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Getting Open Water Dive certified in Osa peninsula

Getting Open Water Dive certified in Osa peninsula

I arrived at the San Jose airport in Costa Rica with no real plan, something which has become a trend in my travels. Being quite underwhelmed by the scenery on my flight into San Jose, the first thing I did upon my arrival was to look for the domestic terminal –  a short walk from the international terminal. I inquired at the counter if there were any flights heading to the coast. The lady at the counter told me that…

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Hawaii’s wonders: active lava flow into the Pacific

Hawaii’s wonders: active lava flow into the Pacific

Watching an active lava flow, seeing the fire and water come together in the rawest form had always been a travel dream of mine. Naturally, when I read that the  famous episode 61g had started flowing again, and flowing into the Pacific, I had to be there. Fortunately, it had been consistent for a few days in April, 2017.  Hence, I took off to Hawai’i or the Big Island with red hot hopes. The only active ocean flow was happening…

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The lost city experience

The lost city experience

46 Kilometres in 4 days – that seems very doable exclaimed a few hikers in our group as Abraham slowly translated after Melkis had explained the hike briefly. Tall and lanky, Melkis had a very calm demeanor. Abraham, an ex-army man, was our young and suave sous-guide and translator for those without the gift of Spanish jab. We had made a rocky 2 and half hour journey from the city of Santa Marta, located at the north-western tip of Colombia, to the base-village,…

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The colourful lotus lantern festival

The colourful lotus lantern festival

I am always on the lookout for interesting festivals during my travels, and luckily my trip to Seoul coincided with the lotus lantern festival. Commemorating the birth of Buddha, it is one of Seoul’s landmark festivals, and perhaps the most colourful one too. Thousands of people take to the streets to participate in the festival.  The main attraction of the event is a 2 hour parade starting from Dongdemun gate and culminating at Jogyesa temple. A shy young girl posing…

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Traveling to Cuba with an Indian passport

Traveling to Cuba with an Indian passport

Ever since I returned from Cuba in December 2016, quite a few people have messaged me asking for details around how to travel to Cuba with an Indian passport. I hope this post will be helpful if you are planning your travel to Cuba. It’s always advisable to check the latest on visa policies, but at the time of writing this is accurate. Getting a tourist card to Cuba: Essentially, anyone can visit Cuba without having to apply for a…

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Easter Celebrations in Guatemala

Easter Celebrations in Guatemala

World’s largest Easter celebrations in a quaint colonial city – isn’t that hard to resist? The Spanish missionary bought the Easter celebrations to Guatemala in the 16th century, and Antigua continues to carry forward the Andalusian tradition of celebrating the resurrection of Christ in style. Easter in Guatemala attracts a lot of visitors annually to Antigua as well as other parts of this beautiful country. ” The quaint cobbled streets of Antigua, Guatemala” I timed my visit to Guatemala during…

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Gorilla tracking in Uganda

Gorilla tracking in Uganda

                                                        A small nation in the heart of Africa, Uganda is often called the pearl of Africa. Home to the revered Rwenzori mountains and equatorial snow, a plethora of national parks spread across the country, high-altitude volcanic lakes and sub-Alpine forests – this small country has so much to offer. My time in Uganda started around Lake Bunyoni, a beautiful lake in western Uganda, nestled between rolling hills  dotted with picturesque villages. Owing to the close proximity of Bunyoni to Bwindi…

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Autumn magic in Colorado

Autumn magic in Colorado

  Autumn colors have always caught my fancy, be in literature, songs, movies, paintings or other mediums. As a photographer, the idea of capturing the fleeting nature of the autumn colors had always been a romantic one; at the same time a challenging one to time it right. My love of mountains, the Rockies specifically, and the fall foliage took me to Colorado this year. The week long journey, starting in Denver, took me to heart of the Rockies in Rocky Mountain National…

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Sounds from New Orleans

Sounds from New Orleans

The more Jazz grew on me during the last few years, the more I desired to visit New Orleans. Eventually, my love for jazz bought me to New Orleans for a week during Thanksgiving, 2015. Traditional jazz is said to have found its roots in New Orleans. However, today, New Orleans is a haven for various styles of music, ranging from blues to dixieland; from bluegrass to reggae; from funk to soul. My musical encounters took place on the streets of French quarter…

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A pleasant Balinese village of White Herons

A pleasant Balinese village of White Herons

About 20 kms odd from the wellness hub of Ubud in Bali lies the small village of Petulu. Ubud makes a great base for exploring the beautiful countryside set in the central foothills of Bali – the ever smiling people, the relaxed lifestyle, the spirituality which lingers in most parts of Bali. I hired a scooter from Ubud to escape from the scores of people who arrive in Ubud and never seem to leave. That is when I chanced upon…

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Exploring Chiapas: the beautiful highlands in southern Mexico

