Monthly Archives: February 2012

Ski Himalaya with Kashmir Powedercats

I have been so out of touch in last 10 days. It’s been bumper to bumper non stop trip and tomorrow I head off to Srinigar, Kashmir. Then on to Gulmarg for a week of exploration skiing/snowboarding. Cannot wait!

Have great faith in the team from Australia, Ski Himalaya, who I booked the tour with and our local hosts, Kashmir Powdercats.

Here is an idea of a rough itinerary, but don’t worry, I will make sure to post a blog for each day of this great adventure!

Hope it looks like this!!

SKI HIMALAYA

Kashmir Powdercats = Local Road Transport + Mountain Guiding Services

Whatever the weather rest assured – riding with the Kashmir Powdercats means you’ll make the most of the incredible snow riding on offer during your short stay in Gulmarg. When you sign on with Kashmir Powdercats, you enjoy the benefits of our local mountain knowledge plus protection against disappointment if a Himalayan snowstorm closes the upper gondola for part of your visit. If this happens you have private transport to and from the all-weather terrain below Gulmarg. This area has a huge number of descents through widely-spaced trees which are perfect for riding in bad weather.

Who knows what the weather will be like during your stay in Gulmarg. The following is a fictional week to show you how our full-time Mountain Companion Programme adapts to give you the best possible riding experience no-matter what weather you hit – sun, snow or blizzard.

Sunday: Met at Srinagar Airport and transfer to Gulmarg. Evening welcome from Kashmir Powdercats. Distribution of avalanche beacons.

Monday – Clear weather: Morning practice session with avalanche beacons. Warm up runs and orientation on lower gondola. Later, ascend gondola and see views from the top of Mt Apharwat. Option to ski/board down, or to ride the gondola back down to Gulmarg. At lunch or at the end of the day your Mountain Host makes sure you know the best way down from the mountain to your hotel – to make sure you enjoy the full benefits of your hotel’s ski-in ski-out location.

Tuesday – Snowing: Stage Two of gondola is closed. Our transport meets you at your hotel door and shuttles you to the top of the forested runs to Tangmarg. Repeated descents – over three kilometers in length – in this enchanting area. Advanced groups progress to steeper forested runs to Baba Reshi. Our road transport is co- ordinated by two-way radio and mobile phone so we can minimise, or eliminate, any waiting time before returning you to Gulmarg for your next run.

Wednesday – Snowing Again: Stage Two of gondola closed again. Repeat Tuesday! Expert groups might also ride from gondola mid-station, past Monkey Hill, to the valley floor. Later in the day our ‘cruiser’ group elects to return with their Mountain Host to the forested runs under Stage One of the gondola and our nearby hotels.

Thursday – Clear Weather: Opening of Stage Two of the gondola is delayed until after lunch while the ski patrol monitors avalanche risks and undertakes safety steps. Some guests opt for early descents through the forested slopes to the Baba Reshi shrine, where the views take on a new beauty in the clearer weather. Others are happy to spend the first part of the day scouting the runs under Stage One of the gondola with their Mountain Host. After lunch at our nearby hotels, the afternoon is spent riding the gondola to the top station at 3980 metres and plundering the safer aspects of Mt Apharwat’s Stage Two slopes.

Friday – Sunshine again: Most guests will wish to head for the gondola! Some guests may wish to participate in the ‘north-western’ descents which involve the walk to Mt Apharwat’s summit. This may include direct descents to points further along the golf course, from where our vehicles return you to the gondola base. Full ‘south-eastern’ descents from Mt Apharwat to the Tangmarg Valley floor are long and serious challenges, and by necessity are restricted to guests with the requisite skill, fitness and aptitude.

Saturday – Snowing lightly: Visibility is average, with snow expected to increase over the next three days. Some of our guests participate in further exploration of the Stage Two descents closer to the gondola. Some guests participate in a group which cruises the sheltered slopes under Stage One of the gondola, staying conveniently close to our hotels. Other guests participate in groups preferring the better visibility combined with steeper terrain of forested descents to the Baba Reshi Road.

ABN 72 121 767 879

6/1 Morton Street, Wollstonecraft NSW 2065, Australia Phone: Int’l dial +612 9922 2557 Email: peter@skihimalaya.com

Image from indiatravelpal.com


Khewra Mines : Second Largest Salt Mine in the World

Khewra Salt Mine located in Khewra, Jehlum Punjab, Pakistan is the second largest Salt Mine in the world and is considered to be the oldest in the subcontinent. It was said that discovery of Salt mines were not done by Alexander or his army but by their horses as they started licking the stones when they stopped here for rest. Thousand of visitors each year visit Khewra Salt mines and get fascinated by the nature’s miracle in the heart of mountains.

