views and sceneries here are amazing and the landscapes more flattering, a bit untouched with the tourist rush.

4) Toy Train to Kalka:

if you want something really different then here is a TOY TRAIN SERVICE FROM SHIMLA TO KALKA. This awesome beauty was all setup during British Rule. This route is one of the most pictorial train routes in the world and it passes through more than a hundred tunnels It is a narrow gauge train route and it connects Kalka to Shimla.

5) Jakhoo Temple:

This Temple is well known for its world’s largest and Huge Hanuman Statue. This awesome statue can be viewed from most part of the shimla city. one must visit this place once his/her visit during Shimla tour. Must Visit the temple, to view this statue upright and strain your neck a bit admiring its magnificence.

6) Chail:

This place is very famous for having the world’s highest cricket and polo grounds. Must visit place in chail is Chail Palace. Once the summer capital of the Patiala Kings, the palace has now been converted into a hotel and a tourist destination.

7) Tatta Pani:

“Taatta Pani ” is a hindi Synonym of HOT WATER. It is a very well known tourist spot situated at 51 km away from shimla. This place is very famous for its natural hot water springs.

8) Naldhera:

Naldehra is located around 22 km from Shimla and is famous for the Naldehra Golf Club. Situated at an altitude of 2200 m, this is a 18 hole golf course and is among one of the best golf courses in India.

9) Tara Devi:

Tara Devi is dedicated to the Deity of Stars. This Temple is located at a mountain peak near Shogi. Tara Devi place got its name after this Deity. There are legends and tales to the origins of the temple, making it a simple yet subtly fascinating experience.

10) Indian Institute of Advanced Study:

IIAS was originally built as home for Lord Duffein, who was the Viceroy of India during the years 1884 and 1888. A residential centre for higher education, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), is located on Observatory hill – one of the seven hills of Shimla.

5 Major Attractions of Nepal

Nepal experiences a huge diversity in terms of tourists as different people are tempted to visit this country for a variety of reasons. While some fancy the adrenaline pumping of the Himalayas, some are intrigued by the outstanding culture and traditions of the country. A lot of travelers visit Nepal in a hope to rediscover the soul from within and in turn attain a spiritual awakening. The country is blessed with the stupendous beauty of nature, huge mountains, vivid landscapes, beautiful temples and monasteries, and vibrant places like Kathmandu. This article briefs about the 5 major attractions of Nepal among the wide choices to explore in here.

1. Kathmandu

The capital city of Nepal is a must-visit place as nearly every itinerary begins from here. The beauty of Kathmandu is incomparable and unmatched to any other city in the world. The lively ambiance, vibrant monasteries, with sights of looming snow-capped peaks in the backdrop makes it a sight to cherish forever. There are a lot of outstanding places to explore in Kathmandu, the Pashupatinath Temple, the Monkey Temple, the Buddhist Shrine are among the finest places to visit. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Durbar Square is a primary attraction in Kathmandu, which was damaged by the 2015 earthquake but still boasts the grandeur in the best way.

2. Pokhara

The gateway to the Himalayas at a distance of 200 km from Kathmandu, the Pokhara rests at the base of the foothills and is surrounded by supreme sights of some of the highest mountains of the world. The picturesque beauty of the surrounding Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna I, and Dhaulagiri makes the landscape postcard perfect. The region around the Lake Phewa is blessed with an unparallel serene ambiance ideal for a relaxing stay. The second largest town of Nepal is much less chaotic than Kathmandu and gifted with an enchanting landscape.

3. Chitwan National Park

Nepal gets a lot of attention for the enticing trekking routes and the high mountains, but the Chitwan National Park packs a different kind of thrill for the tourists. It is a beautiful place that showcases the best of wildlife of Nepal and homes to some amazing animals like the Rhino, Bengal Tigers, Sloths, Leopards, Bears, and many others. The elephant ride lets you explore the best of this National Park blessed with a Tropical Monsoon Climate. A journey through this amazing place creates a memory that will be etched in the heart of the travelers for long.

