What to expect from your Milford Sound Cruise

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Whether you’ve arrived into Milford Sound under your own steam via the Milford Track, or ridden the exciting 950m (3100ft) final descent from the Homer Tunnel to sea level by bus, we’re sure you’ll agree it is a magical place. The scale of the granite mountain faces, the flooded glacial valleys, and the mostly untouched forests, are simply breathtaking. Rudyard Kipling described this place as the eighth wonder of the world; it’s easy to see why.

Mitre Peak and its reflection in the still water of the Fiord.A still day on Milford Sound gives a perfect reflection of Mitre Peak and the surrounding peaks.

So where does the name Milford Sound come from?

Milford Sound has had a bunch of name changes since it was discovered in 1812 by Sealer Captain John Grono, who named it Milford Haven after his home town in Wales. As us Kiwis have become more conscious of conservation, and protecting our Maori culture and influence, Milford Sound became Milford Sound/Piopiotahi in 1998. But wait! There’s more! Milford Sound is actually incorrectly named… A sound is a river valley which has been flooded by the ocean, and just like so much of our dramatic South Island, Milford was formed by glaciers, and so it’s a fiord. This is a popular trivia question, so take note for your New Zealand adventure!

Milford Sound has several permanent waterfalls, including Stirling Falls – more than three times the height of Niagara Falls. And Lady Bowen Falls; a short distance from the wharf area. Seeing as the granite landscape doesn’t absorb a drop of the annual 6,412mm (252in) rainfall, it made sense for Bowen Falls to be used to power the small town of Milford Sound.  It is during the regular periods of rain in Milford when the waterfalls really come alive. Hundreds of new falls cascade down the steep faces of the mountains, and if you catch Milford on a rainy day, why not name your own?

Group of kayaks approach Lady Bowen FallsA group of Kayakers approach Lady Bowen Falls.

Overnight Cruise on Milford Sound

If you choose to take an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, you’ll be choosing luxury, tranquillity, and stunning natural beauty. You’ll board the ‘Milford Wanderer’ mid afternoon and cruise the 15km (9.3miles) out to the Tasman Sea, passing by Lady Bowen Falls, and getting close enough to Stirling Falls to feel the fresh spray from the Wanderer’s deck. As the afternoon fades into the coloured light of evening the captain will drop anchor in a sheltered cove, where you can go exploring with specialist nature guides, either by kayak or in the vessel’s small craft, until it’s time to climb back on board for your carvery buffet dinner and some stargazing with a glass of New Zealand wine.

Milford Wanderer sails the fiord.The Milford Wanderer cruises, under sail, on the fiord.

The next morning we suggest emerging from your private cabin in time to watch the sunrise, it should help to clear your head if you really enjoyed the Kiwi wine! Then tuck in to a hearty buffet breakfast. Your captain will once again point the Milford Wanderer in the direction of the Tasman Sea, take this opportunity to do some wildlife spotting: Dolphins of three different species, New Zealand Fur Seals, and Fiordland Crested Penguins can all be seen at the right time of year in the Sound, alongside New Zealand’s vast array of native and introduced bird life. Occasionally, and most recently in 2016, a pod of Sperm Whales made the 15km (9.3miles) trip into Milford from the coast, marine biologists attributed this to the uncharacteristically low levels of rainfall for that time of year, which in turn allowed Phytoplankton to thrive, the whales’ main food source. If you get to see whales on your cruise you’ll be among a very lucky few – don’t forget your camera!

A seal swims amongst kayakersA New Zealand Fur Seal playing amongst the kayaks.

Finally the Milford Wanderer will return to dock at the wharf, and we’re sure you’ll disembark rejuvenated, full of good food and great memories, to continue your New Zealand adventure.

Highlights of the Overnight Cruise:

  • Full length Milford Sound Cruise.
  • Optional access to a section of the Milford Track (guided).
  • Three course buffet dinner, fully licensed bar, cooked or continental breakfast.
  • Overnight on the Fiord in Harrison Cove.
  • Specialist Nature Guides for duration of the trip.

 Check out our Tui trip, Essence of the South Island, for an itinerary that includes the overnight option.

Day Cruise on Milford Sound

Several of our itineraries involve cruises on Milford Sound, it’s definitely one of the best ways to get out there and do it, to get up close with nature. The day cruise is included in our Weka itinerary, as well as our Kiwi, and Manuka trips.

Several companies operate daytime cruises from Milford Sound wharf, and we always aim to pick the most personal experience for our guests. We like the guys who only allow their vessel to be booked to half capacity, leaving you with plenty of room to chill out, roam around the decks, or visit the open wheel house and have a yarn with the Captain.

The two-hour Milford experience starts with a slow cruise up the left side of the fiord. Your captain will point out hanging forest, permanent waterfalls, and name some of the tallest peaks. The specialist nature guides on board can also help answer your questions about the geology and wildlife.

Once your vessel arrives at the Tasman Sea, the captain will turn her around and head slowly back up the opposite side of the glacial valley. On the return journey they like to point the bow towards Stirling Falls, and give you a chance, if you want, to be drenched by the spray of one of Milford’s highest permanent waterfalls. If there’s rain and wind, keep an eye out for Milford’s waterfalls to nowhere – try and grab a photo of the cascade before the wind blows it away.

A day trip boat points its bow into Stirling Falls.A day trip boat points its bow into Stirling Falls.

We know that Milford Sound is right up there on many people’s bucket lists, and can be the greatest reason our guests choose to come to New Zealand in the first place. We have put together a list below of our trips that include either the overnight cruise, or the day trip. If you’d rather have a workout whilst you explore Milford, check out our Rimu itinerary for a kayaking option, or read our page on kayaking Milford Sound here.

kayakers taking a break on Milford SoundTwo kayakers enjoy a moment of quiet on Milford Sound.

Whichever you choose, know that the majesty of this place is reserved by its remoteness, and that by making the journey to Milford Sound itself, you are experiencing somewhere special, somewhere truly New Zealand in all its rawness, and somewhere that will stay with you long after you leave.

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India

Overview

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Asia due to the high risk of terrorist activity, civil unrest and criminal activity, plus the high rate of automobile accidents. Pay close attention to your personal safety always and monitor the media for information regarding possible new security or security dangers.
  • On 31 December 2016, america, United Kingdom and Israel all issued warnings of terror threats to areas frequented by foreigners.  Areas in southwest India, resorts, beaches, and festivals had been detailed the type of areas in which travellers should keep a high level vigilance​. See Safety and security.
  • We consistently get reports that terrorists are intending assaults in India, including in regions frequented by Westerners. We assess that attacks could happen anywhere whenever you want with minimum caution, including in areas frequented by Australians, such as for example religious web sites, areas and festivals. See Safety and security.
  • Security of women is a concern in Asia. Women should just take specific care in every areas of India and workout care, even in the event they have been travelling in a group. See Safety and security.
  • Violent protests and demonstrations happen periodically throughout Asia. See Security And Safety.
  • Indian authorities have actually changed withdrawn 500 and 1,000 rupee records with new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes.  Commercial banks and also the Reserve Bank of Asia no further change the old 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes for new money. It really is now a penal offense to hold more than 10 units of old 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes.
  • Foreigners are permitted to exchange foreign exchange around 5,000 rupees (around $A100) weekly at banks and foreign currency bureaus. Remember that some travellers have reported difficulties in trading Australian $100 records for local money in Asia. Understand cash and valuables section under Safety and security to find out more.
  • Australians must get yourself a visa before visiting India. Eligible Australians may use electronically in advance for the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for single-entry visits of 30 days or less. eTV holders can enter at a restricted amount of immigrations ports. All other Australian visa applicants need to make an appointment online ahead of submitting their visa application. See Entry and exit.
  • Driving in Asia is unpredictable and the wide range of road traffic deaths is high. See regional travel.
  • Air quality in Asia varies dramatically, especially in cold temperatures, with major towns experiencing high levels of regular smog and hefty particulate air pollution which are often bad for certain delicate teams. Look for medical advice in the event that you want to check out India and therefore are concerned about the consequences of polluting of the environment. See Wellness.
  • There are several parts of India in which we advise Australians to reconsider your need to travel, or avoid all travel. See Safety and security.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for many travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas and passports

Australians need a visa to enter Asia. Visas needs to be arranged just before arrival. For information about visas, start to see the Indian tall Commission site.

An electric Tourist Visa (e-TV) scheme can be obtained online to eligible Australians for tourism-related travel of 30 days or less. An e-TV actually solitary entry visa. It should be acquired at least four days before arrival in India and that can simply be used at designated ports of entry. It should never be considered as a visa on arrival. Carry a printed copy regarding the e-mail verification of the e-visa (named an electronic travel authorisation or ETA) plus formal visa is supposed to be affixed within passport upon arrival in Asia. Long queues in many cases are experienced at immigration counters in Asia, regardless of visa type.

Not totally all air-ports in Asia allow passengers to enter with an e-TV. Just 16 designated airports enable entry by having an e-TV. Should you want to enter the united states through places that are not included on list, you need to request an Indian visa prior to arrival via an Indian tall Commission, Consulate, Embassy or agent. In the event that you arrive having an e-TV at an international airport or edge crossing where in actuality the e-TV isn’t recognised, you’ll not manage to apply for any visa. You will end up denied entry to India and deported. Travellers keeping an e-TV may exit from any authorised immigration check point in India.

