Truk Lagoon Scuba Diving – June 2017

Dear Bloggers and Readers,

Its been long since I updated anything here. I have reduced my presence online for different reasons but would love to share some adventures with you from my trips.

 

I have been traveling last few years and after my USA trip I have gone to many other countries. Last year I had focused on rock climbing and getting my dive master in scuba diving. This year I started with no goal as such but rather see how I go as I had an injured shoulder from canyoning in December 2016.

Recently I travelled to Truk Lagoon, Micronesia, last month and it was a life time trip as a diver. There are number of world war 2 ship wrecks there. I enjoyed the dives there immensely. Here is a video that I compiled for all the thrill seekers out there.

Note: Change the quality of video from settings to get a better resolution of the video as otherwise its at the lowest resolution by default in YouTube.

Raw Challange, Barrington Tops: Obstacle #4 this year – Lots of mud fun and confidence boost

Hi All,

Last Saturday I was doing my 4th obstacle race – Raw Challange. Check out the post about it on my new website and

I would love to keep in touch going forward hence please add me on twitter(KavitaJoshi84 ), facebook(https://www.facebook.com/KavitaJoshiTravels), Instagram, Pinterest, tumbler, here and my new blog (http://kavitajoshitravels.com).

Have a lovely weekend you all!

Regards,

Kavita Joshi

Life at its peak

For my lovely and awesome friends here, I have shared the latest updates from my life. And it also tells you about my whereabouts and why I haven’t been able to regularly post here at the moment.

http://kavitajoshitravels.com/2014/09/life-at-its-peak/

All of you who know me also would know I have this regular need for adventure in life hence whenever I can I try to indulge myself into some adventures. Here is the link to my new blog if you haven’t already subscribed to it.

I would love to keep in touch going forward hence please add me on twitter(KavitaJoshi84 ), facebook(https://www.facebook.com/KavitaJoshiTravels), Instagram, Pinterest, here and my new blog (http://kavitajoshitravels.com)

Have a lovely weekend you all!

Cheers,

Kavita

Journey from being a shy computer nerd to a traveller and an adventurous soul – What do you think? Would you like to know more about me and how I got this travel bug?

 

405879_10150527281197471_1383247051_nHello my beautiful and handsome friends out there Hope you have a beautiful morning this Saturday as it’s nice and sunny here in Sydney and I am feeling very happy by the fact that I have amazing friends like you guys who are always by my side and fill my life with love and happiness. Thinkng of you and feeling blessed.

Also I have a thought as I was wondering what do you think of me writing a book about how I changed my life and how did I become a traveller and adventurous sydney sider from a shy and workoholic IT nerd. And some more things about my travels and adventures…All of you who know me well enough or have ever met me, I would love to hear from you on this and also how do you feel about supporting me for this if I go ahead

True Grit – Obstacle race with more mental and emotional barriers and meeting with an angel

Hi All,

 

Here is another post on my new blog site. Please enjoy the post that tells how I overcame the emotional as well as physical barrier after being sick for almost 3 months and being told that I should not do it.

http://kavitajoshitravels.com/2014/08/true-grit-obstacle-race-with-more-mental-and-emotional-barriers-and-meeting-with-an-angel/

Hope you enjoy it. Also I have moved all my old posts to my new blog site. Kindly have a look though and let me know if you have any feedback. I would really appreciate it.

 

Regards,

Kavita

Spartan Race in Sydney – Arooooo

Now I know its been a very long time I have posted anything here. I know there are no excuses for being lazy but there were certain things that have happened in life in past few months.

I have been very sick since I came back from Peru with a parasite called Blasto Hominis. Good news is that I am on a recovery period. So I will be back with lots of updates for last couple of months and my progress in the bucket list of this year. Glad to be back as I really missed you guys. Hope you are doing well and writing here whenever you get time. Also I have created a new site for my blog that I would like to share with my latest post from April for the obstacle race that I did – Spartan,  before I got really sick.

http://kavitajoshitravels.com/2014/08/spartan-race-in-sydney-arooooo/

Please check out my new website and let me know if you like it. Any feedback is deeply appreciated 🙂

Antarctica – A journey to remember

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As you know I bought a ticket to Antarctica for myself for my birthday and it went amazing after many years. I had the best birthday in many years or I must say since I grew up. Last year was not bad either as I was diving deep with Manta Rays in the night in Hawaii but this year I celebrated it with so many people and that made it extra special. I threw my first house party as well in Australia for my birthday and it went well with almost a dozen attendees and I must say it was like Christmas for me last when I started from the last weekend in Antarctica and then till yesterday with a house party and dinners, lunches along the way. It was like a whole week celebration and I do feel like a celebrity now. And with so many wishes here from all of you my lovely friends. I couldn’t have asked for more.

But I know you must be eagerly waiting for the pictures from Antarctica now so here they are as I was so busy the whole week that didn’t get a chance to upload them. But it’s never too late anyways. It was one of the most amazing things one can do and I guess I might take the boat one day to get there even closer than this time.

It was not just the destination, but I felt it was the whole journey and various aspect of this trip that made it special. I went to Brisbane for this trip and it was funny as I didn’t know what to pack as I was flying there to fly again and most of the time I was about to spend in the plane and the airport. But anyways as always I did pack few extra clothes and some of my dresses just in case I go out in the night to see the night life in Brisbane. But I end up spending time in the hostel I was staying watching a movie and I only had three hours of sleep before my trip which was not ideal but sometimes you do loose time when you meet awesome people to talk. And there I was with my tag around my neck like a medal and walking all proud in the airport to get to my gate for the flight. I was a bit early and all excited to get on the plane. Then slowly people started pouring from nowhere and in an hour we had more than 100 people almost. And I preferred to be at the end almost as it’s saves you queuing up for so long. But then the moment we got comfortable in the plane we were told that one of the extra engine has failed and the team of engineers is fixing this. But it was not a fortunate start so we had to de-board the plane soon for few hours to get the engine fixed properly. Fortunately we were able to fly the same day although after 4 hours but it was worth the wait. We were served Champaign soon after we boarded and then comes a snack pack that I did finish quickly as I felt a bit hungry by this time. We then flew in this big jumbo jet and I started watching the movie – ‘Last Vegas’ after having a small conversation with my fellow travellers next to my seat. I thought I might have a nap but the environment was full of excitement so I couldn’t afford a sleep at all.

Then finally we were told that soon we would spot our first iceberg and then people started getting up from their seat and start queuing up next to the window to see the first sight of the ice berg. It was all white at first (of-course what else was I expecting). But the first sight was more of a water and ice mixer to be honest but not long after we were over the top of few really big ice bergs and considering the height we were at, they were really big I must say. Also then we started getting plane ice all over and then a stream of water among those big rocks of ice. The adventure had started and now it was time to spot various sights in the same colour. Good thing is now the water is blue so it was easy to tell the ice bergs apart from the water and also we did spot a ship on the so called harbour. People were co-operative and were giving others space to see if they had their share of sight seeing over some places. Almost everyone was out there with their cameras and glasses.

Note: Do not forget your sunglasses as the light reflected from the ice is quiet strong that may even hurt your eye.

So there it was my first trip to Antarctica and my birthday gift to myself. Let me know if you have ever been there or want to go in future or if even are fascinated by the whole fact. I am waiting for your comments and opinions about this whole adventure my friend.

Link to book the flight: http://www.antarcticaflights.com.au/

Regards,

Kavita (Sunshine and hugs from Sydney)

Los Angeles to Miami – A journey full of adventures including a very unplanned hitchhiking

So overall all it was not that scary once I got there. People had asked me if I was scared and to be honest I was not that scared till they started asking and that implanted a lot of doubts in my head about travelling alone in North America with no driving skills. A work mate of mine even laughed about the fact that I usually like to walk around saying that – ‘don’t walk on the road, police might just shoot you on the spot’. It was funny but when I was looking forward to this trip (my first time in mainland in America), it wasn’t funny at the end and it made me more anxious. I had to see though what is this all about and I had to go to Los Angeles due to being a really big fan of Hollywood movies. If you don’t know much about me then just so that you know, I have watched thousands of Hollywood movie and I can say that I grew up watching them so this trip was like a dream come true. I know I sound very melodramatic but that was the expression on my face since I started from Sydney and all the way to Los Angeles. I was excited and I couldn’t stop smiling and I guess that made people even more friendly towards me and I got lots of food on the way to Los Angeles and even a Christmas pack full of lollies from the flight attendant.

I was asked few questions at the custom and they looked quiet intrigued knowing that it is my first time in USA and that too alone and I don’t know anyone here. Well you have to start somewhere. I knew people in USA but just not the places I had planned to visit 😉 Sounds like an adventure isn’t it. I know it was exciting and was keeping me on my toes with this thrilling sensation even when I was not doing any adventure sport here. This trip was more adventurous than many other things I have done in my life I can say. And I do really mean it so if you ever doubt of doing something but get excited thinking about it then trust me it would be good to just do it. As I had not expected anything from this trip but it became one of the most adventurous (in different sense), emotional roller coaster kind of trip of my life. I cried, I laughed, I got scared, I smiles, I went curious with new things, I was hungry, I was too full, I rested, I went days without enough or no sleep and finally I felt sad while leaving USA. That’s how wonderful my trip really was.

