Essential Items to Carry While Going for a Cycling Trip

The success of a cycling tour depends on several aspects. Starting from proper planning and packing to selecting a reliable cycling tour operator, there are many things that make the cycling adventure a positive experience. Since, traveling on a cycle is all about adventure; one should pay extra attention while packing items for the trip.…

The success of a cycling tour depends on several aspects. Starting from proper planning and packing to selecting a reliable cycling tour operator, there are many things that make the cycling adventure a positive experience.

Since, traveling on a cycle is all about adventure; one should pay extra attention while packing items for the trip. It is clear that most of the tourists opting for these trips often end up packing more items than what is actually required. One should always adhere by a confirmed truth that the less weight one carries, the more fun it is to ride. Now, let us have quick look at the most essential items that one need to pack for a cycling trip.

• A Repair Kit

The cycle trips generally extend up to five hundred kilometers. Therefore, being ready about the emergency situations is something that matters the most. Long distance riding often deteriorates the tires of the cycle and as such there is always a risk of punctures. Restricting the chances of inconvenience becomes easier if one keeps a handy repair kit while cycling.

• Quality Sleeping Bags

Tourists opting for bike trips often spend more time under the sky than under the roofs. So taking a quality sleeping bag along while going for the trip is a prime requisite. Being careful about selecting an insulated air sleeping bag, ensures comfortable and warm sleep at the end of the day.

Pain Relief Ointments

It is obvious that spending more time in the saddle is a significant reason of discomfort for most of the tourists. Although wearing biking shorts can cut the problem to a great extent, but still it is not the last solution. In such circumstances, using balms and pain relief ointment proves sensible. Applying palms and ointments in the tender areas of the body not only helps in reducing friction but it also cures sore saddles.

• The Saddle Bag

Hanging a small bag under the saddle is an important aspect that one should not forget while going for a cycling trip. This bag works as a convenient place to keep all the minute yet important items like the sunscreen lotion, snacks, lip balms, ointments and snacks.

• Quality Footwear and Entertainment

While going for a cycling tour, it is necessary to select quality footwear. Going for the exclusive biking shoes is the best option. Ignoring the aspects of entertainment may make the journey tedious at times. Carrying an iPod and listing to music while traveling is a good way of self-entertainment and it removes monotony, as well.

These are some of the important items that one should not forget to carry while going for a cycling tour. Carrying these items will not only make the trip convenient but it will also make sure safety and security.

Discover Dubai’s Marine Thrills

Dubai is not all sun and sand. The desert may be mesmerizing to the wide-eyed wanderer, but an equally captivating treasure in Dubai is its rich and sparkling blue seas. Nestled at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, the waters off Dubai are a veritable reminder of a resplendent history and culture that traces its…

Dubai is not all sun and sand. The desert may be mesmerizing to the wide-eyed wanderer, but an equally captivating treasure in Dubai is its rich and sparkling blue seas. Nestled at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, the waters off Dubai are a veritable reminder of a resplendent history and culture that traces its roots from the seas. Pearl diving, fishing, and seafaring were huge industries back in the days. The early settlers sailed the oceans to trade their goods with neighboring countries. And while pearl diving literally took a dive in the 1940s, fishing continues to thrive to this day, both for business and pleasure.

Amidst all the tall buildings and manmade wonders, tourists can still relive the good old days of Dubai through different marine leisure activities. Exciting yacht rental in Dubai, nostalgic dhow cruises, thrilling deep sea fishing, and adrenaline-pumping water sports are available all over the city's beaches for anyone to avail.

Dhow cruise

Feel the nostalgia onboard a traditional Arabian dhow as it cruises along breathtaking sites in Dubai. From this wooden sailing vessel, you can see the seamless immigrant of the ancient and the contemporary wonders of this Arab paradise. You can take a dhow cruise along the Dubai Creek where you can see the wonders of Old Dubai, or along Dubai Marina where towering skyscrapers and luxurious yachts line the canal. Onboard, you are treated to sumptuous buffet dinner of international, Arab, and Asian cuisine, refreshing drinks, soothing music, and extraordinary entertainment like a magic show or a Tanoura dance.