If you don’t have valid passport and visa you might be deported by the Indian authorities. The Australian tall Commission or Consulates General in India cannot facilitate your stay in the event that you arrive without the right documentation. Begin to see the Government of India’s e-TV and Ministry of Residence Affairs web sites for more information on electronic visa scheme, including repayment techniques.

Volunteers: Australians who want to undertake any form of paid or unpaid volunteer work (including pupils visiting Asia in New Colombo Arrange) should talk about relevant visa demands making use of their neighborhood Indian diplomatic objective well in front of any travel.

Visa along with other entry and exit conditions (like currency, traditions and quarantine laws) can transform at brief notice. Contact the Indian High Commission for the latest information. If for example the passport is lost or taken while you are in Asia, you need to obtain a replacement travel document from the nearest Australian mission as well as an exit visa through the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.

There are hefty penalties, including jail sentences, for overstaying your visa.

Make sure that your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your in the offing date of return to Australia.

Currency restrictions

Indian guidelines controlling the import and export of Indian rupees, foreign exchange, along with other goods can transform. Contact the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of Asia for the most up to date information.

Vaccination certificate requirements

The Indian Bureau of Immigration has set down certain wellness regulations for entering and leaving India. If you arrive in Asia from a yellowish Fever endemic area, you need to present a vaccination certificate for yellowish fever.
Information on India’s vaccination requirements is available on Indian Government’s Bureau of Immigration website.

Enrollment requirements

If you should be about to stay in India for over 180 days, you need to register within fortnight of arrival aided by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in brand new Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, or because of the Superintendent of Police in other areas. More information on visa registration is available at the Bureau of Immigration web site. Failure to join up may create a fine or jail phrase, or prevent your departure from Asia until authorization is issued by the Bureau of Immigration.

Security and safety

Jammu and Kashmir – Ladakh region: Exercise a high degree of care into the Ladakh area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Travellers should consider the safety environment whenever deciding to go to Ladakh. All happen to be the spot must be via Manali, or by atmosphere toward town of Leh, to prevent potential problem areas elsewhere in state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir – Cities of Jammu and Srinagar (like the Jammu-Srinagar highway): Reconsider your must travel to the urban centers of Jammu and Srinagar, including the Jammu-Srinagar highway, as a result of danger of armed clashes, terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations. If you go Srinagar, do this by atmosphere.

Other Parts of Jammu and Kashmir: don’t to journey to the rest of this state of Jammu and Kashmir, because of the danger of armed clashes, terrorist tasks and violent demonstrations, particularly in rural areas and areas near to the border with Pakistan. Previously, attacks have targeted tourist buses. There are also isolated incidences of kidnapping of foreigners in Kashmir.

There have been recent widespread violent protests within the Kashmir Valley causing a quantity of fatalities and serious casualties. Additional authorities enforcements have been implemented toward region. If you should be travelling in or through Srinagar stay vigilant, avoid protests or big gatherings, proceed with the advice for the local authorities as well as your travel operator and monitor the area media.

Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: Maoist insurgents, called Naxalites, usually conduct assaults in rural and forested regions of Chhattisgarh. Border areas with neighbouring states may also be vulnerable to Naxalite physical violence, particularly Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Telangana.

Borders with Pakistan: don’t to travel into the immediate vicinity of the edge with Pakistan (north and western Asia), besides on worldwide edge crossing at Atari, India and Wagah, Pakistan. In 2014, a terrorist attack regarding the Pakistani side associated with the Atari-Wagah edge crossing killed at least 55 people and injured 200. People to the border crossing should keep a higher amount of vigilance and reconsider their need certainly to travel during durations of heightened stress across the type of Control. Landmines pose a serious risk along some stretches associated with the India-Pakistan edge. In July 2015, gunmen in Gurdaspur region of Punjab, 15 kilometres from Pakistan edge, attacked a coach, wellness centre and police place killing as much as 10 people. In October 2016, villages across the India-Pakistan edge in Punjab were temporarily evacuated as being a precaution against escalating cross-border firing.

North-eastern states of Assam (except Guwahati), Nagaland and Manipur: Reconsider your should journey to these areas as a result of the threat of armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion, and separatist and insurgent violence, including in rural areas. Insurgent groups have actually attacked civilians and bombed buildings in these states. On 26 January 2017, seven near-simultaneous explosions happened in Charaideo, Bibrugarh, Sivasagar and Tinsukia districts in the state of Assam, and a further two explosions in Imphal Ain the state of Manipur. From 28 January to 2 February 2017, violent protests against local elections occurred in Kohima and Dimapur into the state of Nagaland where protests set municipal buildings and automobiles burning. On 5 August 2016 terrorists attacked an industry at Balajan Tinali in Kokrajhar region inside state of Assam killing at least 14 civilians.

Terrorism

On 7 March 2017, an explosion happened on board a passenger train travelling between Bhopal and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. The reason for the explosion remains under research.

On 31 December 2016, the United States, great britain and Israel all issued warnings of terror threats to areas frequented by foreigners.  Areas in southwest Asia, resorts, beaches and festivals had been listed those types of areas in which travellers should maintain a top level of vigilance.

We still get reports that terrorists are organizing attacks in India and now we assess that assaults could take place anywhere at any time with little if any caution. Assaults could happen at holiday destinations, places where foreigners gather or target foreigners. Travellers should keep heightened vigilance in public areas, like spiritual websites, markets and festivals.

Terrorist assaults in India have actually involved numerous, consecutive explosions and resulted in a high range fatalities. Past attacks have actually aimed to inflict mass casualties.

Militants are recognized to have crossed the border into India using the intention of performing attacks in the past, which is most likely they’ll still try to do this. Terrorist groups regularly issue statements threatening to launch attacks in India.

In early 2016, Indian security agencies arrested numerous suspected terrorists they accuse of plotting attacks in Asia. The Indian national regularly problems public alert warnings about possible terrorist assaults. Take such alert warnings seriously and give a wide berth to any areas identified as a possible target of assault.

The danger of terrorism exists in all Indian towns and tourist centres. Previously, terrorists have actually targeted areas frequented by tourists including resorts, markets, tourist web sites, transportation hubs and public transportation sites and spiritual websites. Assaults have targeted neighborhood courts, sporting events and cinemas, and Indian security and governmental establishments. Major tourist websites and shopping centres are potential goals for assault.

Consider neighborhood security conditions and arrangements when deciding where to see. There are restricted security measures in position on public transportation, such as for example buses and railways. Protection arrangements at airports have already been improved, showing the threat of terrorist attacks against Indian aviation interests.

Significant secular and religious holidays and durations of religious significance could offer terrorist teams an opportunity or pretext to stage an attack. Be vigilant into the duration surrounding times of national significance, such as Republic Day (26 January) and Independence Day (15 August).

Terrorism is really a risk around the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin for more information.

Civil unrest/political stress

Violent protests and demonstrations happen occasionally and often in an instant throughout Asia. Civil unrest and communal violence have in the past advertised an important amount of life.

International events, governmental developments in your community and local events can trigger demonstrations in India, usually causing disruptions to public transport.

Religious ceremonies and gatherings attended by large crowds can lead to dangerous and life threatening incidents, such as for instance stampedes. In response to such activities, Indian authorities may impose curfews and restrict activity in affected location.

In the eventuality of a protest or demonstration, monitor international and regional media for information concerning your safety and security and stick to the directions of neighborhood authorities.

Criminal Activity

Ladies should simply take particular care in India, including in major metropolitan areas and holiday destinations, even though travelling in a group. Workout vigilance constantly associated with day, avoid walking in less populous and unlit areas, including city roads, town lanes and beaches, and be mindful whenever travelling in taxis and rickshaws. Avoid travelling alone on public transportation, autos and taxis, especially through the night. Foreign females are subjected to undesired attention and more severe harassment and attack. Successful prosecutions are unusual. See our travelling females web page to learn more.

You can find persistent allegations and news reports of intimate misconduct involving spiritual teams and their leaders in Asia. Australians visiting Asia for such religious purposes should know these dangers.

Petty theft is common in crowded areas including areas, trade fairs, expos, and airports, and on buses, metros and trains, including instantly and long-distance trains. Thieves on motorcycles commonly snatch neck bags and jewelry.

Frauds

Be familiar with scams involving train tickets, taxis, temple donations and local tourist guides. If you are the victim of petty criminal activity or a scam, report it immediately toward nearest authorities section. Despite the fact that they could never be able to get the cash or items right back, they are able to issue an official loss report for insurance coverage purposes.

Common frauds consist of:

  • Tour package scam: a guide either fraudulently offers a trip package or ‘proves’ to the traveller that their current tour package is invalid after which proceeds to sell their very own package.
  • Card skimming: Skimming devices are acclimatized to duplicate card details from magnetic strip and copied onto a blank card your unlawful uses. There’s a risky of skimming at ATMs.
  • Guide solutions: A complete stranger poses as ‘guide’ and takes the unsuspecting victim on a trip of tourist areas. At an opportune minute plus in an isolated area, the guide attempts to rob and/or molest (in the event of females) the target.
  • Touts/agents: Touts/agents who’re current around federal government workplaces where foreigners would require prior approval like the Foreigner Regional Registration Office, offer quicker services for the cost.

