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The Sri Lankan Odyssey – Exploring Sri Lanka

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The sun had just been rising slow as the blue waves splashed into the beach front, the horizon stretch at Negombo was slowly spreading with orange and occasional pixels of black dots at the end of it, in constant motion. Wide beaked seagulls strutted across the beach, hopping. Hiding away from their eyes are puny crabs.  They run diagonally into the tiny holes on the wet sand. A little amusement and awe at that splendid image is only going to add into my stash of visual fortunes and so I stopped in curiosity.

I paused near the shore, white and golden sands all over my feet, wind that blew and pampered me, head to toe with the flip-flops studded with mud that shone; I waited for a good view of the huge boats and their bounty. Coconut palms agreed in unison.

A long walk on the white sands gave me a lot of memories to paint my heart walls with. Those tiny pixels from far the horizon had now turned into huge boats as they approached the shore. One of them came over right in front of me! It was one of the best sights that my eyes treasured! The boat made a creaking noise, as though it wasn’t so happy to have gotten back into the land. A few fishermen onboard, still in their prime of enthusiasm even after the rough seas, jumped off the trawlers, tugged at the honey-coloured ropes fasted on one of the brass beams. I watch, in utter amusement.

The pointy wooden nose of the large boat dripped wet, salty from the sea. The large sails fluttered happily, in the wind.

I peeked, into the large belly the boat had, and I found fishes piled, colourful with button eyes and the relieved smiles on the fishermen. The large boat swayed on the loose waves and the fishermen pulled the ends of the rope to bring it to rest, on the shore. They pulled hard, raising many ‘ahoy’s that echoed through the pristine, breezy beach. The boat although, hardly was in a hurry!

I couldn’t miss this golden opportunity in no time and so I kept down my flip flops, took an end of the thick rope from an old fisherman, tugged at it hard, twining it around my wrists and pulled hard, towards me. The boat moves in, tearing the waves beneath. For a split second, the waves touched over my feet, sending a trail of goose bumps through my spine on the balmy sunny day.  The large boat approached the shore as the oars made clinking noises as it clang the padlocks on the inside of the boat. The padlocks safeguarded an iron trunk that probably contained the passports and documents of these fishermen, just in case when they battle the sea and it’s mighty bounty. The fishermen, who were left on the trawler, jumped off and gave me a warm smile for my team play.

As I continued my walk on the beach, with the flipflops in my hand a tune on my lips, I turned back, looking at the large boat. The fishermen are engrossed in unloading the fish into small buckets and boxes. A bunch of crows are snooping around, swooshing and flying crisscross, in the hope for some fish off the boat. Dogs are at a distance with puppy eyes, in hope as well. Cats lurk behind the boxes, only to be shooed away by the menfolk. A few people have come and stood by the boat, talking to the head fisherman. He is arguing, sometimes disagreeing, and shaking his head vigorously. He is happy for sometime and immediately to another man, he shouts. At work, I see that he is.

He probably owns the ride and masters it.

Unpacking. Transferring. Bargaining. Buying. Shifting. Whispering. Hustling. Whistling. Cacophony.

Catamaran beach hotel

Catamaran beach hotel

I retreat into my cozy room at the Catamaran beach hotel at Negombo. It’s a peaceful property on this calm beach front. Rich with heritage architecture and excellent client service, they are just a pleasure to be with.  We see wonderful ethnic wooden furnitures abundantly used on this property. Outside the hotel, on the sands and overlooking the sea, some vendors who sold rugs and curios are calling out at tourists for their share of earning. How buying has influenced us all so! A little girl who sold antique jewellery pieces calls out at me, displaying a chunky necklace she lifts up from her tray of goodies,  “madam, this! This! You want?”

A huge badam tree not so far off, has a couple of young boys playing cards under. They shout in excitement at the poker game, startling a dog that was sleeping in the shade. A lonely cycle was resting on the tree trunk as I sipped my apple mojito at the Catamaran hotel Bar on the first floor. Looking down the balcony, I see a large swimming pool with blue water and an aquamarine beach ahead of me. Life just felt good.

But I had more to discover in this tiny beach town. As evening comes, I am off, to a flea market at the end of the beach. I can’t wait to lay my hands on beaded jewelery and sip some hot piping tea. So, tell me, when do you want to come over?

lazing around

lazing around

closer view.

closer view.

Sri Lankan beach shacks

aqua blue pool

aqua blue pool

Sri Lankan beach coconuts

Lazy warm benches for rest

Lazy warm benches for rest

sri lankan hawkers

hawkers

sri lankan sellers who sell rugs

sellers who sell rugs

 

 

The view through the Catamaran beach hotel at Negombo.

The view through the Catamaran beach hotel at Negombo.