Yacht charter

To get a whole new view of the city's stunning skyline, watch it from the seas by taking a luxurious yacht rental in Dubai. Several companies offer yacht charter services, and take you on a relaxing cruise past the Dubai Marina and out to the Dubai seas. You are treated to fantastic views of the iconic Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Palm as your yacht cruises around Palm Jumeirah. You can go on a day cruise and feel the warm sun and the refreshing sea breeze on your face; or you can take a sunset cruise where you can watch the golden Arabian sun slowly drifting down the horizon. Night cruises are also available if you want to see the Dubai panorama light up in the cool evenings.

Deep sea fishing

With seas teeming in marine life, tourists, residents and locals will certainly enjoy a fun fishing adventure in Dubai. Yachts and fishing boats are equipped with state-of-the-art fish-finding SONAR and complimentary fishing gear so you are guaranteed a catch that you can cook and eat onboard. The boat captain and crew are expert anglers, and they would be happy to assist you and give you tips and tricks on fishing. Kingfish, sailfish, hammour, grouper, barracuda, and trevally are among the many different fishes that you can catch in Dubai.

Watersports

Having all these sparkling waters and clear blue skies for most of the year, watersports are also popular past times in Dubai. In addition to swimming and snorkeling, you can also go kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, and scuba diving. Beaches and resorts lining the Dubai coastline as well as in the East Coast of the UAE are perfect venues for these Invigorating water adventures.

Dhow tours to Musandam

Only a couple of hours away from Dubai, spending the entire day on a cruise along the Musandam peninsula in Oman is a must-do for tourists. You can choose a tour to Dibba or to Khasab, both equally scenic and charming natural sites. In Dibba, you can enjoy lunch on an Omani dhow, banana boat rides, hand-line fishing, swimming, and diving in freshwater pools. In Khasab, you can have fun times with playful dolphins and fantastic views of the Hajar Mountains as your dhow cruises through the stunning fjords.

So if you love the seas, a taste of these marine thrills should be in your list when spending your vacation in Dubai.

Things to Be Considered Before Booking Zip Line Excursion

If you wish to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city you must visit to an exotic location. To make your tour more exciting you must start planning a zip line expedition. This type of tour is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of the nature. It…

If you wish to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city you must visit to an exotic location. To make your tour more exciting you must start planning a zip line expedition. This type of tour is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of the nature. It allows you to tour around the jungle and enjoy hiking in the forest trails. Here are a few things that you must consider before registering for the exciting zip line expedition.

Know about the age and weight limitations

There are a few restrictions imposed on the people who wish to take up the tour. The riders should be at least seven or eight years of age and they should weigh more than 45 pounds. They should not weigh more than 260 pounds.

Find out information about health restrictions

You must be an expert in performing different types of physical activities such as climbing stairs, crossing the bridge, walking, weight lifting, etc. The riders suffering from various conditions such as dizziness, blood pressure, neck problems, vertigo etc. should consult doctors and take fit certificates to participate in the tours. The pregnant women also are not allowed to go to the trip.

Know about other restrictions

Smoking, alcohol, drug or substance uses are prohibited throughout the trip. You are also not allowed to drink or consume drugs prior to the tour. While few restrictions are imposed by the tour managers for the sake of public safety, the individuals have to take priority permission from the managers so that they can get relaxation of the rules related to smoking or drinking habits.

Gather information about the zip lining service

The next step is to find out information about the services you expect to get from the provider. Few zip line companies include extra facilities such as rope courses with different obstacles or tour courses without zips etc. If you only wish to enjoy zip line tour, you must ask how many riders are allowed for the tour. If you want a lot of adventure in the trip, then you should find out the types of services that are incorporated into the trip. You must also ask if these services are available at free of cost.

Learn about the things that they must wear

You have to wear special closed toed footwear. You should take a bag or purse during the tour. You have to leave behind the items before you ride the zip line. Few tour managers offer special lockers at nominal price rates. Plus, you have to wear cargo pants along with large pockets. You can also wear shorts, but you must wear long pants when you wish to prevent bug bites.

Take help of guides

There are different types of zip line excursions available for the riders. A few tours are guided while other tours are self-guided. If you take up the guided tour you can get assistance of a guide through the trip. Self-guided trip begins with the short instruction period before you start the course.

Lost in Bejing – Part 2 (City of Angels)

“Is this the road?” I indicated point at the map. The security guard looked at me blankly and said “30 yuan, taxi.” I replied, “No yuan, no taxi, is this the road?” A bit confused, he rushed towards the glass building and spoke to a woman. She had just stepped out of the office. I…

“Is this the road?” I indicated point at the map. The security guard looked at me blankly and said “30 yuan, taxi.” I replied, “No yuan, no taxi, is this the road?” A bit confused, he rushed towards the glass building and spoke to a woman. She had just stepped out of the office.

