A glittering keepsake of my every expedition, the way i see the world and enjoy it
Perhaps nowhere else on earth is more associated with the camel than the Arabian Peninsula.
An amazing pet that thrives most of the isolated conditions on earth, but it is their temperament that is truly endeared the camel to man. Docile and sweet under a caring hand, but stubborn and angry if ill treated, the camel both wins your heart and your respect.
Nose-rubbing is like a traditional code among the Bedouins, it has been passed down from generation to generation. It is a unique way of greeting, showing friendship and deep respect.
Thanks to Omeir Al Mansouri and family for a wonderful day we spend with them, their hospitality was outstanding.
Location: Liwa, Abu Dhabi
Camping is one of the best outdoor activity you can have here in UAE during the winter season (that is end of November until end of February every year). This is much more fun with a BBQ and to wake up watching the sunrise at sea. If you love beach then Fujeirah, Khorfakhan, Diba are the best. If you love mountains, trekking, hiking then Ras Al Khaima stays top. If youn’t experience gazing at stars in the night, try Liwa which is nothing but sand dunes and a sky full surprises.
I found many essential advice from Google for the perfect camping trip, thanks to many experienced individuals and organisations for sharing the information.
Check out some of the top camping tips for the perfect camping trip.
Know before you go
Be prepared, take the right gear, check the weather forecast, have the right clothing. Know about where you’re going. Try to research on local living, availability of supplies, emergency services etc
Use a checklist
There is nothing worse than arriving at your campsite only to discover you forgot your toothbrush (or the loo roll!). So always write out a checklist of all the items you will need to take and ‘tick’ them off as you pack each item. When you are leaving the campsite ‘tick’ everything off again so you don’t leave anything behind.
Practice in the garden
It is always worth practicing pitching your tent and sleeping in it, in the garden (or down the local park if you don’t have a garden). You may feel a bit silly but it is time well spent getting to know your equipment before having to pitch your tent on a dark windy evening!
Clear the area
Before pitching your tent always ensure the ground is free of stones, sticks or any other objects that may either damage your tent or cause discomfort whilst sleeping. It is always well worth clearing the area around your tent and the path to the toilets of any dog or cow mess too!
Protect your tent
Tents can be expensive! Look after it and it will look after you. On rough ground use a tough sheet of plastic slipped under the tent to protect the sewn in groundsheet. As once damaged this can be expensive to repair or replace. Once you get home always remove any dirt with warm water (no soap!) and a soft brush and ensure your tent is bone dry before storing it otherwise mildew will ruin the fabrics.
Many tents are now supplied with reflective guy lines to prevent being a trip hazard at night. If not, you can add reflective guy lines yourself. Always mark guy lines with electrical tape to make them even more visible. Also, in severe weather conditions make the effort to check guy lines regularly as a little discomfort in getting up to check them will far outweigh the huge discomfort of losing your tent!
Always take spare tent pegs as these are easily lost, bent or broken! A couple of spare guy lines in case of breakages, and some ‘duck-tape’ for quick repairs to your tent are all essential spares. Many outdoor retailers also sell small tent repair kits with pieces of tent fabric and silicon sealant to make more effective repairs in the field.
Avoid a soaking
When camping near a river, or on the beach, always ensure you are not going to be caught out by rising water levels and wake up either stranded or underwater! Flat, level ground will become waterlogged easily so try to select a pitch with a gentle slope which will drain more quickly.
Protection from the wind
Pitch your tent so any prevailing wind will be effectively deflected by the tents shape and design. If you have a tent with a single entrance then keep the entrance out of the wind to prevent a gust of wind lifting your tent or blowing rain inside.
Close but not TOO close
It is always desirable to be close facilities such as showers, toilets and water supplies. But don’t get too close as activities here can generate a lot of noise early in the morning or at night, not to mention the unwanted odours from the ablutions!
Use common sense
Avoid obvious dangers such as overhanging trees which could drop branches onto your tent, rabbit or badger holes that can twist your ankle. If you camp in a working farm always ensure you use the correct paths and close gates behind you, so as not to let a stampede of cattle escape from their field into a campsite!
Keep it tidy
Once you’re inside your tent keep everything organised and tidy. When you’ve used an item, such as the tin opener, stow it back in the same place. Being tidy and organised means you know where things are and don’t spend half your day emptying the contents of the tent to find something!
Keep it safe
Always keep any toxic chemicals, for example, stove fuel, lighter fluid, cooking gas canisters or bottles out of your inner tent. Many of these chemicals are highly volatile and can have ill effects once breathed in. Chemicals stored in your outer tent should always be kept in an air tight container. Proper fuel bottles should be used to store liquid fuel for stoves and keep all harmful chemicals and sharp implements in ‘child proof’ containers.
Always store food inside your inner tent, this will avoid your food being eaten by uninvited guests. Hedgehogs, foxes and badgers, can be quite bold around campsites as they have lost their natural fear of humans.