My actual plan was to spend Christmas in LA (Los Angeles) and New Year in Miami. But I end up going to Las Vegas for Christmas from where I did a tour to Grand Canyon with a helicopter ride and a boat trip at the very bottom of the canyon in Colorado river. I don’t know about others but I was awe-struck for quiet some time and was trying to soak this all in and taking pictures at the same time with this amazing place. No doubt that its a natural wonder of the world. I had to literally run as it was a day tour so I would advice if possible then take few days to absorb the beauty of grand canyon and definitely do a helicopter ride if you can afford as its worthwhile when you have already planned this trip to Grand Canyon. Here are few links for the tour just in case:

Now that I had done the tour to Grand Canyon and seen all the beautiful and exotic casinos of Vegas it was time to go back to Los Angeles and visit San Diego from there. But guess what I missed my bus. It so happened that I must have been walking way too much and when I was in Vegas, I kind of lost track of time with day and night. I was having my first coffee first thing in the morning and last thing in the day as well 😉 Around 2 AM I had my coffee as per my Vegas routine and put an alarm on my phone without realizing it was not plugged to the charger properly and then the inevitable happened. My phone died and I realized it was 9:30 AM already and my bus must have left by 7:30 AM. I was in a wired state of shock when you feel like déjà Vu and I tried to go back to sleep thinking it might be just a dream. Unfortunately it wasn’t and then I started looking for another bus which wasn’t going to run till late in the evening so it looked almost impossible for me to get to San Diego tonight. But I wasn’t going to give up that easy hence I decided to hitch hike. Yes, you heard me right I was all up for asking for a ride. I started my attempt in the hotel I was staying but I was too shy to literally going to people and ask hence I asked one lady only. Then navigated the way to Los Angeles on my GPS and started walking towards this road that leads to Los Angeles. I wish it wasn’t that far then I could have just walked to it 😉 Any ways I did take a ride from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and that too with a very nice truck driver and learned all about him and his nice family on the way and I am still alive so it was fun I must say.

Its time for me to go now and I would tell you more about this adventure and how I was told to stand at the right spot to be able to hitch hike to LA by  a local in Vegas who had done his share of hitch hiking in his time. So stay tuned my friends as its been a while that I have had a chat with you all and I missed you so very much 🙂 But not to worry I am back and that too with lots of stories to tell.

 

Bucket-List 2013 – Learn martial arts

Hello My Lovely Fellow Bloggers,

A smile and hug from Sydney. I had an amazing weekend this time like many others and I am back to share some stories and experience with you including my bucketlist adventure. Here is a link for my bucket list if you haven’t read it yet.

My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it.

My Fears

Item #26: Learn martial arts

I have been learning Jujitsu for last many weeks now. I am still a beginner and planning to continue next year as well to make sure I get better at it. I have been a big fan of martial arts movie all my life and this year – thanks to my bucket list I was finally able to convert my dream into reality and it was such an amazing feeling to stand in-front of the instructor wearing my new Gi. It started with lot more enthusiasm as I was not injured and I could easily manage the new techniques I was learning but gradually I started getting sore and it became harder to practice more often hence I had to drop my attendance from 4 times a week to 2 times a week. And Salsa also got me injured on my feet and I had to make sure I don’t get bashed too much and protect my feet from any blow. I am getting better at it I must say as being a girl this is something I was never used to of. But now getting injured or sore and being thrown on the mat seems like a normal activity. I still want to go to the origin martial art places in China and practice to handle my chi energy one day. As of now I must practice what I am learning and focus on techniques as being small and light weight from other guys in the class it is very important for me to use more techniques than strength as otherwise it is very easy for me to get beaten while spiring. I didn’t get  a chance to take my picture in the Gi but next year when I get a little bit better, I would post more about my experience of martial arts and specially Brazilian Jujitsu (style I am learning) as a girl.

Regards,

Kavita

Bucket-List 2013 : Practice Indoor Rock Climbing

After finishing many other items on my bucket list I have to say that I haven’t been able to finish each and every item on my bucket list but I am proud of myself for what all things I have done after setting my bucket list on 6th May 2103 this year with 50 items and some of which were like Visit at least 7 cities of Australia in next 7 months and Write 50 Poems that took a lot longer due to the nature of the work. Also there are some really long term goals like Get my weight back to 47 KG and Complete Advanced Scuba diving course. There are many other very interesting items as well like Swim with Crocodile & Swim with White Sharks and I call them the higlight adventures of my bucket list really. Here is a link for my bucket list if you haven’t read it yet.

My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

Item #30: Practice Indoor Rock Climbing

This one I wouldn’t say I did very often but looking at the very less time I was left with, I did go once and I would try to be more regular next year when I might have more time in hand. But thanks to everyone to make my journey so beautiful as always 🙂 Also I would update here some more items and hopefully would post the draft bucket list for next year soon 🙂 Have a wonderful day dear friends.

Bucket-List 2013 – Canyoning

Hello My Dear Friends,

I am back with some good news about this week as I have got some update for my bucket list  from last week.

Here is also a link for my bucket list for 2013 if you haven’t had a look. My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and also another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it. My Fears

Item Number #31:  Canyoning

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It was already late when I got home after a night with karaoke and dancing but I had to get up in few hours from now so I put a couple of alarms on my phone as always and put myself to bed as quickly as possible. I had a good and a bad day. Good because the work went ok in many days with not much stress and also I was able to do another item on my bucket list – Karaoke, bad because my phone was dropped into water and I lost the display due to it and also it was more sitting than dancing in a Cuban bar today. But anyways no where I was with no packing done and I knew that I was living at the edge by being this careless and by being out this late when I had to go canyoning and abseiling the next day and had to be in the city by 6:45 AM in the morning.

My alarm rang and I felt as if someone was calling me from a distance. I must be dreaming but I was out of bed by 5:15 AM which was pretty good considering I went to bed around 1:30 AM. Yes I know I should be more careful before a big day full of adventure and may be because this year is slipping out of my hand so I am trying to squeeze as many things as possible. But next year I would try to take more rest 🙂

I arrived at the train station but there was no train until another 17 minutes that would get me city by 6:50 AM and I was worried sick now to get late but then I realized I don’t have to take a train and I ran to catch a bus. Yes my weekends are usually more hectic and includes a lot of running due to occasional delay from my end. I know, I know I am working on it 😉 I arrived at the pick up location on time and it was not a sunny day and my friend there informed me of upcoming storm that was not a good news either. I was joking that we should change the plan and may be go to some other nice place for relaxing and touring than canyoning. We were soon picked up from there and now we were on the way to the southern highlands where we were supposed to do canyoning in the beautiful rainforest.

Soon we were gearing up and checking what exact gear fits us for canyoning as there was a 30 minutes walk to the place from where we would start abseiling. The first drop itself was the scariest one I felt as after that canyoning and abseiling was no more a fear for me but something else was. And it was jumping into the deep water from various high places. I have never jumped into water from any height in my life and it was fear of height mixed with the fact that you go under the water when you land. Even though I love sky diving and have tried bungy jumping this was a fear I realized I had deep in my heart. And today was the day when I would face it and would have no other choice but to get over it.

The first abseil was ok apart from few bumps here and there and that was good enough to get the fear out of my mind other than the fact I learned to slow down myself and tell myself not to worry about how much time it takes to get down as long as I try to follow the instructions properly not to bump myself into the rock much. Then there came the jumping part when I was the last person other than the guide there to jump. I literally begged him to choose another way to get down but he asked me that I need to do this in order to do other jumps and get comfortable. Hence here I was standing there for quiet some time as every time I would get close to the edge I could feel my heart beating faster and faster from almost 3 meter height. But at last I felt embarrassed as everyone else was waiting for me and I was holding up the whole group hence I did jump from there with my heart in my mouth. Wow it was some achievement I could feel as my heart was still pumping fast. But then there was another jump where I was second one to go and another one where you have to let go the rope and jump backwards after a little bit of abseiling and then there was this jump where you have to make sure you jump far enough not to hit the rock on the way. Boy this time I did scare everyone as when I jumped I was a meter or less away from the rock and it was a serious risk to my head that I couldn’t see coming.

I had always thought to get a proper training in a pool from a instructor to jump into the water like this. But I didn’t know that I would end up jumping with no formal training and directly into wilderness area where there was no one to save me just in case I get seriously injured. But any ways it has become a milestone of my life now as towards the end we had a slide to jump into the water and there were some volunteer jumps as well from 8.5 meter to 12 meters. And guess what I wanted to do the slide again but then half way back to slide I was standing at this 8.5 meter high place from where others had jumped and I felt the urge to get over my fear and jump from there. I was standing there when others started counting and it made my heart jump really. And the more I stood there jumping became almost impossible. But now it was more a matter of winning over my fear of height and water as I had seen others jumping from such height and still be safe. For many of you this might be like a joke but seriously for me it was such a fear that almost made me feel that I might even die if I jump into the water from this height. But I am really happy that I did it and now I think next time I wouldn’t have this fear in me anymore 🙂

Special thanks to the instructors from Eagle Rock Adventure for their support and good training for the day – http://eaglerockadventures.com.au/

Regards,

Kavita

Bucket-list 2013 week 26 – Try stand up paddling

Hello My Lovely Fellow Bloggers,

A smile and hug from Sydney. I had an amazing weekend this time like many others and I am back to share some stories and experience with you including my bucket list adventure. Here is a link for my bucket list if you haven’t read it yet.