I looked around; the office block, the motorway, and the subway station, nothing looked familiar. I had been walking for an hour on the dusty streets. Undoubtedly, I was on the Airport Express Road.

Earlier in the day, we had driven through the smoggy city and had taken the rope-way to the Great Wall of China. The little market on the wall, selling Chairman Mao T-shirts and various curios, was a display of Chinese entrepreneurship. Following that was our endless drive to the Forbidden City, which was like an expansive on with layers of palaces and courtyards.

Our Pick up from the Forbidden City was around 4:00 pm By that time we had lost our bearings because we missed our shuttle.

Stranded in a foreign city is a daunting feeling but then we were a group of eight. Unable to find a taxi, we asked for directions. Each person we probed nodded their head, gesticulated and pointed east – the hotel was not far away. As we walked on Donghuamen street, I spent all my money on a spider. A bit later, I was separated from my collections.

The middle-aged office woman dressed in a blue-pastel shirt and formal trousers came up to me and started speaking in Mandarin.

“Sorry any English?”

I pointed at the map for validation of direction, I was heading for Chaoyang District. She said that I was on some Ring Road.

Damn! I was really lost! My bones felt weary …

“Come, I take you to sub-way”

“It's all right, I'll walk”

“It take you more than two hours, come.” Adjusting her black rimmed glasses, she pointed at the subway station. She consulted repeatedly.

Swallowing my pride, I said, “But I do not have any money”

Without batting an eye, she said, “I'll buy you ticket.” She lightly held my right elbow and guided me toward the subway station.

“Are you sure? How do I pay you back?”

She brushed my concern aside, “You reach hotel, if you take subway?”

“Yes”, I nodded my head in pleasant disbelief.

She queried what I was doing in Beijing. I told her that I was a flight attendant. She could not understand me, so I said I worked as cabin crew. She smiled, I was incomprehensible.

She placed 30 yuan in my hand and using all possible sign language and broken English, “you get out … and buy ticket, go express-way”. So saying she bought me my first ticket and explained with her fingers “Your stop – one, two”. I was back in kindergarten.

At Dongzhimen station, she adjusted the train along with me. She pointed towards the exit and repeated my counting lesson. I thanked her and asked her to board the train – I did not want her to miss it.

I got teary eyed as I thanked her and washed my hand. I realized, I had not even asked her name. As her train left the station, I felt surreal. Surely, she was an angel … and she was made in China!

Nothing’s Merrier Than an Orlando Christmas Vacation

With the kids out of school and parents all set to welcome the most celebrated holiday season of the year, Christmas is unduly the largest festive occasion alive. And when it comes to celebrate the same in Orlando, the experience just gets even more special. In fact nothing is merrier than joining Santa during an…

With the kids out of school and parents all set to welcome the most celebrated holiday season of the year, Christmas is unduly the largest festive occasion alive. And when it comes to celebrate the same in Orlando, the experience just gets even more special. In fact nothing is merrier than joining Santa during an Orlando Christmas Vacation. For years the world-famous Parks here welcome the occasion with the best of spirit, fun and fantasy. Packed with a plethora of premier Christmas events and shows, the Parks come to life like never before. Whether it's the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party or Holiday's Around the World at Disney World , The Grinchmas or Macy's Holiday Parade at the Universal Orlando , the SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration or the Christmas Bricktacular at the Legoland , Orlando dazzles with unparallel festive delights through the holiday season .

Despite being the busiest season of the year, a visit to any of the theme park during Christmas holidays is always a special treat for any. Whether it's the WDW (Walt Disney World) or Universal Studios , the SeaWorld Orlando or Legoland , everywhere the festive spirit comes to life like never before. While Christmas is celebrated with all the fun and glory worldwide, the merry-making gets even more special for fans and guest at the Orlando Theme Parks. Truly, the opportunity to unfold such dazzling surprises with Santa in the mid of the world's happiest and inspirational backdrop is a dream come true experience.

The Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom is a premier Christmas event that WDW has to offer. Held annually, on select nights from November through December, this one of a kind themed celebration is definitely a must visit festive extravaganza. As the entire Park transforms into a winter wonderland with sparkling castle projection shows and magical snowfall, amazing character processes, live entertainments and more, it seems a Disney World vacation has never been so special. The Macy's Holiday Parade of Universal Studios Florida on the other hand is just another incredible holiday procession with amazing bands, performers, floats and more that tend to make your Christmas vacation a treat to remember forever.

