North Shore Oahu Hawaii

  

Ehukai Beach

Famous for its gigantic waves, the North Shore - the north-facing coastal area of O'ahu between Ka'ena Point and Kahuku Point - is a mecca for surfers from far and wide. This area is home to the settlement of Hale'iwa. Thanks to the waves originating in the stormy North Pacific, winter is the busiest season in the area, which welcomes surfers from all over the globe who flock to famous surfing spots such as Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.

No surfing spot on the North Shore, however, is as popular as Ehukai Beach, famously known as the Banzai Pipeline. Its proximity to the beach make it ideal for competitions, allowing spectators, judges, and photographers to get a superb view of the action. Every December Ehukai Beach hosts three competitions - Reef Hawaiian Pro, O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, and Billabong Pipeline Masters - which constitute the Triple Crown of Surfing. Meanwhile, the neighbouring island of Maui hosts three women's competitions, which are the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the Roxy Pro Sunset, and the Billabong Pro.
There's a good chance you've already seen the North Shore on a documentary or filming. Given its landscape, swells and proximity to Honolulu, this area is a popular area for filming. For instance, the documentary film Bustin' Down the Door (2008) reports on the rise of professional surfing in the early 1970s. There's also a TV show named after the area. Much of the famous TV series Lost was filmed on the North Shore. The North Shore was also the setting for famous films such as Blue Crush and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as well as being fictionalized for the animated film Surf's Up.
The North Shore is home to many professional surfers and celebrities. Some of the professional surfers who live in the area are Rochelle Ballard, John John Florence, Bruce Irons, Jamie O'Brien, Frederick Patacchia and Makua Rothman. Some of the celebrities who call the North Shore home are Brian Grazer - Oscar-winning film and television producer -, Jack Johnson - folk rock singer-songwriter -, Clark Little - photographer-, Konny Reimann - German reality TV star - and American travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux.
With a prolific career that includes 20 novels and 10 travel books, Paul Theroux chose Honolulu as the setting of his new novel, “Hotel Honolulu.” The writer, with 40 years of experience, discussed his new novel with CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent Jerry Bowen. Theroux disclosed that his novel features erosion and litter. “There are very, very creative murders here. There's weird goings on in hotels by public figures. Not the stuff of the Hawaii tourist board. But they happen and they're more interesting to me than hula girls. There are very few hula dances in this novel.”
Theroux also alludes to himself on the novel. “I find it very, very hard to write anything without being self-referential,” he said. “In the past 10 or 11 years, I've had a very big transition in my life. I started off in the states. I travelled around the world. I lived in various countries. I remarried and I have, you know, different life. To understand it, I find I had to write about myself inevitable a lot.”
This Hotel Honolulu makes reference to a fictional place which takes after the kind of hotel Theroux likes to stay in during his travels, which is a place that sees characters passing through and it's a place with character itself.
The author continues to feel curious about the world. “The travel experience is always different, according to… who's running the show. Some countries are not ready for prime time. In general, those are the places I'm interested in.”
After being a frequent visitor to the Hawaiian islands, Theroux moved there 11 years go. He lives on a six-acre compound on Oahu's north shore, which is a tropical retreat where he grows herbs to cook, and even keeps bees for honey.
He also works on a special desk: “This is where all the action takes place, or rather, inaction,” he explains. “This desk was made in Singapore, at a time when I found it very hard to write in 1969. I had sort of writer's block, I guess. So I said, ‘If I had the right desk, I can do it.'”

 

Ruaha National Park Tanzania

  

Ruaha National Park Tanzania

 

Stretching 20,226 square kilometres, Ruaha National Park is the largest park in Tanzania and East Africa. Partially named after the Great Ruaha River, which frames its southeastern border, the park is accessible by car on a dirt road from Iringa.

