All posts by Supriya Vohra

Top Monsoon Destinations of India

 

The South West monsoon has arrived in India. The changing weather pattern brought it late this year, and it is still not as intense as it was last year, but the wild regions are still green and dancing in ecstasy  with every drop. Here are a few places in India that one can visit to soak in the beauty of the Indian monsoon.

KERALA


The first state to witness the arrival of the monsoon, Kerala’s natural landscape becomes all kinds of magic in the rains. From the rolling hills of the Western Ghats to the coastal belt and the backwaters, everything is lush and green and beautiful in the monsoon season. Your journey here will leave you yearning for more!

GOA


A little further up from Kerala lies India’s smallest state. Goa, generally known for its beaches, is a little jewel of green in the rains. Lush waterfalls erupt in the rain, you can spend hours kayaking in secret mangrove forests, and days exploring untouched forests in the region. Come, check out the other side of Goa in the monsoon!

ORCHHA, MADHYA PRADESH


Orchha is wonderful in the rains. This otherwise dry corner of Malwa plateau becomes a  beautiful, green region. Charming scenery of the Betwa river, historical forts, places, temples, monuments, memorials, and heritage re-create the nostalgia of its golden period. Orchha is one of the spectacular destinations to visit during monsoon.

MEGHALAYA


Meghalaya, meaning the abode of clouds, is nestled in the north-eastern region of India. It is the wettest region of India. About 70% of the region is forested. Misty clouds, roaring waterfalls and forests greet you everywhere. If you don’t mind getting wet, we highly recommend a journey here!

Costa Rica’s Finca Rosa Blanca: Paradise for the Conscious Traveler

Nestled in the hills above San José in the rugged, rainforested Costa Rica is the divine Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn. Recognised by The National Geographic as one of the Unique Lodges of the World, it is a welcome retreat where art meets nature meets incredible cuisine, and coffee!

A labour of love of over 30 years, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort is the creation of three generations of the Jampol Family. Sylvia Jampol along with her son Glenn and his wife Teri started the dream in 1985. More than three decades later, Teri and Glenn live next door to the hotel in the organic coffee plantation which allows them to oversee the guests’ every need. Their two daughters Lily and Olivia, grew up on the grounds of Finca Rosa Blanca along with countless dogs, cats, horses, friends and family.

Glenn Jampol is an artist, and his artwork is on display at the hotel and restaurant. Mr. Jampol is also one of the pioneer advocates of the global ecotourism movement. He is one of the founding member of the outfit Global Ecotourism Network (GEN), and is considered to be one of the fathers of sustainability of Costa Rica, owing to his work in the country as president of CANAECO, a nonprofit organization with the aim of stimulating the country’s tourist activities in a responsible manner.

The Finca Rosa Blanca embodies the spirit of sustainability. No chemicals or fertilisers are used in the coffee plantation, all waste is recycled. Over the last 25 years, the outfit has planted more than 7,000 native trees and is carbon neutral. We highly recommend this wonderful resort and meeting the wonderful owners.

Climbing Meru with Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk

In October 2011, climbers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk made a first ascent of a 4000 foot granite wall called Shark’s Fin at 6310m on the Meru Central in the heart of India’s Garhwal Himalaya.

This was a second attempt for Jimmy Chin and Renan, both of whom suffered from horrific accidents a few months before the climb. For Conrad, this was his third attempt.

The result of this climb, apart from their successful summit, was an astounding documentary film chronicling their journey, and the climbers’ attempts to face their demons. If you haven’t seen Meru yet, you simply must. Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2016.

#IbexExpeditions was their expedition outfitter for all their attempts.

Photo © Jimmy Chin, of Conrad Anker on the Shark’s Fin.

World Oceans Day 2019

The United Nations and the international community began observing June 8 as World Oceans Day in 2009 to recognise the major role oceans play in our lives and the challenges faced in preserving this resource.

According to the UN, the concept of a World Oceans Day was first proposed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.

According to UN estimates, around 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the oceans every year. Plastic floating in the ocean kills one million sea birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year. If we continue throwing the same amount of marine litter in the ocean, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050.

