Unique Facts About the Wildlife of Galapagos

Unique Facts About the Wildlife of Galapagos

Most nature lovers who embark on wildlife holidays in Galapagos are familiar with the archipelago’s most iconic wildlife species, which include the Giant Tortoise, the Lava Lizard, the Marine Iguana, the Galapagos Sea Lion and the Blue-Footed Booby.
But while the wildlife has been studied and documented extensively, from Darwin’s first forays to the scientists who actively work to ensure its conservation into modern times, there are also some lesser-known facts about these wonderfully unique species. For anyone planning wildlife holidays in Galapagos, knowing a few of these before the trip may add another dimension to an already fascinating encounter.

 

Did You Know?

• The Marine Iguanas found in abundance throughout the archipelago are the world’s only species of marine lizard. The white appearance often seen around their faces is caused by the expulsion of salt from specially adapted glands in their nostrils, which dries and creates a “wig” effect.

• The Galapagos Penguin is the smallest in the world and the only one found north of the Equator. The combination of the cold waters of the Humboldt and Cromwell ocean currents mean it is able to survive in the warmer climate.

• With an average life span of well over a century, the Giant Tortoise lives longer than almost any other vertebrate on the planet. They continue to grow for up to 40 years and can reach a length of over 1.5m and a weight of up to 250kg.

• The most common of all the mammals throughout the islands is the sea lion. The chance to swim and snorkel amongst the curious sea lions is also one of the most sought-after encounters on wildlife holidays in Galapagos. Particularly large colonies are found on Santa Cruz, Isabela and Espanola.

• The Green Sea Turtle found in the waters around the archipelago is a species so old it has been around since before the time of the dinosaurs.

• There are five species of snakes and all of them are endemic to the dry zones of certain islands – although some islands have none. All the species are relatively small (under a metre) and are known as “racers”, due to their ability to move extremely fast. Their only natural predator is the Galapagos Hawk.

• There are four species of boobies that make the islands home. The Blue-footed Booby is renowned for its unique mating dance, where it lifts its feet and wave them in the air, appearing to “dance”, and the Red-footed Booby is the only one to make its nest in the trees and not the ground. The Nazcar Booby is the largest species, while the Masked Booby lives mainly out in the open ocean, returning to land only to breed.

• The Waved Albatross mates for life. There are over 12,000 breeding pairs on the archipelago, which represents the majority of its global population. While the birds depart the islands from December to April, they return to the same place and the same partner every year to breed.

• The term “Darwin’s Finches” actually refers to 15 different species of finches. While their bodies and colouring make them similar in appearance, each has a distinctly different, specially adapted beak.

Wildlife holidays in Galapagos offer a privileged opportunity for nature lovers to experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime encounter with some of the most incredible and unique animals on Earth. And, in this remote and beautiful part of the planet, researchers and naturalists are still learning just how astounding many of them really are. Author Plate

Crazy Family Fun in Chamonix

Crazy Family Fun in Chamonix

Chamonix is known as one of the best skiing areas in the world – and rightly so! It has a wide-ranging array of pistes that the whole family can enjoy together. From nursery slopes for your little ones to advanced, adrenaline-fuelled pistes for adults and teenagers, Chamonix has something special for everyone.
In addition to skiing, there are many other fun-filled and family-friendly activities that’ll make your ski holiday an exciting adventure that the kids will never forget.

 

Dog Sledding

Are your kids big fans of puppers and woofers? Then you’ll definitely see their eyes light up when you take them dog sledding.

Bred from wolf and domestic dog (usually husky) crosses, these friendly animals love to pull sleds, and they’re so elegant that it makes for a really smooth ride. What’s more, these animals are super affectionate, and you’ll probably find you want one as a pet if you treat the family to a dog sledding experience! This activity is increasingly popular, so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Paragliding

How does soaring through the snowy peaks of the Alps sound?