Despite its stunning wild landscape and incompletion-class wildlife, Ruaha National Park gets fewer visitors the Selous and other parks in the Northern circuit due to its relative inaccessibility. Visitors to the park, however, are rewarded with superb safaris that boast massive elephants, buffalo herds and a mix of southern and Eastern African wildlife, not to mention a prime view of heart-racing predators. Although there are no boat tours like in the Selous, Ruaha safaris feature amongst the best in the country, boasting incomparable wildlife and virgin natural environments. To top it all up, safaris here are also great value for money.
Although the park is home to exciting general predator concentrations, the lion viewing around the Mwagusi is one you shouldn't miss out on. In fact, this park houses approximately one-tenth of the world's endangered African lions, which have decreased by 90 percent over the last century. That is why it is important to foster sustainable tourism in the park, as it supports wildlife preservation on only within the confines of Arusha but also around the park.
The park is also home to East African cheetah, African leopard and wild dog. You can also find other animals such as hyena, giraffe, hippopotamus, African buffalo and sable antelope. The park has also hosted over 561 species of birds, including the resident species named hornbills. The park is also visited by a large number of migratory birds.
The park was first named the Saba Game Reserve in 1940 by Germany. Then its name was changed to the Rungwa Game Reserve by British colonial authorities in 1946. It wasn't until 1964 that the southern portion of the reserve was excised and then elevated to full park status.
Although the main touristic activity in the park is going on a safari, due to the high number of elephants, some safaris have chosen not to operate walking safaris, but only during daytime. Those that offer safaris, such as Kwihala, Jongomero and Kigelia, offer top-class safaris. If you fancy an exciting night under the stars, your best bet is Jongomero, which is the only camp to offer fly camping trips.
The best time to visit Ruaha is during the dry season, as it's easier to spot the game as they gather around water areas. The advantage of visiting the park off-season is that it's less busy and you'll still be able to spot wildlife in their common concentration spots. If you want to get a prime view of birds, your best bet is to visit the park from December through to March.
Although there's only one lodge inside the park - the Ruaha River Lodge -, there is a large range of accommodation in or near the park, from tented camps to park-operated public and special campsites, hostels, self-catering bands and cottages. If you are looking the royal treatment, opt for Jongomero, which is tucked away in the far south of the park. Then there is also Ikuka, that vien its location near the Mwagusi river, it offers superb game viewing. Prices vary depending on where you stay, ranging from $400 all the way up to $1,500 per person per night.

 

Tierra del Fuego

  

Tierra del Fuego

Located off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, Tierra del Fuego “Land of Fire” is an archipelago which consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, and a group of many islands, including Cape Horn and Diego Ramirez Islands. The archipelago is divided between Chile and Argentina. Its landscape boasts scoured plains and forests to snowy ranges above the Beagle Channel. Travellers usually descend in droves to fly fish, hike and begin Antarctic cruises.

If you live in the UK, you might want to book your tour with Llama Travel, which pairs high quality holidays with the lowest prices possible. It has been recognized as one of the UK's leading operators of holidays to Latin America.
The tour operator claims on its website that “Llama Travel was set up by Luca Newbold, who lived in Peru for 4 years and travelled around much of Latin America. When he returned to the UK, he left with the belief that everyone should experience this amazing region at least once in their lifetime. So, along with the former managing director of Thomson Holidays, he set up Llama Travel with the aim of making holidays to Latin America more affordable. We only offer holidays to Latin America so we can focus on ensuring we are able to offer the best possible holidays to these countries.”
They describe visiting the island of Tierra del Fuego as travelling to the end of the world. “Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, is located on the Beagle Channel, with jagged peaks, glaciers and forest rising up behind the city. The city was founded in 1884 by an English missionary, and the English influence is still visible.”
The tour operator offers different packages. The first package includes the best of Argentina and Chile plus Tierra del Fuego. The holiday highlights include visiting Santiago, Chile's modern capital, which is beautifully framed by mountains. It also includes a “hike through the soaring peaks and sweeping valleys of Torres del Paine,” also dancing tango in Argentina's glitzy capital, Buenos Aires. During the trip, you also get the opportunity to marvel at the Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, and lastly, it allows you to traverse Tierra del Fuego.
Another package is named Best of Chile & Argentina + Tierra del Fuego + Cape Horn Cruise. Holiday highlights include a cruise from Argentina to Chile via Cape Horn, a visit to Santiago, and tango dancing in Buenos Aires, a hike through the soaring peaks and sweeping valleys of Torres del Paine, a visit to the Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, and exploring Tierra del Fuego.
The last package is titled the best of Argentina & Chile + Tierra del Fuego + Iguazu Falls. It includes visiting Santiago, hiking through Torres del Paine, tango dancing in Buenos aires, visiting the Perito Moreno glacier, traversing Tierra del Fuego, and feeling the spray from the thundering torrents of the jungle clad Iguazu Falls.

