Khandadhar – The Glistening Fall

zvvThe Peculiar Road

The once inaccessible fall has legendary stories of presence of flying snakes which added to the mystic aura of the place. On one hand, the narrow road cuts across remote hamlets, solitary farms, few dilapidated schools and barren parched fields while on the other, the presence of a heavily guarded police station with armed watch towers and electric fences seemed enigmatic. The condition of the road and the absence of any sign posts make the journey arduous and seemingly endless.

The Fall

Shining like a diamond on the top of a distant hill, the sparkling waterfall finally comes into view after a diversion of almost 45 km from the main road in Keonjhar district. As one walks on the red muddy path, the loud roar of falling water reverberates through the dense canopy. The dazzling, almost blinding white reflection that emanates from the top of the fall is a spectacular sight. The sheer drop against the brazen rock face is a sight to behold.

Natural Spa

The silvery streak of water gets divided into four minuscule falls after it hits rocky protrusions at the bottom. This natural intervention results in a refreshing spray of small water droplets. Standing near the fall with closed eyes and experiencing the flurry of tiny droplets caress your face, will let one feel unencumbered, free to reinvent oneself and the world as one deems fit and for a sliver a time, might believe it too. The noise of all discordant thoughts disappears in the ubiquitous sound of flowing water. Such rejuvenation can never be experienced in any spa therapy centers.

The Mountain Village

It is difficult to comprehend the presence of a tiny village consisting of around 10 families on top of the cliff. On further enquiry, it came to light that the presence of the stream has made the mountain soil fertile and selling home-grown vegetables in the local market was the only way of sustenance for these people. Just when one would be leaving with the thought of harsh life in the mountains, one might encounter group of women folk and children shrieking with juvenile glee and manic laughter returning with empty vegetable baskets on their way back up in the hills. May be this is how one is supposed to live, rejoicing in nature’s harmony.

Wee places like Khandadhar, are not much travelled. May be the reason why the area is still pristine and wild. Sometimes it is pleasing to know the dominance of nature which limits unnecessary human intervention. The inaccessibility of the fall till recent years has kept Khandadhar waterfall the way it should be – mystic, enigmatic and hidden.

FACTFILE

Getting There: Khandadhar falls is located in Keonjhar district. Approximately 200 km from Bhubaneswar, Keonjhar is well-connected by rail and road.

Best Time to Visit: November to March

Transport: The only viable option to reach the falls is by booking a private cab. There is no public transport to this area.

Blockades and Marches in Oaxaca, Mexico: It’s Safe, But Words of Warning for Residents and Tourists

agThe 2016 edition of teacher union marches, blockades and protests in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, began May 15th. It’s a tradition which commences on the same date each year. And similarly like clockwork, the questions on social media posed by prospective tourists to the region persist, about safety, and more generally concerning the advisability regarding travel to Oaxaca.

Over the past quarter century, I’ve only read of two non-Mexican visitors to the city of Oaxaca and the state’s central valleys who have been harmed as a consequence of becoming involved in protests, marches and / or blockades initiated by either teachers, or members of other unions or interest groups. Visiting Oaxaca is essentially always safe (relative to being a tourist in any city of comparable size in a developing nation), even after the commencement of the teachers’ strike and occupation of the city’s central square or zócalo, and associated blockades and marches. What’s more crucial, however, is understanding that the constitution of Mexico precludes foreigners from participating in the political process, and enables government to expel any non-Mexican almost at will.

The following is the essence of Article 33 of the Constitution:

While foreigners are entitled to the guarantees granted Mexicans, the federal executive has the exclusive power to compel any foreigner it deems inexpedient to leave the country without requiring any previous legal action. Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of Mexico.

While it appears that this provision is rarely enforced, the point is that it can be. If you rub the wrong person or community the wrong way, the authorities can be notified and you can be removed from the country, on a dime. A few years ago an American resident of Teotitlán del Valle (popularly known as the rug village), was suddenly gone, having been expelled from Mexico. I do not recall the precise circumstances, and never did learn the official reason that he was told he must leave. All I knew was that he had some kind of occasional employment in the state’s central valleys; I would periodically see him working at a mezcal retail outlet on Sundays at the Tlacolula de Matamoros marketplace.