Thanks to its glaciers, rugged peaks and eagles, Chamonix is known as the Mecca of mountain flying. Even beginners can enjoy a huge adrenaline rush and amazing flights with very high levels of safety, as the gear is really advanced. If you don’t want to take lessons, tandem flying is also is an option – you’ll take to the skies with an experienced pilot, who will introduce you to the sights that this stunning region has to offer.

Snowshoeing

This is a wonderful way for the whole family to experience the region’s alpine beauty. Snowshoeing takes you away from the over-crowded slopes to the snowy mountains, where you can see deer, foxes and hares in their natural habitat. Why not venture onto glacial terrain for something a little more exciting? Or how about leaving the kids with a child minder and enjoying a moonlit snowshoeing adventure?

Ice Skating

The Richard Bozon Sports Centre boasts an Olympic-sized indoor ice rink, as well as a smaller outdoor rink that’s only a short walk away from the town centre. Give this fun winter sport a whirl, or pop by for the local teams’ ice hockey matches, cheering them on as they play a home game.

How to Get There

Many budget airlines offer several flights every day from the UK to Geneva, with a flight time of only 90 minutes from London. Getting to Chamonix from Geneva couldn’t be easier – simply book a transfer with Shuttle Direct for a quick and easy journey to your accommodation in Chamonix. From Geneva, the transfer only takes about an hour, so you’ll be out on the slopes with the family in no time!

Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling in Morocco

Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling in Morocco

Morocco is a truly magnificent destination with unique culture, history and many places to explore! From kasbah (fort) to the Sahara Desert, nothing will not amaze you and be attracted to this country. Many Moroccans I met were very nice, friendly, and friendly! Not to mention the fascinating places to visit and the low cost of living as well. If you are planning to visit sometime, here are some tips for traveling in Morocco. Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling in Morocco
1. Morocco is an affordable tourist destination. Although with the increasing number of tourists in recent years, it is still a relatively cheap place to visit. You can still find affordable accommodation that is located around the city center and eat cheaply.

2. Ready to bargain. Depending on what you buy, some goods on the streets and local markets can be high but very acceptable to bargain at the best price.

3. If you want to go on a journey like the Sahara Desert, you do not need to book in advance because there are travel agents anywhere that offer such tours. Sometimes, you may find a better deal directly than you do online.

4. Learn some phrases in Arabic (or French). They are the main language of instruction in Morocco. Given the increasing number of tourists there, you should be fine with English. However, knowing some keywords and phrases in Arabic (and French) can be useful when you interact with locals, especially in rural areas.

5. As a Muslim country, Morocco is still bound by religious traditions and norms on how to behave and behave in society. While this is one of the more progressive Muslim countries (especially in terms of women’s status) and more tolerant of tourists, dressing modestly is for your own sake and can save your attention and problems. Also, do not pretend to dress modestly whenever possible. It can risk attracting attention from pickpockets and false guides (wrong). Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling in Morocco

3 Rugged Travel Cameras for Adventure Lovers

3 Rugged Travel Cameras for Adventure Lovers

Whether you love hanging out underwater or exploring the Amazonian jungle, in this day and age, we all want to record our experiences for posterity. Unfortunately, even the fanciest smartphone just doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the desert, or survive a dive into the depths of the ocean.
Why should you compromise on quality images, portability, or special features? Good news: you don’t have to! There are loads of brilliant travel cameras on the market specifically designed to survive challenging environments – as well as connect to WiFi, record stunning 4K videos and more.

 

Of course, not all travel cameras are created equal! Here are three of the best that will perfectly capture the moment allowing you to share your adventures with friends and family and create hundreds of jealousy-inducing social media posts!

TRAVELLER’S TIP: Just as essential as the gear is the gadget travel insurance to protect it. Check out Let’s Go Insure’s independent and super cheap gadget travel insurance to bag the best deal.

GoPro HERO5

The GoPro HERO5 is a seriously practical camera – the perfect all-rounder. Easy to slip into a pocket, the gadget is portable and light so it won’t slow you down. Though it has a one-touch record facility (super useful by the way!),an additional feature is voice command. With just a word you can begin filming instantaneously and you won’t miss a thing. This is also handy if the camera is mounted in a less accessible place, such as at the front of a helmet or the handlebars of a mountain bike! The rugged little camera is happy at depths of up to 33ft and records video in a sharp 4K.