4. Trekking in Annapurna Region

Trekking and hiking in Nepal is a fascinating thing to do as this rewards the travelers with the bewildering and enthralling sights of nature’s extravaganza. The Annapurna Trekking route is the most popular trekking route of the country as it covers a number of outstanding locations and can be modified according to the wants of the trekkers. The Annapurna Region is also a delight to explore as it displays the enchanting glory of the Nepalese country side and even features of the Tibetan Plateau. This journey also gives an insight into the culture, traditions, and life of the locals at a large.

5. Trekking in Langtang

Another bewitching destination in Nepal is the Langtang Region. It is an outstanding place that ideally serves the travelers with an incredible hiking experience and some captivating sights. The high passes, vibrant landscapes, magnificent views, old monasteries, pukka mountain scenery, and the compelling beauty of the Rhododendrons are a delight for every traveler. A much easier and less tiring destination in comparison to the Annapurna and Everest Trekking trail, the Langtang Region packs some commanding sights that bask in its own glory.

Apart from these 5 destinations, Nepal is also well known and popular for many other mesmerizing locations that can make our extension from India a truly delightful experience. Experience the best of Nepal as it has loads and loads to offer.

Thailand Is a Very Beautiful Country

Mueang Thai, as local people call the nation, is an intriguing mixture of old kingdoms.

For more than five centuries, the Khmer Empire governed its properties – until ousted in the thirteenth century. At that point, the Thai Kingdom was effectively brought together and built up by King Sri Indraditya of the Kingdom of Sukhothai (1238).

From that point onward, the nation has been separated into four fundamental districts – each bragging extraordinary traditions, conventions, and attractions.

The assorted variety brings an astonishing exhibit of things to do in Thailand. Underneath she will talk about the best vacation spots in Thailand.

Top Tourist Attractions in Thailand: The Central Plains

There’s no better place to get a look at Thailand’s history and culture than around the Central Plains. In this locale is the place its capital, Bangkok, is found.

Bangkok, an energetic kaleidoscope

I whole up Bangkok with three terms: exceptional customary nourishment, old sanctuaries, and crazy nightlife.

The absolute most well-known things to involvement in Bangkok include:

Wat Pho and the rich Reclining Buddha

Fabulous Palace complex (counting Wat Phra Kaew)

Soi Cowboy: BKK’s shady area of town, for sultry nightlife

Boisterous, energizing Khao San Road (you should see it once!)

Grub at Sukhumvit Soi 38, apparently Bangkok’s best road nourishment spot

Vimanmek Mansion: combination of customary Thai design and European neoclassical style

By the time of composing, I don’t prescribe going to Wat Arun. It’s mind boggling structural subtle elements are as of now eclipsed by a broad reclamation venture. Invest your energy at other commendable Bangkok attractions!

Top Thailand vacation destinations

Day treks to the rustic edges

Have a few days to save? Escape the hurrying around by taking one of the accompanying critical day trips from Bangkok:

Ayutthaya: probably the most astounding remains in Thailand

Snack conventional pontoon noodles at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Hua Hin: beautiful shoreline town for the individuals who don’t have room schedule-wise to investigate the Thai islands

Eccentric Wat Saen Suk: to some degree grim sanctuary depicting the Buddhist dreams of damnation

Phraya Nakhon Cave at Khao Sam Roi Yot Marine Park, a standout among the most shocking collapses the world

The previous capital of the Lanna Kingdom has transformed into an exceptionally modest, current school town. Chiang Mai’s rich history, astounding road sustenance scene, and moderately ease of living have made it a mainstream base for Western expats in Asia.

Sanctuary jumping and foodie gets a kick out of Chiang Mai

Sprinkled with more than 300 Buddhist sanctuaries, I thought, which to pick?!