 

Best outdoor activities in Cambodia

  

Best outdoor activities in Cambodia
Cambodia is a country of contrasts where the ancient world meets modernity. As a successor state to the Khmer empire, which ruled much of what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam during the Angkorian period, Cambodia inherited grandiose temples, like the magnificent monuments of Angkor, which are unparalleled in Southeast Asia. Angkor Wat stands as one of the most exquisite sites in the world, accentuating Khmer genius.
But Cambodia's appeal goes beyond its temples. There's a sublime mystique to the Southeast Asian country's urban areas. While capital Phnom Penh boasts a dazzling riverside setting, top-class dining, and cultural scene, Siem Reap is renown for its cosmopolitan cafes and colourful nightlife.
When you've experienced the urban delights, it's time to explore all that Cambodia's countryside has to offer, among rice paddies and sugar palms. While the South Coast boasts tropical islands, inland you'll come across the Cardamom Mountains, which constitutes part of a massive tropical wilderness. Northeast lie wild mountainous seas where you'll find some of Cambodia's ethnic minorities and a rich wildlife.
Although Cambodia is booming with top-class outdoor activities, here are some you wouldn't want to miss out on:
Elephant Valley Project
A pioneering project in Mondulkiri, this is a 1600-hectare sanctuary that welcomes overworked or injured elephants in the area. Given its popularity, you need to book ahead for either a half or a whole day.
The project encourages mahouts to bring their elephants by paying them a competitive working wage. Then the elephants are retired to the forest or ecotourism. Mahouts are allowed to continue working with their elephants, feeding and looking after them, while the elephants can spend their days scouring the forest for food or playing by river, spraying mud on one another. You won't be able to ride an elephant here, but instead you'll be able to observe them in their natural habitat.
Virachey National Park
Stretching for 3325 sq km east to Vietnam, north to Laos and west to Stung Treng Province, this park is one of the largest protected areas in Cambodia. With a program aimed at involving and benefitting local minority communities, Virachey boasts one of the best ecotourism schemes in Cambodia, with a focus on small-scale culture, nature and adventure trekking.
Thanks to this thoroughly organised programme, all treks into the park must be arranged through the Virachey National Park Eco-Tourism Information Centre in Ban Lung. There is a large range of treks to choose from, varying from one to eight days, and they are offered in English. The most popular of them all consists of an eight-day, seven-night Phnom Veal Thom Wilderness Trek, which is priced at US$236-413 depending on the number of trekkers. The package includes transport by motorcycle cab ride to the trailhead, park admission, food, guides, porters, hammocks and boat transport.
Phnom Chhnork: Cave in Kampot (photo)
Located a short walk from Wat Ang Sdok, you'll come across Phnom Chhnork, a Hindu cave temple in Kampot Province, southern Cambodia. From the bottom of Phnom Chhnork, you climb up a 203-step staircase that leads you up to the hillside and down into a cavern magnificently shaped like a Gothic cathedral. The ephemeral appearance of the cavern is not limited to its exterior but it continues on the inside with a stalactite elephant, and a second elephant outlined on the flat cliff face to the right.
The main chamber houses a 7th-century brick structure dedicated to Shiva. Despite being created in the olden days during the Funan era, the temple is still in great condition.

 

Zion National Park USA

  

Zion National Park USA

It's not only in metropolis that you can find a subway, but they all pale in comparison to the tube-like a section of the Left Fork Creek canyon that snakes through Utah's Zion National Park, one of America's most dazzling national park. There's no shortage of things to do in this park, which spans 59,900 hectares, from enjoying the scenery while hiking a famous trail, and then there's Angel's Landing, a 1,488-foot tall rock formation in the southwestern Utah park, known as one of the scariest trails in the USA. After overcoming your fear of heights, you'll be rewarded with one of the most stunning viewpoints in the park. Another hike named The Narrows goes from the Temple of Sinawava into the Virgin River and through a gorge with thousand-foot-tall walls.