Nikon COOLPIX W300

The Nikon COOLPIX W300 is particularly handy for those who love diving beneath the waves and want to capture what they see down there. It is waterproof to an impressive 100ft and its sleek design means it won’t hold you back during dives. The COOLPIX has a great vibration reduction feature allowing you to capture smoother video and sharper photographs. If you do fancy filming any marine wildlife, you won’t be disappointed by the footage as the camera shoots in 4K and Full HD. The COOLPIX W300 is a hardy gadget and is shock proof from over 2 metres.

Olympus Tough TG-5

This travel camera should appeal to the photography enthusiasts out there as there are a whole range of accessories and add-ons available. From cases to extra lenses, you can build your perfect camera and travel with a range of gear to suit the challenges of different environments. From lenses that increase the zoom up to 7 times to an F2.0 aperture lens for shooting on the go, this action gadget is a one-stop-shop for all your needs.

PHOTOGRAPHER’S TIP: Make sure to make the most of the Olympus Tough TG-5’s microscopic modes. These modes enable you to get up close and personal with nature and capture unique images in breath-taking detail.

With these inspiring travel cameras your holiday snaps will never again be dull – it’s time to get creative! And with Let’s Go Insure’s gadget travel insurance you’ll pay the minimum price for optimal cover of your precious purchase. Bon voyage!

This restaurant invites you in by displaying its kitchen!

This restaurant invites you in by displaying its kitchen!

Concrete brings us a brand new Japanese watering hole and dining experience at Izakaya in Hotel Roomers, Munich.
Hotel Roomers in Munich stands out for its Japanese restaurant, Izakaya in an incredibly unique way. The restaurant announces its presence via its show kitchen visible through the glass facade of the porte-cochere. This kitchen block continues inside the lobby as a jewellery case covered in gold mirror – also the restaurant’s main entrance!

 

Black and gold dominate the colour palette here with a contrasting feature of light wooden lamellas along the ceiling and wall. Gold cladding uplifts the space especially through the backlit bar top, with a warm yellow marble finish that makes every drink sparkle. While the bar is a highlight element, one cannot miss the show-stopper i.e. the oversized wooden Koi-carp lamp. Typically Japanese, this lamp would’ve probably overpowered the design had it not been so dynamic!

Seating zones are created by introducing silk-printed rotating panels that are also black mirrors and level changers. The rotating panels serve many purposes: they can either connect or separate the space depending on the angle of rotation. While on one side, a Japanese-inspired artwork on silkscreen by artist Gijs Scholten anoints it; the other side is clad with a black mirror with different settings. In the early evening, the whole space can appear as one; while during the after-hours, the bar can be cordoned off to establish a darker and cosy mood that lasts deep into the night. This element helps the space adapt to its clients allowing for a truly transformable experience.

Keeps the pennywort from the Galapagos Islands

Keeps the pennywort from the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands wildlife is the most unique species in the world. At that time in the archipelago, off the coast of South America, the naturalist Charles Darwin based his research which later became his “Theory of Evolution”.
Currently the archipelago is a popular place for ecotourism, with wildlife cruises in the Galapagos often sitting at the top of the list of nature lovers desires. However, apart from – and, in some cases, because – the remote geographic position of the island, many species face a serious threat to their survival, and some are extinct. Keeps the pennywort from the Galapagos Islands

The ground birds in the archipelago are a declining group, the most prominent being the Finches Darwin (which are actually 15 separate species) – so named as their “light bulbs” in Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Keeps the pennywort from the Galapagos Islands

Saving the Land Bird

The Charles Darwin Research Institute (CDRI) in Santa Cruz, is a site that is in the travel plans of every wildlife voyage in the Galapagos. Their precious works are essential to the preservation of wildlife archipelago, and one of their many projects is focused on controlling the parasitic flies endangering Finches Darwin.