 

 

Furnitures in teak wood

beach hotel - the inside

beach hotel – the inside

highly expressive, roaring appetite for books, food and design; have occasional bouts of flippancy to all things needed. Always hungry for Biryani. Nomad. Binger. Lover.

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Yacht charter in Barcelona, the comfort and privacy you can’t get on land

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Traveling the coast of Barcelona in a luxury yacht is an unforgettable experience that everyone should experience sometime in their lives. It is the perfect trip for those who want to get away from the city and its noises, to relax in a peaceful atmosphere that can only be reached at sea.

Barcelona, located on the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most visited cities in Spain, even in Europe. It is the perfect place to enjoy the architectural, artistic, cultural and gastronomic diversity of the country, making it one of the favorite tourist destinations for millions of people around the world.

Among all the many attributes that the city of Barcelona has, one of the most outstanding is its beaches. Years ago the American magazine National Geographic named Barcelona as the best coastal city in the world.

There are 4 kilometers of sand in the Catalan capital available for the fans of maritime landscapes, finding beaches for any activity you could wish for during your holidays, either to relax, practice water sports and more. 

Among all the activities that have been on the rise in this paradise is the rental of luxury yachts. And nothing can compare to sailing along the beautiful coasts of Barcelona in one of these majestic vessels, which are at your disposal to discover the most beautiful landscapes.

Undoubtedly, touring these paradisiacal landscapes aboard Barcelona charters is the best way to get away from the noise of the city and just enjoy the feeling of freedom and calm that can only be achieved on the high seas.

Imagine living the pleasure of riding on a modern motor yacht with capacity for a dozen people traveling at speeds up to 25 knots; it would be, without a doubt, a unique experience! 

In the city of Barcelona there are prestigious agencies that rent these fast and elegant luxury boats for periods ranging from one hour to the whole day and even the weekend. 

These services are aimed at VIP clients and can be used for all kinds of events, such as corporate events, meetings and romantic dinners, including unforgettable tours along the coast of Barcelona and the Maresme. There is also the option of buying drinks on the boat and catering service. There are a lot of possibilities, and companies will always provide alternatives to suit the client’s needs.

Learn a little more about these boats

Luxury yachts fascinate those who seek privacy and comfort in its maximum expression, which is sometimes difficult to achieve on land. It is a pleasant way to get away from the world.

These boats can be quite amazing in terms of all the luxury features they offer. Specialized blogs have even made rankings of the 10 most expensive yachts in the world, which are a privilege that is only reserved for a very exclusive elite.

These yachts are considered by many as titans of floating vehicles. They are jewels of engineering equipped with the latest technology and elements for maximum comfort. 

The top 10 most expensive yachts are as follows: 

1.- History Supreme ($4.8 billion).

2.- Eclipse ($1.5 billion).

3.- Streets of Monaco (1.1 billion dollars).

4.- Topaz (527 million dollars).

5.- Motor Yacht A ($440 million).

6.- Dubai (350 million dollars).

Sailing Yacht A (US$323 million).

8.- Al Said (300 million dollars).

9.- Dilbar (256 million dollars).

10.- Lady Moura (210 million dollars).

We encourage you to review the features of these amazing vessels in specialized portals, among which we can mention, heated swimming pools, heliports, basketball courts, concert halls and more. The wealthy owners of these “mega yachts” spare no expenses to make these vehicles with all the comforts that anyone could imagine.

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Planning to Travel? Here Are the Do’s to Observe

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Air travel

Traveling abroad isn’t just a matter of packing and leaving; there several significant aspects of your journey that you need to be on top of before you embark on your journey. For a safe, peaceful, and enjoyable stay at your travel destination, your health should top the list from your travel plans.

It would be best to consider a thorough health checkup for vital health concerns like vaccination, blood test, malaria, urine test, and dental checkup.

Why Is a Dental Checkup Important?

If you plan to have an extended stay, you should tend to broken fillings, decayed teeth, or any dental issues to minimize dental emergencies. It’s prudent to also have the necessary treatment before leaving.

The standards of dental care worldwide vary widely and the certainty of getting dental supplies from a trusted and certified dental supplier isn’t assured. The cost may also become cumbersome given that your destination of choice may not have dental care coverage for kids.

Depending on where you’re traveling, either in developing, developed, or remote areas, leaving your dental health to chance can be uncomfortable if not dangerous. Your chosen destination may lack the resources, dental supplies, and equipment to cater to your dental needs.

Air travel causes specific pressure changes, affecting your root canal, causing pain and potential infections. Therefore, it’s advisable to ensure that you complete all your treatment before traveling or consider paste filling to minimize the risks.