My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it.

My Fears

It was a lovely day with a little bit of wind due to which the waves were a little choppy which was not ideal to be able to stand on the board on my first lesson, but I still loved it. And if you can see me sitting on the board in yoga pose then it was due to the choppy waves that didn’t let me stand too long. But I would try it again once the rain in Sydney stops this summer as I loved the whole experience. My friend Alyssa was like a super woman as she had Mr. Ecko (her dog) with her as well and she managed to make him sit still on the second half of the ride. Mr. Ecko was so brave that he kept his calm all the way to the shore and I really admire that. We had Michelle as my awesome instructor. Thanks to her I was brave enough to try it as well I must say. She is our friend and a great coach as well. So here you go – some pictures for you to enjoy with me.

Bucket-List 2013 Week 23 – Jetpack Adventure (Walk on water)

Hello My Lovely Fellow Bloggers,

A big hug to all from me. I had an amazing weekend this time like many others I have had since I have started this bucket-list for this year. And I am back to share some more adventure with you. Here is a link for my bucket list if you haven’t had a look yet.

My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it.

My Fears

You must be wondering what did I do this item, which item did I cross off from my big list. So here you go.

Item Number #35 – Jetpack Adventure (Link to the website in Australia – http://www.jetpackadventures.com.au/)

It was such a lovely day even though I was a little bit tired after my trip to Armidale (a historical little city in Australia). But I was all set to fly over the water today. Yes you are right fly like a super woman. I was thrilled to be able to complete all my fantasies since I was a child and it was going to be true today. Yaaay….so here I was sitting near the lake and getting ready for the ride. I had watched a different version of this sport on TV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHL16av4C9k) few months ago and since then I was imagining how amazing it would be if I could ever do it. Video of my adventure would be sent to me in a week’s time hence I would post it then and till then here are some pics for you guys.

I was a bit nervous when Jess, from JetPack Adventure team, told me that I need to learn to flip as I would usually fall on the water face down. It wasn’t very good to know that I would be trying to flip when I had no mask on with the possibility to breathe underwater. But I was so thankful for this life saving technique as on my first go I was flipping quiet a few times after falling straight into the water from almost 10 feet high. Anyways I got all dressed up… in the wetsuit of course and a life jacket just in case. Also as there were no boots available for my size so I had to make sure I walk to the deeper end of the lake a bit carefully as it can be a bit rough with the small rocks around. And then Simon, from the Jetpack Adventure, told me the various techniques to control the direction I would be flying today. Everyone in the team was so supportive and funny that even falling in the water and crashing on my first go didn’t look very bad really.

Yes, I crashed badly after lifting from the water on my first go. A though crossed my mind – ‘it ain’t looking good why the hell you have to do this.’ But then another thought said – ‘ You are not a quitter and if others can do it then so can you’. There comes the power of willingness and I was ready to give it another go. This time again I crashed back into the water. Greg was on the jetski and was worried and asked Simon not to worry about the video and other things but help me to lift from the water first. I was a bit more nervous now as I thought it was simple but no every little movement of my body was putting me out of balance really and then I would crash into the water again. But then it happened, I lifted from the water successfully on my third go and I flew for some time. Then again as the controls were new to me so I fell back into the water i the middle of the lake. Greg was very kind and patient with me and I can’t believe how much confidence boost he gave me really. Towards the end of my introductory flight I was a bit better I would say and very tired as well. I must have drunk a litre of water that time. Then I had a break for a while before going for my next flight.

I flew nicely on my second flight. It was so much better the next time and I was squealing with joy and excitement in the sky. I even tried to fly with my hands wide open and twisting and turning my body weight for a while as suggested by Simon. Then it got even better on  my third and last flight and this time Greg even said that I am flying like a professional. Of course he was being very nice to me but I did fly with not many hiccups this time and I was smooth with control and mainly I was going where I wanted this time and not being dragged from the power of the jetpack this time. I felt amazing and I even glided in the air and above the water like some super hero. It was one of the best experience so far I had I felt. The power to be able to fly and control your movement with your own will. And Greg gave some extra boost for my flights to make sure I can have as much fun as I wanted. It was such a wonderful day that made me want it even more. I might go back there some day in future as summer is coming and these kind of sports are always welcome to enjoy the water as well as the thrill involved with them. Next time I might even go for a flyboard (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHL16av4C9k) I guess 😉 Also the good news is that even kids can do it as Tandem flight (strapped with the professionals).

So till my next adventure stay tuned with my blog and a lot more to come till the year-end when I would be flying to Los Angles and Miami for an amazing new year.

Concussion couldn’t stop me from skiing – Pain is temporary, but if I quit then it will last forever

Now that you know after my last post (Concussion on a Ski Trip – Lost few memories but gained many more) that I fell bad on the first day of my ski trip in Snowy Mountains.
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. – Lance Armstrong

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This quote was all in my head when I got there the next day and was about to decide to take rest and give up on skiing the next day. But then we arrived there and I quickly thought to give it a go. My aim today was to practice whatever I had learned and take lesson to improve upon my techniques. I took a  lesson and guess what it paid. It was good and I didn’t fall all day other than once in a lesson when I was taught to actually life my leg when putting pressure on the other leg while taking a turn. And I did a bit too much and fell. It didn’t hurt though and I was able to get back on my ski quiet quickly. And I had a lot of fun which even made me forget the pain in my brain and neck. I was trying to make sure that I do not fall as it was the hardest bit to get up with so much pain around my neck and brain. So I did manage not to fall until a girl dragged me down while getting off the lift and fell on me. I hit my bottom hard and took a while to get over it and start skiing down the mountain again. I am really happy that I did manage to ski the other day as it made me learn more about myself that day and now I really feel proud of myself I can say. I did earned some respect as well I would say in that tour from rest of the people. And now I am happy to go back once I get better and once this head injury heals completely. Here are some pics for you to enjoy my friend 🙂

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Concussion on a Ski Trip – Lost few memories but gained many more

‘What am I doing here and how did I got here?’ This was my first question when I found myself in this windy and cold place where there was snow all around me. I felt like it was a dream and all I remember was that everything was black & white and no colors at all. There was this guy who was helping me to get up and all I could say was – ‘How do I know you?‘ It felt a bit awkward but I did ask how did I meet him and where? It then occurred to me that I do not remember a lot of things – for example I had no memory of getting here at the top of this mountain, in the midst of snow. It started to scare me a little and that’s when this guy asked me to ski down when and I thought it’s a dream so I didn’t take it seriously and skied down straight and fast. Again I have no memory about what happened after that. Next thing I remember is that this guy was taking me to this cafe and asking everyone where he can find a medical personnel. It started to scare me now as I told him that I am fine and we can go and have coffee or something but he insisted on taking me to a doctor and we finally found a medical room and he left. I felt bad as he was nice and the only person I knew for at least few minutes of whatever memory I was left with.

I was then asked a lot of questions from the doctor. I did remember that I am from Sydney but had no clue what I am doing here or even where I am. It scared me a little but soon my fear was replaced by curiosity of seeing so many medical personnel around me asking me so many questions and making calls. I kept seeing new faces for a while before I fainted for a while again and they woke me up quick enough as that was the most dangerous state I could be after the concussion I had I was told. Now I knew what had happened to me – Concussion. So here I was lying in the medical room till they arrange to take me to the hospital in the town. Now the issue was they couldn’t take me back via lift as there was a chance that I had broken something around my neck due to the pain I had in my head and neck. So they decided to ski me down in a body bag (as my friend called it later). I felt like a dead person every time she reminded me that I was brought to hospital in a body bag. Here is a picture of how they usually ski injured people. I was in the similar situation as well with a lot of snow on my face till I got to the bottom with my heart pumping hard every time I would see the slopes they were going through and the edges from where I could see deep down to the forests covered with snow. But finally I got to the hospital where Kelly, the girl I met a day before on this trip was waiting for me. She was a very good friend by now and funny too as she was taking her own picture lying in the bed next to mine when doctor had kept me under observation.

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This is me just before I had a fall

Ski Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was hard enough to walk but then we decided to take pictures while going back from the hospital as the view was just stunning. Here are the pics of me and my friend Kelly after the whole concussion episode.

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We got back to the bus on time before it left back to the hostel and I had the story of the town by now as everyone knew in the bus that I had an accident and people started asking me what happened. But that was a difficult question to answer specially when I didn’t remember much. So what happened the next day? Did I ski anymore or not? Lets wait for my next post and see what do I do. Some more pics and some stories to come 🙂

Second day at Byron Bay – Hot Air Ballooning with a bunch of Sky Divers

 So far you have enjoyed the last two articles about my adventurous weekend in Byron Bay, Australia. Now I would love to share my experience of day 2 which was also full of excitement and joy. In case you missed my other two posts then here is the link to the same for you my friend.