 

Khewra Salt Mine: Second Largest Salt Mine in the World

 

By

Muhammad Bilal Umer.

Civil Engineer

University of Technology Sydney Australia.

+61425711119 (Aus)

+923334904604 (Pak)

Bilalumer_1@yahoo.com


Haleji Lake : Asia’s largest Bird Sanctuary


Pakistan is a land of serene beauty , a country with diverse wild life , fresh water lakes, a 1046 km coast lines. Some of the most unique species of birds are found in northern Pakistan with awe-inspiring natural wonders like Lake Saiful Maluk, Lake Shandur , Dudipatsar Lake , kutwal lake, Zalzal lake and many more. But Haleji has it’s own significance as it is Asia ’s largest waterfowl reserve. During winter thousands of birds of different species fly down to Haleji from Siberian colder areas

Pakistan: The heavenly Shandur Lake
By

Muhammad Bilal Umer.

Civil Engineer

University of Technology Sydney Australia.

+61425711119 (Aus)

+923334904604 (Pak)

Bilalumer_1@yahoo.com


Australia’s Biggest Bollywood Bash

We all know how much I love India. I’m currently in Madurai visiting with Red Hands Org partner, microfinancing company, Madura Micro-financing Ltd. This event, Australia’s Biggest Bollywood Bash, will benefit the wonderful work done here in Madurai, India.

Buy your tickets now!

You’re invited to a live charity event…

Experience the Glitz and Glamour of a Bollywood Night…And Help a Great Cause

Dear Friend,

Imagine a night on the town filled with movie songs, an auction, fun filled raffles dancers and prizes.  You will enjoy the colourful Bollywood dancers, heart thumping music, mystical Tarot readers and plenty more…For one night in February, experience all this and more at Australia’s Biggest Bollywood Bash. Add to this a 3 course sit down delectable Indian dinner with plenty of wine!

We’re rolling out the red carpet…and you and your guests are invited to attend.  Dress to impress as there will be plenty of glitter and Bollywood glamour!

All proceeds go to help RedHands (www.red-hands.orgwhose mission is to empower women living in poverty in developing countries.

__________________________________________

Tickets will go fast…

Call 0425 235 307 now or book immediately by scrolling down the page to click the “Click Here to Book Now” button, and we’ll have yours waiting at the door for you when you arrive!

_____________________________________________

Australia’s Biggest Bollywood Bash is happening Friday, February 24. 2012…just two days before Oscar night…making this the perfect event to get into the Academy Awards spirit.

A small number of tables of ten are also available.  We recommend calling now if you’re thinking of reserving one.

To top it all of we’ll have live music, prizes throughout the night, a henna tattoo artist and a charity auction (we’ve got some great items for the auction this year.)

For more information, or to reserve those tickets to this very special night, call us now at 0425 235 307.

See you at the event!

Maria & The Team at RedHands

P.S. Come kick off the Oscar season in style (and help a great cause to boot).  We promise you a night to remember.  Hope to see you there.

When: 24th February 2012

Time: 7pm onwards (AEST)
Venue: Level 28, NAB House, 255 George Street, Sydney
Price: $90 per person or $800 for a table of 10

Join the event on Facebook  
and join us on Twitter @redhands_org

David Ross Macdonald at COB Folly (at the r2)

A wonderful event is happening in Melbourne next week at the R2. Make sure to get on down and check it out.

David Ross Macdonald
http://www.reverbnation.com/davidrossmacdonald

Tomas Fitzgerald

COB FOLLY LAUNCH EVENT

COB Folly is a new after work live music series located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

The r2 at 60 Market St is the venue and this event marks the launch of this weekly ‘after work’ original live music showcase.

$22 = Bucket of 4 beers… tasty food… free stuff cos it’s our launch and all that.

Come hang!

Tickets: FREE
18+

Full Details: http://www.reverbnation.com/show/6525584


Adventure Travel & Backpackers Expo Melbourne

Travel Enthusiasts!! If you are interested in Travel you must get to this. Global and local info.
Australia’s ONLY Adventure Travel Expo targetting adventure travellers, backpackers, students and more. Entry to the expo is FREE for visitors. The expos have been running annually since 1995 and are held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

13 February 2012
ImageThe Melbourne Adventure Travel & Backpackers Expo is on again in this weekend (18-19 February 2012...from 12noon until 6pm daily)
Entry is free….the expo to be held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton,  great exhibitors (click here for list)…great informative travel talks (click here for list) and great specials and prizes.

