Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Travel Secret Ebooks + Clean Water Charity Project

We all have our little secrets, tips or special places while traveling.

Months ago, Tripbase, the big online travel website, started a collaborative project with over 200 travel bloggers (I'm in too!) to gather 500 travel secrets and compile them into ebooks. From travel destinations, beaches, family travel to general tips, these books are available for free download!

But there's more to it than just sharing travel tips.

For every book downloaded, Tripbase will donate 1$ to provide clean water to people in developing nations.
The target is to provide 4 freshwater wells to provide drinking water to an entire school for 20 years.

Therefore, your help would be appreciated to make this campaign a huge success. Please follow the link below and download as many books as you want (there are 7 different) and help Tripbase accomplish their mission to provide fresh clean water.

I would also appreciate if you share this blog link to your friends so we could reach more people!

Thank you!

I've contributeddownloads
led by Tripbase

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pyrénées at dawn.


Most people will tell you that the first day of the Camino de Santiago is the hardest day of the walk (starting from St. Jean Pied-de-Port) and I agree.

Waking up at dawn in this old Basque village, at the foot of the Pyrénées mountains, I start my month long journey with much anticipation.
The temperature outside is freezing on this September morning, and yet my pilgrim companions and I manage to remain brave and start the climb towards the Spanish border instead of waiting in a café for sunrise.
St Jean is located at about 200m (660 ft) above sea level. On the first day, most pilgrims climb towards the Spanish border, at the top of the Pyrénées at 1400m high (4600ft) and back down to Roncesvalles at 400m (1300ft). The climb is pretty steep in some parts on the French side but the scenery is spectacular.
Halfway up to the top on the French side, I turn around to have a look at the hilly landscape still blanketed in mist as the sun slowly rises, radiating its warmth on the breathless pilgrims.
I stop and listen to Nature's awakening, savoring the moment, eyes shining with the excitement and expectation of days to come.

I know at this moment it was worth walking a second time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Photo Essay - WOMAD Abu Dhabi 2010

WOMAD, World Of Music, Arts and Dance, brings together artists from all over the globe. It is meant to celebrate, inform and create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society. From music, dance to children workshops and culinary discoveries, this family-oriented event has something for everyone.

WOMAD is an organization founded in 1980 by Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman and Bob Hooton. It currently holds festivals in about 20 countries and is aimed to share global sounds from different cultures worldwide.
For the first time, WOMAD held festivals in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2009 and 2010. It gathered thousands of people from different nationalities and classes. Labour workers to CEOs mixed together and enjoyed the different events on a public beach. For more information, please visit the official WOMAD site.

The Drummers of Burundi, a spectacle of dance and drums with exploding energy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nature's awakening


There is a certain bliss in witnessing Nature waking up.

A chill autumn breeze was trying to scatter the thick morning mist. I had started walking before sunrise, my  finely decorated walking stick in hand and heavy backpack on my shoulders, guiding myself with a little headlamp trying to spot the flechas amarillas (yellow arrows) pointing the way to the city of Santiago, in Spain.
I started with a very slow pace to let my body warm up and avoid injuries and cramps. But the main reason was to let other pilgrims go ahead of me so I could enjoy the silence and stillness of the slumbering countryside.
I stopped for a moment next to a collapsed haystack, probably due to the wind and rain from earlier days. Camera in hand, I sat down next to the field, almost holding my breath, experiencing the peace interrupted from time to time by the sound of the shutter.

Nature was waking up..
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