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Alarm went off around 4:30 AM and first time in weeks I was not frustrated as I had enough sleep this time so I quickly jumped out of the bed with excitement. Today was the day I was going to experience Hot Air Ballooning. So many times I dreamt of doing it but every time I felt I should wait for some one special to do it with. But finally I decided to do it on my own after one of my friend suggested that it is an experience that you get to feel individually anyways so why wait for some one when you can do it by yourself. So here I was waiting at the gate of the hostel to get picked up around 5:15 AM. A car pulled up next to me and I confirmed that it was from the Ballooning company. After a warm welcome message from the guy driving the car, I fastened my seat belt and we headed to the location for base(the office for ballooning ). It was still dark when we arrived at the base. I could see many people getting ready in their gears for sky diving. I felt as if I was the only one in the balloon staying back and almost everyone else was going to jump. I wished I could jump with them for a moment and this thought was interrupted by one of the sky divers. She introduced herself and a formal round of introduction kick started for few minutes. These were professionals with more than few hundred and even few thousand jumps. My goodness, I almost freeze to digest this information now. I was excited and felt a bit naive to talk to these people now as whatever jargons they were using I couldn’t understand half of them. I met Thomas, the chief pilot of Byron Bay Ballooning (http://www.byronbayballooning.com.au) and signed some forms as part of the formal process. Thomas was quiet reassuring as I was a bit nervous as well excited, this being my first balloon flight.

Thomas after successful landing

Thomas after successful landing

Soon we started for Casino, place from where the balloon was supposed to fly. I was cold but super excited. I chose to sit with other sky divers in the first van to listen to some insightful information they would like to share during this one hour journey. It was a nice ride till the patrol station where the drivers stopped to fill patrol. I was told a lot of things and these people were very nice to explain me a lot of new concepts that made me look a bit puzzled. I shared rest of the way with other set of people and got to know some more people on my way to Casino. It was an overwhelming morning I must say, so much that I kind of forgot that I was here for ballooning really.

Once we arrived in Casino, the process of unloading the balloon and setting it up started. It was such a huge balloon, I guess all of them are but I was witnessing it for the first time. It was like preparing for a festival, with so many people helping in the process and some of us trying to shoot the process or take pictures of the location. As the balloon rose, it was such a mesmerising view with all the colours rising in the sky with the bright light of  the sun. Then we climbed into the balloon and Thomas started to fill the balloon with hot air and the balloon took off. It was so smooth that we didn’t feel anything but only the view started changing as we gained height. Just so that you know Thomas has been flying since the age of 22 and has also won many awards.  So if you are in Byron Bay and feel like ballooning then he is your guy. I was trying to absorb this whole experience while also taking a lot of pictures at the same time. The basket is divided in three compartments and the middle one is reserved for the pilot with some gas cylinders. We were almost 12 people, 6 in each baskets on both the sides and out of which 7 were sky divers. Soon we rose to the height of 6000 feet and it was an amazing view. It felt so light and beautiful to see the whole area at this hour of the morning. It was around 8:45 AM. The divers were all ready to jump and soon we hit the height of 9000 feet from where they were supposed to jump. It was more scary to look at them standing on the edges of the basket. And I guess I was more excited and worried than them. Some of them were doing it for the first time which I thought was very brave and increased my respect for all these divers. Soon before I realised they started jumping from the balloon. It was so fast that I didn’t even get chance to take many pictures of them jumping and soon they disappeared from the sight. We started moving towards the destination, Thomas was co-ordinating with rest of the team to make sure all the divers are safe and have been located after reaching the ground.

Thomas started to prepare us for landing and soon we were descending fast, not that you can feel it other than the height displayed on the system. We landed on a  farm with more than 50  bulls all staring at us in not so welcoming mood. Thomas waited for rest of the team to come to this location and get the permission from the farm owner before getting us all climb out of the balloon. Once the team was here, the bulls started heading towards their vans and soon we were out of this adventurous and risky zone. And next thing I remember, we were all rolling the balloon and packing everything back in the vehicle to head back. I was still floating in the sky in my thoughts though as it is a last longing experience and it takes some time to get back to reality I can say. Thomas stopped in a nice cafe on the way and bought lunch for all of us as part of the package. I chose Spanish Omelette and you know what, it was the best breakfast ever after such a beautiful start of the day. What else can you ask from life I thought with a smile. The day is yet not over my friend and I still have to share my experience of the monthly market, beach and one of the most beautiful town/village in the area before I finish my story. So keep an eye for another post after this 🙂 Till then have a wonderful day my friend.

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Hot Air Ballooning with bunch of Sky Divers and me in the basket

I have more pictures on my Facebook page for this site. Please check more pictures there as due to increasing size restriction I didn’t upload more pictures here.

I will be back with the exciting story of this weekend adventure of mine. As you know it never is simple and this time wasn’t different either. But I would not like to change it for anything really 🙂 So stay tuned and look for my next post to read about how I missed my station and end up in another town and how I started my day with kayaking with dolphins and then flew in a plane. All unplanned but exciting things after which I end up flying in a Hot Air Balloon the next day for a adventurous morning with other 7 Sky Divers who were jumping off the plane.

 

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10 Best Places to Experience the Serene Beauty of the World through Hot Air Ballooning

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Another article published of mine in ‘TheHostelLife’ travel website. Here is the link and also the information for all of you to refer: http://www.thehostellife.com/news/item/480

I wish I could fly! Have you ever felt like this? Then you know what you can and Hot Air Ballooning has made it easier than said in today’s modern world. Its a majestic feeling as the balloon lift in the sky and fills you with the feeling of joy and serenity. And when you encounter the first ray of sun in the sky it makes it worthwhile to get up really early in the morning. Here are the top 10 amazing places in the world for Hot Air Ballooning:

  1. Hot Air Ballooning in North Pole in Arctic with Quark Expeditions (http://www.quarkexpeditions.com/). It is called ‘The Ultimate Arctic Adventure’ which doesn’t really surprise as getting the balloon up in the air at such place definitely shows the adventure involved with it. More than 50 guests celebrated 50 years of the ship with 5 minutes of Hot Air Ballooning experience at the top of the world. It is really once in a life time experience. Next date can be checked at the site and costs somewhere from $24,965 – $37,965.
  2. Great Barrier Reef is one of the best places to see the reefs and beautiful coast line in Australia. Australia gives you a wide variety to experience Hot Air Ballooning but flying above one of the seven natural wonders in the world is an unforgettable experience in itself. http://www.hotair.com.au/cairns/tours/hot-air-balloon-and-great-barrier-reef-cruise-with-great-adventures.html
  3. Hot air Ballooning in Grand Canyon gives you the birds eye view of the remarkable desert landscape and the mountains. It is a feast for one’s eyes when you see this beautiful scenery below from a few flying balloon. http://www.grandcanyonballoonrides.com/
  4. What can be a better option than flying over the breath taking regions of Niagara Falls. It is a tranquil experience for your soul to see the nature on its full swing like this. And ballooning makes it easier to fly across the falls and let you enjoy the amazing scenery below.
    http://www.balloonsoverletchworth.com/
  5. Mt. Everest is one of the unique places to fly over around the world. The first Balloon Flight Over Everest 1991. Not only it was built with special oxygen breathing systems but also had differently designed burners to allow the balloon to fly in extreme conditions at almost 40,000 ft. Andy Elson was the pilot of this first pioneer flight. Leo Dickinson even wrote a book about it – ‘Ballooning Over Everest’. This is not run as a tourist attraction due to its risky operation and extremely high cost but it has been done once and keep an eye open, may be someone starts it in future again. http://www.andyelson.com/Everest.htm
  6. Would you plan to go for a fight over active volcano – Mount Bromo in Java, Indonesia. Yes, I am just joking as it is not safe to fly over this place for sure. But you can definitely boast about flying over Cappadocia, Turkey where the rocks and stone towers were carved into the volcanic lava almost 65 million years ago. One of the best and amazing site to witness in the world if you like the concept of Hot Air Ballooning and the leisure time it gives you to soak into the scenery. Cappadocia, also known as ‘Land of the beautiful horses’ is an hour away from Istanbul. http://www.hotairballooncappadocia.com/
  7. Sunflower fields and vineyards surrounding a beautiful village in southwest of France is a very compelling reason to come to Loire Valley. It has more than 800 castles with a beautiful river crossing the area. One of the famous and scenic places for Hot Air Ballooning in the world, Loire Valley, still maintains the authenticity of the place in the midst of the touristy feel to it. http://www.france-balloons.com/balloon-ride,val-de-loire.php
  8. When talking about ballooning, how can we forget about the International Balloon Festival organized in Chateau d’Oex. This festival is held in the last week of January and gives a perfect view of Alps with the spectacular ski slopes. http://www.festivaldeballons.ch/en/festival_en
  9. Napa Valley in United States still maintains the reputation for being a great place for Hot Air Ballooning. Celebration with champagne after a flight over the beautiful vineyards mixed with the fields of sunflowers is a real treat. http://www.balloonrides.com/
  10. Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya provides a lifetime experience of Hot Air Ballooning. Specially during the migration season (from July to October) when over two million wild animals including zebra, wildebeest, eland and Thomson’s gazelle try to cross Mara River alive as the crocodiles in the river prey on them. This is the only place in the world where you can witness a massive and immense movements of wildlife. http://www.audleytravel.com/destinations/africa/kenya/things-to-do/hot-air-balloon-flight.aspx

What do you do in the plane? Is travelling by air easy?

Did you say sleep? But not always right and if you travel very frequently then you would know what I mean. Who loves the window seat. I do but only when its a short flight. If it’s a couple sitting next to me then I prefer to take a aisle seat to make sure I don’t have to knock to go to washroom or a stroll in a long flight. People love the window seat from where you can see the view when plane is landing and taking off. But do you ever think the use of it when its a night flight. I see so many people booking the seats mindlessly as if they are going to watch a movie in a theater and the choice of seats are always fixed – center back. I have learned this lesson long back when people on long flight like to sleep and to go to pee you have to keep trying to wake them up in most polite way and then once again if they fall asleep till you come back. So what’s your preference for seat when you fly?