Great Specials and Prizes – including a Return Flight to the UK!!

FREE BBQ daily from 1pm (while stocks last).

There is no better way to go than talking to the experts before planning the trip of a lifetime. Our exhibitors come from all over the world and are there to give you the low-down on all that’s happening out there.

See the 2011 Melbourne expo video. <view here>

Hear our radio ad for the Melbourne 2011 expo! <click here>

The expo series has been running annually since 1995 and is sponsored by Hostelworld.com and Places We Go.

Check out the expo website for more details…www.MyAdventureExpo.com

 


World’s Largest Deep Sea Port : Gwader

“Gwa” means Air and “Dar” means door, and the word Gawadar means ” The door of the wind” is the world’s largest deep sea port lies in southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan. The design and construction of the port is carried out in collaboration with China and it has just started it’s operation.It’s going to emerge as a world’s biggest skyline due to it’s capacity and infrastructure of handling bulk carriers. It has been declared as a Duty Free Port and Free Economic Zone by the Pakistani government that has increased the commercial worth manifolds. It has an immense geostrategic importance as it is the entrance to the Persian Gulf and is considered to be a substitute of Dubai Port.

Gawader: World’s Largest Deep Sea Port

 

By

Muhammad Bilal Umer.

Civil Engineer

University of Technology Sydney Australia.

+61425711119 (Aus)

+923334904604 (Pak)

Bilalumer_1@yahoo.com


Karakoram Highway : Eighth Wonder of the World


Karakoram Highway runs through the northern areas connecting Pakistan with China’s Xingjiang province is often described as ” Eighth Wonder of the World” due to the marvel of civil engineering as it has taken 15 years to complete by the Pakistan Army Engineers in collaboration with China. It’s been labeled as ” World’s highest paved international Road” under world’s toughest terrain.

Pakistan: Karakoram Highway World’s highest paved international Road

 

By

Muhammad Bilal Umer.

Civil Engineer

University of Technology Sydney Australia.

+61425711119 (Aus)

+923334904604 (Pak)

Bilalumer_1@yahoo.com


Loving the Darwin Vibe

Darwin is the summer destination of 2012! We are loving the Vibe of this place, so why not stay at the Vibe and experience it for yourself!

Three Hot Deals @ Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront


 

Storm Chaser Package from $195 per night*

Spectacular light shows, courtesy of Mother Nature, come to Darwin for the Wet Season. Roll up and take your front row seat to all the drama as you watch a storm roll in from Vibe Hotel on the Waterfront. Celebrate the season with Vibe’s ‘lightning’ cocktail and keep dry with your complimentary Vibe umbrella. Once the show’s over, you’ll quickly slip back into soaking up the tropical sunshine of Darwin.

 

Package inclusions:

  • Overnight accommodation in a guest room
  • Vibe Hotel umbrella
  • Two ‘lightning’ cocktails @ curve bar
  • Breakfast for two @ curve cafe
  • 20% off food and drinks @ curve cafe
  • Late check-out @ midday

Bookings:                           

vibehotels.com.au (best online rates, guaranteed) or phone +61 8 8982 9998

 

Booking and Stay Period:         

15th September, 2011 – 30th April, 2012

                  

*One complimentary umbrella per booking. Two buffet breakfasts per package and two lighting cocktails per package. Subject to availability and excluding peak periods. Selected room types only.

Waterfront Pampering Package from $199 per night*

Close your eyes and slip away… You’re staying in a stylish hotel, sipping a glass of sparkling and relishing alfresco dining in between spa appointments. Sound like a well-deserved treat? Vibe’s pamper package will let you soak up the very best that Darwin has to offer from the hottest address in town, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront. 

 

Package inclusions:

  • Overnight accommodation in a guest room
  • $100 gift voucher for Elements Day Spa
  • A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival
  • 20% off food and drinks @ curve cafe
  • Late check-out @ midday

 

Bookings:                           

vibehotels.com.au (best online rates, guaranteed) or phone +61 8 8982 9998

 

Booking and Stay Period:         

15th September, 2011 – 30th April, 2012

 

*One $100.00 Elements Day Spa voucher per package. One bottle of sparkling wine per package. Subject to availability and excluding peak periods. Selected room types only.