This famous slot canyon is so popular, you have to enter a lottery months in advance and hope to win a permit. Permits for hiking this route are given out on a lottery basis, but to increase your odds of winning it, apply through nps.gov at least three months in advance. But, if you're looking for something a little less intense than Angel's Landing, a little less crowded than The Narrows, and easier to access than The Subway, then there's always Zion's Kanarra Creek Trail.
With its mist, its underground lakes, its immensity, a hike through The Subway - underground slot canyon - will make you feel like you fell down the rabbit hole. Its mystique, ephemeral appearance is what has made The Subway the most popular hiking spot in the park, so you ned to request a permit months in advance. Despite being popular, it's not easily accessible. The easiest route is a 14-km round-trip hike starting at the Left Fork Trailhead. From here, you'll splash upstream the creek, and then you'll continue to delve deep into the rocky red landscape.
Once you start seeing the canyon is closing in, you'll get to clamber up shelf-like waterfalls and pink boulders. You'll have to continue until you reach a heavenly waterslide. The easiest time to hike this route is in August and September as the water levels are low then.
You can book your tour with America As You Like (americaasyoulikeit.com), which offers a whole package which includes flights, car hire and nights in the Zion National Park area They can also arrange the hiking permit for you.
What this tour operator offers are escorted tours, as they state on their website: “As well as our amazing fly drives, we also offer small and large group tours all over the US & Canada that take the hassle out of holidaying. These tours have been handpicked by us and include the services of a professional tour leader, transportation and some excursions and meals.”
They also give you the option to stay in the US & Canada a bit longer, so you can extend your holiday with a fly drive, wildlife and wilderness adventure or a city or beach break.”
One of the escorted tours they offer is the National Parks Walk, which is for 10 nights and in costs £2099 per person. The price includes flights, transportation in customised vehicle, all 10 hotel/lodging nights on a twin share basis, guided hikes in Zion National Park, guided hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park, hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Monument Valley half day hiking and backroads tour led by Navajo guides, Dead Horse Point State Park, Cruise the Las Vegas Strip, a Visit to the Goblin Valley State Park, a hiki to the remote Havasupai Reservation for incredible waterfalls and trails, half day hiking the Grand Canyon National Park rim trails.

 

Aomori Nebuta Festival

  

Aomori Nebuta Festival

Just a train ride from Tokyo lies the city of Aomori, which comes to life every year with an explosion of giant illuminated floats. This spectacular display of lanterns takes place during the Aomori Nebuta Festival. In Japanese, the word “Nebuta” means lantern, which doesn't measure up to the grandeur of the illuminated paper floats. The Aomori Nebuta Festival has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Japan in 1980.

Up to five metres tall and painted with scenes of battling shogun warriors, this massive illuminated paper floats are the epicentre of this festival, which is held every year in August. More than 3 million visitors from all over the country and abroad flock to this Japanese fire festival to witness the massive nebutas - lantern floats based - parade through the city of Aomori. On the night of the 7th, the nebutas are placed in boats as they float around the Aomori Bay with the backdrop of fireworks lighting up the night sky as the great finale to the festival.
The festival's popularity amongst locals and tourists alike is considerable. Most of Aomori locals as well as some tourists get kitted out in haneto kimonos and neon-bright hats. Dressed in their costumes, revellers are part of the festival's spectacle as they dance along the procession route. Even the jingling bells hanging from the costumes are designed to lure onlookers into the fold. Watch out for the bells that fall on the ground; if you find one, pick it up. They are said to bring you good luck. If you want to join in the fun, you can either hire or a haneto costume or even buy one from most local supermarkets and department stores.
Although the origin of the festival remains unknown, it is thought to have originated from the Tanabata festival from China. Accordingly, it is believed that the Tanabata Festival and the cultural traditions of Tsugary region blended together, which prompted people to make lanterns with paper, bamboo, and candle, which, with the passage of time, changed its shape and size to the current nebuta.
Historically, the nebutas were made by the people of different towns and were passed on through generations. Today, it is more common for nebutas to be made by businesses and organisations. The origin of the denomination as a fire festival comes from the times when the lanterns were lit with candles.
The festival takes place in the central part of Aomori-shi, from the 2nd of August until the 7th every year. The first of August, however, is also a time of celebration with the Asamushi Onsen Fireworks Festival. From the 2nd to the 3rd, there is the Parade of Large Nebutas. On the 7th, you can witness the Aomori Nebuta Ocean Parade, Aomori Fireworks Festival.
While you are in Aomori, you might want to visit the Nebuta Museum Wa Rasse, Sannai-Maruyama Ruins, Hakkoda Ropeway, Aomori Gyosai Centre, Aomori Museum of art, and the A-Factory. Some of the points of interest include Aomori Shummi Kan, Aomori Keirin, Snow Corridor, Showa Daibutsu, Aomori Bay Bridge, Fresh Market, and Hakkoda Ikoi no Bokujo.