I like to keep a book handy in case I get a cheap deal with flights and then they would not have any movies to play without buying each one of them. Also I like to keep my camera handy as you get free view from the sky, like a helicopter tour in case you are sitting away from the wings. If movies are free and good quality then I don’t mind watching a few and keep myself updated. But then you would also want to get some sleep in a long flight, whereas people get a bit anxious in a short flight as its too much hassle for an hour or so flight to check in and then looking for checked in baggage. I travel light with only a carry on backpack which people stare for long when I get in the queue. And quiet a few times I have to either throw stuff (I do have spare things in case I don’t get time to check the weight in advance) or wear some more clothes. I do not prefer to let my backpack get out of my sight as it otherwise can turn into a loss of property which in turn might ruin my short trip anyways. And for few days we don’t need much anyways so carry on is a good way to save money and travel easy with no worry.

Do write about what you like to do when you fly. I would love to hear all about it.

Regards,

Kavita

Painful days but worth it – ATV ride and a fall in Cairns

Hello Friends,

As you would have already seen from my diving pics in Great Barrier Reef, I had an awesome weekend. It was not all sweet but then how can be things interesting with no down side to them. So it all started with this bucket list of mine. And here I am all happy, content but every inch of my body is shouting at me after this weekend. It is so sore and painful that every time I move my hand or legs or neck, it reminds me of the adventure I had this weekend 😉

So how did I get this sore as diving doesn’t make you this sore after all not when you have been diving for a while. Here it goes – I did have a big day driving ATV around the farm before I did my diving and before the second dive I fell badly on the floor face down. I did try to compete with the expert there and jumped my ATV over many hurdles and kept getting faster and faster. Even scared the instructor when I flew my ATV just a few inches away from his ATV and he almost stood up and got ready to jump from his ATV to save himself. And I am not sure it was my fault or what that I did take all the force on my hands to save my face and of course no scar on my face but hands are almost useless  other than typing on the computer. Yesterday I was struggling to cut even an apple.  How did I fell? Don’t even ask as it was as a matter of fact very funny incidence the way it happened and gave every one around a reason to have a laugh. The wet suit was very small and of a different design so like first dive I had to get help to get into it but unfortunately a very big guy came for help and lift the suit (me in it) and chain opened so fast that the very next moment I was on the floor facing down. Thank God I was few inches away from the door otherwise you would be looking at my Terminator kind of melting face picture 😉

Item Number #50 – Do one thing new each week

But anyways have fun with my pictures driving ATV and that can be counted as one of the new things I did last week in my bucket list 🙂

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Diving and Snorkelling at Great Barrier Reef – Bucket-List 2013 Week 8

Item Number #32 – Dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

It was a cloudy day and I had only 3-4 hours of sleep as I was staying in a backpacker where everyone was in party mood and after my experience of divign with Great White Shark I was more cautious to be fully awake and in good shape before diving in the world famous reef – ‘Great Barrier Reef’. But it was not good enough I guess as I was accompanied by a guy from USA who was  feeling sick and at first me and his friend were making jokes about throwing up and soon I myself got sick as well. It was a bumpy ride of 2.5 hours to the reef from the harbour of Cairns. But I think water is remedy for everything and as soon as I jumped into the water after gearing up for my scuba diving, I was once again smiling. It was a short (23 minutes), 15.7 meter deep dive. I loved it as this was the reason I had started Scuba Diving in the first place – to be able to dive in Great Barrier Reef. And here I was diving in this famous reef which is unfortunately getting destroyed by cyclones and fishing in past few years. I went for snorkelling after first dive and then for the second dive. It was hard to stay in the boat and not feel sick so I preffered to spend most of my time under water 🙂 It was such a nice day in my life, I met lots of people, made new friends and even being so sore didn’t matter anymore :)I am sharing my pics of that day with you all. I hope you enjoy them.

Kayaking in Nepal – Some serious fun

It was one of the best experiences I had that continued for 4 days unlike many other adventures that last only few hours. Yes, I am talking about my experience of Kayaking in Nepal this year. I paddle river Trisuli being relatively new to this sport. But I am determined to go back to Nepal to kayak in more than one river this time as it has got a lot to offer. It’s was one of the best holiday where we were staying in camp site and had proper meal for three times with snacks in between. All we had to do was have breakfast and go for kayaking, take a break for lunch and then paddle again for few hours and come back for evening tea. Then we played volleyball with the locals and then get ready for delicious dinner. It couldn’t have been better as all we had to do was lots of adventure all day. Nepal is one of the best and cheap places to kayak with some of the world’s best rivers. Nepal has got a lot to offer from hiking to paragliding, kayaking to rafting and so much more. I can’t wait to go back to do more of everything. I would give you some overview of the various rivers that you can run in Nepal. You can hire all the gears and the kayak there only so no need to pack everything from home with you. But some essentials would be good to have:

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Gears required: Kayak, life jacket, helmet, wetsuit, dry bags for gears, tent (if you are camping on the way to the final destination), and personal gear bag

Items that you would need for camping (minimum requirement): Sleeping bag, light weight pants, a fleece style jacket, toiletries, light weight sleeved t-shirt, spare glasses, water bottle, long sleeved thermal top and bottoms, light weight hiking boots, toilet paper and lighter, day pack (depending whether you are hiking to get to the river trip or not). If you are planning to kayak on your own then you might also have to carry the gears mentioned above with meal and cooking utensils.

Items to carry with you in the river: Sunscreen, sunglasses, shorts, swimwear, river sandals (they are handy when you have to walk in shallow water on the rocks holding your kayak),

Courses: If you are new to Kayaking then you can start with ‘Beginner Kayak Clinic’ course that usually is for 4 days. Otherwise Intermediate and Advanced Kayak Courses are also available here for more experienced paddlers.

 Cost: It can cost you around 35 USD to 50 USD per day for food, accommodation and gears, depending upon which river you are paddling. It is good to ask the rates from different tour operators decide according to your budget. Sometimes they also include transport to and from the destination so make sure to ask them beforehand as it’s a long way to get to the camp site sometimes. We got free transport from Pokhara to the camp site and then after we finish the course they dropped us to Kathmandu for free which was our next destination as Trisuli river is same distance both from Kathmandu and Pokhara.

 Tour Operators: This is one of the main sources of income in Nepal so there are many tour companies that are involved in this business. Here are links for some of them although once you are there it’s better to check out their shop and have a chat as that will give you more confidence with the people and their services.

 Before I start talking about various Rivers in Nepal, here is the definition of various grades of rapids in White Water Rivers:

  • Grade I – Flat water, No rapids
  • Grade II – Bubbling current, small rapids
  • GradeIII – More technical and require more expertise
  • Grade IV & V – Seriously big rapids. Require some kayaking experience and confidence in water since there are possibilities of getting stuck in the whirlpool if the kayak flips or can’t control the direction of kayak
  • Grade VI – Not run by the tour companies due to the serious risk involved

 Rivers

  1. Trisuli – It is great for beginners or good for experienced paddlers to warm up before they go for other rivers. It is easily accessible from Kathmandu as well as Pokhara. This river swells enormously during the monsoon season and that time it is one of the most challenging and dangerous river to paddle.                                                               Duration: 1 – 3 Days, Distance: 60 kilometers Trisuli
  2. Seti – This River is again divided into Lower Seti and Upper Seti. Lower Seti is great for families due to its calm and relaxing water and gentle rapids, whereas Upper Seti is good for intermediate Kayakers. This river Seti has plenty of grades I – III rapids and it provides a scenic view of the valley, forests and a nice white sandy beach.              Duration: 1/2 – 2 Days, Distance: 32 kilometers, Grade: I – IIISeti
  3. Bhote Kosi – This River is great for continuous rapids of grade IV and V at high flow and grade III at lower flows. It is very close to Kathmandu hence easily accessible. Not long but full of fun and adventure and also provide a scenic view of the surroundings. People do get a chance to feel being in a washing machine in the river and have couple of swims generally until unless you are really good with kayaking. This is a perfect river for a roller coaster ride because of the drops it provides. This goes near Tibet border.                                                                                 Duration: 1 – 2 Days, Distance: 22 kilometers Bhote Kosi
  4. Kali Gandaki – Great for fun and also known as the Holy River, Kali is known to be named after the Hindu goddess for destruction. It is flowing between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range and takes you to the deepest point. It provides grade III, IV and V grade challenging rapids where more techniques will be required. Like other rivers, this river also gives you a closer view of the beautiful wildlife.                                                                           Duration: 3 Days, Distance: 90 kilometers, Grade: III – VKali Gandaki
  5. Marshyandi – This river is some serious fun and requires some skills to go down on it is one of the best white water river that runs in the world. It provides rapids with IV and V grades and require discipline to really get through them as it has many technical and steep rapids throughout the stretch.                                                                             Duration: 3 – 5 Days, Distance – 27 kilometers, Grade: IV – VMarshyandi
  6. Sun Kosi – Longest river trip with a stretch of almost 270 Kilometer, Sun Kosi is almost 3 hours drive from Kathmandu.  It is also known as one of the top 10 rivers in the world to paddle. It provides breath-taking scenery all along the way. It has rapids of all grades from II to V. By the time you run this river you can cover from Tibetan border to North Indian plains.                                                                                                                                                              Duration: 8 – 10 Days, Distance: 270 kilometers, Grade: III – VSun Kosi
  7. Karnali – This river has earned a lot of respect for being the mightiest river in Nepal. It gives you a fulfillment to run this river as it has everything for a kayaker from various range of rapids to technical steep drops. It does give you a reason to boast about your kayaking skills once you have paddled this river. It is also one of the top 10 rivers in the world to paddle. It has rapids from grade III to V+.                                                                                      Duration: 8 – 10 Days, Distance: 180 kilometers, Grade: III – V+Karnali
  8. Tamur – Not so commercial, this river provides exceptionally challenging white-water rapids. With beautiful view of the gorge it passes through the secluded beaches and wilderness in Nepal. There are towering canyons around this river that makes it more challenging during the first 16 kilometres with high grade rapids.                         Duration: 11 Days, Distance: 120 kilometers, Grade: III – IVTamur
  9. Bheri – This is more over for family trips with amazing scenery and easy rapids of grade II to III.                    Duration: 4 days Distance: 105 kilometers, Grade: II – III

