Lazy Beggars in Lisbon

Image

Lazy Beggers in Lisbon

I came across one of the Lazy Beggars in Lisbon. So many times, i have given money to people that instead of feeding their families, they were spending money in alcohol and drugs. So I though to myself, why not? A coin in one of the buckets and I got a big smile from this kind man.

They are the 21st century beggers. Yap, they have a website ūüôā

http://lazybeggers.net23.net/en/index.html

They ask for money for Beer, Wine, Whisky and the Hangover!

Have a nice weekend!

SeaShell ūüôā

Advertisements

Flying is not for sissies – Cessna experience

If you are used to travel in and around Africa, you probably know that flying in Africa is not for sissies. How often do we hear about plane crashes and especially in single propeller planes in the news? Very often indeed. So this was my family’s concern when they first heard that I would be going on a trip to a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the Indian Ocean for one day and the worst part for them was that I would be flying on a Cessna single-engine aircraft. I was definitely decided on taking the risk so there was nothing they could do to stop me.

At 08.00 am my alarm went on and I jumped out of bed. There was a mixture of anxiety and fear but at the same time so much joy and excitement. At 09.00 am, I was ready at the airport. Someone came to escort myself and other 3 passengers to the plane. It was a blue Cessna, smaller than the planes I’m used to flying. So I knew this was going to be an amazing experience.

Cessna Single-Engine

When we were close to the plane, I fully realized that the plane was reallllllllyyyy smalll!!! It was too late now to say NO to the offer. It was a windy day and I could not stop thinking about the possible turbulence we might experience. I sat just behind the pilot, so I fastened my seat belt, after a long deep breath, I was ready. Awwww, so many senses at the same time!

I heard the keys going into the ignition. The panel had a million buttons and two joysticks. It almost felt like the two pilots were about to play on their playstation or xbox.

Buttons.. joystick… buttons!!!

After going through the checklists and getting clearance from the tower, we were taxing onto the runway. I could see the pilot gently pushing the throttle forward to reach full power and my heart started to beat faster. When you feel that the speed is picking up, it is almost like your heart skips a beat and you stop breathing for a moment. The plane was shaking a bit because of the wind, but after a minute or so, it was completely stabilized.. and what a view…. such an awesome perspective! I was happy! The views were absolutely breathtaking, the anxiety and fear had disappeared and i was simply left with joy and excitement.

So folks, flying on a single-engine aircraft to a tropical island in the Indian Ocean is checked off my bucket list. I hoped for the best, and that’s how you do in Africa.

SeaShell

Great Expectations: Oppikoppi, here we go again!

Image

We stood in front of hundreds ‚Äď perhaps one of the biggest crowds that we would see in our time together, and it both excited and terrified me. I can only imagine what the rest of my brothers in arms experienced, but my feelings were profound. I can still see that crowd, that stage, and hear the surprising roar that welcomed us song after song, and although I would never describe myself as a musician in search of recognition, for a brief moment there, I belonged.

Five years ago, my band at the time, played at one of the greatest music festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa’s Oppikoppi. It was a festival of music, different blends, types, varieties, from all corners of the world, local, regional, international, it was a true testament of how a festival should be done. I remember it took us forever to drive there, riding in a faulty bus with only expectations of what awaited us at our destination. There were cold nights, celebrated in the warmth of friends and fellow artists jamming around the fire. I have never been one for camping, but I set up my tent, or watched as it was set up for me, and proceeded to live the festival life.

Of course this meant ingesting dust, sharing questionable public bathrooms, getting mud on my shoes, clothes and pretty much everywhere, and standing in crowds of drunk/high/sweaty people ‚Äď perhaps this was the birth of my temporary mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Yet there were no barriers to pure unadulterated fun. I was no different from those same people with whom everything was shared and we were a community of sorts living in this global village sans borders or inhibitions. I was artist and I was fan. I was young and adventurous. And I was in love ‚Äď with music and also a boy. Only one of those love affairs still breathes today. But there in that very vast spot I left a piece of my soul, in the same way that we leave little marks of ourselves in every place we hold in our hearts, in hope that someday we will make our way back.

In less than ten days I will return to that very same farm. Once again I will be fan and artist, eagerly awaiting my time on stage, while taking in the wonders that will inspire me to give it my all. I hope I am still young at heart, but I suspect the experience will be rejuvenating. My band of brothers is no longer the same as certain phenomena are only seasonal, but the memory will always remain. As I move forward knowing full well the mixture of excitement and terror that awaits me when I step on stage, I am taken back to that moment and all I can do is hope, and perhaps even pray, that once again I will belong.

The Oppikoppi experience: to be tried at least once in your lifetime (whether artist or fan).