Moreover, the SeaWorld's Christmas Celebrations, held on select nights, from November through December is another fun-filled holiday attraction that the marine fans can look for. The free-ticked event is in fact a true Christmas delight for kids and families to celebrate amidst the world most inspiring marine backdrop ever. At Legoland, it's the Christmas Bricktacular that offers the ultimate holiday for guests. Held in December the unique event is a great fun-for kids to celebrate the special occasion.

Baguio’s Haunted Diplomat Hotel and Its Dark Past

The former Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City, Philippines sits on top of the Dominican Hill. It used to be a rest house and a seminary way back 1911 before it was developed into a school and eventually, a hotel. Almost every tourist that goes to Baguio makes it a point to visit this place because…

The former Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City, Philippines sits on top of the Dominican Hill. It used to be a rest house and a seminary way back 1911 before it was developed into a school and eventually, a hotel. Almost every tourist that goes to Baguio makes it a point to visit this place because in spite of the ruins, it remains as one of the most panoramic and picturesque spots in the City of Pines.

During the World War II, numerous nuns and practices were beheaded here. This is believed to be the reason why headless apparitions can often be seen during the night inside the hotel. The employees and guests also claimed that they would often hear strange sounds coming from the building. Crying coming from kids and babies became a common noise, which can be attributed to the massre of numerous children done at the fountain.

The bombs that shown this structure so many years ago reduced it to something almost beyond renewal. Fortunately, it was reconstructed in 1947 and in 1973, it was acquired and transformed into a hotel by Diplomat Hotels, Inc. Managing it then is businessman, psychic surgeon and spiritual healer Tony Agpaoa. Since then, it became the haven of his patients that mostly came from abroad and they stayed here while being healed.

Based on research, there was an incident wherein fire broke out many years ago and several guests who were then staying at the hotel were trapped inside and died. One of the caretakers also affirmed that for unknown reasons, a woman who used to work here as a nurse committed suicide by jumping from the rooftop where the cross is situated.

Since the death of Tony Agpaoa in 1987, the hotel ceased its operation and was temporarily closed to the public. It was declared off limits to visitors as well. However, the people who are living nearby were often confused by sounds coming from the Dominican Hill at night. They would hear banging of doors and windows, clattering of dishes and voices of screaming people, who seem to be agonizing. Note: Tony Agpaoa had a heart attack inside the hotel and was rushed to a hospital where he died.

A lot of documentaries have been written about this mysterious structure. Up to these days, many curious people go to Baguio to see the ruins of what used to be the spellbinding grand hotel that boasts of its large rooms, striking details and admirable design. I, myself, have very special memories of Baguio's Diplomat Hotel that I can ardently share to those who will join us when we explore this place once more. Considered as one of the most haunted locations in the Philippines, I would always want to see this wonderful site again and again.

Lost in Beijing – Part 1

Walking down Donghuamen road, we came across food stalls selling centipedes, crickets, snakes, frogs, cicadas, silk worms, starfish and many mouth-watering trees. The aromas were a mix of fish and acid (maybe due to smoke coming out of the hot coals or the cars) … it was rather indescribable.Everything looked alien and of course, none…

Walking down Donghuamen road, we came across food stalls selling centipedes, crickets, snakes, frogs, cicadas, silk worms, starfish and many mouth-watering trees. The aromas were a mix of fish and acid (maybe due to smoke coming out of the hot coals or the cars) … it was rather indescribable.Everything looked alien and of course, none of us spoke mandarin.

I came across a stall selling black spiders along with other delectable grubs. My eyes lit up. I always wanted to eat a giant spider.

“How much?” I ordered pointing at the black-fat-eight-legged-hairy things.

The vendor with his index finger made some figure on his palm.I was quick to decipher, “20 yuan?” and looked at him for affirmation. He nodded vehemently. I asked for one spider. In went a black spider, into hot oil.

Excited with my snack, I handed over 20 yuan to the vendor. He was displeased and now he pointed a stick at price list at the top of his stall.

My heart sank as the sign read 80 Yuan. With whole day of sightseeing, Great Wall and Forbidden City, I had 50 Yuan left with me.