Don’t Drink before Diving with Great White Sharks – Bucket-List 2013 Week 5

Finally with a cup of ginger and lemon tea I am gaining my senses back. It’s been quiet a long period I would say since I had left for Adelaide and from a simple weekend away gateway it turned into a roller coaster adventure with a lot of things packed into very few days.

Item Number #23 – Swim with White Sharks and Item Number #10 – Try couch surfing in Australia

Eyeballing the cage

I left for the Airport to complete another item on my bucket list and it was couch surfing and visit one of the 7 new city/town in next 7 months. It was a cloudy day in Adelaide and I was not sure what I will be doing in this part of South Australia looking at the weather. All I had planned was to book a return ticket and arranged to couch surf there. Other than this I had no clue what I am supposed to do in this new place. I am getting used to of this now – going to a new place with no plan and do stuff there accordingly. Only if I knew I will end up encountering a dozen sharks after no sleep and few drinks one of these nights I was about to spend in South Australia. Yes right, it is not a good idea to drink if you are going to dive with great white sharks my dear friends. And this is coming from my personal experience.

I arrived at the place I was supposed to stay and there was a surprise waiting for me there. I realized that I was about to meet few fellow couch surfers and talk all day about life and philosophy and learn a lot of new things today. I didn’t have much sleep the day before the flight so I was a bit tired and cloudy weather seemed perfect to relax and wind down after 16 very busy days of my life (including sailing lesson and attending many social events other than trying to come up with many ideas to finish few bucket list items and not to say full time work with two night time deployments). I was feeling so happy to finally get this weekend for myself. I was at the door of my host in Adelaide and Sebastian, fellow German couch surfer welcomed me in this new place. It was a different feeling to be in this house. Something spiritual about the house and peaceful environment. I felt so happy instantly and started to relish the beauty of this new place with a garden, a pet cat and few chicken in the backyard. The lady who was hosting me wasn’t around so Sebastian, who was also couch surfing there gave me a quick run of the place and offered me some Jasmine tea. It was quiet refreshing. We talked about a lot of things including bin diving or so called dumpster diving. The people here were doing some bin diving which I had no clue what it was so I really enjoyed learning about it. And guess what here is a complete guide about it as well – Dumpster-Dive

Then I met another girl named Ariana, who was living there with the host (lady). She is a brilliant and charming 19 years old Indian girl. I enjoyed my conversation with her about India, social problems in India and a lot more. I already felt that I am going to miss staying here once I am back. Marion, the lady who was hosting me here, also arrived from Victoria as she was gone to attend a retreat and we discussed her experience there. Another couch surfer Nick joined us towards the night. Marion is a great lady and an awesome host. Last year she hosted more than 200 people at her place. Amazing right. Here I was enjoying my first couch surfing experience with such an amazement.

Next day I prepared cheesy egg frittata with Nick for three of use (Nick, Sebastian and myself) as Marion already had her breakfast and Ariana had left for her Art school workshop. And guess what it was the best meal I ate after a while, may be because I was cooking 😉 Anyways I felt home at that place and we started making plans for the day when I started checking about Shark Diving in the area as mentioned by Ariana a day before. I am not sure what came over me and I booked the returned ticket to Port Lincoln in another two house for the dive as it was one of the things on my bucket list. I was lucky when I called the tour company and they say the tour is being operated everyday and there are quiet good chances to see shark these days. Only issue was my return flight was around 6:30 PM and the tour doesn’t usually end till late evening. I was a bit in mess now as I had to be back somehow to be back at work on Monday morning. Here I was sitting in-front of the chair and wanted to bang my head against the wall thinking of my hastiness at times. But any ways I saw this as an opportunity to complete the task on my bucket list and felt quiet enthusiastic and somehow I felt I can make it and things will be alright. So I booked a night in Port Lincoln and early morning (6 AM) tour for cage diving with the great white dangerous sharks. I left Adelaide with a note that if they don’t hear back from me then I might be in some shark’s stomach 😉

I arrived at the hostel where I was staying for the night – YHA. I already started meeting people who were going for the dive or who had done it. I was so excited that I can’t put it into words. I met this group of English guys and had my dinner talking to them about their experience with the sharks and sharing my experience of my bucket list so far. More people joined us and here I was playing different weirdly named card games (one of them was shithead, I wasn’t sure if it was the right name really). I was enjoying the game when everyone started drinking wine and I was offered some as well. I thought for a moment but then joined everyone else. I am not sure what was I thinking really as after few drinks I was not sure how am I going to make it for the early morning departure to the port. And on top of that I agreed to go to the pub with others. Here I was feeling all uneasy with the constant reminder of the tour so I went outside the pub to get some air. The worst was still waiting though. When I wanted to go back the bouncer didn’t allow me in saying that after 1 AM no one is allowed back into the pub. It was one of the most stupid thing I had ever heard whereas the group I came with was still inside. I called a taxi and made my home to get some sleep then. Only when I arrived at the hostel I realized that someone from the group had borrowed my key as they didn’t have their key handy. This was not looking good anymore. Fun time seemed to be over. I had two choices – Try to sleep in the living area in the couch. But then I had to get my key back to check out in the morning. I tried to knock on the door but no one opened the room I was staying. I was already regretting over the decision of drinking tonight. I decided to stay awake till others come back and get my key back to let myself into my room. It was so hard to keep my eyes open. I made my way to the kitchen and made some tea for myself. There was some free food in the fridge and I got some munchies from the shelf to make sure that I am fully awake this night no matter what. It was getting really hard to manage things at this stage now. I was partially awake when after few hours may be around 3 AM when two guys came from the group and asked me what I am doing here. I explained that I do not have the key. They felt sad for me after knowing the whole story and stayed with me in the living room to wait for others to be back so that I can get my key back. I was more assured now that I might be able to make it to the port tomorrow morning.

Finally I got my key around 4 AM and let myself in the room and got ready to sleep for two hours as the tour bus was supposed to be there by 6:30 AM. It was going to be the most ridiculous thing I had ever done I felt. But anyways I was in the flow making my journey more adventurous then it could be I thought. But it was still not that easy. There were many knocks on the door all night as there were quiet a few people drinking from my room and none of them had key. Yes it was a day of loosing key I felt. 6 AM – Someone’s alarm went off. I woke up quickly and saw others getting ready to leave. And I ran after them and realized that they didn’t bother to ask the driver to wait for few minutes. Here I was all ready but had missed my bus. I called the tour company and thankfully they send me another cab. I was finally able to catch the boat.

We all were welcomed with some early morning snacks. And I got introduced to this couple from Perth who were here to celebrate their second anniversary. What a great way to celebrate, although people were making jokes around wife to have a insurance for the husband. I didn’t take much time to drift to deep sleep when we left for a 3 hour journey to Neptune Island for our dive.

Finally some one from the crew woke me up and asked if I can go with the first group. Wow, this was quiet a wake up call now as my stomach was hurting with this bumpy ride till here and I still was suffering from the hangover. Really, Do I look so keen? I felt that it’s better to just go so I accepted to be the part of the first group. And they gave me all the gears to get ready.

It was quiet a relief when I came to know that we do not have to carry cylinder as they had tubes to supply oxygen in the cage. We were soon getting interviewed about how excited we were to see the sharks. To be honest I couldn’t be more dazed doing something like this after a really big night. But I had to smile on the camera no matter what as it was going to be my big moment, if only I survive and not get eaten by any shark interested in me. I finally got into water and felt a surge of excitement in me. My inside diver was coming out full of curiosity. I soon was a normal diver with my brain functioning quiet well now under water. And I started looking for the sharks around. It wasn’t long that we started spotting few of them swimming around. Soon we were a bit shaken in the cage by their excitement to catch the food thrown from the boat. One of them even hit the cage so hard that I had to hold myself back not to swim out the gap in the cage. It was mind blowing to see them so close where I had an eye on the gap as there are stories of small sharks entering the cage through it.

Finally after an hour we went out the cage which was good as I was freezing by then and was done with shark seeing. We had our lunch once we got changed after a shower. I was tired and happy and excited all at the same time. I felt as if I was mesmerized by these beautiful but dangerous creatures. I was so lucky in terms of timing as today it was a small group of people and we got to see shark soon as compared to other days. Hence we headed back way too early – 2 PM. And got back by 4:30 PM and I had enough time to catch my flight back to Adelaide.