Philornis Downsi is an introduced species, whose larvae live and eat children from finch chicks, causing many to die in their nests. Ectoparasites are also believed to be responsible for the decline of other poultry species.

Philornis Project

Research conducted by CDRI begins with attempts to enlarge the Philornis larvae downsi in the laboratory, without the help of a poultry host. This difficult task is achieved for the first time by a dedicated undergraduate thesis student, although increasing the number of flies in large quantities required for research purposes continues to cause problems.

Researchers from the CDRI went to Panama to observe the work of the Missile Defensive Maintenance Program, where millions of “sterile” flies were produced regularly to help the project to eradicate invasive caterpillars. The researchers can transfer what they get from this very successful project and apply it to very positive results.

Although CDRI flies are bred in greater numbers because of the team’s achievements to improve some of Panama’s project techniques, making flies into regular marriage still proves a challenge. However, there is a large and dedicated team working on this project, and they are confident they will reach a solution.

Learning more about fly biology is essential for the next step in the program to develop successful methods for controlling the numbers. Once a regular breeding program is conducted, research on flies management effectively will provide a major step forward in the conservation of the domestic birds.

Small Project Makes a Big Difference

For anyone planning a wildlife voyage in the Galapagos, understanding CDR’s vital work will offer greater insight into this incredible world and the challenges it faces. The ongoing Philornis project is just one example of how seemingly small conservation projects have the potential to make a big difference to the archipelagic ecology.

Keeps the pennywort from the Galapagos Islands

Trekking Tours And Other Things To Do In Vietnam

Trekking Tours And Other Things To Do In Vietnam

Who does not like to go on vacation? A few weeks in a far place where you can immerse yourself in rest, relaxation and other cultures.

One country that may not be the top of your list, but certainly, is Vietnam.

A country full of culture, history, and a place to relax to truly relax, there is something everybody should do there.

Let’s look at some great things to do in Vietnam.

Experience The Most Beautiful Culture in Relaxation While You are Visiting Vietnam
When you visit an exotic location, it is always useful to have an idea of ​​what you want to do. You do not need to schedule a trip to-time, but the general plan does not hurt.

What kind of things to do in Vietnam, you may ask?

Let’s see right now.

Trekking Tours Help you explore this magnificent country

What better way to explore the country than on foot? Get up close to the scenery, to the fresh air and enjoy the beauty of this hidden gem. Vietnam’s trekking tour is a popular way to see the country. However, some of the best are in the northern part of the land. Here you can leave the main tour behind and stay with the locals in their home, and experience the true Vietnam.

Visit War Time Museum Trekking Tours And Other Things To Do In Vietnam

The Vietnam war museum is a stunning and poignant place to visit. Describe the brutality of the conflict and the impact of civilians. If you love culture, then this is for you.

Pagoda Travel Offers A Relaxing Cultural Experience

There are several visit-based pagodas and day trips that you can take, offering amazing ways to explore the country, see the sights and experience the tranquility that is the culture of Vietnam.

Galore Day Trips Mean You are Never Short of Things to do in Vietnam

With so much to see and do, a day trip is a great way to make sure you see all the things you need to see in a country like Vietnam.

From the Mekong Delta tour to Halong Bay and even travel north to this country to places like Hoa Lu and Tam Coc. You will be hard pushed to run out of great things to do in Vietnam.

Hit the Caves if You Feel Adventurous

For those who want to get a little adventure while on vacation, there are some caves in Vietnam that offer what you are looking for.

From the vastness of Han Son Doong, the world’s largest cave to the Tu Lan cave, where a day trip will see you walk and swim past the caves before you reach the secluded beach where you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

Vietnam Offers a tourist paradise Trekking Tours And Other Things To Do In Vietnam
Whether you want to sit and relax in a hanging pond, take a walk in the forest and enjoy a relaxing cultural experience, Vietnam is one of the few holiday destinations that offer it all in a single package.

Covering tropical and temperate weather conditions, it has sunshine, rain and humidity, so having a game plan to do in Vietnam means you do not need to get caught unprepared.