 

The ancient walled city of Harar Ethiopia

  

The ancient walled city of Harar Ethiopia

Known as Africa's Mecca, Harar is home to 82 mosques, and some of them date back to the 10th century, and 102 shrines, with the interior design of the townhouses reflecting the splendour of city's heritage. According to locals, the area's inhabitants accepted Islam eight years prior to people in the holy Muslim city of Medina in the Arabian peninsula. Although this vision is not shared by the rest of the Muslim world, some Ethiopians consider the city to be Islam's fourth holiest city after Mecca, Jerusalem and Medina. Accordingly, followers of the Prophet Muhammad fled the persecution in Mecca around AD and found refuge in the Kingdom of Axum, a territory that today comprises Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Upon its alleged foundation by Arabian immigrants around the 10th century, Harar became a crossroads for trade and culture thanks to its convenient location between the Ethiopian highlands to the west and the shores of the Gulf of Aden to the east. The evolution of the city continued until it became a center of Islamic scholarship and culture to the point that eventually it was considered a sort of capital city of Islamic northeast Africa.
The city's fortified walls date back to the 16th century when Emir Nur ibn al-wazir Mujahid became Harar's ruler and then fortified the city against the threats of Christian forces from Ethiopia, increasing migration of the Oromo people.
Harar is also a city of contrasts. Although it is famously named as the “City of Saints”, it also boasts the country's best beer, strongest khat - a narcotic plant - and highest quality coffee, catering to every kind of traveller. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2006, Harar boasts unique and exceptional architecture that perfectly reflects its inhabitants' traditions, where the African and Islamic cultures meet. Unesco praised the city as a “rare example of a relatively well-preserved historic town that has retained its traditions, urban fabric, and rich Harari Muslim cultural heritage to the present time.”
Today, Harar stands as a beacon of culture and conservation within the African continent. The confluence of the African and Islamic cultures is reflected on the town's urban layout, which is a maze of alleyways, and characteristic and yet buildings.
According to Unesco's official website, “The historic town of Harar Jugol exhibits an important interchange of values of original Islamic culture, expressed in the social and cultural development of the city enclosed within the otherwise Christian region. Such influences have been merged with traditions that relate to the inland of Africa and particularly to southern Ethiopia, giving a particular characteristic form to its architecture and urban plan.”
“Harar Jugol bears exceptional testimony to cultural traditions related to Islamic and African roots. It is considered ‘the fourth holy city' of Islam, having been developed by a holy missionary from the Arabic Peninsula. Though a trading place and thus a melting pot of various influences, Harar has been in relative isolation in its region, contributing to a cultural specificity, expressed in its characteristic community structure and traditions, which are still alive.”
Another criterion was as follows: “Harar Jugol is an outstanding example of a type of architectural and urban ensemble which illustrates the impact of African and Islamic traditions on the development of specific building types. The building types and the entire urban layout reflect these traditions, which give a particular character and even uniqueness to Harar Jugol.”
And the last criterion is: “Harar Jugol with its surrounding landscape is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, representative of cultural interaction with the environment. The social and spatial structure (afocha) and the language of the people all reflect a particular and even unique relationship that there developed with the environment. The cultural and physical relationships with the territory have survived till today, but they are also vulnerable to irreversible change under the impact of the modern globalizing world.”
Another distinctive trait of the city's heritage is the daily hyena feeding spectacle.Hyenas are beloved night visitors in Harar, where they are even fed by “hyena men.” The welcoming gesture towards hyenas is such that the city's fortified walls, which were built between the 13th and 16th centuries, even have small holes in them to facilitate hyenas' passage into the city.

 

Jordan one of the top destinations to visit

  

Jordan one of the top destinations to visit

Named one of the top 9 destinations to visit in 2018 by National Geographic, Jordan that should be on your list. Boasting nature reserves, ancient art, and rich theological heritage (housing important Islamic, biblical, and Jewish sites), Jordan offers a large range of unique experiences for adventure seekers, from the 400 mile country-length thru-trek named The Jordan Trail to the carved city of Petra, the out-of-this-world scenery of the Wadi Rum Desert and the unforgettable experience of meeting the Bedouin tribe of desert nomads.