With Dan, Skipper

With Dan, Skipper

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Posing with Dani, the host in the tour – she is just awesome 🙂

I am lucky when it comes to meet people I guess as on my way to Airport I got to share the taxi with this another amazing group of Tennis players who shared their experience of traveling around the world and it didn’t let me feel bore on the way to airport or another hour spent there. I was over the moon now after everything was falling in place. When I got back to Adelaide, I went back to the same place I was couch surfing. I met Marion and Sebastian there. I offered to cook some Indian curry and rice. We all shared the meal and it was the perfect way to end this trip really. Next morning my flight was very early (6 AM). Yes, this is early for me usually as I had to be there by 5 AM and that meant I had to get up by 4:30 at least. Marion was so helpful that she offered me lift to the airport in the morning. We enjoyed music – Santana by Carlos Augusto Alves Santana, a Mexican and American musician. I loved it. I was able to catch my flight to Sydney and went to work straight from the airport. I have done it few other times last year so it was OK to see people staring at me thinking I might have lost my way to enter with my big backpack.

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Back in Adelaide airport

So this was my adventure for this weekend. I hope you enjoyed it with me 😉

See you soon with more updates on my bucket list dear friends. Till then have fun 🙂

Bucket-List 2013 Week 3 – Sailing Lesson

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Hi My Dear Friends,

I am back with more updates for 3rd week. As promised I am here with the pictures of one of the items in my bucket-list for this year.

Here is also a link for my bucket list for 2013 if you haven’t had a look.

My Promise to live life – My BucketList 2013

A little bit different and also another post about the fears I have in my life with a reflection of other reader’s experiences along with it. My Fears

One items already finished earlier this week: One item crossed off the list with an awesome day

Also another post on the week before since I have started this bucket list of mine.https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/bucket-list-2013-week-1-belgian-beer-and-a-girl-with-a-hood/ and updates from week 2 – https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/bucket-list-2013-week-2-bridge-climb-social-event-and-a-lot-more/

Now I had an awesome day as I was out learning how to sail. To be honest it was a bit bizarre to put this on my bucket list to try I felt few times as this is not something I had ever thought about. But I am really glad that I did it as it was so much to learn and awesome fun.

item number #39 – Learn to sail in the world’s best harbor: Darling Harbor

Started walking around the harbor for the class and took some amazing shots as otherwise I am hardly out of bed by this time on a weekend so it was good to have some fresh air. It was quiet refreshing actually. Then I went for my class on time which I am proud of 😉 especially on the weekend.

I was about to start my course for Hunter 33 boat. And David was our instructor. The Hunter 33 is a combination of comfort and performance. With the beam located well aft, there is more interior space, without sacrificing performance. David is an amazing instructor and very patient as well  as I was so naive with any terminology of this sailing world and the various concepts he was teaching us about. But he was encouraging at the same time so it helped quiet a lot to learn more in short time. Its a two days course to introduce a newbie in the field. If I go out on a boat then I would love to sail it now 😉 Here are some shots for the day. And I am very happy to cross off one more thing from my bucket-list.

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David – Our wonderful instructor

 

What keeps me alive – Want to know? Let’s have a look

Adventure, happiness, joy, peace, self-respect, love  for nature & people, curiosity ..are some of the most important things that keep me alive…here are some of the moments that made me feel alive truly. I would love to share them with you are you are an integral part of my life now dear friends 🙂

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In the air - Passion of my life

In the air – Passion of my life

Don't think I am very good at this, but it was fun ;)

Don’t think I am very good at this, but it was fun 😉

Doing something crazy...it was Seymour's Pass Walk (20th August 2011) when I was trying to drink water at the very top of the mountain

Doing something crazy…it was Seymour’s Pass Walk (20th August 2011) when I was trying to drink water at the very top of the mountain

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Co-Pilot, One day I will fly independently

Co-Pilot, One day I will fly independently

Tall Ship ride in Sydney - I am in ;)

Tall Ship ride in Sydney – I am in 😉

Vintage Fair - Love this stuff

Vintage Fair – Love this stuff

Ready for Melbourne Cup

Ready for Melbourne Cup

War - Not me yet..lol

War – Not me yet..lol

The Illusionists - How could I miss this in Sydney Opera House

The Illusionists – How could I miss this in Sydney Opera House

Scuba Diving with Manta Rays at night - Awesome experience in Big Island, Hawaii

Scuba Diving with Manta Rays at night – Awesome experience in Big Island, Hawaii

Who is all set for a volcanic helicopter tour...me me me ...stay tight we are just about to leave...

Who is all set for a volcanic helicopter tour…me me me …stay tight we are just about to leave…

Now the most important of all - my transport most of the time, Plane - in various sizes..lol ...most of the times bigger than this ;)

Now the most important of all – my transport most of the time, Plane – in various sizes..lol …most of the times bigger than this 😉

Horse Riding - Yes I tried that too for two hours for the first time...couldn't walk for two days

Horse Riding – Yes I tried that too for two hours for the first time…couldn’t walk for two days

Yes that me going crazy to mix the drinks in a bowl as that's the only thing my amazing friends could provide me to have drinks...It was so hard to know when its too sweet or when it is too strong

Yes that me going crazy to mix the drinks in a bowl as that’s the only thing my amazing friends could provide me to have drinks…It was so hard to know when its too sweet or when it is too strong

730094_10200304501392427_1336808509_oThe Illusionists - Awesome magic show with 7 renowned magiciansof the world The Illusionists – Awesome magic show with 7 renowned magiciansof the world

Taupo Bungy Jumping - New Zealand, North Island. Did I love it? It was good for one time ;)

Taupo Bungy Jumping – New Zealand, North Island. Did I love it? It was good for one time 😉

Is that me trying to climb this Mini Adams peak - yes you are right, its me trying my best...lol

Is that me trying to climb this Mini Adams peak – yes you are right, its me trying my best…lol

Ready for reef jumping in Fiji

Ready for reef jumping in Fiji

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Snorkelling – Yes I love it

Cave Diving? Yes I did it, in Fiji. Although that time I was just learning how to swim so it was not that easy...lol

Cave Diving? Yes I did it, in Fiji. Although that time I was just learning how to swim so it was not that easy…lol

Hahaha..it was fun on a scooter

Hahaha..it was fun on a scooter

Who knew this elephant could do so many tricks...I had to make sure that I was holding tight :) It was in Bali

Who knew this elephant could do so many tricks…I had to make sure that I was holding tight 🙂 It was in Bali

It started very well till the Tarzan jump came into the picture - Forest adventure in Singapore

It started very well till the Tarzan jump came into the picture – Forest adventure in Singapore

Sky Diving - Yes would definitely do again. When do you want a buddy? lol

Sky Diving – Yes would definitely do again. When do you want a buddy? lol This was in South Island, New Zealand

I am about to fly

I am about to fly

 

Kayaking in Byron Bay

Kayaking in Byron Bay

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

Hot Air Ballooning with 7 Sky Divers

 

Riding ATV - The Adventure Begins

Riding ATV – The Adventure Begins

 

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

 

Kayaking in Nepal

River Kayaking in Nepal

 

We could have been the meal of the tiger that day – Lesson: Rice Terraces can be way bigger than they actually look

The lesson from the story seems to be a bit weird when it comes to survival in the jungle, I know. But you would soon realise why this seems more appropriate rather than saying that don’t try the treks that you are not aware of when tigers can be around at the same time.

Sarankot (1610m) – day hike – 5/6 hours from the town called ‘Pokhara’ in Nepal

4th Day in Nepal, we had successfully climbed up this day long hike but one problem was that we started a bit late. It was the day after Shivratri so me and my friend were of course not in the best state of our mind but we had been thinking of being more active and lose some weight in the holidays that we had gained from the various cuisines we already had so far. We anyways got determined to do this trek which didn’t look very threatening looking at our level of fitness and it was around 1 PM when we started. It was very sweaty but still refreshing to get to the top. We took our time to take some nice shots and admired the beauty of the town from there.

 

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I have already posted some really nice pictures that I was able to take the same day of sunset (only that I didn’t mention that it was half an hour before we were getting our new lesson in life https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/a-magical-evening-from-nepal/

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Soon we realised that we have been descending for quite a while via road and it does not seems to take us anywhere near the town hence I pointed out to a trek that was near the road and looked like a short cut. My friend agreed with me and we both started following this trek more quickly than we had thought as the sun was on its way home much too quick. We heard few kids laughing and saying there are tigers in the forest but their tone didn’t seemed to be serious hence we assumed it to be a common joke around the locals.

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Soon we had arrived the rice terraces with no one left around and we are still descending. We could see the town somewhere far away below but it was still a long way to go. Now there was no clear trek so we started jumping one rice paddies at a time. Then we spotted a farmer winding down his day and thought it as a good idea to ask him for the direction. He looked a bit amazed looking at us, two girls, in the middle of nowhere and keen to make our way in this wilderness into the dark. But he anyways pointed out to the right side and said good bye. As usual we obeyed to any guidance provided by this so called only available local expert in this foreign land but soon we realised there was no way that we can go ahead in that direction, else we will end up being in the very dense forest. And if we try to climb down the rice paddies then it was as high as the wall of an average room so there were quite a few chances of breaking our legs in case we jump from there. We thought that we were following the easier trek earlier (before we took the promising direction guidance from the farmer) so we might want to go back (to the left). So we thought of backtracking our way a little and successfully did half of it in one direction. But now there was no staircase like paddies left, all we could see were high walls all around and it was getting harder to imagine ourselves climbing down those with any success to getting close to the city. We scrambled few bushes and tried to follow the water streams between the gaps of two rice terraces vertically but then it was getting dark all too soon.

