Autumn is a wonderful time. It is the end of the beginning. In Spring, everything comes to life after being dormant through the cold winter months. Then Summer arrives and everything blossoms and grows. Finally, Autumn is upon us and the trees shed their leaves waiting for the next time they can come back to life.
The autumn leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and clean in the early morning, the sound of rustling leaves as they float through the air moving as if they are ready to travel to wherever old man wind takes them… these are the sounds and sights of Autumn.
Autumn is a perfect time to get out and go for a walk, or even better take your dog with you.
This is also a great time for photography. The amazing colours of the leaves turning red, orange and gold, and the way the light shines through the canopy of leaves makes for some truly amazing shots.
Action shots of dogs (big or small) romping through piles of leaves, wriggling ecstatically on top of the pile, trying to catch falling leaves in their mouths or running along a path with the sunlight behind them. These make for some amazing shots!
Taking advantage of the spectacular backdrops and scenery that the Autumn leaves provide, can make a picture of your best friend so much more interesting. It may even be worthy of having the honour of hanging on your wall, and not just your Autumn screen saver on your computer, tablet or phone.
With the new age of digital cameras and phones with cameras we now take more pictures than ever before. Years ago we were limited to how many pictures we could take, based on how much film you could afford and the cost of developing the film..unless you were lucky enough to have your own darkroom!
Taking 36 pictures in a week used to be a lot, but now with almost everyone having a cell phone and those phones having a high definition camera right in their phone it’s nothing to take 36 pictures in a matter of minutes. Our cameras and phones consistently hit their limits and we have to go through and delete hundreds of pictures that we never would have taken had it cost money for film and developing.
Petra’s work trip to Kenya gave her the perfect opportunity to spend a few extra days to go on a safari. Her friend had lived in Kenya and so she asked for a recommendation – that was us! We planned a six-day safari to Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha with a final lunch at the serene Kiambethu Tea Farm. Extraordinary wildlife and startling a hippo on a walking safari were among her highlights.
Voted Africa’s Leading National Park for the sixth time in the 2018 World Travel Awards, the Maasai Mara National Reserve must be on a first-time safari itinerary. It was Petra’s first destination and being late July, it didn’t disappoint. She stayed at the lovely Aruba Camp near Talek Gate, right on the banks of the Talek River. This time of year is when the migratory herds of wildebeest come into the Maasai Mara from the Serengeti so wildlife is plentiful – not just wildebeest, zebras and gazelles, but also the predators that follow such an abundant dinner plate.
Rift Valley Lakes
Lake Nakuru National Park was next, home to the endangered Rothschild giraffe and black rhinos. She spent the night at Punda Milias Camp just a few kilometres away from the park, allowing an early entry the next morning for optimal game viewing. She spent most of the day in the park, getting some awesome sightings of those Rothschild giraffes and getting up to the viewpoint that overlooks the whole Lake Nakuru and the surrounding national park. In the afternoon, she made the short drive to another Rift Valley lake: Naivasha.
Lake Naivasha is the largest of the Rift Valley lakes in Kenya. Most of the accommodation is lined along the shore of the lake and this is where Petra found her lakeside banda at Camp Carnelley’s. In the morning she embarked on a walking safari in Wileli Conservancy. More giraffes! This time they were Maasai giraffes and there were even a couple walking on the track in front of her for a while. As she walked along the lake (with a guide and a ranger) they startled a hippo that had unusually been grazing outside the water – unusual as hippos normally graze at night and stay in the water during the day. Fortunately, as the humans approached the hippo made a run straight for the lake with an almighty splash.
After that excitement, Petra went with the guide for a different walking safari – this time in the village to witness rural Kenyan life. The hustle and bustle down by the lake subsided the further they climbed up and away from the shore. Eventually after a bit of tough-going they hit flat ground and a magnificent view over the lake, flower farms, various conservancies and the geo-thermal plant in Hells Gate National Park.
Being in Paris gives you a vibe of being stunning. Whether you are in an alley or on the main road or the pavement there are people with a vibe of elegance in them. Several cafes and restaurants would let you increase your appetite. It is the feel of being amidst history and modern fashion.
There are mysterious unknown places to discover like the Underground tunnels Catacombs with the impressions of world war two that has bones and skeletons aesthetically placed and its told that it has about 6 to 7 million peoples bones that were killed during the French revolution and has a look of a cemetery. You would have to wait in a line unless you get a golden ticket booked previously on skip the line tickets section online. It costs about 40 US dollars but the place is worth visiting. This place is 20 meters below ground with a 14 degrees temperature It was build in the 12th century with lime stones and gives you a feeling of being in a mine we need to be there with a local TOUR guide.
If anyone has the curiosity of where to find the best baguettes French bread and pastries in town or want to see the Maison Kaiser the award winning bread maker who serves bread to the president. You need to walk around the streets of Paris with a list of best bakeries.
Le Grenier a Pain is one of the best bakeries in Paris and it has received several awards. There is a boulangerie in every corner of the city.
Traffic here is moderate but we might feel a little noisy and crowded sometimes. There would be scooters and cars crossing each other from the alley and roads even though there are lanes. Overall, it is quite safe to cross the lanes through signals. There would be an electric pole where you get the red and green button to push which is for pedestrians and vehicles to stop and wait at a periodic time there are cafes around the corner where you can sip your latte with baguette and watch the people go by. Like a cherry on top, you would find a free WI-Fi around every restaurant and sitting areas so there would be loads of communication and uploading of videos and pictures with your friends.
Chateau de Versailles has a fireworks
show that was previously banned. Louis the 14th the king of France loved
to be called the king of the Sun so the palace is filled with equipment
that look like a sun and even the garden can give you glimpses of it.
Living in Paris can cost you a fortune. Many people opt for very small rooms unless you are a billionaire and want to spend your bucks. Try asking the French citizens who have lived here for several years for a moderate living place because a big room or an apartment can cost you almost 300 to 400 Euros. It all depends on the facility and area. The Champs Elysee is the most expensive area where a room can cost you 105 Euros with a separated kitchen and a big bedroom. SO choose wisely. Find a youth hostel or Airbnb through websites like couch surfing and book your place there on prior basis.
Paris has loads of food varieties but obviously It is rich, it is colorful, it is tasty and is made with the best of ingredients.
You will get loads in variety but the best is French onion soup with raisin bread, steak, seaweeds French fries and falafel. There is this item called Crepes and Croissant. It comes in varied varieties like chocolate to almond. Going to the Latin Quarter, you would find items ranging from seafood duck breast fries sausages ham bacon eggs and simply stunning vegetables. You can have a 3-course meal menu with either ten or sixteen Euros option is yours. You would have your choice of salad French fries and ham or sausage. (Only if you are a non-vegetarian) Not to forget the Baguette and cheese that goes together with a cup of coffee this place resembles a lot to the Indian street food area where we enjoy our spicy treats. Do not forget to try the Chocolate Fondue specially the egg bean with vanilla cream. You can learn the recipe from your hosts. Cheese is what will melt your mouth with its flavor ranging from Parmesan to Mozzarella.