Cruising the Highlands in Style: The Caledonian Canal

Cruising the Highlands in Style: The Caledonian Canal

There’s no beauty in the world quite like that of the Scottish Highlands. The rugged landscape will take your breath away and make you eager to see more. One of the best ways to explore the wild side of Scotland is by water, and the Caledonian Canal is the finest route of all.
At 60 miles long, this waterway features 29 lochs, 10 bridges, 4 aqueducts and more incredible scenes of nature than you can count. The route connects the south-east of the country to the north-west, reaching from the charming town of Fort William all the way to Inverness. There’s plenty to do and see when you cruise Scotland: the awe-inspiring castles and famous whisky distilleries are sure to catch your attention.

 

You can sail in the shadow of royalty here. In 1873, Queen Victoria travelled on the canal, which has been extremely popular ever since. The canal’s stunning route makes it easy to see why Queen Victoria loved to cruise Scotland so much!

Thanks to James Watt, the inventor of the Watt steam engine, the idea of constructing the Caledonian Canal first surfaced in 1773. It aimed to connect the eastern and western sides of Scotland, providing work for locals and reducing the need to make a dangerous journey around the coast. The canal would enable all key lochs of the Great Glen could be connected, including Loch Ness, Loch Lochy and Loch Oich.

30 years later, the project was approved by the Scottish government and was led by Thomas Telford, a Scottish engineer. It was designed to run in an incredibly straight line along a geographical fault, and was supposedly a master class in engineering. However, the project missed its deadline by 12 years, taking 19 years to build in total, and also exceeded its budget.

This caused problems for ships that were previously designed to navigate the canal: by the time that it was finished, the ships’ designs were outdated and unsuitable. Although steamer ships with iron hulls were capable of sailing around the Scottish coast, these were too big for the waterway. As a result, while the project was visually impressive, it wasn’t quite the huge success that designers had hoped for.

Despite this, cruising along the Caledonian Canal is an amazing experience from start to finish. Among its many highlights is Neptune’s Staircase: as the longest stair lock in the UK, it takes an impressive 90 minutes for a barge to travel the distance of 500 yards, passing through 8 different locks and rising 70 feet in the process.

If rugged natural beauty, astounding industrial skill and authentic local history sounds like your idea of the perfect cruise, Scotland is the destination for you.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury canal holidays across Europe. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge holiday, whether you’re looking to cruise Scotland, France or Italy.

3 Ways Sunny Towers Colwyn Bay can be an Artist Retreat

3 Ways Sunny Towers Colwyn Bay can be an Artist Retreat

Do you know what is the biggest challenge for an artist when he is in town for a long time? It takes imagination and creativity that eventually produces a block. So, in a situation like this, what can you do? Well, you need to find an artist’s retreat where you can again enjoy some time in calm so that your creativity begins to flow naturally, triggering all your imagination. Are you wondering where you can find such retreats that will not be far from London? If so, then this is the ideal choice for you. Visit, Colwyn Bay. This peaceful part of the North Wales Coastline is the perfect place where you can find peace from the hustle and bustle of the city and yet enjoy all the amenities of a comfortable life. Are you wondering where you will stay during this vacation? Sunny Towers is waiting for you
Located just five minutes’ walk from the ocean, Sunny Towers Colwyn Bay is a popular name for tourists who frequent this area. A delightful Victorian corner house, Sunny Towers is located in a friendly and peaceful area. Offering three double bedrooms and one single bedroom, Sunny Towers is also quite popular for family vacations. Now, you can imagine what it would feel like if you would have the whole house to yourself. How does this place become the artist’s resting place you are looking for? Look at the following points to find out more. 3 Ways Sunny Towers Colwyn Bay can be an Artist Retreat

Comforting Welcoming Settings

Imagine yourself spending the whole afternoon in the side yard beside the big house, the head buried in your manuscript or the book you are reading. Or maybe you just took inspiration from the surroundings and painted a beautiful picture while standing on the same page. Does not that sound very tempting? Of course, of course. In this case, Sunnytowers Colwyn Bay is the right place for you. The side porch of this holiday home is really the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon, weaving your mind. 3 Ways Sunny Towers Colwyn Bay can be an Artist Retreat

Inspire Nature

Do you know what could be the best source of inspiration for an artist? This is nature. The more you will approach nature, the more your mind will become fresh and your imagination will find the wings to escape in the faraway. So, if you are thinking of approaching nature, this place is really meant for you. From breathtaking views of Mount Snowdon to the beach sweeping the Isle of Angeles, everything will give you an amazing experience. You never know, you can paint the most noble painting or write the most tense story just sitting on the sand on the beach alone.