“But you said 20 yuan!”

He ignored my reaction and handed me the big black spider.

“He is eating a spider,” shouted someone near me and within moments tourists swarmed me, all set to take my picture.

“I just have 50 yuan with me, why did not you show me the sign before? Can you give me something for 20 yuan?” I looked sheepishly at the creepy centipedes, it was for 20 yuan. The vendor said no with theatrical hand waves and facial expressions adorned with throaty gesticulations – he would not even take back the spider.

“Money … more” he demanded

“This is all I have” emptying my pockets, I showed him all my cash.

A bystander said, “How can you leave the hotel with not enough money?”

“I am a flight attendant on a layover, we get a fixed permission.”

The transaction was a stalemate.

A kind Australian mate passed 10 yuan to the vendor just to see me eat a spider. Another tourist, probably from Hong Kong, negotiated for me. Thanks goodness for her mandarin or bargaining skills. We reached an agreement. I handed over all that I had.

I thanked both of them. The show was about to begin …

The spider was in my hand and all eyes and lenses were on me. There must have been 6 to 7 tourists surrounding me, to watch me eat a spider. I took my first bite of a leg. The audience cheered. My Aussie sponsor asked me how it tasted like. “It tastes like fried dried shrimp, nice and crunchy.”

Then I took another bite of a second leg and then a third. A French woman standing next to me almost gagged. “Frog legs, any day!” she must have thought.

By this time, the look of the spider grossed me out; hence, I put the whole thing in my mouth and started chewing. My audience cave me a final cheer. I smoked and near wave a bow.

For a second, I thought might get sick. That was least of my worries. The hotel was far away, and now I was penniless with my colleagues. Soon, I lost them and how I made it back to the hotel is another adventure.
————————————————– ————————————————– ——–

Enjoying Your All-Inclusive Holiday in Austria

Many tourists flock to Austria each year, and this just grows in number during the holidays. Austria is a beautiful country that is rich is history, sights to see, and it is home to exquisite traditions that many travelers dream to take part of. This, among many others, is also the reason why it is…

Many tourists flock to Austria each year, and this just grows in number during the holidays. Austria is a beautiful country that is rich is history, sights to see, and it is home to exquisite traditions that many travelers dream to take part of. This, among many others, is also the reason why it is one of the most-booked all-inclusive holiday deals. If you are looking into traveling the country for the holidays, you might want to include the following spots in your itinerary.

Austria's ski centers. Austria is considered the winter sports capital of Europe and it would be a shame not to get a taste of this while you are in the country. The skiing center in Seefeld, Tyrol is one of the most popular skiing spots not only because it hosted the Winter Olympics twice, but the beautiful landscape allows fun for beginners and intermediate skiers alike. If you are looking for a more difficult terrain, though, you should consider visiting the St Anton am skiing resort in Arlberg – it is a popular destination for daredevil skiers due to its testing landscape.

Austria's palaces and castles. No tour in Austria is complete without visiting at least two palaces. This is part of most holiday packages. Known to be the Austrian counterpart of the Versailles, the Schonbrunn Palace is definitely a must-see. The grand palace houses many attractions including the Privy Garden, a maze and labyrinth to complete the mystical feel of the palace, and the oldest zoo oldest zoo in the world. If you liked your tour of the Schonbrunn, you should also pay a visit to the Horfburg Imperial Palace and the Hohensalzburg Castle.

Austria's breath-taking views. The panoramic view that's abundant in Austria is also a sight that every tourist must bask on during their stay. The views in the country and the mountain side are popular spots for sightseeing. If you are up for a little road trip, drive along the Glosslockner Alpine road for a view of Austria's highest mountain. It is especially magnificent during the winter because of its pristine snow caps. A trip to Austria's quaint villages is also a popular tourist activity, and for this one, you should see the Hallstatt, a baroque village in Salzkammergut. The village's history is rooted to it being a famous salt producer, and through the years, it only produced a settlement that looks like it is taken out of a setting of a classic novel.

Bonus: If you are willing to go outside of Austria, you can very much do so. Austria is a landlocked country that is surrounded by the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and other European countries. It is very easy to travel by land, and a lot of all-inclusive holiday deals could accommodate a side trip or two. So, if your time and budget allows you, then your wanderlust is definitely in for a treat.