Drink-spiking

Drink-spiking remains a concern throughout India. Travellers have now been robbed and assaulted after consuming ‘spiked’ drinks or meals on public transportation and in resort hotels, restaurants and pubs. Such incidents are unusual at business-class resorts and upscale pubs and restaurants. The risk is greater in smaller establishments plus in areas particularly New Delhi, Goa and Himachal Pradesh state.

Cash and valuables

Withdrawal of 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes

In November 2016, Indian authorities withdrew all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes in circulation. New 2,000 and 500 rupee records were released and they are in circulation.

Commercial banks additionally the Reserve Bank of India not any longer trade the old 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes for new money. Its now a penal offense to keep above 10 devices associated with the old 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes.

Usage of cash through ATMs is slowly time for normal and cash shortages at ATMs are occurring less frequently.

Foreigners are allowed to switch foreign currency as much as 5,000 rupees (around $A100) weekly at banking institutions and foreign exchange bureaus. 

Know that some travellers have reported problems in exchanging Australian $100 notes for regional money in Asia. The Australian High Commission has given a statement making clear that the Australian federal government has no intends to withdraw the AUD100 note from blood circulation.

Understand web site associated with Reserve Bank of Asia to find out more.

Other suggestions about cash and valuables

Be careful when receiving modification or working in cash as fake money is in blood circulation.

Your passport actually valuable document that is popular with crooks whom may make an effort to make use of your identification to commit crimes. It should be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or taken passport on the web or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate at the earliest opportunity.

Regional travel

​Travelling by road

Travelling by road in Asia is dangerous. Accidents are prevalent and also the quantity of road traffic deaths is high. Regional driving practices in many cases are undisciplined and aggressive, and vehicles tend to be defectively maintained. Roadways in many cases are of poor quality and congested, and distributed to pedestrians, carts, cattle alongside livestock. Travelling by road at night is particularly dangerous as a result of insufficient or non-existent road illumination and also the presence of other cars driving with headlights off or on high beam. Cars may travel within the incorrect direction, usually without warning.

According to the World wellness Organization (WHO), you might be three times more likely to be killed in an automobile accident in Asia than in Australia. 

Driving: To drive in India, you’ll want whether valid Indian driver’s licence or a global Driving allow as well as an Australian driving licence which can be legitimate limited to the first 3 months of the stay. An Australian licence alone just isn’t sufficient. Bike cyclists must wear helmets. If you intend to drive a motorcycle, make sure that your travel cover policy covers bike riding and workout extreme caution.

If your car strikes a pedestrian or cow, the occupants are in risk of being assaulted or becoming victims of extortion. If it is unsafe to keep during the scene of a accident, motorists may alternatively wish to go directly to the nearest authorities place. For further advice, see our road travel web page.

Taxis: Pre-paid taxis at airports or taxis scheduled from hotels ought to be utilized rather than hailing them regarding street. You ought not utilize personal unmarked vehicles as taxis.

Buses and trains: Coach and train services tend to be overcrowded and motorists may lack adequate training. Buses and trains in many cases are also poorly maintained and fires can happen. If you opt to travel by train, familiarise yourself because of the crisis exits.

Restrictions on motion

State and Union Territory governments may impose limitations on movement of foreign tourists specifically states and near tribal areas. You may have to get authorization from Indian authorities to check out those areas, especially in the northeast. Permits are expected for Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, areas of Kulu District and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, tribal regions of Odisha, edge aspects of Jammu and Kashmir, some regions of Uttrakhand (formerly Uttaranchal), parts of Rajasthan adjacent to the worldwide border, the Tibetan settlements between Hunsar and Madikeri in Karnataka, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar isles.

You will find strict charges for entering a protected or limited area without prior permission. Indian authorities generally speaking require at the least four weeks to process permit applications. Talk to the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of India; and/or Ministry of Residence Affairs, Foreigners Division, NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh path, New Delhi.

Wildlife

Fatal tiger assaults have actually taken place in Asia. Monkeys may try to steal things from site visitors at temples and busy attractions. Travellers should respect wildlife laws and park laws, usage reputable and professional guides and keep maintaining a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife.

Other local travel issues

Guidelines maintained by trip operators, including adventure activities, may possibly not be comparable to those in Australia. Check always operators’ qualifications and safety equipment beforehand and make fully sure your travel cover policy covers your in the pipeline activities. If appropriate security equipment is not available, make use of another provider. Always use available safety equipment, such as for example lifejackets or seatbelts, even in the event the locals never.

Tourist ships, ferries as well as other tiny commercial art cannot carry life preserving/saving equipment.

Delays in travel can be expected throughout Asia, including considering extra protection measures, particularly inside lead around as well as on times of nationwide significance particularly Republic Day (26 January) and Independence Day (15 August).

Fog frequently affects north India, especially during December and January, and may delay air and train travel, that can make road travel more harmful.

Touts tend to be bought at airports, railway stations and bus channels and may make use of aggressive tactics to persuade travellers to get tickets on tours. They could n’t have any link with the relevant commercial companies and you’ll be overcharged.

Airline security

The Australian Government does not provide info on the safety of individual commercial airlines or journey paths. See rather the Aviation protection Network site for informative data on aviation security in Asia.

Please additionally reference our general flights page for informative data on aviation security and safety.

Laws And Regulations

You might be susceptible to the neighborhood rules of Asia, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you should be arrested or jailed, the Australian Government does exactly what it may to assist you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can not get you away from difficulty or out of jail. Research legislation before travelling, especially for a long stay.

Commercial surrogacy: international nationals are no further permitted to commission surrogacy in Asia. For information on worldwide surrogacy in Asia see our Global Surrogacy bulletin and our international births, adoptions and surrogacies page for further information.

Things concerning dowry have led to some Australian residents being subject to arrest upon arrival in Asia. The work of offering or getting a dowry is prohibited. Claims for dowry can result in an arrest alert notice being issued with a court at the request of a aggrieved celebration.

Homosexuality actually unlawful offense in India. Though prosecutions are unusual, a conviction for homosexual behavior could carry a maximum phrase of life imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.

Australians working in Asia should see Austrade’s market information for India and our advice to Australian business travellers.

Appropriate processes in Asia generally take several years to conclude. Australians arrested for major offences could be imprisoned for quite some time before a verdict is reached in their situation. The necessity for official approvals by Indian authorities can cause delays in consular solutions being supplied to Australians in prison.

Penalties in India for many crimes, like murder, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery with murder, and treason, might attract the death penalty. Charges for medication offences are serious and may consist of mandatory sentences while the death penalty.

You’re required by law to carry your passport (having a legitimate visa) all the time and you will need your passport to check on into hotels and register for routes.

Trespassing and photography of airports, armed forces establishments and dams is illegal with charges ranging from three to 14 years imprisonment.

Some places of worship and temples don’t allow people to simply take pictures or videos; travellers need certainly to check upfront with the temple’s administrative workplace.

Its unlawful to transport or make use of satellite phone in Asia without permission. The penalty for doing so could add a fine and/or imprisonment.

Appropriate drinking many years are priced between 18 to 25 with respect to the state, and certainly will vary by liquor kind. Some states permit liquor use for medicinal purposes just, as well as others need you to hold a permit buying, transport or digest alcohol. Some states prohibit the carriage of alcohol introduced from outside of the state, and police may perform checks on vehicles to enforce this law. Travellers should always check state liquor rules before they see.

Deliberate maiming or killing of a cow is an offense which could attract a punishment of up to 5 years imprisonment in certain states.

Foreigners about to undertake missionary work in India need a suitable visa. Missionaries with no appropriate visa risk deportation. Some states within Asia have passed away legislation making it an offense to induce conversion to another faith by force or other enticement.

Strict regulations apply for the possession and export of antiquities, with charges all the way to 3 years imprisonment. Contact the nearest tall Commission, Embassy or Consulate of India or the Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs the most current information.

Some Australian criminal laws and regulations, like those associated with money laundering, bribery of international public officials, terrorism, forced wedding, feminine genital mutilation, kid pornography, youngster intercourse tourism, and commercial surrogacy, affect Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Regional customs

There are strict codes of dress and behaviour in India, specially at spiritual sites, and you ought to take care never to offend. Physical contact between women and men in public places isn’t considered appropriate. If in question, seek regional advice.

The timing regarding the Islamic holy thirty days of Ramadan differs from 12 months to 12 months. For information about how this may influence travel, see our Ramadan bulletin.

Information for double nationals

The Indian constitution doesn’t recognise dual nationality. However, neighborhood law permits people of Indian origin in several countries, including Australia, to apply for international Citizenship of India. Further advice can be obtained from international Citizenship of India element of the Indian Government’s Ministry of Residence Affairs website.

Our Dual Nationals page additionally provides relevant information.