 

Waterfront Weekender Package: Monsoon Edition from $220 per night*

In the Top End, weekends are for chilling out! That means winding down and syncing up with the relaxed Darwin pace. Even true city slickers will find themselves switching off their smartphones with this package from Vibe which includes great food, sleep-ins, swimming and a trip to the movies.

Package inclusions:

  • Overnight accommodation in a guest room
  • Two wave lagoon tickets
  • Two cinema tickets
  • 20% off food and drinks @ curve cafe
  • Breakfast for two @ curve cafe
  • Late check-out @ midday

 

Bookings:                           

vibehotels.com.au (best online rates, guaranteed) or phone +61 8 8982 9998

 

Booking and Stay Period:         

15th September, 2011 – 30th April, 2012

 

* Waterfront Weekender available Friday, Saturday and Sundays only. Two wave lagoon tickets per package. Two movie tickets to Birch Carol & Coyle cinema per package. Two buffet breakfasts per package. Subject to availability and excluding peak periods. Selected room types only.

***ENDS***

 

about vibe hotels

Hotels with Personality

 

Looking for a fresh alternative to traditional hotels? Vibe Hotels are your ultimate chillout destination. Cue vibe-rant colours, stylish rooms, great locations, relaxed atmospheres and fresh dining and cocktails to kick start the fun. Hotels with personality, each Vibe has been designed to match your lifestyle at great value. Vibe Hotels are part of their local environment, giving you the chance to absorb the essence of your chosen getaway destination. There are seven Vibe Hotels located across Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin.

 

about Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Holiday dreamtime is sacred to all travellers. Close your eyes and slip away… You’re staying in a stylish hotel, sipping cocktails by the hotel pool, relishing swanky alfresco dining options and swish bars and browsing stylish boutiques at a refreshingly slow pace in between spa appointments. Soak up the very best that Darwin has to offer from the hottest address in town, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront, where holiday dreams become a reality. Sleep comes easily in Vibe’s contemporary guest rooms and you’ll pinch yourself to make sure you’re not still dreaming at curve cafe + bar as you indulge in breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks overlooking the buzzing Waterfront precinct. The hotel’s local vibe featuring Indigenous artworks dotted throughout will spark tomorrow’s holiday dream – exploring the breathtaking natural wonders and fascinating culture of the Northern Territory from this convenient gateway.

 

about curve cafe + bar

Good food and good conversation go hand in hand. It’s not complicated! For vibe-rant dining, head to curve cafe + bar @ Vibe Hotels across Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin. curve’s fresh and simple menus cater to your tastes with plates and glasses brimming with the flavours of Australia. Pop in for satisfying breakfasts, cheeky late night snacks and everything in between, or treat yourself to a tipple from curve bar’s tempting selection of drinks. Bring good times to life @ curve.

vibehotels.com.au (best online rates, guaranteed)


Top Spin India

I must say I’m not the biggest fan of Spin Classes, but the one I attended in Mumbai India is very close to converting me.

High energy, great motivation, personal encouragement and mad tracks meant for an awesome work out. The trainer who runs the class learns everyones name and keeps them motivated throughout the class. He doesn’t actually do the class so instead can focus on watching the participants and encouraging them to reach their best. He also acts as a DJ in the funky room which looks more like a disco then a workout studio.

The bikes were state of the art and as most of the participants attend regularly, there were specially fitted pedals for their spinning shoes. How hard core is that!

My friend and her son do the class at least 3 times a week but usually 5, and it is directly across from their house. Which is where I stay so that makes it very convenient.

My favourite part of the class was when the personal trainer said “Madam, I cannot believe this is your first spin class.” This was directed at me. Yayy he was impressed with how I kept it up.

Not sure I will continue it on Oz, I really liked the novelty of doing it in India and how the class was run. Plus I love Indian accents and the music is awesome. But I’m heading back again next year, and pretty sure I’ll be joining in a few classes.

Topspin is the studio:

Details:

www.topspinindia.com/

Topspin India Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.
16-A, Nepean Sea Road,
Grnd. Floor, Alaknanda Building,
Near Manzoni, Opp. Katghara House,
Mumbai – 400 036. India

Call: (+91-22) 3206 6444
(+91) 99200 84440 / 93248 10988

Email: info@topspinindia.com

It’s like a disco!! You’ll have a great time.

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