National Geographic emphasized the Jordan Trail, which is a newly marked historic route, which links ancient trade routes. As described by National Geographic: “Divided into eight separate sections, the trail leads through Jordanian forests, canyons, deserts, and along the shores of the Red Sea. Overnight in guesthouses, home stays, and Bedouin campsites.” They also highlight one fun fact, which should spark the interest of Christians: “it's believed that Jesus, Moses, and Mohammed all walked this path.”
Stretching 650 km in length, The Jordan Trail commences in the forested north in Umm Qais, then you wander down across the desert past the city of Petra, and you end the trek at the shores of the Dead Sea.
Other interesting facts about Jordan that you might find interesting is that the Near East country is home to 7 nature reserves, which are managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Another interesting fact is that Mujib Nature Reserve on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea is the lowest nature reserve in the world.
Did you know that the Dead Sea is 9.6 times saltier than an ocean? That is why you can float easily there. The adventure continues under the surface as you scuba dive in the Red Sea to explore the 25 km long reef, which houses 130 species of Coral and 160 species of fish. It is also considered polite in Jordan to refuse a meal three times before accepting it.
Jordan is also home to an ancient trade route - the King's Highway, which runs through the country and it has been in use since the 1st century. In the early ages, it served an important function of connecting Africa with Mesopotamia. The country, however, is buzzing with historic relics like this, including the city of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, which was carved in the 5th and 6th AD. The site houses over 800 tombs which are carved here, but the most popular tombs to visit are Petra Treasury and Petra Sanctuary.
One of the best tour operators to explore this beautiful country is Wildland Adventures. Some of the packages they offer consists of 11 days and it allows you to explore Jordan from modern Amman to historic Petra and the Biblical waters of the Dead Sea. As they explain on their website: “Following the ancient ‘Kings Highway' in the footsteps of Ramses II, the Queen of Sheba, Marcus Anthonius and Cleopatra, the Prophet Mohammed, Jesus, and Lawrence of Arabia, our Jordan adventure traverses the spectrum of time in a land of spectacular natural beauty and cultural heritage. We visit the nature reserves of Dana and Wadi Rum, Jerash, Madaba, and float like a cork in the Dead Sea. The centerpiece of all Jordan, Petra, is yours to explore with our expert guide and independently. Wander the deep-red sands of Wadi Rum where we take a 4WD excursion into surreal desert landscape with a local Bedouin driver. This is an active adventure for those travelers who wish to get off the beaten track and truly explore the authentic Jordan.”

 

The Lost World of Canaima National Park

  

The Lost World of Canaima National Park

“Where is Canaima National Park” you ask? You might not have heard of this Venezuelan location before, but there's a good chance that you have seen it before in an animation film called Up. While Paradise Falls - where the main characters land - is a fictional lost world, it is modelled after real locations in South America, particularly this Venezuelan park which houses peculiar and massive flat mesas called tepui “house of the gods” in the language of the local Pemon, towering waterfalls and immense hanger-like caves.

Up director Pete Docter and a group of artists drew inspiration from the documentary The Living Edens: The Lost World Tepuis, which prompted them to visit the tepuis in person and collect a large array of documentation, from sketches, photographs, and a video that would later serve as a reference point for art and technical directors to create their own “Lost World.” These tepuis constitute a unique biogeological entity and are of great geological interest.
The famous mesas depicted in Up are all that remains of a vast block of sandstone, which was shaped 1.8 billion years ago, when the continental basement rock - known as the Amazon Craton - was flooded by lakes and seas. The bedrocks of the Amazon Craton are known as the Guiana Shield when they are exposed, and they are over 2 billion years old, which means this is the oldest rock in South America, and features among some of the oldest rocks in the world.
Spanning over 3 million ha in south-eastern Venezuela, out of which 65% is covered by table mountain (tepui) formations, Canaima National Park. Along with the tepuis, the cliffs and waterfalls create a ephemeral landscape.
The park is also home to the world's highest fall is named Salto Angel or Angel Falls which spill into the Cañon del Diablo, Devil's Canyon. At 979 m, Salto Angel is the highest waterfall in the world, and are named after an American pilot, Jimmy Angel, who went to South America in search of gold, but found the falls instead.
Although the park is dotted with spectacular scenery and natural wonders, it was the tepuis what led the park to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. One of the most remarkable tepuis is known as Monte Roraima, which is might be the tallest mount yet it's the easiest to climb, attracting trekkers from far and wide. Auyantepui, however, remains the most visited tepui. Angel Falls drops from a cleft near the summit of this massive sandstone table mountain. The drop is nineteen times higher than that of Niagara Falls.
The top things to do and visit when you are in the park are listed below:
Considered one of the most mesmerising natural wonders, visiting the Angels Falls is an unmissable experience. You need to organise your visit beforehand as this UNESCO World Heritage Site is only accessible by air. Book your trip with either Rutaca or Avior airlines, and fly over dense swatches of deep jungle, much of which remains in its virgin state, as well as ancient mountains and dazzling rivers.
Located in the eastern part of Venezuela, la Gran Sabana comprises a large expanse of plateau dominated by open savannas that emphasize the numeros tepuis in the area. Climbing up Mount Roraima is one of the most popular activities in the park, from where you will get priceless views over the whole park.
Sapo Falls are another favourite amongst visitors. After canoeing across Canaima Lagoon and a 20-minute hike, you reach these dazzling Sapo Falls. The most popular activity in this site is walking behind the falls. You can also head to the top for unforgettable views.