Health

Insurance, vaccinations along with other considerations

Sign up for comprehensive travel insurance that may cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, just before depart. Confirm that your insurance coverage covers you for the entire time you’ll be away and check what circumstances and activities aren’t a part of your policy. It doesn’t matter how healthier and fit you might be, if you can’t manage travel cover, you can’t manage to travel. The Australian federal government will not purchase a traveller’s medical costs overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is vital to consider carefully your real and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to give consideration to having vaccinations just before travel. At the least eight days if your wanting to depart, schedulae an appoitment with your doctor or travel hospital for basic health check-up, also to talk about your travel plans and any implications for your wellness, especially if you’ve got an existing medical condition. The World wellness Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health and wellness pages also provide of good use information for travellers on remaining quite healthy.

Healthcare facilities

Medical facilities providing a sufficient standard of treatment are located in Asia’s major towns and cities. But in remote and rural areas facilities can be very restricted or unavailable. In case of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation might necessary.

“health tourism”, including for aesthetic and experimental stem mobile remedies, is becoming more prevalent in India. Australians should ensure that they don’t attend discount or uncertified medical establishments where criteria can be lacking. See our Medical Tourism page to learn more.

Decompression chambers are observed at the Indian naval base in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar isles, and at the Goa Medical College, Goa.

Travel health concerns

Instances of influenza A(H1N1) are common in Asia through the winter season. If you are travelling to Asia, discuss influenza vaccination demands with your GP or even a travel health professional before departing Australia.

There is a high incidence of food-borne, water-borne and other infectious diseases in India (including meningitis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diphtheria and rabies). Plain tap water in Asia isn’t safe to drink, boil all drinking tap water or drink water in bottles with intact seals, and prevent ice cubes and raw and undercooked meals. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are susceptible to diarrhoea.

Never consume home-made or unlabelled alcohol as it may be adulterated with harmful substances.

Situations of dengue fever are commonplace in Asia throughout the duration following the monsoon. To learn more about dengue temperature, see the World Health organization’s dengue reality sheet. Malaria actually danger in many areas of Asia, including major urban centers. There is also a threat of other mosquito-borne diseases (including Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya temperature and filariasis). Simply take strict precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, including using an insect repellent, wearing looser fitting, light colored clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito evidence. Look for medical advice if you have a fever.

Quality of air

Major cities in Asia experience regular high quantities of smog, specially during the colder months. Those with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly cardiac and breathing, are particularly affected. If you live in or want to check out Asia and generally are worried about the amount of polluting of the environment you should seek medical advice. Follow advice from local authorities about solutions to reduce visibility. You are able to monitor the pollution index for several metropolitan areas through resources such as for instance SAFAR or the Dehli Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) websites. Home elevators air quality may also be found on the World wellness Organization web site.

Where you might get help

With regards to the nature of one’s enquiry, your very best choice can be to make contact with your family, friends, flight, travel agent, tour operator, manager or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour crisis quantity.

In the event that matter pertains to criminal dilemmas, contact the authorities on 100.

In the event that matter relates to complaints about tourism products, contact the service provider directly.

The Consular Services Charter explains just what the Australian national can and can’t do in order to help Australians overseas. For consular help, see contact details below:

Australian Tall Commission, Brand New Delhi

No. 1/50 G Shantipath (Gate 1)
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi Asia 110021
Telephone: (91 11) 4139 9900
Facsimile: (91 11) 2687 2228
Website: india.highcommission.gov.au
Email: ahc.newdelhi@dfat.gov.au

Australian Consulate General, Mumbai

Level 10, A Wing
Crescenzo Building
Opp MCA Cricket Club
G Block, Plot C 38-39
Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai 400 051
Telephone: (91 22) 6757 4900
Facsimile: (91 22) 6757 4955
Website: mumbai.consulate.gov.au
Email: cg.mumbai@dfat.gov.au

Australian Consulate General, Chennai

9th Floor, Express Chambers
Express Avenue Estate
Whites Road
Royapettah
Chennai 600 014
Tamil Nadu
Telephone: (91 44) 4592 1300
Facsimile: (91 44) 4592 1320
Email: chennaiaustralianconsulate@dfat.gov.au

See the Australian High Commission website for information regarding opening hours and short-term closures that may impact solution provision.

In a consular crisis if you should be struggling to contact the tall Commission it is possible to contact the 24-hour Consular crisis Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Extra information

Natural disasters, serious weather and environment

Annual monsoon rains from June to October causes extensive flooding and landslides, particularly in the states of Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar within the north and eastern, as well as in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka within the south. Before, floods have affected many people, resulting in many fatalities. If you’re travelling through the monsoon period, contact your trip operators to test whether tourist solutions at your in the pipeline location have already been affected. For more info understand Asia Meteorological Department internet site.

Cyclones occur commonly in Indian waters in the duration April-December, specially round the Bay of Bengal in eastern Asia. Coastal plus some inland areas of Asia are susceptible to storm surges, particularly Odisha, western Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep as well as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In case of an approaching cyclone, proceed with the instructions of neighborhood authorities and monitor news and weather reports. You are able to obtain updated advice on cyclone activity through the Asia Meteorological Department internet site. Our serious climate page also incorporates of use home elevators what direction to go in a cyclone.

Earth tremors are typical in India, particularly in the North-eastern states, and can cause landslides in hilly and mountainous areas. In the eventuality of an earthquake chances are that serious disruptions to solutions will occur. Informative data on volcanic activity can be obtained through the international catastrophe Alert and Coordination System.

All oceanic parts of the world can experience tsunamis, however in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more regular occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic dish boundaries and ocean trenches.

In the event of an all natural disaster, stick to the advice of local authorities.

Extra Resources

History of Machu Picchu

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Archaeological evidence uncovered around the site suggests that the area was first used for agricultural purposes back in 760 B.C.

Machu Picchu Historical Photo

The war of Vilcambamba Pachacutec in 1440 established the first settlement at the site. It was called the Tahuantinsuyo Empire which was later followed by the formation of the government of Manco Capac.

It is thought that Machu Picchu was first inhabited by 300-1000 inhabitants, who were of the highest class or “Llactas”.

The valleys around these areas were important for their agricultural contribution, however after death of the Emperor Pachacutec, it lost its importance, with the establishment of new sites like Ollaytantambo and Vilcambamba. The building of these new sites by his successors, in more accessible terrain made Machu Picchu less appealing.

From 1527 to 1532, two brothers Huáscar and Atahualpa fought against each other in a civil war over the Inca Empire. Their father, Inca Huayna Capac had given each brother a section of the empire to manage, one in Huáscar in Cuzco and Atahualpa in Quito. When Huayna Capac and his heir, Ninan Cuyuchi, died somewhere between 1525 and 1527, the two brothers Atahualpa and Huáscar went to war over who should rule.  The population who had come to live in the Machu Picchu area from rural or remote locations left after the war ended to return to where they came from. Later another brother, Manco Inca was sent into exile in Vilcambamba, and Machu Picchu was deserted.

Antonio Raimondi was an Italian geographer and scientist from Milan who visited Machu Picchu in 1851. In 1867 Augusto Berns arrived to mine the site.

Hiram Bingham re-discovered the ruins in 1911. He documented and publicised his “discovery”.

Photo of Hiram BinghamPhoto of Hiram Bingham

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Facts About Machu Picchu To Outsmart Your Tour Guide

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Outsmart your guide at Machu Picchu

Peru has so many ancient ruins, villages imbued with an infusion of ancient and modern Incan tradition, mixed with a melting pot of Colonial and pre- Spanish Peruvian culture. 

Of all the Peru landmarks, Machu Picchu (which in the Quechua native language, means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”) is the one categorised as both one of the best known and also most mysterious of the ancient Inca sites. Call it cliche to label it the jewel of Peru’s crown or it’s most famous contribution to the 7th wonders of the world, but Machu Picchu has remained in the limelight since it’s discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911. It stands at 2,400 meters above sea level and it’s precise stone construction is spread along a narrow and uneven mountain vista, tucked up against a 400m sheer cliff, overlooking the Urubamba Valley and River. The whole city was hidden (and thus saved) from marauding conquistadores for centuries and its high remote location makes if feel like it is floating on a sheet of mist.

Local guides will tell of legends withed down from Inca ancestors, archaeologists will give you another perspective all adding to the sites enigmatic status, but it’s actually quite hard to put your finger on the reasons why this citadel in the clouds is just so fascinating.

Many of the discoveries in and around Machu Picchu have led to more questions than answers around it’s true purpose. The more discoveries made it seems, the wider the variety of possibilities.

Rather than give you a list of dates, numbers and scientific facts, this page is going to offer you a treat, so you can wow your guides and make them think you’ve been on a crash course of anthropology and/or Incan philosophy!

I probably don’t need to tell you that Machu Picchu’s walls, caves and buildings are widely adorned with intricate carvings in the citadel, boasting carefully selected cave entrances, strange altars, 600 impressively engineered terraces, a 1km long aqueduct and exquisitely engineered buildings. Quizzical llama lawnmowers help to keep the grass around the buildings all beautifully manicured, showing off their best features. It is indeed a sensory feast for 21st century eyes staring firsthand at structures built by Incan hands more than a thousand years ago!

Did you also know that the positioning of the buildings are no accident. Inca people were master astrologers, the milky way had particular significance, and they arranged structures within the citadel to align with the cosmos or rising of the sun at specific times of year?