In the wake of spending a few days around the city, I finished up these are the most special, must-see sanctuaries in Chiang Mai:

Doi Suthep: prominent ridge sanctuary with breathtaking perspectives of Chiang Mai and region

Wat Chedi Luang: Lanna cheddar, transcending inside the Old City’s dividers

Wat Umong: novel 700-year-old sanctuary where occupant priests wander among the woods

Wat Suan Dok: fourteenth-century sanctuary where individuals from the Lanna Royal family are covered

The most novel thing to do in Chiang Mai, however? Join a priest visit!

They are social trades, organized by neighborhood Buddhist colleges, so as to enhance the English capability of their understudies.

Priest visits are an incredible approach to become acquainted with neighborhood traditions and conventions firsthand. The MCU Chiang Mai Campus holds priest talks each week at Wat Suan Dok Monday through Friday, from 5 to 7 PM.

While Chaing Mai is one of the best vacation destinations in Thailand it is additionally home to numerous expats. In the event that you’re searching for an extraordinary base in Asia, this is certainly a probability.

Week after week reflection withdraws are likewise advertised. They begin each Tuesday at 1 PM and finish up Wednesday by 3 PM.

Did I go Sanctuary bouncing, as well as getting the opportunity to taste the eccentricities of Northern Thai cooking by going on foodie creeps?

A few dishes you should attempt in this area include:

Moo to: broiled pork tenders with a sweet, nutty flavor

Lab: fricasseed meat, pork or duck dry-rubbed with neighborhood flavors

Nam ngaio: tart tomato soup with rice noodles and pork

Nam park on: zesty Northern Thai plunge made with tomatoes and minced pork

Khao soi: Chiang Mai’s trademark! Thick Burmese-style coconut curry soup, finished with browned noodles

Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle’s tri-outskirt

Thailand’s northernmost clamoring city lays by the notorious Golden Triangle: Asia’s hotspot for opium creation.

Or, on the other hand, you could just consider it to be the place from which you can visit Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand in one day!

Past this tripoint, there’s very little to do in the zone.

I suggest you base yourself out of Chiang Rai on the off chance that you wish to visit well-known sanctuaries and take in Mae Hong Son’s sloping scenes:

Looking for nearby knickknacks at Chang Rai’s Night Bazaar

Redesigned Wat Rong Khun (White Temple): a nearby craftsman’s artful culmination

But Kwan Village Park: previous migrant slope tribe town, now settled by a wonderful waterfall

Baan Si Dum was otherwise known as the Black House: interesting accumulations of conventional Southeast Asian curious

Top Things to Do in Thailand: The Northeast

Otherwise called Isaan, Northeast Thailand is an intriguing blend of Laotian, Cambodian, and Thai societies.

It’s relative confinement, however, make it a standout amongst the most genuine districts a visitor can visit.

Gulped by the wilderness at Khao Yai

While Isaan is generally out of the way, this districts happens to be the home of Thailand’s most prevalent national stop, Khao Yai.

A whopping 70% of its 2168 km² are lavish timberland!

All the more astonishingly, however, the recreation center brags around 44 waterfalls, one of a kind natural life perception towers, surging rapids, and remarkable perspectives and climbing trails.

This makes Khao Yai a tremendous UNESCO World Heritage Site – ideal for nature sweethearts who wish to be wrapped by the thick wilderness shelter.

Thailand-attractions-Phanom-Rung Explore fascinating Khmer and Mon ruins

The antiquated Khmer and Mon ruins found in this district are a delightful complexity of customary Thai style.

I profoundly prescribe a visit to the accompanying notable destinations:

Wat Pah Nanachat for a bona fide contemplation withdraw in a woods religious community

Phu Phra Bat Park: grottoes, antiquated spray painting, and other intriguing rock carvings

Phanom Rung and Muang Tam: Hindu complex, apparently Thailand’s best-safeguarded Khmer ruins.