Walking alongside any politically motivated march, or even hanging around a blockade for the purpose of chatting with a member of a union or community group can have adverse consequences. Granted, using Article 33 to kick someone out of Mexico is rare, but it can happen.

One never knows when a peaceful protest will descend to violent conflict.

Many still recall the 2006 death of an American videographer who elected to embed himself with protesters. At some point in time in his misadventure he surely realized that on the other side were armed police/soldiers. Though presumably not intentionally, during the conflict he was shot dead by a government employee or employees. He elected to put himself in the middle of a political mess. Don’t do it.

The other incident, also within the context of the 2006 civil unrest, was a tourist being inadvertently pepper sprayed as a consequence of having elected to walk alongside marchers so that he could video the procession of protesters and/or film any ensuring conflict. In at least one media report he brushed it off as having been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and to my knowledge he did not take any steps to follow up by lodging a complaint.

Protesters, marchers and blockaders in this part of Mexico can become aggressive and even violent at the slightest provocation. In January, 2015, I was attempting to leave the city for the day, in my vehicle, when I saw a blockade forming. There was enough space for my car to proceed between two vehicles which had been strategically placed along the roadway for the purpose of precluding other vehicles from getting by. Either the organizers had not finished setting up the blockade, or they had done a poor job, since it would have been very easy for me to get by. I attempted to do so, whereupon protester immediately stood in front of my car. I told him I just wanted to leave the city. Two others began kicking my driver side door, and then another (or one of the two) suddenly punched the left side of my face through my open window. My glasses flew off. By the end of the day I was sore, with a black eye. But I subsequently realized that it was my own fault. I have since joined the ranks of the meek, my wiser Oaxacan friends.

For most of us with age comes wisdom. For most of us with age we begin to lean a little to the right, even those of us who grew up in the 1960s counter-culture era. Leave it to Mexicans to change the socio-political and economic order. While we have good intentions, we must keep in mind the following:

• Non-Mexicans visit or live in the country at the grace and with the permission of government;
• Being in Mexico is a privilege, not a right;
• As much as we might want to right what we perceive as wrongs, or show our support, any steps aimed at so doing can have dire, long-lasting consequences.

As much as I like to believe that I know what’s going on to the same extent as my native Oaxacan friends, compadres and colleagues, I likely don’t, despite the fact that I’ve been living in southern Mexico for well over a decade. And even if I do, a good, safe and prudent rule of thumb is to quietly walk, or drive, the other way. I value my ability to continue to live peacefully in Oaxaca.

The Green City in the Sun

assNairobi is home to thousands of businesses and more than 100 major international organizations and companies including the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It has established itself as a hub for culture and business. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is amongst the largest in Africa and also the second-oldest exchange on the continent. It is fourth-largest exchange in Africa in terms of trading volume with a capacity of making 10 million trades a day.

The best points of Interests to explore in the capital

The elegant city of Nairobi offers a number of attractions for the tourists to savor. The nature and wildlife adorers will find a lot to their delight with numerous scenic spots such as David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (Kenya) Ltd. – Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park, Karura Forest, Ngong Hills, Nairobi Arboretum, Nairobi Mamba Village, American Embassy Memorial Garden, Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park and Oloolua Nature Trail.

The art and history buffs will find much to discover with the various affluent sites the capital offers such as Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi National Museum, Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages, Aero Club of East Africa, National Archives, Railway Museum and Nairobi Gallery.

For the shopaholics, The Village Market, The Junction Mall, Sarit Centre, Utamaduni Craft Centre, Galleria Shopping Mall, Spinners Web Kenya, Westgate Shopping Mall, Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass, Amani ya Juu and Matbronze Wildlife Art are the ideal spots.