Mix with People

Fully cutting off people sounds like a dream for any artist, which looks is for solitude. But the fact is, people and their different behaviors and behaviors can also be your source of inspiration. If you’re wondering where you’ll find people in a quiet place, then do not worry. Sunny Towers is located near great pubs and restaurants. Go down to the pub, get a beer cup and a plate full of delicacies, take some time enjoying the game on the TV in the pub or by watching the people. You will definitely come back with a head full of stories. So, now as you know how Sunny Towers can be your perfect resting place where you will find your creative inspiration again, what are you waiting for? Book your accommodation now and set off for the holiday you have been waiting for. 3 Ways Sunny Towers Colwyn Bay can be an Artist Retreat

Grab the Snow by Storm: Must-Try Winter Sports for Dare Devils

Grab the Snow by Storm: Must-Try Winter Sports for Dare Devils

For true adrenaline addicts, winter and cold weather are not enough to accommodate them. The cool climate offers the perfect canvas to create the finest kind of brave art. All it takes is a sense of adventure and steel nerves to participate in this winter sport; travel insurance will not harm either! I have traveled the world and amassed a collection of the best adrenaline winter experiences. Grab the Snow by Storm: Must-Try Winter Sports for Dare Devils
Above and below

Contrary to popular belief, excitement can be found under cold weather. If you are ready for another truly worldly experience to Tignes in France for ice diving.

Expert divers put aside their thermal and wool jackets leaning on a dive device that lets them sink into the dark and silent frozen lake. And the best part is you can come too! The world beneath a thick layer of solid ice becomes alive because the air bubbles capture the glowing sunlight. If you can keep your screams (which no one will hear), this is said to be a charming and almost subtle experience.

Take it into the air

While it may not belong to the ‘winter sports’ category, travel insurance will still include the adrenaline pumping activity of the zip lining. La Tyrolienne is the latest attraction to reach the top ski resort in Trois Vallees. Skiers, snowboarders and all the common winter fans can finally fly for long periods of time as they actually zip from the ski areas of Orelle and Val Thorens.

Precisely, it will fly across the snow landscape at an altitude of 3230m, reaching speeds of up to 100km per hour. The experience is mentioned almost as closely as you can “imitate the journey of a hawk in flight” – perhaps also complete with screams.

Do not Knock it Until You Look For It

If need is the mother of discovery then boredom is surely her only child. Boredom is definitely to blame for the creation of the genius of Shovel Racing. However, it actually requires steel nerves, some level of unquenchable skill and thirst for adventure, which of course is a true magic combination.

After a long absence due to many unexpected plans and their results, Shovel Racing has returned! Practicing may or may not be necessary for this one, but entrants need only to take their trusty shovels, sit back and prepare to slide down the snow-covered slopes in hopes of achieving glory in the annual Racing Shovel World Championships held in February. Um, good luck? Grab the Snow by Storm: Must-Try Winter Sports for Dare Devils

Cold Will Not Stop Adrenaline Solidification

The adrenaline screams found when complaining against the worst that Mother Nature can pass to you are not at all like the others. The various activities available for the winter brave is proof that busyness is achievable, but may require some creativity and an open mind. Before you set out for the winter adventure, be sure to secure a good winter sports travel insurance so you can really watch out for the cold winds.

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in single travelers travel, annual, family, business and single global winter. In addition to offering attractive offers for travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holiday. Grab the Snow by Storm: Must-Try Winter Sports for Dare Devils