Standing amongst these features, everyone marvels at the masterful engineering the ancient Incan builders managed to achieve way back in the mid 14th century. You may find yourself getting lost in stories told by local legends if you walk through the various buildings with a local guide (like our Cynthia Valledares). When you also understand the significance of the structures around you from a spiritual and ritualistic point of view – it is not at all difficult for ones mind to be blown!

The technique used to build the structure is called called “ashlar”, this means that stones that are precisely cut to fit together without any mortar. This method is so precise that not even a credit card can slide between stones. Peru has experienced hundreds of years of seismic activity, yet the stones the Inca’s crafted stand strong, mostly undamaged by natures powerful forces.

Some of the most interesting architectural features of Machu Picchu are all closely huddled together over it’s total area of 32,592 hectares, an assortment of structures, each with an archaeological and spiritual back story that would make even Indiana Jones proud!

Sacred Rock

Looking out over the central plaza to the far end of Machu Picchu , we find the Sacred Rock, something you will notice in almost every Inca village. The Inca practiced placing a sacred stone in close proximity to the building site and this was dedicated to the site itself, which adds to the intrigue of the site; what did this mean to these people, and what daily practices took place right here where you stand, some say they can still feel the energy of these people and the land they revered so much.The Sacred Stone of Machu Picchu was carefully placed at the base of Huayna Picchu (or little peak), a place from which it’s possible to ascend right up to the summit, for a magnificent view down the valley. After your hour-long hike to the top of the peak, you can choose to stop off on the way back down at the Gatekeeper’s shack for a signed memoir, verifying you have conquered the steep climb up Huayna Picchu. The rock, resembling the shape of the top of the mountains behind it is a shrine where the Incas carried out special rituals and pachamamas (offerings to the earth).

The Sacred Rock is a powerful symbol in Machu Picchu, and is recognised as being a spiritual area for meditation and absorbing positive energies.

Many visitors like to include Temple of The Moon cave, another enigmatic structure situated approximately 1280 feet or 390 m below the summit of Huayna Picchu facing North. This is less than an hours walk from Sacred Rock, and will reward you with not only grand Inca structures to marvel over, but also spectacular views down the valley.

Central Plaza

Temple of the three windows, Machu Picchu, Peru

The Central Plaza of Machu Picchu is laid out with rows of many roofless stone structures embedded among steep terraces, facing outward for a grand view of Huayna Picchu. The lush green grass colour in the middle of the plaza can be likened to an island sitting amongst the rest of the Inca stone buildings that make up Machu Picchu. It’s an enticing and inviting spot amongst the buildings for Llamas and other grazing animals to frequent for a tasty meal. The Central Plaza’s grassy field also provides separation from the Sacred Plaza and Intiwatana to the residential areas on the farther side of the complex.

One of the buildings bordering the plaza is the Temple of the Three Windows. From this standpoint we look out to see a pretty view out on to the green central field, if we carry on from here, a flight of stairs at the back of the Sacred Plaza takes us back down to the Central Plaza.

At the very lowest end of the Central Plaza we find what is known as the Prison Group, this is essentially a network of cells, passageways, and niches extending both underground and up to the plateau above. Right in the center of this group of structures, we find the Temple of the Condor, some visitors and locals call this the main attraction because of its attention seeking condor carved in stone right above a rock pile. Behind this striking carved condor head, is a doorway leading to a tiny underground cell.

Temple of the Condor

Temple Of The Condor

The Temple of the Condor in Machu Picchu has to be one of the highlights (although you will find it difficult to choose one) of your exploration of these Inca ruins. It is an exquisite example of Inca stonemasonry. The Inca took a natural rock formation shaped by the elements millions of years ago, and skillfully shaped it into the outspread wings of a condor in flight. The Condor represented spirit and higher levels of consciousness, so the Inca considered the Condor to be of elevated importance in the animal, and spirit kingdom.

On the floor of the Condor temple you can see a rock carved in the shape of the condor’s head and neck feathers, this section of the rock makes up the figure of a three-dimensional bird. Historians speculate that the Inca used the head of the condor here as a sacrificial altar. Underneath this is a small cave that used to contain a mummy, the hierarchal importance of which perplexed archaeologists like many other mummified remains found in this area. Behind the temple, is situated a prison complex. The prison comprised of many human-sized niches and an underground maze of dark dingy dungeons. The close proximation of the alleged sacrificial temple and the prison structures conjures up visions of how the Inca may have used them for sacrifice or other rituals. Similar Inca prison sites, record events outlining the handling of an accused citizen… word has it that the prisoners would be shackled into these niches for up to 3 days to await their fate. The jury could nominate their death for such simple sins as laziness, lust, or more in line with Victorian punishments, theft.

Funerary Rock Hut

Funerary Rock Hut

If you are a photographic enthusiast, you will want to take a small hike to Machu Picchu’s Funerary Rock Hut. It’s believed this location was the place where Inca nobility were mummified, and like many places chosen for overseers to rest, the vantage point from the hut offers a dramatic view over the whole complex.

Every day herds of Alpacas and Llamas arrive via the terraces near the Funerary Rock Hut to graze leisurely on the grass. These furry manicurists keep the lawns short, neat and tidy for our benefit whilst filling their stomachs with rich green grass. From this position we look out towards the start of the Inca Trail, in contrast to many of the skinny mountainous trails in the region, it is easy to see because the Inca Trail is a well developed wider road that connects the Cusco region directly with Machu Picchu.

The hike up the long sturdy stairs that lead to the Funerary Rock Hut will give your muscles a good workout, but the rewards at the end of this short but relatively steep hike are worth every drop of sweat. The views from this viewpoint will stay in your memory along with many snapshots of your unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu.

From this point we take a detour back down the stairs to arrive at the Royal Tomb.

Royal Tomb

Royal Tomb Machu Picchu

Walking down and to the left descending a long set of stairs, we approach the Royal Tomb. This cave-esque area of Machu Picchu is decorated with ceremonial niches and adjacent to the Temple of the Sun is a carefully carved Inca cross. The cross design resembles steps, and represents the three levels of existence in the Inca world. The first step, symbolised by the snake, is representative of the underworld or of death. The second step represents the present, or human life, symbolised by the jaguar. The highest step represents the celestial or spiritual plane of the gods, and is symbolised by the condor.

This revered site has been the focus of numerous mummy excavations. Over 100 skeletal remains have been discovered here, 80% of which were women. For this and several other factual reasons, historians surmised that the area was inhabited primarily by Inca high priests and an elite selection of chosen women.

Immediately to the left of the royal tomb lies a series of 16 ceremonial baths, cleverly linked together via a skilfully engineered viaduct. At the top of this system we find the watershed hut, which passes beside the rock quarry emerging at the Sacred Plaza.

Intiwatana

Intiwatana Hitching Post Of The Sun

The Intiwatana at Machu Picchu, is referred to by Inca and modern people as the “hitching post of the sun”. One of Machu Picchu’s primary functions was that of astronomical observatory. It is a carved rock pillar with construction planned to orient towards the four cardinal points. As accomplished astronomers the Inca used the angles of the pillar to accurately predict the solstices. The sun was an integral part of the Inca way of life and greatly influenced agriculture which supported the life of the whole community. The Inca considered the Sun the supreme natural god and during the winter solstice on June 21, it is said that the high priest would rope a golden disc to the Intiwatana, to symbolically catch the sun, returning it back to earth, thus ensuring another bountiful season of crops.

Sadly the Intiwatana is the only structure of its kind left standing by the Spanish conquerors, who went on a aggressive campaign to wipe out all structural references to Inca religion. Many visitors report that Machu Picchu feels like one of Earth’s magnetic focal points, it emanates a mystical quality and carries an inherent spiritual or metaphysical power.

When you’re sitting on the edge of heaven, perched high above the valley at the Sacred Plaza looking down at the Urubamba River below, it’s hard to deny the etherial sense this place is embued with. Turn around behind you, and absorb the genius of the ancient builders who created these stone plaza and temple structures, framed magnificently in the background by the spectacular mountain peaks of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu to the left and right. How could you not be moved and humbled by this experience?

Huayna Picchu

The big little mountain that everyone forgets. Huayna Picchu is like a jewel in the crown of Machu Picchu. Standing at  2,720 metres (8,930 feet), it towers above and behind the citadel of Machu Picchu.  Only 400 people are allowed daily to climb Huayna Picchu in 2 groups – first departing at 7.00AM second at 10.00Am. The steep (both hands and feet needed) climb winds up the side of the rock faces and through a tunnel. It takes about 1.5-2 hours up and about 45 minutes to 1 hour down. For many people climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights when visiting Machu Picchu.  The view from the top highlights how the structures and terraces below are built on seemingly impossible places like they are almost glued to the mountain side. You are in for a breathtakingly beautiful panorama of the site of Machu Picchu below, but also the snowcapped mountains and grand valleys beyond.

Machu Picchu is divided in two parts

Hanan and Urin according with the Inca tradition. This essentially means upper and lower, or heaven and earth.  The upper realm = included the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, and constellations (milky way in particular) and was called hanan pacha (in Quechua). The hanan pacha was inhabited Inti, the masculine sun god, and Mama Killa, the feminine moon goddess. The lower realm is where earth spirits reside, or the people who inhabit the earthly realms. 