 

Travels with My Father

  

Travels with My Father

Presented by British comic Jack Whitehall and his father, Michael Whitehall, Travels with my Father is a travel documentary/road trip comedy television series that debuted on Netflix. The young comedian invites his cranky, old-fashioned and stuffy father to travel with him with the aim of strengthening their bond.

The show chronicles the father's and son's trip to Southeast Asia, following a classic “gap year route.” Their itinerary embarks them on an hilarious adventure in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The series was released on Netflix on 22 September 2017. Given its success, the series has been renewed for a second series, but instead of Southeast Asia, this time the pair visit Eastern Europe.
Although Jack Whitehall is the actual comedian and the story is told from his point of view, it's his father with his cranky humour the one who steals the show. When Jack and Michael visit a temple where they focus on teaching, Jack says he has been a professor before, and is abruptly corrected by his father.
Jack: “In England, I taught for four years in a school called Abbey Grove, so I've had some teaching experience.” Michael: “He wasn't a teacher at all. He was in a sitcom, playing a teacher… And not a very good one either.”
Also, when Jack volunteered to take part in an elephant tournament competition, his father made an embarrassing remark. Luckily, Jack thought it was funny.When the curator said “the ropes lengthen during play and you'll be sitting on your crown jewels and it will be very uncomfortable,” Jack's father said, “Jack has not got very much down there, so I don't think that will be much of a problem… That went to his brother, unfortunately.”
But Michael started showing his hilarious peculiar personality even before the filming started . Jack: “He's even weird with the producers. He got this email, before we started filming, from one of the Netflix producers saying ‘would you like a stylist for the show?' Simple yes or no answer would have been fine… He sent back the weirdest email ever. It said ‘Dear Madam, I do not require a stylist. I am 77 years old. In that time I have acquired a style of my own.”
In Vietnam, they went down in History with the most hilarious dialogue a confessional has seen.
Jack: “You know that you have bottles of vodka on your cabinet that you collect? You never open them as the're there…” Michael: “They're there for decorative purposes.” Jack: “One of them is water now. Maybe more than one is water now. Me and Barnaby, on several occasions, decanted the vodka out of your bottles and replaced this with water, because we know you wouldn't drink it.” Michael: “You are such a little shi*.”
It wasn't just fun and games during their gap year trip. Michael was having a hard time adapting to the backpacker's culture at first. “I have rented this room at enormous expense, for the sole purpose of having a quiet, peaceful poo.”
Jack Whitehall is a promising stand-up comedian who also created a TV show called Bad Education. He also performed in Fresh Meat. He is known for being posh. Some of his funniest includes are below:
“I've never laughed a woman into bed, but I've laughed one out of bed many times.”
“Where does the iPhone get its vocabulary? I wish it would stop jumping to conclusions, nobody f-ing talks like that. It doesn't matter what you put into the bloody thing, you're like ‘a...n'. ‘Did you mean androgynous?' No, I meant ‘and'.”
“I used to watch this (Royal Variety Performance) every year with my family - it was a tradition. And now I'm on the stage doing it. If my dad could see me… I'm sure wherever my father is, he would be looking down on us. He's not dead… just very condescending.”
“I came here for comedy”, a heckler shouted during a gig at Warrington University, to which Whitehall replied : “No mate, you came here because you screwed up your A-levels.”
“I did a bit of charity work once on my gap year. I went and did a bit of volunteer work in a special needs school for children. Just playing games with them, football, tennis. And it does genuinely make you feel really good inside… because you always win.”

 

  
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