Pericoronitis is an infection caused by food trapped through the flesh covering your teeth. The condition can spread to parts of your neck and head; to avoid this outcome, consider removing lower wisdom teeth that are partially exposed.

The other thing you should look out for is if you have gum (periodontal) disease, it’s essential to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist or a dentist.

Checklist Before Travel

As stated earlier, the most vital thing is you and your health, so here are some things you should consider.

Travel Insurance

Probably, the health care insurance coverage that you have at the moment will not cover the scope of international travel. After you’ve assessed the situation keenly, consider opting for emergency medical insurance and medical evacuation.

The majority of options and plans offered by travel insurance providers occasionally cover trip cancellation, lost luggage, plus medical emergency and evacuation.

Get the Right Visa

Do thorough research on the kind of visa you need. This is a critical but overlooked aspect by many travelers. Any mixup can turn your trip into a disaster, as this little mistake could mean you’ll get turned away from the said country.

To make matters worse, you won’t even be allowed to leave the airport, which should serve as a motivation to be extra keen. Find out the visa you qualify for and apply early in advance.

Pre-Book Accommodations

You wouldn’t want to deal with the stressors involved in getting an instant spot without prior arrangements. Start on the right foot by booking a one-night accommodation in advance, ensuring you aren’t anxious through your journey.

You can have a fun-filled day exploring the area after a comfortable night’s sleep. To prepare for any eventualities, ensure that you also have a hard copy of your accommodation reservation besides having a soft copy.

Travel Advisory

Before you decide your destination, it’s vital to cross-reference through the government state department website to see if the country you wish to travel to poses a threat (short or long term) to travelers. You’ll find a list of countries with a travel warning. This is critical because travel insurance does not cover countries under a travel warning.

Vaccination

Scour through to find the health information of the country you’ll be traveling to and whether you’ll need to be vaccinated. Finding out nations that pose a risk to your health are highlighted on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

This mainly applies if you’re traveling to third-world countries and the vaccination may vary, including yellow fever, Zika virus, malaria, cholera, etc. Also, get enough supplements to last you the entire trip if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to supplement your fill abroad.

To avoid security hiccups, find out which drug prescriptions are not illegal in your destination or countries you’ll pass through. It’s essential to bring along photocopies of your prescription and always carry the medicine in its prescribed bottle.

Suppose your medical condition requires you to have syringes, relay the information before security checks. Take your vaccination six weeks before departure, as vaccines take a couple of weeks before they can kick in.

Enjoy Your Stay

We didn’t delve deeper into aspects including culture shock, travel deals, packaging, payment methods, etc., adhering to those mentioned above essential will keep your mind at ease. What remains is to enjoy your exploration.

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Staying Safe While You’re Abroad

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Travelling family memories

Going on holiday is a thrilling experience, there’s so much to see, discover, and feel, but you need to make sure that you’re safe while you’re away. Being so far from home can leave you vulnerable to a lot of different dangers, and you’re not going to be able to resolve them in the way that you usually would. You need to know how to look after yourself in the event that something should happen, and that way you can ensure that your time away ends as a positive experience. There’s a lot to explore, but new experiences can sometimes bring about a risk to your health and safety.

Keep your important belongings close to you

No matter where you’re going, if it’s somewhere that requires you to have important documents and money with you at all times, you should make sure you have a way to prevent that from getting lost or stolen. There are many ways you can do it, but finding a way to keep those important belongings close to you, without the chance of them going missing is very important. Some people even go the extra distance to bring extras of those documents, and it can ensure that it doesn’t hinder their ability to have a good time while they’re away. The last thing you want is to lose your passport when you need to get home.

Make sure to take medication

If you’re going somewhere where you’re at risk of getting a disease, you must find out about it before you get there. Being able to prepare the proper medication and prevent those diseases can be a real life-saver. Going to another country means exposing yourself to new elements, making you much more vulnerable to health risks. Knowing how to do things like preventing Malaria, or warding off bugs is important! You never know what might happen while you’re out there, but if you’re prepared you at least know that you’re safe.

Know how to avoid getting lost

If you’re going somewhere far from home, it’s only expected that you’re not going to know where you are at all times, especially if you’re not going with a group. If you are out and about exploring, you’re going to want to know how you can make sure finding your way home is possible. Being able to communicate with the locals can be very helpful when you need to ask for directions. Now, learning a whole other language for a vacation isn’t realistic, but there are words and phrases you can learn to take you that little bit further.

You should also consider buying a map of the area that you go to before you set out. It’s great to explore, but a map can mean that you avoid getting lost. You’re likely going to have to rely on yourself whenever you get into trouble, so knowing how to read a map and navigate is going to make all the difference. It’s an adventure, but your safety should be your top priority.

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