 Popular Trails Leading To Machu Picchu

Ancient Inca rulers forged trails and communication systems through this region over 18,600 miles long, paving mountain tracks, building runners and swing bridges from straw ropes. Most of these structure still exist today, and it’s quite astounding to think that the well worn steps you are walking on when traversing the Inca or Lares trails were hand constructed by Inca stonemasons so very long ago.

The most popular trails leading to Machu Picchu are the Lares Trail and the Inca Trail. There is also the Salkantay trek, but the two most raved about journeys by far are the Lares and Inca trail. The Lares takes you through many more villages, without the same level of foot traffic you may encounter on the Inca Trail. You can also opt for cycle and kayak options, where you can visit a small village on Lake Titicaca’s reed islands and hang with the locals. Experiences like these are magical, they add a few more days to your adventure, but you’ll leave with a whole new sense of the meaning of immersion in another uniquely Peruvian culture. Check out this comparison between the Inca Trail vs. Lares Trails or take a look at our Jaguar trip which gives you the option of visiting these places and many more.

Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu

A trip to Machu Picchu along the Inca trail is the epitome of a spiritual and wondrous experience to one of the worlds most fascinating ancient wonders of the world. An unforgettable experience is not something you have to ‘try’ to achieve when visiting Machu Picchu – you’ll be taken on a journey of curiosity and wonder in all directions.

Facebook Review:

Noel Carroll reviewed Active Adventures – 5 star – 29 July ·

Jaguar trip to Peru. Great guides, accommodations, activities, food. Absolutely the best adventure I have had, and I have been blessed with quite a few. Would definitely consider another one. Hiking the Inca trail on this trip was the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done.

Other pages that may be of interest:

Best Time To Trek Machu Picchu | Machu Picchu Tours |4 Day Machu Picchu Trek 

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Seychelles

Summary

  • Exercise normal security precautions in the Seychelles. Use common sense and appear down for dubious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the news along with other sourced elements of information for changes to regional travelling conditions.
  • Criminal activity, including burglaries and opportunistic theft against residents, expatriates and tourists, occurs in the Seychelles, and there’s been an escalating range violent incidents. Parked cars, residential accommodation, including guest houses and resorts, beaches and walking tracks, have already been targeted. See Safety and security.
  • Exercise caution when swimming into the ocean, specially with kiddies, as currents may be strong and a lot of beaches don’t have life guards. Many deaths by drowning are recorded annually into the Seychelles. See regional travel.
  • Damp period (north-west monsoon) into the Seychelles is from November to might, see more information.
  • Piracy is really a significant danger in Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and has happened as far as 1,000 nautical kilometers from the shore of Somalia. Pirate tasks happen reported in waters surrounding Seychelles’ exterior islands nearest the eastern coast of Africa, like the seizure of personal yachts. Exercise caution when preparing ocean activities in Seychelles’ Exclusive financial area (EEZ). See Security And Safety.
  • See Travel Smart for basic advice for many travellers.

Entry and exit

Australians do not require a visa to enter the Republic of Seychelles. But your passport should be legitimate for the full timeframe of the prepared stay, by having a minimal half a year’ validity, and have one or more blank visa web page for entry/exit stamps. It’s also possible to have to offer proof accommodation bookings addressing your stay static in the Seychelles.

Entry and exit conditions (such as visa requirements, currency, traditions and quarantine regulations) can alter at short notice, contact the nearest tall Commission or Consulate of the Republic of Seychelles for the many updated information.

Any medicine should be declared at Customs. Travellers are encouraged to contact the Customs Office on + 248 429 3737 just before travelling to verify whether a certain medication is permitted in the country. See additionally the Customs Office website.

If you’re showing up from the nation in which yellowish temperature is endemic, proof of a yellowish temperature vaccination is needed.

Security and safety

Crime

Targeted burglaries and opportunistic theft against residents and tourists take place in the Seychelles. While theft and burglaries may appear anywhere, many burglaries take place in holiday destinations like Beau Vallon coastline as well as the capital of Victoria. There has been a marked boost in the utilization of knives in burglaries and street robberies over the past several years.

Ensure that your accommodation is well secured, including windows, especially in the evening. Parked vehicles have also been targeted. Protect valuables and cash; leave them in the hotel safe, and avoid shows of wide range. Keep copies of important papers, together with your passport, in a separate place.

We recommend you prevent the straight back streets of Beau Vallon and Victoria, specially in the evening. Take care along Beau Vallon coastline and foreshore in the evening, particularlu if you’re travelling alone.

Piracy is a significant risk inside Gulf of Aden while the Indian Ocean despite an overall lowering of incidents since 2013. Attacks have happened as far as 1,000 nautical kilometers through the coastline of Somalia and often within the Seychelles’ Exclusive financial Zone (EEZ). Sailing vessels are specially susceptible. Travelling in yachts and leisure craft on high seas (above 12 nautical kilometers from shore) isn’t recommended. This consists of tasks inside the Seychelles’ EEZ beyond 12 miles of this inner granitic islands. To find out more, the Overseas Maritime Bureau dilemmas piracy reports.

Civil unrest/political tension

Avoid any large public gatherings, demonstrations or protests while they have actually the possible to turn violent. Follow regional news for latest developments and follow any directions released by local authorities

Terrorism

There is a low risk of terrorism in Seychelles.

Terrorism actually threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Global bulletin.

Cash and valuables

The neighborhood currency may be the Seychellois Rupee, however many tourist services, including accommodation, are paid in Euros, either in money or by bank card.

Money exchange solutions can be found at banks, the Seychelles International Airport, certified operators and also at accommodations and resorts. Hotels and resorts will often exchange Euros or US bucks for guests.

ATMs aren’t generally found beyond the major holiday destinations of Mahé, Praslin or La Digue, and will only dispense Seychellois Rupees. ATMs may located at international airport.

Cannot leave cash and valuables unattended at coastline or within the vehicle.

Your passport is a valuable document that is appealing to crooks whom may try to use your identification to commit crimes. Continue to keep it in a safe place. You might be required by Australian legislation to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as quickly as possible.

Neighborhood travel

Driving in the Seychelles is only practical regarding islands of Mahé and Praslin. Roadways on both islands are mountainous, slim, winding, and generally are frequently flanked by sheer falls and hairpin bends. Security obstacles are rare. Be careful whenever driving and avoid remote roadways, specially during the night.

Drink-driving is just a problem into the Seychelles, therefore be particularly conscious of other road users who may behave erratically.

Buses on Mahé operate from early morning to very early night. Services are infrequent on some routes. Taxis aren’t metered, therefore confirm with your resort about taxi fares you ought to expect on trips, and negotiate utilizing the motorist before you begin your journey.

Prior to participating in ocean sports activities, ensure that the water-sport operators hold valid certifications and permits, and carry sufficient safety equipment. Make sure that operators have the ability to contact the shore guard if necessary, especially during activities which need venturing further out at ocean, like swimming with dolphins or scuba diving.

The safety requirements you may expect of transportation and tour operators, including adventure tasks such as for instance scuba diving, may possibly not be of the identical level as in Australia. Sufficient safety gear may possibly not be supplied and recommended maintenance requirements and security precautions may not be seen. Always utilize available safety gear, including lifejackets or seatbelts, even when others cannot. If appropriate safety gear is not available, use another provider.

There are frequently strong currents brought on by alterations in ocean conditions. Workout caution whenever swimming or snorkelling as drowning has happened at popular tourist beaches. Safety information is often maybe not supplied at beaches, and also this really should not be interpreted as indication of security. The most popular coastline of Beau Vallon is prone to rip currents if the ocean is rough. Look for neighborhood advice before swimming and stay in your competency degree.

Airline safety

The Australian federal government does not offer information on the security of specific commercial airlines or trip paths. See rather the Aviation Safety system internet site for informative data on aviation safety into the Seychelles.

Please additionally reference our general airline travel web page for informative data on aviation security and safety.

Regulations

You are susceptible to the neighborhood laws and regulations regarding the Seychelles, including ones that look harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian federal government is going to do what it may to assist you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can not allow you to get away from trouble or out of prison. Analysis laws and regulations before travelling, specifically for a long stay.

Homosexuality ended up being decriminalised in-may 2016. See our LGBTI travellers web page.

Medication taking and smuggling are serious offences and punishment are severe. See our Drugs web page.

Some Australian unlawful regulations, such as those associated with cash laundering, bribery of foreign general public officials, terrorism, forced wedding, female genital mutilation, son or daughter pornography, and kid intercourse tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians whom commit these offences while overseas might be prosecuted in Australia.

Neighborhood traditions

Seychelles’ culture are conservative. Topless sunbathing is not tolerated on public beaches. Nudism just isn’t appropriate. General public displays of affection must also be avoided.

Information for twin nationals

See our Dual nationals page.

Health

We strongly recommend that you remove comprehensive travel cover that may protect any overseas medical expenses, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Make sure your insurance covers you for your time you will end up away and check always what circumstances and activities aren’t contained in your policy. Keep in mind, regardless of how healthier and fit you’re, if you cannot pay for travel cover, you cannot afford to travel. The Australian Government will not buy a traveller’s medical costs offshore or medical evacuation expenses.

