Kasauli: A Ballad of a Traveller

The traveller has a long way to go;

has much to search and to know.

When tired he stops to rest,

to start again with renewed zest.

He must go on be it loss or gain

and rise above joy or pain.

He travels through lands and oceans

and one fine day it dawns upon him

that the outside is actually within.

Life itself can be considered as a journey and we as travellers through this journey of life evolve into our true self. Going to different places broadens our perspective and enables us to be more productive in our work, with this thought in mind I finally decided to retreat, even if for a few days to Kasauli, work was becoming too monotonous and I needed this much postponed break. Kasauli is a small hill town in Himachal Pradesh located near to Chandigarh, Shimla and other cities. Kasauli was once the summer capital of The British, and this is evident even till today in its culture and heritage, through the monuments and buildings located amidst a charming natural setting. Being closely located to major cities of the state, it is easily commutable and has the basic amenities but is far from noise and pollution, this is one reason that makes travellers choose Kasauli as a perfect hill destination. Summer season in Kasauli is pleasant and a relief from the scorching heat of the plains. In winters it is chilly with temperature that hovers around 2 degrees Celsius, the snow and mist make the beauty of the hill town even more indescribable.

I chose to stay in a quaint guest house, providing only basic services but with a magnificent view of the entire mountainous terrain. I noted that at the backside of my dwelling place, the mountain was terraced. The terraced path lead to a temple of a local deity, I decided to walk up the terraced path, the very next day at dawn. I got up early, the next day, packed in my knapsack a bottle of water, binoculars, camera, fruits and nuts and set off for my morning walk. The terraced path passed between the tall pine trees and as I walked along, I could hear the birds sing sweetly. The climb was steep and quite lengthy and by the time I reached the temple I was panting and was feeling really hungry. I paid my respects to the local deity with flowers and thereafter I explored around. The place I had come to was a small village, I spotted a small tea stall and I decided to rest there a while, I ordered tea and hot samosas. While I was devouring my morning meal with great relish, I saw a quaint little cottage and the poet within me began to sing:

Up on the mountains, amidst the trees,

I saw a little cottage oh! A home so sweet,

of some simple people who work and play,

in the lap of nature they like to stay.

Far away from the city’s smoke,

They live near God’s abode.

After finishing my meal, I made my way down to the cottage. Upon reaching there I learnt that the cottage can be rented by visitors for a nominal monthly rent. The cottage room besides having all the facilities had an attached kitchen and garden. I decided to make it my retreat and come here during my summer and winter breaks. I could already see myself cooking my own meals made from the fresh mountain vegetables and take long nature walks while visiting the local market.

I spent almost my entire day there, had my lunch beneath the warm sun and napped on a rocking chair beneath a tree which showered white blossoms on me, the poet within me sang:

After a day of toil we can now rest in the sultry winter sun.

The remains of the day hold a promise of revelry and fun.

The evening shades engulf the valley and the high mountain.

The ringing of bells are a tribute to Him and His entire creation.

I awoke when the sun was just setting, to the sound of bells and shells coming from the temple above and decided to say goodbye for now.

South African Northern Cape Travel Tips

The Northern Cape is the largest of South Africa’s provinces and the most sparsely populated. Despite this, the Northern Cape has plenty to offer visitors, whether their interests lie in the origins of the diamond industry, the Anglo-Boer War, wildlife, the brilliant spring flowers of Namaqualand, canoeing on the mighty Orange River or enjoying the clear skies and open spaces of the Hantam and Upper Karoo.

CLIMATE: The Northern Cape experiences a diverse range of climatic conditions because of the respective regions and altitudes. The Northern Cape enjoys a summer rainfall, but this is infrequent. The summer months have long, hot summer days and cool evenings. Winter days are moderate, but the nights are very cold with temperatures often dropping below zero. Snow in winter and heavy frost falls at night are common.

SHOPPING: There are many shopping malls, arts and craft shops, and many ethic vendors on the beachfront. Good buys include mohair products such as jerseys, rugs and blankets; the famous Karoo Lamb, dried fruit, diamonds, jewellery and gems.

TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS:

The Diamond Field:

This area is known as the prairie country of Southern Africa, with sun-drenched plains, covered in grass and acacia thorn trees. To the geologists this is a bewildering delight, and for the tourist the “Diamond Way” is an exciting journey, taking one back in time.

Kimberley:

Today the city is a prosperous, thriving metropolis worthy of the title, “the Diamond Capital Of The World”. The city is geared for tourists, with plenty to offer in terms of accommodation, restaurants, shopping malls and attractions. See a replica of the town during the greatest diamond rush the world has ever seen, as well as ‘Eureka’ – the world’s first recorded diamond discovery at the Big Hole and Kimberley Mine museum.