Exploring Chiapas: the beautiful highlands in southern Mexico

Chiapas in the south-eastern part of Mexico is a beautiful place to be at: great culture, people, weather, nature and history. All of that together makes it a very compelling destination. You can fly to Tuxtla Gutierrez to access most of what Chiapas has to offer, or if you are in the nearby provinces of Oaxaca/Tabasco/Yucatan, you may want just want to travel by road. “Love is ubiquitous in San Cristobal”   “San Cristobal offers great street photography opportunities –…

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Photographing Banff and Jasper: Best of Canadian Rockies

Photographing Banff and Jasper: Best of Canadian Rockies

Banff and Jasper National parks  are probably the most beautiful parts of the Canadian Rockies. They epitomize the ruggedness, the wilderness, and the pristine beauty that the Rockies are known for. They are so far two of the more inspiring national parks that I have been to, and certainly the best drive that I have done so far. Connected by the famous Icefields parkway, both the parks have amazing diversity: both in terms of landscape, as well as flaura and…

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Border crossing from Peru to Bolivia: Indian Passport holders

Border crossing from Peru to Bolivia: Indian Passport holders

If you are reading this, you may very well know that having an Indian passport doesn’t lend you with much of a privilege while crossing international borders. The number of visa forms that I must have filed is a testimony to that. While I was in Peru, I decided on whim to enter Bolivia for a few days. Visa on arrival wasn’t an option, so I started searching for Bolivian consulates along my route. I had couple of options: the…

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Exploring the ruins of Okanda: Kudumbigala Monastery

Exploring the ruins of Okanda: Kudumbigala Monastery

My travel to Sri-Lanka had no real expectations. It wasn’t one of those journeys that I was undertaking to witness nature’s stupendous beauty. I was seeking to be at peace with myself. Colombo was suffocating at best. I made my way to the hills and tea country in Ella, and to the coast in Mirissa. I hiked in the Horton National Park to the World’s end. I was still anxious. It was in Arugam bay that I found myself at…

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Island of eternal sunshine

Island of eternal sunshine

  Lago Titicaca, often called the sea of Bolivia, is a huge influence in the lives of the people living in the altiplano. “Sacred, revered, immense, deep blue, home to indigenous communities, Titicaca does not fail to impress – not even a bit”   I crossed over from Puno, a lake-side town on the Peruvian part of the lake, into Copacabana, a multi-faceted town  on the Bolivian side. Accessible from a short ride on one of the many motor-boats that…

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Offbeat: Bali: Lake Tamblingan

Offbeat: Bali: Lake Tamblingan

Lake Tamblingan, nestled in the central highlands of Bali is your off-the-beaten-path destination if you are looking to get away from the crowds in Ubud. It makes for a great getaway from Ubud since it is easily accessible on a two-wheeler, which are ubiquitous in Bali. What was a hot day in Ubud soon turned into a cool breezy ride through some gorgeous highland scenery. Cosy eating joints, coffee plantations, rice fields add a lot of character to the ride…

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Hiking in Torres del Paine

Hiking in Torres del Paine

  When I traveled to Chile, hiking in Torres del Paine was something which I was really looking forward to. After spending a couple of days in Santiago, off I flew to Punta Arenas, way down south. Punta Arenas itself was a rather non-descript port town, but spent a good couple  of days in Tierra del Fuego. I made my way to Puerto Natales, a short bus ride from Punta Arenas. It should be no surprise to you to know…

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Bali: Diving the Liberty Ship wreck

Bali: Diving the Liberty Ship wreck

I had been looking for an opportunity to get my scuba PADI open water certification for a while. After being unable to any diving in the Andaman islands earlier last year owing to constant rain and murky conditions, I was looking at Similan islands in Thailand. However, that never happened. Being in Bali opened up a plethora of diving options – from training and certifications to some world class recreational diving without having to invest  the time with books and …

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Exploring the Atacama desert–Salar de Tara

Exploring the Atacama desert–Salar de Tara

  Home to the driest landscapes on earth, to the famed project ALMA, some of the highest salt plains, Atacama is alluring. After having hiked in the wet and green southern Patagonia, Atacama’s contrast was hard to pass by. Hence, I left for Santiago from Valparaiso. I had booked a last minute return flight from Santiago to Calama. I arrived at the airport only to learn that my flight was never booked with the airlines(SKY) – since the booking agency…

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Walking the streets of Santiago

Walking the streets of Santiago

My travel to the far flung stretch of  bizarrely shaped land of Chile started with its capital city.  My vicarious introduction to the country was through a work of fiction – Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia. Santiago is far up north from the Patagonian region.  With a lot of people being underwhelmed by Santiago de Chile, or simply ignoring the city, especially after having travelled to other more vibrant South American  cities like Buenos Aires, Cuzco, La Paz and the likes,…

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