What I Learned From My Travel to Marche Saint-Jacques

The Market The market was shut down for many years due to management problems and many other things that are not yet clear to the public. The market was then converted to a city office. Later on, Marche Saint-Jacques was reinstated in to a public market by a private developer in 2007, who renovated it,…

The Market

The market was shut down for many years due to management problems and many other things that are not yet clear to the public. The market was then converted to a city office. Later on, Marche Saint-Jacques was reinstated in to a public market by a private developer in 2007, who renovated it, bringing it back to its normal operation. As we speak, many shops have been opened in the market. They include:

  • Premiere moison – a bakery shop.
  • La Mer – a fish shop.
  • A tea shop, a coffee shop, a green grocer, an olive product store and a fresh pasta shop.
  • Marche jean- sells everything from Gourmet retailing to farm produce.
  • Fromagerie Atwater – a cheese shop.

In terms of protecting the city building, this is good news. The restoration work was well done and the beautiful deco market is well preserved. In addition, it is also accessible to the public, and this would not be the case if it would have been converted to residential units as it happened to other public buildings.

I can say that I was confused and intimidated by the vast choice of the Atwater markets and Jean Talon, and if you are like me, then this is definitely the perfect alternative. Marche Saint- Jacques is the best place you can pick everything on your grocery list.

Do You Love Cheese?

The dairy in cheese always reminds us of the motherly love and did you know that even dogs love cheese. I bought my dog ​​along and I can say that she was so excited to munch on cheese at Marche Saint- Jacques.

During the summer, while in Canada, I went biking in this market and frankly speaking, I was craving for the cheese. I had postponed my visit to the market for a couple of days because I was not sure what to expect. I mean the market had just been re-opened!

I Shopped For Organic Fresh Groceries at Marche Saint-Jacques

Marche Saint-Jacques is a public market with a wide variety of fresh organic groceries. It's basically the best place to shop for everything in your grocery list. Although I was prepared enough, I would say that shopping at the market needs adequate preparation. The shops are open from 9am to 7pm on week days, and 9am to 6pm during weekends.

Transport is also a key factor, and if you are on vacation then it is important that you plan for your accommodation in advance. You should understand that the place is not that big; therefore, crucial things like where to sleep should be arranged prior the visit.

Danger of High Adventure – Altitude Sickness

Every year there are thousands of trekkers who make the journey around the world for the sole purpose of finding adventure in the higher altitudes. Adventure will certainly be found, but it comes along with dangers posed by such altitudes. One such danger is Altitude Sickness, which if ignored or left untreated can be fatal.…

Every year there are thousands of trekkers who make the journey around the world for the sole purpose of finding adventure in the higher altitudes. Adventure will certainly be found, but it comes along with dangers posed by such altitudes.

One such danger is Altitude Sickness, which if ignored or left untreated can be fatal. Trekkers, especially the ones who are trekking in higher altitudes for the first time, do not seem to realize this threat as one that can lead to certain death.

Because there are thousands of people who have successfully completed many different treks without much problem, they think it's easy and do not realize the gravity of the matter. Altitude Sickness is not the same for every individual!

THE GOLDEN RULES

There are three simple rules set by Dr. David R. Shlim that trekkers must follow:

1. If you feel unwell, you have altitude sickness until proven otherwise.

2. Do not ascend further if you have symptoms of altitude sickness.

3. If you are getting worse, then descend immediately.

Another important rule is – Learn the early symptoms of altitude sickness and know when you have them. Stay alert! There may be a person in the group with symptoms of altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness may hit you when you are above 2500 m (8000 ft) from sea level. There are three kinds of altitude sickness:

1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

2. High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)

3. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)

One often sufferers from HACE and HAPE at the same time, making things even more complicated. HAPE and HACE have similar symptoms to AMS, but getting it means one has reached critical condition.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

If you suffer from mild AMS, it will feel like a hangover. However, you would not have had any alcoholic drink, so that's out of the question. Treat these headaches as AMS until proven otherwise. Remember the mantra – Prevention is better than cure.

AMS may just feel like a hangover, but you SHOULD NOT underestimate it. If left untreated, AMS can become HACE or HAPE in just a few hours, which in turn can cause death of the person within the next few hours. AMS should be taken as a warning sign that if you are careless and ignore it, you could suffer from either HAPE or HACE or worse, both!