The gourmets can relish some of the most mouthwatering meals in the city with Tamarind Restaurant, The Talisman, Tamambo Karen Blixen, Fogo Gaucho, Open House Restaurant, Ocean Basket, Java House, The Carnivore Restaurant, Haandi Restaurant and Hashmi`s Restaurant. While for the night howlers, K1 KlubHouse, Black Diamond, Aqua Blu Club & Lounge Bar, Club Cubano, Safari Bar and Skylux Lounge are the perfect destinations to make their nights happening.

Ideal time to Unearth Nairobi

The dry seasons i.e. from January to March and July through October are considered the best of the months to explore the Kenyan capital. You can witness the great migration at Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, go climbing at Mount Kenya or even daze in the luscious beaches alongside the Coast of Kenya. You can also look for some cheap flights to Nairobi and make your trip even more enriching.

Major Airport

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) is the primary commercial airport serving the sprawling capital. It handles over 6 million passengers annually and is the 9th busiest airport in Africa in terms of passenger traffic.

We Provide Cheap Flight Tickets to popular U.S.A and International Destinations around the world. Find and book Cheap flights to Nairobi in the US and worldwide destinations.

The Best Things to See and Do in Hisaronu, Turkey – Start Planning the Trip of a Lifetime

sddHisaronu excursions are plentiful when visiting this popular tourist destination in Turkey. One may not even realize that there is so much to offer, but it is definitely a trip unlike any other. When planning a holiday or vacation, be sure to keep these destinations, attractions and Hisaronu excursions on the list of must experience for an unforgettable trip.

Most travelers prefer to include a mix of things within their stay, unless it’s a quick weekend visit. Regardless, there are plenty of options from thrilling and wild to relaxing and mild so that everyone in the travel party will have the break they need from their day to day routine.

Fethiye Harbor

This Hisaronu excursion has many options. It’s a lovely spot to visit with many restaurants and bars along the harbor. Stroll around the marina to just see the boats or feed the turtles that are present. For a relaxing time just grab a drink or coffee, take a walk or just sightsee. If desired, there are many small boats for rent that tour the islands or offer fishing. It’s best to arrive early in the morning if wanting to book a boating trip.

Island hopping is a fun day out for all and one can get the true feel of what the area is all about, have some fun in the sun, as well as see everything the harbor has to offer for excellent photo opportunities.

Private Tours

Jeep safari and quad biking tours are popular for those searching for Hisaronu excursions. There is nice sightseeing and lunch included sometimes, depending on the provider. Some even combine with bungee jumps, white water rafting and zip lining for the ultimate in excitement. By visiting any of the private tour providers one can pick and choose their package and create some memories for an affordable rate. Quad biking is typically in a safe off-road area and lasts for up to two hours.

There are also more mild Hisaronu excursions that go sightseeing to historical sites and villages, and up in the mountains. Tlos, Yaka Park and Saklikent Gorge are just a few of the destinations. There are also sailing and boating excursions so there is definitely something for everyone.

Shopping

For anyone feeling like indulging in a unique shopping experience, Hisaronu has much to offer! There are many shoppes offering jewelry and clothing that are privy to the area and very unique. Make a day long Hisaronu experience out of it when combining breakfast or lunch and a day exploring what these unique places have to offer.

Pick up a new outfit for a night on the town and then choose one of the following bars or clubs to enjoy some music and entertainment with the locals.

Bars and Clubs

Among the favorite clubs in the area are Harmony Bar and Lazy Turtle but there are so many to explore. They feature delicious foods and great drinks as well as entertainment. When it comes to nightlife this area doesn’t fall short and offers something for everyone from families to singles. DJ’s, live music and more are offered. Do some exploring and have a blast.

Dinner Theater

For an amazing nighttime Hisaronu excursion book the Talk of the Town dinner theater. Enjoy amazing food and true entertainment like no other. A night of fun includes entertainment for teenagers and older from drag queens who will provide plenty of laughs, song and dance from start to finish. It is truly a unique experience and one that is well-known in the area. Many find that it’s the perfect start to an evening out.