The prodigal artist

Tourism: Lisbon Calling & The Room Next Door

Image

Hello everyone,

If you want to find out more information about the Lisbon Calling Hostel, please go to the Tourism & Travelling Section. For those that are not very comfortable with backpacking, the owners of the Lisbon Calling Hostel developed the Room Next Door, a huge 18th century apartment next to the hostel that has been renovated.  The decoration of the hotel is very original, and if you are a fan of trendy places inspired by fusion of art, this is perfect for you. There are four beautiful private rooms, so if you are interested in a unique experience, this is it.

The room I slept in was really neat, comfy and bright. It was really nicely decorated and as a nature lover, I was surprised to see what the theme was on the wall:

Decor in my Room @Room Next Door

This was a perfect experience! Excellent highly trained and friendly staff, helpful and polite.  I really enjoyed my stay!

Place to drop the keys

You can get more information on:

http://roomnextdoor.wordpress.com/

Room I stayed in:

Once again,

SeaShell =)

Tourism: Lisbon Calling Hostel – Lisbon, Portugal

Image

Lisbon Calling is one of the best affordable places I have ever slept on my entire life. It has been described as a “stylish hostel“, but it is so much more.¬†It is beautifully designed and offers a blend of charm and sophistication. This hostel is located¬†in the heart of Lisbon, therefore giving the opportunity to appreciate the city during the day and to enjoy the bohemian nights at Bairro Alto.

"Very Hip"

Living Room @ Lisbon Calling – “Very Hip”

The rooms are very bright and spacious, bringing together an artistic sense and sensitivity.   Interestingly enough, the sleeping platforms and bunk beds are all custom-made.

Rooms @ Lisbon Calling – “bright and airy”

Lisbon Calling is being ran by a number of people who share their positive thinking mixed with an open-minded attitude. It is culturally diverse and provides an extremely comfortable and familiar environment.

To contact Lisbon Calling Hostel, go to:

http://www.facebook.com/LisbonCallingHostel

http://www.lisboncalling.net/

Price June-July: 20.00  to 22.00 euros depending on the dorm

If you think backpacking is not for you: please visit our next post – Lisbon Calling & The Room Next Door

Yours,

SeaShell

Elephants (Loxodonta africana): World’s Most Magnificent Mammals

Image

Many regions in Africa make great destinations to meet Elephants ¬†(Loxodonta africana), one of the world’s greatest mammals. Elephants¬†are the largest land animals found on Earth and they can grow up to 3m ¬†in height and to 6,4m in length. Males can weigh up to 5, 000 kg and ¬†females are smaller and can weigh up to 3, 000¬†kg.

In ancient cultures, elephants have been used as symbols for good luck, prosperity and fertility. In the Cederberg,South Africa, there is amazing rock paintings that portray the existence of elephants between 8 000 years to 100 to 200 years ago.

Rock paintings portraying Elephants

In certain parts of the world, it is possible to come close to this animal in its natural habitat, and this is the case of Kruger Park in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Just by looking at this elephant below, it is possible to see their impressive size and their remarkable intelligence particularly in terms of rituals, communication habits and magnificent sense of family ties have been appreciated by human beings for thousands of years.

In terms of senses, elephants have small eyes and they have limited and poor peripheral vision due to the size and position of their head and neck. Although they have a poor eye-sight, their sense of hearing is excellent and there are estimates that elephants can pick up on some sounds over very long distances. Elephants have a good sense of taste, their tongues are pink and long and they are highly discriminating in terms of what they eat. The elephant’s trunk is known to have many purposes: smelling, eating, picking things, making sounds and self-protection from potential dangers and it is described as an amazing weapon that is capable of killing.

Elephant in Kruger Park – 2012

Elephant populations are almost half of what they were 40 years ago. Although this is a very sensitive matter for conservationists, some parts of Africa have a really high number of elephants than populated areas can support. This is the case of Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are many organizations are involved in research of elephant behaviors, conservation of their habitats and finding sustainable solutions to make sure that human beings and elephants are able to co-exist peacefully in Africa.

Apart from conflicts with humans and habitat loss, ivory poachers are also a main threat to the elephant populations. These animals have been around for a long time and their place on Earth has should be secured.

My name is SeaShell and I am a big fan of elephants. Not so long ago, I touched a baby elephant, the cutest little thing with very tough skin. It was an amazing experience. They are kind animals. Elephant sanctuaries are amazing places anywhere in the world. Some of the elephants in these sanctuaries are very naughty and sometimes when your not looking, they steal a kiss from you.¬†I just described why elephants are one of the world’s¬†magnificent¬†mammals and for all of the above reasons I think we should protect them.

I believe that whether you are a nature enthusiast or a wildlife dreamer, I promise to take you on exciting journeys around the world. Enjoy the little things in life!