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Then we made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the rice paddies horizontally via the water stream and got ourselves into a very steep rock soon and back tracked the same to reach the top of the paddy. My friend was brave to say that it’s ok if we have to stay in the forest and back of my mind I started counting the resources we had to stay there – none. No tent, no water, nothing to eat, nothing to cover ourselves and no torch (battery of my mobile was also dying). She was confident to an extent that she was telling me to climb the tree if an animal shows up and here I was not trained in all these traits of climbing trees, living in the forest with nothing. Ouch, I felt a bit scared and my mind started racing to find a way out. I asked her if she is ok to back track the way up and go back to the street from where we descended at least that way we will be close to civilization and will be able to get a ride home if nothing. Thankfully she agreed and my heartbeat got a bit normal. Then next challenging task was to lead the way and I volunteer to do that. Soon I felt as if I had eyes of a cat (people used to say that I had catlike eyes – hazel), but joke apart, It really helped because I was able to see my way in very dim light from the moon.

Finally after 30 minutes of struggle we were able to see few people sitting near the farm. I can’t explain how relaxing it was as if we found the lost treasure there. Now I was more hopeful thinking that we would definitely be safe and alive now. But there you go, a guy from the group said that he can help us to go back to the same rice paddies and show us the proper track that we have just missed. This was not happening, as it was really dangerous to go back but he tempted us with the time it would have taken to get home through this short cut. And a moment later we were following him through the same path. Annoying – yes it was at that time but survival was more necessary than any other emotion at that point of time. My friend snapped at him once as well when he started doing the small talk by asking where she is from. She replied – ‘How does it matter at this time?’ and it was true we were there stuck in the middle of nowhere and not at all in the mood of this kind of conversation. But after a while we became more relaxed as we realized that he knew where he was taking us. My phone was of some help with the light to show us the way as well.

But the happiness of being found didn’t last too long. There it was – he said it. He started telling us that there is a tiger or may be a few in that forest and he even confirmed the path we had taken after being guided by the farmer few hours ago was where they saw the tiger few days ago. I gulped and didn’t know how to react. I was not sure to look ahead or look back to make sure no tiger is following me. Not that I would say that I am afraid of dying. But at least I wanted to be ready. My friend wanted me to take her picture looking into the eyes of tiger in case she encounters such situation and put it on Facebook (lol). But now that looked like a really bad joke when in the dark I was not sure where to look for this dangerous creature. It was not even like going into a national park to spot one…here we were not willing but still in risk of seeing one in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to shout or cry not sure what but I had to man up and focus on the way.

Soon when we were just able to gather our calm and cool again he threw another piece of information on us about a Japanese girl who got lost there like this almost a year ago. I was expected some kind of horror story now. But thank God it was alright. He told us that she gave him a lot of money to save her life, not that he fought with the tiger and all. But it was when we were ready to follow the track at our own when he asked if he can stay with us. Now that was awkward. We told him that we can give him money but he should find his way back home after that. There was a little discussion now on this as I preached this guy about morality and pointed out that we are happy to pay for what he is doing for us and we really appreciate his help. We realised that he was more risky to be around than the tiger then we decided to pay him money and track our way back home from there. We did that and finally got to the main road and took a deep breath. Our first reaction was a little shock realizing that we are safe and alive but we had a laugh soon when we started walking in the middle of road and my friend said that it would look very bad if after surviving through the forest we got hit by a car there.

We stopped for dinner on the way home in a nice looking restaurant, not that we were looking very good to enter there but we stopped anyways. We really needed some good food after no lunch all day (just late breakfast) and all this adventure. I liked a quote from my friend that we should be really good friends that we didn’t fight during this crises today. I really felt relaxed after all this and the meal tasted as if I never had that good a meal in my life. It was a meal after you just got another chance to live 😉 Now I think I am exaggerating it.

Thanks for reading dear friend. It was one of the experiences I will always remember and I am glad that you lived it with me again.

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World’s End in Sri Lanka

Yes that exact expression I had as you have reading the title of this post. No wonder I had to risk my life and see this place to show you my friend as well in case I survive through it 😉

Good news is that I am still alive and you can enjoy the pics of this beautiful place in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. Its kind of a national park but just a little high. And you can view East Sri Lanka from there and as deep as 870 meters from the top straight down.

The town Nuwara Eliya is breathtakingly beautiful I would say. Some of the best views in the country you can find here. Once I get home afyer finishing my travel I would write more details about travelling in Sri Lanka including some tips. Also you can always reach me for information in case you travel there.

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Awesome days doing River Kayaking – Thrishuli River, Nepal

Loved the thrill, fun, fear and adventure

Fiji – Another name for ‘Freedom to Live’ (Part 3)

Next day another adventure was waiting for me. Being a naive to sea and swimming I was having a ball with all the water activities. Now it was time for some cave diving. It sounded so exciting that I could not stop myself from booking next day trip to another island to do the Cave Diving. Although many questions started bothering me after I booked for it – Will I have to stay underwater too long, do I need to be a good swimmer to be able to do that, will it be scary, will I be ok after doing it. But I was rest assured that I will be fine as there were two guides and all the fellow travellers knew how to swim so to be honest I had more trust on others than myself.
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Next morning I was even more thrilled thinking – here I was in the middle of this big island with strangers doing stuff that is another name of peak adventure. Best thing ever, I told myself. We were all geared with the swim suit and a life jacket after boarding the boat that was going to take us to this another island. We arrived at our destination. The water was crystal blue and the view was breathtaking. It made me feel envious of the people who were living there, thinking that they are able to live in paradise every day.
Quara ni Bukete  Cave
Finally we climbed the steps towards the Qara ni Bukete (Pregnancy Cave), named so because it does not allow any woman who is trying to hide she is pregnant. It was a bit dark in the cave but we could see some light coming through the slits. I jumped into the water in the cave after a little bit of hesitation with my life jacket on of course. I thought maybe this is it? It was easy. But nope there was another cave through this bigger cave where we could only go through a narrow passage under water.
Two guys went in with the guide. We did not have any proper equipment for diving so we had to hold our breath for at least 30 seconds and the guide was supposed pull us underwater towards the other cave. Once on the other side the guide will go back and bring another person. Now it was the test as I could not go under water without my life jacket. Guide was back and wanted one of us to go with him. Everyone in the group started staring at each other as no one was sure how risky it is in the dark. I was scared but excited and didn’t realise when I got voice and said ‘I will come’ to guide. He stared at my life jacket and asked me to take it off. I told him that I am not a good swimmer and he smiled (maybe he was thinking I must be joking as I had come for a cave diving after all) and assured me that I will be fine. I took off my life jacket and the guide took my hand and asked me to take a deep breath. I followed his instruction and he pulled me under water and I felt all I can do is trust him. I could feel my body moving through this narrow tunnel, touching the walls of it. Soon when I was still in dazed state I was on the other side of the cave. He looked at me and smiled again and asked me where I am from. He must have sensed my fear. I told him that I am from India, living in Australia for few months and have just started to learn swimming. He looked amazed but asked me to leave his hand as he had to go to bring other people now. I was scared again as I was in this cave in dark and with no floating device to hold on to. I quickly swam across the cave with my breast stroke techniques and tried to hold the holes in the wall like a lizard.
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Other girls also came to this side after seeing me. They must have thought that when a non-swimmer can do it then they can as well. After few moments when my eyes got adjusted then I realised most of the people in the group who chose to come were here and we had to swim to the other side where the guide was taking us. There was a small area where there was some light coming from a slit and it felt very nice to see few rays of light as they were like rays of hope. It was an amazing experience of my life. We came back and I was still dazed with the whole day adventure. Next day I had to leave the island and head back to home. I was overwhelmed by the welcoming behaviour of the people in Fiji. I left but the memories stayed with me forever.

Underwater Meditation

I am going to Manly Shelly beach for another scuba dive tomorrow morning. I call it meditation under water. One needs to focus on breathing just like yoga or meditation. One can live in present and appreciate the surroundings while diving. Its one of the best way to start a day and makes me very calm and relaxed. Every time I dive, I learn something new even if it is the same diving site. You always notice some thing new or learn more about yourself in water. The more relaxed you become the more enjoyable experience you get. Its all about sharing the ocean with so many other living beings there. Every time I dive it makes me think – how big the world is and how many beautiful and amazing creatures are there in neighborhood. All we need to do is knock at the door and say hello to them.

Last time I saw Blue Gropers, Blue Bottles, Port Jackson, Dusky and Wobbegong sharks. There are some beautiful rock formations and reefs near Fairy Bower (towards the south end of Manly beach). Also the Dusky sharks were wondering there and we were only able to spot it from far and then it vanished. Although most of the diving tours don’t take you very far due to the time limitation, but you can go with your buddy for a fun dive there. I am hoping to experience some more  magic under water this time. Lets see what happens. I will keep you posted.