It is important to consider carefully your real and psychological state before travelling offshore. We encourage you to definitely start thinking about having vaccinations before you decide to travel. At the least eight weeks just before depart, see your medical professional or travel clinic for fundamental wellness check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for the wellness, especially if you’ve got a current medical problem. The entire world Health Organization (whom) provides information for travellers and our health and wellness page also provides of use information for travellers on staying healthy.

Medical facilities

Healthcare facilities in Seychelles are restricted, especially in the more remote islands where medical practioners in many cases are unavailable. There are numerous clinics and a federal government owned medical center on the primary island of Mahé which handles accidents and emergency services.

The key hospital (including accident and emergency solutions) is in the capital city of Victoria (telephone: + 248 438 8000). Much more serious medical cases are usually evacuated to Mauritius, South Africa or India for therapy. Ensure you have actually adequate travel medical health insurance and accessible funds to pay for the expense of any treatment and repatriation costs.

Health problems

Though there is no malaria in Seychelles, there are frequent outbreaks of dengue temperature and chikungunya. Look for medical advice when you yourself have a fever, muscle mass pain, rash or severe headache as they are signs and symptoms of both dengue temperature and chikungunya virus. We advise that you take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, including utilizing pest repellent always, using long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito evidence. For further information start to see the World Health Organization’s factsheets on dengue temperature and chikungunya.

If you need emergency medical assistance throughout your journey, dial 999 and get for the ambulance.

If you are showing up from a country in which yellow temperature is endemic, proof a yellowish temperature vaccination is necessary.

Where to get help

Depending on your enquiry, your absolute best option can be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel representative, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer must have a 24 hour crisis quantity.

For unlawful problems, contact the area authorities at the nearest authorities place, or phone them on the national crisis number 999. You should always obtain a police report whenever reporting a crime.

The Consular Services Charter describes exactly what the Australian national can and cannot do to help Australians overseas. Australia won’t have a High Commission or Consulate inside Seychelles. It is possible to contact the Australian Government on Australian High Commission in Mauritius for consular assistance. See contact details below:

Australian High Commission, Port Louis

2nd Floor, Rogers House
5 President John Kennedy Street
Port Louis, Mauritius
Telephone: +230 202 0160
Facsimile: +230 208 8878
Website: www.mauritius.highcommission.gov.au

Begin to see the High Commission site for information regarding opening hours and short-term closures that’ll impact solution supply.

In a consular crisis if you are struggling to contact the High Commission, you can call the 24-hour Consular crisis Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Extra information

Natural catastrophes, severe climate and environment

In cases where a natural catastrophe does occur, follow the advice of regional authorities. Informative data on natural catastrophes can be had from worldwide tragedy Alert and Coordination System.

If you’re travelling through the damp season, or after having a natural catastrophe, contact your tour operator to check whether tourist services at your in the offing location have already been impacted.

Wet season

Because of the latitude, the Seychelles Islands are not normally suffering from cyclones, but severe climate, strong winds, rough seas and torrential rain can occur through the damp period from December to February. Meteorological services are contacted on +248 384 358.

Australians should monitor the weather through local and international media, or through the following websites: World Meteorological Organization and follow the link to serious climate Information Centre, Meteo France–Reunion (follow the url to Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre the South-West Indian Ocean) and NOAA nationwide Weather Centre.

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

All oceanic elements of the entire world can experience tsunamis, in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there’s a more frequent incident of big, destructive tsunamis due to the numerous big earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System site to learn more, additionally the Australian Government’s Tsunami Awareness brochure.

Additional Resources

NUKEMAP at 5 years

5 years ago today we introduced the NUKEMAP. It feels virtually like yesterday — exactly how fast with flown! I sporadically get college students, not really brand-new ones, who let me know which they used it in high school to do reports. Which makes me personally feel… well, like I’ve added one thing, along with feeling old. To ensure’s so good. I’ve been behind on posting for some time now, and am at the rear of on several things at the moment (plenty of irons inside fire, plus the debilitating power of a news cycle that seems to alter by the moment), but I wanted to hold something towards NUKEMAP.

NUKEMAP and NUKEMAP3D web page views, exported from Bing Analytics and washed up somewhat, with a few associated with the "known" moments of virality suggested. Note how a "baseline" had steadily increased with time.

NUKEMAP and NUKEMAP3D web page views, exported from Bing Analytics and cleaned up a little, with some regarding the “known” moments of virality suggested. Note how the “baseline” had steadily increased with time.

Some statistics: NUKEMAP happens to be the host of over 99 million virtual detonations, according to its internal logs. Every detonation, excluding people where individuals have opted-out of logging, is logged. As I’ve said before, I don’t record enough information because of it become non-anonymizing, but it is interesting to see things like in which individuals nuke, and what they do aided by the device. According to Google Analytics, there has been (as of this checking) over 25 million pageviews, over 20 million of the unique pageviews (e.g., maybe not people finding its way back and deploying it numerous times in one session). The usage of your website predictably flares up in certain moments of “virality” (the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, over 500,000 people used it over two days), whilst still being have razor-sharp moments of hefty traffic every few months. More intriguing and crucial that you me is the fact that website’s “slow times” are now actually not sluggish. With regards to began, a “slow time” was a couple of thousand individuals deploying it. Today, it’s a lot more like 15,000-20,000 individuals using it. And, generally, folks are actually utilizing it: the average time on web page is 5 minutes, that I think is pretty healthy for the internet visualization employed by tens and thousands of individuals everyday. That means folks are doing more than just clicking and glancing — they’re in fact trying things out.

NUKEMAP3D is, for the minute, moribund. Google unceremoniously discontinued help the Google Earth internet Plugin (the rule on the end is simply kaput), no sufficient substitute has yet emerged. There are a few methods of crudely making a 3D earth on line, but none that support buildings and skylines how Google Earth did, and that is the whole point of NUKEMAP3D. But i’m developing a short-term substitute which can be nearly willing to move out: it’s going to enable you to export any NUKEMAP settings up to a KMZ file which you are able to open in the Google Earths standalone system, and it will support mushroom clouds among other interesting features.

“Alas, poor NUKEMAP3D! I knew him, Horatio…” do not worry, NUKEMAP3D isn’t really dead, just awaiting better circumstances…

Some reflections: we still stay amazed that NUKEMAP has been as popular since it had been. The notion of drawing concentric circles more than a map isn’t new one, and mine had not been even the very first internet one. Heck, it had beenn’t perhaps the very first web one for me personally — in 2005 or so I produced terrible crude version making use of MapQuest (remember them?) and PHP, plus it wouldn’t are sustainable to utilize (it literally utilized PHP to draw circles over fixed images from MapQuest, so that it had been extremely server-intensive by the criteria for the time). But I did try to create a version that was simpler to make use of than the other ones that were on the market, and offered more intuitive, useful information. And when I upgraded NUKEMAP in summer time of 2013, i must say i did think it had been adding brand new opportunities: even more versatile detonation choices, casualty quotes, a fallout model.

I nevertheless give talks about NUKEMAP all the time, whether or not to large teams (I became on a panel with Noam Chomsky a few years ago, referring to NUKEMAP), or even to individual reporters (used to do another interview about it just yesterday), or even to little sets of pupils (I Skyped right into a high school class 2-3 weeks ago to talk about it, and how it was made, and exactly how these pupils cannot think about it as something beyond their capabilities to build, something I don’t mind doing if I can make enough time because of it). We instruct a course regularly (“Visualizing community,” a kind of anarchistic information visualization/science and technology studies program) where We reveal students developing NUKEMAP-like applications for any other kinds of social phenomena. We nevertheless make updates and plans for updates to it: there are numerous projects within the works, including “refreshing” the interface slightly (cannot worry, it won’t end up searching painfully “stylish”; the blog could probably make use of refresh, too), translating it into other languages (which requires more back-end coding than you might expect), and adding new substantive features (i’ve almost place the final details on a nuclear burning model and better help for numerous detonations).

for me personally, the "holy grail" would be something which would let you see something like the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency made in 1973: a "personalized" view of exactly what different damage appeared to be, from the road level. The technology with this isn't quite here yet, but it's perhaps not that far away, either.

For me, the “holy grail” is something which would let you see something like the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency built in 1973: a “personalized” view of what different damage appeared to be, from the street level. The technology because of this isn’t quite right here yet, but it is perhaps not that far, either.

I have a very long “wish list” of items that is interesting to incorporate: EMP features, a powerful (time-sensitive) fallout model, help for the effect of surface or dampening by structures, etc. I really do possess some pupils who sporadically work for me personally, particularly within the summer time, on areas of these problems, and some of this work may fundamentally ensure it is into future variations for the NUKEMAP. I am also thinking about translating the NUKEMAP concept — this “personalizing” of nuclear tools effects — into non-web domains also. The key trouble let me reveal time: NUKEMAP is still a mostly one-man operation (imagine me inside salt mines, toiling out Javascript), and also this one-man is (to his delight) excellently busy by having a lot of things. I will be very favorably supported in this work by my university, I should say, plus the university of Arts and Letters on Stevens Institute of tech is spending the ever-increasing fees related to managing a popular website since I got right here, and motivating me personally to accomplish even more with it.