Groenriviersmond:

The seaside estuary of Groenriviersmond (Green River Mouth) lies Southwest of Garies and offers excellent fishing and crayfish diving opportunities.

Namaqualand:

Spring time sees this region transformed from a desert landscape into a carpet of colourful wild flowers, attracting many visitors. Also an adventure tourist’s playground, the region offers hiking, canoeing and 4×4 trails. The coastline is popular with fishermen and hosts a booming crayfish industry. Diamonds are also mined from the sea and copper is mined too. The world-famous Richtersveld National Park is found in this region.

Hantam Karoo:

Millions of years ago, this area was an inland sea and over time it has transformed into an arid and rugged landscape with wide open plains and mountains. This region is renowned by astronomers for its remarkable night skies and is home to the South African Astronomical Observatory. The region is also known for its spring wild flowers, and is home to the rare Sterboom.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park:

Africa’s first transfrontier park, Kgalagadi “land of thirst” is shared with and crosses the border into Botswana to facilitate the migration of wildlife and the movement of free-roaming predators; red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob ensure excellent opportunities for game viewing and photography. Fifty-eight species of mammal and more than 400 plant species share the desert and dry savannah, while approx. 260 species of bird, including at least 20 species of large raptor share the sky.

Richtersveld National Park:

Southern Africa’s largest mountain desert park, the Richtersveld is 160 000ha of lava mountains and sandy plains situated in the north-western crook of the Orange River. It is also one of the world’s most precious and fragile eco-systems. Its strange rock formations shaped and sculpted by the wind and sun, is a land for those keen to ‘rough it’. Visitors can explore the area from the comfort of a 4×4 or by paddling long stretches of the river.

Green Kalahari:

Dominating this region are the lush vineyards and the massive Orange River, which meanders through a giant valley. The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the Augrabies Falls National Park – with its famous Black Rhino Aventure, are not to be missed.

Augrabies Falls National Park:

The Augrabies Falls, which is one of the five biggest waterfalls in the world, plunges a sheer 56m into a rolling, turbulent maelstrom of foam, mist and rainbows said to contain untold diamond wealth and a river monster. This is where the black rhino can be found and visitors can also go on game drives.

Kalahari:

The sun-drenched Kalahari, with its ancient, undulating landscape and endless horizons, evoke memories of a land before time. This region is home to “The Eye” a permanent and abundant source of daily water. Hunting in the area is popular and the Kalahari is home to over 40 raptors and vulture species and 7 owl species.

Nocturnal Blooming Flowers Create an Enchanting Experience For Everybody

When we have thoughts about a garden filled with gorgeous flowers of all variations, it is generally that we associate the sky in a hue of blazing blue with a glow of sunshine coming down. This is most common way to associate blooms and it is most certain that flora truly needs the rays from the sun for them to be raised since all plants need light in some type. Although, you may not know about the fact that there are certainly a whole bunch of different kinds of posies in existence which bloom not during the day, but when the light has long since traveled away. These are the flora of night and they offer a authentically eccentric kind of appeal that is not often found in the types which are noted to bloom in the daytime.

For a few, owning a flowerbed filled with beautiful blossoms which offer a foreign charm by being fully in bloom when the sun is sleeping can be a true enjoyable experience, however how do we try locating which special flora to choose? Let’s discuss a couple of the options when it comes to what sorts of flowers could be best first. Those who reside in a dry climate will discover that they have many options since it is here where many plants such as cacti which wouldn’t be able to tolerate the direct heat of the day hours are able to survive quite well by blossoming throughout the night. The Yucca is another instance of this kind of desert land plant which will not only bloom at night, but cast off a perfume that is a nice aroma to be in the presence of. The Selenicerus cactus happens to be a type that’ll offer its smell and visual charm at night, as well.

There happen to be Moonflowers that will blossom in the rays of the silvery moon, as well as Evening Trumpet. Once a home contains these types of flowers, it can be savored 24 hours a day and offers a one of a kind viewing for all of those folks who choose to visit it. This means that when you cultivate these kinds of flowering plants, you will be the beaming tender of the most alluring patch of ground in the community due to the fact that so few other people ever come up with this idea. The person who wants to be a popular flower grower can consider these gardens as a way to actually inspire flower fans to have a passion for these beautiful flowers, as well.

The beauty of being allowed to see your blossoms open right there in your garden in the early evening hours is definitely an amazing sight. That is why so many gardeners adore being able to witness the night time pleasures that blossoms which burst open as the moon begins to rise have the privilege to take pleasure in.