AMS SYMPTOMMS

– Headache

– Nausea

– Fatigue

– Dizziness

– Lack of sleep

– Vomiting

AMS TREATMENTS

The best treatment for AMS is prevention. Walk at a slow pace and do not be in a rush to climb higher up. But, in case you suffer from AMS, here's what you do –

If you have mild AMS:

– Rest and DO NOT go any higher!

If you have severe AMS:

– DESCEND! DESCEND! DESCEND!

– Take Acetazolamide (Diamox) as prescribed

– Dexamethasone as prescribed

– Use oxygen or Pressure Bags if available

HIGH ALTITUDE CEREBRAL EDEMA (HACE)

HACE is where AMS has become severe. It's very uncommon that HACE would occur without a person suffering from AMS first.

In HACE, a person's brain is filled with fluids that should not be there, obviously! The fluids just increase the pressure of the brain and squeeze it, creating complications in a well-functioning brain. The person suffering from HACE may act out of his / her character not normal for them like being lazy, showing excessive emotions or even being violent!

HACE SYMPTOMES

– Severe headaches (even painkillers do not provide any relief)

– Acting out of character

– Confusion

– Clumsiness

– Stumbling

– Drowsiness and unconsciousness moments before death

HIGH ALTITUDE PULMONARY EDEMA (HAPE)

HAPE is where a person's lungs are filled with excess fluids, making it difficult to breathe. Even when resting at high altitudes, it is NOT normal to suffer from breathlessness. This should be taken as a sign of HAPE, if a person is breathless even when resting.

HAPE starts normally after spending 24 – 48 hours in new altitudes. And this one often comes without getting AMS first.

HAPE SYMPTOMES

– Coughing

– Tiredness

– Fever

– Can not lie flat

– Breathlessness even while resting

– Excessive breathlessness compared to physical activity

HACE and HAPE TREATMENTS

The best treatment for HACE and HAPE is prevention, walk at a slow pace and do not be in a rush to climb higher up. But, in case you suffer from either HACE or HAPE or worse- both, here's what you must do:

– DESCEND! DESCEND! DESCEND!

– Carry or at least help the victim get to a lower altitude

– Take Acetazolamide (Diamox) and Dexamethasone as prescribed

– Use Oxygen or Pressure Bags if available

– Further medical follow-up

FACTORS THAT RAISE THE CHANCES FOR ALTITUDE SICKNESS

If you are not careful, your chances of getting hit with altitude sickness increases. Below are a few of the factors that are likely to raise the risk of you getting altitude sickness:

– Individual vulnerability

– Climbing faster and higher than desired altitude

– Excessive physical exertion

– Drinking less water and fluids (cause for dehydration)

– Drinking alcohol, smoking or taking sleeping pills

MEASURES TO PREVENT ALTITUDE SICKNESS

The saying “Prevention is better than cure” is more apt here than anything else. The following measures are simple and highly effective for prevention of AMS:

– Do not ascend quickly to high altitudes

– Walk at a slower pace and rest for a long period to acclimatize every 2 to 3 days

– Drink more water and fluids (avoid being dehydrated)

– Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking

– Do not carry a heavy backpack

– Look after each other

– Stay alert for the symptoms of AMS

– Never leave or send a patient to lower altitude alone

THINGS THAT ARE COMMON IN HIGH ALTITUDES

There are certain things that one may show some concern over, but are normal for higher altitudes:

– A little puffy hands and feet

– Frequent need to pee

– Lack / poor quality of sleep

– A little faster and heavier breathing

– A bit faster heartbeat

– Regular dreams in sleep

ACCLIMATIZATION

It's not that we can not trek or even live in the high altitudes, thousands of trekkers and the locals who have adapted at those altitudes have provided that. But, the thing is, for us to be able to trek in high altitudes, our bodies need to get accustomed to the environment there, which might be completely different from where came from.

For adapting to high altitudes, our bodies need to make some adjustments to how it functions and these can adjustments might be made by breathing a bit faster, peeing more frequently, heart beating a bit faster and body making more red blood cells.

Thus, there are days for acclimatization, at different points in all the trails at higher altitudes while trekking.

Acclimatization is different for every individual. Some acclimatize in just one day and some may need two or more days, so take the time your body needs to adjust to new altitudes before heading to even higher altitude than you are at now.

Even the fittest and toughest of the group can suffer from altitude sickness as there is less oxygen and less pressure in the higher altitudes.

There is certainly a great adventure that can be found while trekking. But, one should certainly not take the dangers that come along with it lightly.

Here's a safe and adventurous trek!