Perhaps something that I’m grateful for is the fact that I’m maybe not yet even slightly bored stiff with any of it — We still find referring to it interesting, I nevertheless believe it is a type of how exactly we might consider technology interaction to look in our present age. We highly believe, and will evangelize about to anyone who asks me to (as many are finding, most likely without realizing what they were consistently getting into), that there surely is different things about providing sort of “simulation” up to a user and saying, well, you figure out how this works, in the place of a far more didactic mode of training like lecturing. It has strong tones of “active learning,” but I’m not only talking about a technique for the class. One nice benefit of tools like NUKEMAP usually i could see (through referring links) how folks are with them. My personal favorite example, and this pops up constantly, is whenever people make use of it to argue with other people on the Internet. Some one will say, wouldn’t a nuclear bomb do X? And someone says, well, the NUKEMAP claims it will be similar to Y. And there’s this type of “calibration” of understanding, when I consider it, that begins to slim straight down exactly what these tools do and don’t do. (plus it goes both methods: a lot of people think they’re more powerful than they are, however think they’re less effective.) The NUKEMAP model, as I discuss in its FAQ, is not perfect at all: in certain circumstances it most likely overestimates the consequences (by perhaps not considering a lot of local variables), in other people it most likely underestimates them, and “real world” is more chaotic compared to a easy model that can run inside browser can account fully for, no doubt. However it helps concretize the knowledge, the order of magnitude. I believe there’s lots of value because, whenever we’re discussing one thing so taken out of everyday human being experience (thank goodness) as being a nuclear gun detonation.

And I think this is usually a model we must really do more to export to other domains: nukes are something within our society that individuals have actually trouble really understanding for an intuitive level, but there are plenty more. This is exactly what my “Visualizing community” course is all about, at its core: finding approaches to make interactive information visualizations or simulations that shed light on complex real-world issues. The technical club for doing these exact things is leaner than many people understand; if I can show undergraduates (excellent and often technically-inclined undergraduates, to make sure, but frequently ones with no coding experience) the fundamentals of this during the period of a semester, then it cannot be that hard.

the first "NUKEMAP" — Hiroshima, before and after, from the view of a nuclear bombardier.

The original “NUKEMAP” — Hiroshima, before and after, from the view of a nuclear bombardier.

My primary frustration with NUKEMAP as interaction tool is the fact that top-down, concentric-circles approach may be the view for the military planner. It is the view of nuclear targeteer, or being a buddy and collaborator put it earlier in the day this week, oahu is the view of real-estate. It’s not the view of the person on the ground, it’s not the view regarding the survivor, it’s not the view of victim. NUKEMAP3D did provide some facets of that, nevertheless the Google world plugin, because of its communicative advantages, had been clunky to use (the 3D interface wasn’t straightforward), needed a special installation, therefore was much less popular once the regular NUKEMAP. (I happened to be, but nevertheless impressed that some 3 million individuals used it over its life time.) I’m hoping that some future tasks I have in mind (no spoilers, sorry) will deal with these issues more straight and more intensely.

Anyhow, more is beingshown to people there, as ever, and it is only a matter of finding out getting it all done. More NUKEMAP, more NUKEMAP-like creations, more work. I am grateful for NUKEMAP: just what started off a literally two-day coding work (one resting, obviously, for a decade of coding experience, and also some actual code that I had written a long time ago, to be sure) has changed into one thing of a guiding idea for the profession. It definitely increased the appeal of my weblog (whose traffic is excellently high for an scholastic, despite the fact that i’m significantly remiss in upgrading it lately), and became a selling-point for the forms of hybrid technical-historical-analytical projects that I never ever knew I’d wished to spend my life working on (though i did so involve some inklings). Anyhow, a lot more is coming. When I go silent, don’t believe, “what’s occurred to him?” Instead, think, “what’s he preparing for all of us, next?” There is a great deal planned.

Tags: NUKEMAP

Citation: Alex Wellerstein, “NUKEMAP at 5 years,” Restricted information: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog, February 3, 2017, accessed April 24, 2017, http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2017/02/03/nukemap-5-years/.

Surviving Trump

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Amy Selwyn is a storyteller, writer, and dog mom. The views and opinions expressed in this article are hers and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Matador Network.

Last Tuesday morning, I cast my vote for the first female president of the United States. At 57 years of age, I was alive to bear witness to the night we voted to shatter that glass ceiling by electing Hillary Clinton as our next leader. I voted for Hillary because I believed in her, I believed in her agenda for social progress and I believed in continuing the work of the Obama mandate.

Leaving the polls, I felt euphoric. And so, so hopeful and excited.

By 10:30 pm on election night (8 November, 2016), my world foundation was destroyed.

Everything I believed about America — how we behave, how we shelter the vulnerable, how we hold as self-evident the truth that says all men and women are created equal — was in tatters. I was desperate, panicked and shaken.

That was five days ago.

Today, I am sad. I am disgusted. I am furious. I am outraged. I am shocked.

I am also wide awake.

This may be the hidden “gift” in what feels to me as the darkest moment in my country’s history. Namely, that a loud, clanging, horrid alarm bell has gone off and, in its unceasing insistence, is going to get me up and into active participation with democracy. I’m gonna work day and night to save it and preserve it.

(Let’s just say the craziest thing happens. Let’s say Trump and Pence turn out to be really progressive leaders who effect positive and radical change. Well, then I’ll rejoice and still be glad I woke up. For the record, I harbor little hope on that one…)

It’s early days. I’ve come up with five things I am committing to right now to help me — and possibly others — get through the next four years. And let me just say what I mean by “get through”. It goes way beyond survival. It means actively working to thwart every single friggin’ attempt to curb our civil liberties, to institutionalize racism, to resist turning inward and isolationist when the world is so obviously interconnected (and, let’s face it, where we’ve left huge messes around the planet). To stand up and speak out and not take bigotry and demagoguery lying down.

Here’s my opening list. Please, I welcome thoughts from others. It has taken on a sad meaning in the last six days, but let’s be what Barack Obama told us to be. Fired Up. Ready to Go.

1. Be civil. Show respect.

There will be many arguments, many discussions. Tweets, posts on Facebook. I will not devolve into Fox News-style screaming matches. I will call people, including my friends and people whose beliefs and opinions mirror my own, on it when they show disrespect. I will not ridicule another’s opinion; that is Trump-like. That is base. Instead, I’m going to say, “I disagree because…”. Social media allows and even encourages us to behave like bullies and a**holes. I will reject it.

When they go low, we go high.

2. Actively get out of my own filter bubble.

Here’s mine: educated, liberal, white, middle class, Jewish, Northeast, Ivy League, socially progressive, multilingual, well-traveled.

And just about everyone in my social media networks and friends/family group can be described in many if not all of the same terms. I know very few people who voted for Trump. I commit to finding some and listening. Speaking, too, but listening, most of all.

I also commit to reading views from “the other side”. There is much written and much available on why people feel Trump is the answer. I will read some pieces like this. And try to understand the deeper story, the human story beneath the facts and figures and use/abuse of statistics.

3. Be an architect of an empathy bridge.

Get friends talking. Get us discussing — arguing, yes, but with respect and civility — and get us listening. Work hard (and it will be hard, no doubt) to explore “the other side”. Not to reach consensus. We’re not going to and we don’t need to. That’s the whole point. This isn’t about uniformity. This is about learning to tolerate difference. To appreciate it. To see its value.

Understanding is the goal, not persuasion, conversion or agreement.

4. Double my support of organizations actively working to preserve human rights and protect our environment.

I am going to take whatever I gave last year (because writing a check was my primary form of involvement) and I will double that figure. I’ll aim to triple it, in truth. It will mean giving up something else, because the budget is already stretched. Supporting the groups that protect the vulnerable — African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, gay people, the disabled, Jews, religious minorities, women and refugees, plus our wildlife, our wilderness, the air we breathe, climate research, and on and on.

5. Speak up. Speak out. Don’t leave the speaking to others.

I used to wonder why people would “bother” with protests when all they could only muster were 10 or 12 locals picketing in front of the town hall. I defined protest as huge, vast and newsworthy. Millions on the mall in DC.

I don’t see it that way anymore. Because the truth is, I remember driving past those 10 or 12 locals. Their signs and their chants made an impression.

I’m going to do more than write a check. I’m going to speak up and speak out against every liberty threatened, every vulnerable person placed at risk, every assault on and affront to this Union and our beloved, precious Constitution and Bill of Rights.

 

These are my starting points. I welcome other ideas, respectfully expressed. How can we come together as a people — right and left, conservative and liberal, man and woman, black and white, you name it — and fight for what many of us, myself included, took for granted and always assumed would be preserved?

We can — and must — get fired up. And be 100% ready to go.

This story first appeared on Medium and is republished here with permission.

The most colorful countries

 

From all shades of blue to rainbow-like color schemes or fiery skies, one of the things I love most about travelling is discovering colorful places. It inspires me deeply and offers great insight into local culture and traditions. Often I feel as though color lets a place come to life and it’s that feeling of vibrancy I carry with me long after. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I collated photographs from my recent adventures through Canada, into Europe, throughout Northern Africa, over China, and right down to the tip of Aotearoa [New Zealand]. Continue reading The most colorful countries