This year, let us pledge to drastically reduce our consumption of single-use plastic as much as possible. The travel community can contribute to this change in a big way. So let us try to avoid using those plastic bags and straws as much as possible.

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/topics/organisations/un.html

World Environment Day 2019 – Beat Air Pollution | Ibex Expeditions

World Environment Day 2019 – Beat Air Pollution

The United Nations’ mandated World Environment Day on 5th June every year.   Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

This year, the theme revolves around air pollution. Air pollution is a man-made problem that has been responsible for early deaths of about seven million people every year, around 600,000 of whom are children. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the world’s population breathe polluted air. 

“The right to a healthy environment is fundamental to human well-being and is legally recognized by over 150 States at the national and regional levels. It should be globally reaffirmed to ensure the enjoyment of this right by everyone, everywhere while upholding the human rights principles of universality and non-discrimination,” David Boyd, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment said in a statement.

As travellers, we explore everything. The fresh mountain air, the warm tropical breeze, the aromatic smell trailing through winding lanes of old quarters of world cities, the powerful fumes of history in old monuments…the list goes on. Air is primary to our existence. Whether it is the cold, billowing wind of Antarctica, or the sultry breeze of Rajasthan, or the mountain air of the Himalaya, every breath we inhale adds to our experience and to our memory of that place. So it becomes important for our tribe to be aware of this primary important element of life. While policy makers have the larger responsibility of ensuring clean air for all, we as world citizens can do our bit by reducing our carbon footprint, by supporting causes and outfits that work towards reducing air pollution, and by generally advocating good clean air. After all, we have only one planet.

Satpura National Park: Luxury Safari to the Heart of India

On the 40th anniversary of Ibex Expeditions, Mandip and Anita Soin, owners and Directors, take you on an enthralling personally led deluxe journey through this forest declared as a National park in 1981. Have you considered walking in a forest in the footsteps of erstwhile explorer, Captain James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancers who traversed this forest in 1862? The Satpura Tiger reserve covers 528 km from Gujarat in the East through Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and is an extensive forest area with unique flora and fauna and is the only tiger park in India that allows for a controlled walking safari and mobile camping access accompanied by forest guards.

We first experience a walking expedition through the forest spending two days in a mobile camp. Later we experience the deluxe Reni Pani safari lodge and engage in canoe and jeep rides, all the while enjoying the local hospitality and community interactions. We then travel to the beautiful Ahilya fort (Relaix and Chateau) in the countryside town of Maheshwar living like a royal and explore the countryside with its seamless confluence of textiles, culture, serenity, and architecture. Boat rides on the Narmada river, island picnics and drinks by the poolside sum up the high life as you retreat into a bygone era of simplicity and grace.

Since 2012, Ibex Expeditions has supported the Give Back to Nature programme of WWF India and for each participant of this journey, we will donate US $ 40 per person.

Itinerary

Arrival Delhi

On arrival into IGI Delhi airport at hours, you will be met by our Office Assistant, holding a name placard followed by transfer to your hotel. Since your arrival is late at night, check-in to your hotel and rest.

Hotel: Imperial 

Delhi

After breakfast, proceed on a guided tour of Delhi at 0930 hours which includes the city’s world heritage sites. Drive through New Delhi roads & sights such as India Gate, The Presidential Palace and Parliament house to get a feel for the grand new city that Sir Lutyens built in the early 1900s.

Meals: Breakfast

Delhi – Bhopal by plane

Early morning transfer to airport to board the scheduled flight to Bhopal. Flight – Jet Airways 893: 0540 – 0700 hours Reporting time – 0400 hours On arrival at Bhopal airport, transfer to your retreat on the outskirts of the town. Post lunch at 1400 hours, your private city guide will report to the hotel for a guided excursion to Sanchi stupa (45 km one way). Today, the remarkably preserved Great Stupa is the centerpiece of Sanchi’s World Heritage-listed Buddhist monuments. Return to the retreat in the evening for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Meals: Breakfast on the plane, lunch and dinner

Hotel: Jehan Numa Retreat