Always take plenty of bags with you for storing litter. Do not leave litter around a campsite as it is unsightly and damages the environment as well as attracting scavengers, such as foxes, into the area. Store litter in the inner tent to avoid scavengers and in sealed bags to avoid unwanted smells. Take everything out with you that you brought in, bury all excreta.
Use a head torch
Head torches that are worn on a band around the head are invaluable as, instead of holding a torch, they offer hands free illumination in your tent keeping both your hands free for tasks such as eating or getting dressed. The light always points at what you are looking at.
Avoid fire hazards
Never have candles or any naked flames in a tent. Many tent and sleeping bag materials are highly flammable and just one spark from a cigarette could result in disaster! In bad weather, sit in the porch of your tent to protect you from the elements but always keep your stove well away from your tent.
If you have to make a fire, make a fire ring [a ring of stones to keep the fire contained]. Every time you build a fire it damages the soil underneath. Try to find a place that’s been used for a fire before, not on virgin ground. Monitor the smoke is not disturbing your neighbours
Keep it handy
Sleep with anything you might need in a hurry close to hand, for example; torch, loo roll or any extra clothing you might want to put on if you wake up feeling cold. There is no better way to upset your friends than to take wake up and rummage around in the dark for ten minutes to find your torch and wake everyone else in the process.
Get into the habit of always removing your boots or shoes when entering the tent and leaving footwear outside. Many harmful germs, bacteria and diseases can be picked up around your campsite so avoid these coming into contact with your sleeping area.
Avoid the crowds
Do you really want to spend half of your weekend away sat in traffic jams on the motorways only to arrive at an overcrowded campsite? If the answer is ‘No’ then avoid booking your camping vacation during peak times such as bank vacation weekends or school half-terms. Booking a couple of weeks prior to a bank vacation means that local shops and restaurants will not have run out of goods (or their sense of humour!).
The last tip for enjoyable camping is to always be considerate to others. Consider how close you pitch your tent to other groups or families as people always appreciate some privacy and space. In addition be considerate with any late night music or parties when people are trying to sleep.
Don’t approach them, don’t feed them, don’t follow them and don’t chase them.
Leave what you find
Just take photographs and memories with you, don’t take anything else. Even shells should be left behind so they can be enjoyed by the next user.
Leave No Trace
Try to leave the spot you pitch up at exactly the same as you found it.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand a life better
Our Sundaystills challenge is to post ‘favourite subject’. For me it was, it is and it will be NATURE forever. Until the end of time i would pause my life to enjoy her calmness, her beauty, her freedom, her music, her purity, her happiness and her blessings.
Location: Marayoor, Kerala – India
This time Sunday Stills challenge was to come out with something blue, something unique that is not our regular sky or sea. I spend good time looking out for a blue, which is not my fav’ colour at all. Then i spotted a blue Ferrari…………….wow!….. ‘a blue Ferrari ? what on earth someone would go for that? My thoughts fly high until i came across this cute little blue scooter on my boss’s desk. Am sure chances to spot a scooter in this part of the world is 1 out of 1000. Yes!! That’s unique and its blue. Here i am
Contributing to SundayStills photography challenge “Billboards/Signboards”, not a professional though…
I have never seen such a powerful sign board anywhere like this one, its placed near a tiger pit in Mysore Zoo in India. I repeat, only ‘SURVIVORS’ will be prosecuted, but still you have to survive.
The fall colours, autumn could be one of the beautiful season which brings most amazing show of colours from nature, and one of the best time & subject for photographic enthusiasts. I always wanted to something much more than a leaf and just colours. Sometimes a total emptiness is just gorgeous.
I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty
Posted for Sundaystills challenge: Tree/Fall colours
Location: Sholayar, Kerala – India
A beautiful and serine natural pool near Dorset in Britain. A wonderful place where i have experienced nature to its best. The place, the friendly people and the purity of atmosphere as a whole is a unique experience. I remember we couldn’t find any space in the hotels near by and had to spend the whole night in one of these shorelines without any camping gear, but just a camp fire we set up collecting dried branches and pieces of woods burned by Smirnoff…………..wow, that was exciting. The very next morning revealed the beauty of this place. A walk could bless you with more wonders of nature like Durdle Door. A must see destination in England.
Posted for SundayStills challenge: Shorelines
Location: Poole near Dorset, England
Posted for Sunday Stills challenge : Landscape
Location: Munnar, Kerala – India
Am a big fan of this bird, especially their patience. Have you ever watched them standing still in water and win their feast with that precise strike? Such a gorgeous & magnificent bird.
Posted for Sunday Stills Challenge: Birds
Location: Abu Dhabi, Bateen back waters.
Some interesting facts about these birds:
Do you ever wonder how cranes stay warm while standing for hours in near-freezing water? They can reduce the amount of blood that has to be warmed by constricting blood vessels in their feet. Also, the arteries and vessels in their legs are right next to each other so the colder blood is warmed before it reaches the body.
cranes use a complex system of threat behaviours allowing rivals to avoid fighting. The feet and legs work in conjunction with the beak. The foot has three long toes with claws on the end. These claws are very sharp and can be used for scratching in dirt to find food and for protection. When a crane is threatened, it will use its wings to maintain its balance and then jump up and strike at the attacker with its feet.
Cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back and usually fly 25 – 35 mph; cranes typically travel 200 – 300 miles in a day, but can reach 500 miles with a good tail wind. They glide long distances to save energy. Average altitude they choose are usually between 3,000 and 5,000 feet and up to 20,000 feet
Feathers are made of the same material as human fingernails, feathers require constant attention. A crane preens by nibbling the base of a feather and then drawing it through the bill. Preening straightens and closes repairable gaps in the feather. When preening, cranes may apply oil to the feathers obtained from a special gland located on top of the tail. Contrary to previous belief, the oil does not serve as waterproofing, but helps condition the feathers and may also have fungicidal and antibacterial properties. Prolonged preening sessions follow water or dust bathing
The very sight of certain things could make us uneasy or creepy, from spiders to cat to abandoned buildings. But sometimes it leaves me in utter perplexity if it was creepy or a mere beauty. I prefer to on the positive part that it is beauty. This shattered window is one of them which caught my eyes on a trip to Muziris in Kochi.
Contributed to Sunday Stills Photography Challenge: ‘Creepy things’
Photography Location: Kochi, Kerala (India)
The earliest boats have been built from hollowed tree trunk, used for water transportation from 8200 and 7600 BC is the cheapest form of inland transportation till now. Boats played a very important role in commerce and trade around the world.
Ever wondered, why do they float?
When i was in 4th grade my answer was ‘ they just float because since childhood they learned to float like that ‘
But in reality i learned that the boat is pushing down on the water and the water is pushing up. The water pushes up harder than the boat pushes down and so the boat floats. A boat floats when it has displaced just enough water to equal its own original weight – a principle called buoyancy.
Mussandum is a picturesque tip of UAE with beautiful fjords spread around. The region is separated from the rest of Oman. Just three hours after leaving Dubai by road, we are so close to this untouched beauty of Oman. A sail through the fjords in a wooden boat visiting many remote villages & islands, and the treat of getting accompanied by group on dolphins racing with your boat is an unforgettable experience. To spice up, most of the tour operators allows you snorkelling near a very safe island called Telegraph Island where you can see a variety of sea life. You don’t need to be a great swimmer here, but an enthusiastic nature lover.
Dolphins comes first in to my mind whenever i think about human beings and animals live in harmony, both just share but never claims.
Contributed to Sunday Still challenge: Water shots
Location: Mussandum, Oman
Getting a headshot that close and parallel could be the best thing I can bet…may be because am just couple of inches taller than it’s calves (at birth)
Contributing to Sunday Stills challenge: Head Shots
Weird n’ funny… our photography challenge for this week through SundayStills was ‘Back of things’.
Being a wild life enthusiastic and a photography lover i came across the tracks of a mighty tusker who is a born killer machine in a remote village called Valppara in Kerala. This particular village is cursed with frequent attack of Wild elephants and Leopards. He is so massive, powerful and healthy that the very sight of him freeze you right away, nothing would just stop him. The villagers are dedicated to follow his directions and movements for days whenever he is around.
Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India and the highest entirely within the country (Kanchenjunga being on the border of India and Nepal). The elevation 25645 (feet) 7817 (meters).
Nanda Devi is a two-peaked massif, forming a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) long high ridge, oriented east-west. The west summit is higher, than the eastern summit. Together the peaks are referred to as the twin peaks of the goddess Nanda which means Blessed Goddess.
From Auli near Badrinath
Contributing to Sunday Stills challenge: Shades of Blue
‘It all begins with admiration and then gradually as he grows up he converts that admiration to his desire and when he matures it becomes his passion, and am sure the passion is all that drives you around in your life’
Heiden admiring his favorite bike
Posted for Sunday Stills Challenge: Motorcycles
Sometimes looking down is just as beautiful as looking up and reflect on our life’s voyage.
Contributing to Sunday Stills challenge: ‘Looking down’
The weakest link in a chain is the strongest because it can break it.
A chain is basically a series of connected links (two or more links) which may be typically made of any metal.
I’m trying to build up a chain of positive parenting that is vital for any kid to grow up.
Contributing to Sunday Stills Challenge : Chain
This time Sunday Stills photography challenge is all about Photoshop, to demonstrate how an image can be photoshoped to attain the best results. Sometimes a proper cropping or adjusting the curves or even adjusting the colors can give you amazing finishing to the pictures. As far as am concerned even a simple border and your photography signature can sometimes add to those powerful images you always wanted. I never ever believe in heavy photoshop which will spoil the natural looks of the image.
Ramadan serves as guidance to mankind
A time of reflection, improvement, increased devotion and worship
A better time to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity
Contributed to the sixth photography challenge “Ramadan Kareem” from DesertWingz. The theme is all about proper composition
I admire & respect mother nature to the fullest.
These are my sincere efforts to keep the life moving always in high spirits.
My aspirations are simple, be positive & enjoy the best moments. My glitters are just spur-of-the-moment, and definitely want to add a positive reflection and do the best to preserve nature at its best.