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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Going to beach with family and friends is surely a time to be enjoyed in way that the memories stay etched in your mind for the rest of your life. Clear Sunny day, low tide, and ample of space to run around on the beach; these are few things that will ensure that the setting is perfect. However there are few things that we should not forget in between all the fun and frolic. This might not sound too good but its fact that beaches are very unsafe if full care is not taken. Ocean, no matter how calm it looks, its power and unpredictability should never be underestimated.
Following are few tips that you should always remember when you are on the beach.
1 . Always be aware of the Ocean conditions. Never judge for yourself. Ask a lifeguard as they are professionally trained to identify any hazards.
2. Do not swim where rip currents are present, especially if you are not a trained swimmer. And if you are caught in one, try to swim parallel to the shore until the pull stops. Then swim back to the shore. If you are not able to make it to the beach, alert the people around and the lifeguard by treading water and wave.
3. Never stand showing your back to the ocean when you are standing on the edge. You never know when a tide gets formed behind your back and sweeps you away.
4. It is highly highly recommended that you learn swimming before entering the waters. And even if you know swimming, make sure that some is around you when you are swimming.
5. Alcohol is a strict no no. Never drink and swim. Alcohol impairs your judgement making, coordination and balance. It also reduces your ability to stay warm.
6. Always wear bright coloured clothes when swimming. In case of emergency, people on the beach should be able to notice you even from a distance.
Keep these in mind and other instructions that you are told by the life guards. Uncertainty is synonymous with ocean, so take precautions.
It is that time of the year again when most adventure are planing a trip to the magnificent Gulmarg. This is no doubt the best place in India to indulge in skiing. I went there two years in a row this time of the year. Sadly, I might not be able to make it there this time. But I plan to relive the moments of my last trip to Gulmarg.
Under the silken sheet of snow covering everything you can see as far as possible, Gulmarg is beautiful. And the moment you stand on the tip of a slope and look downwards, the adrenaline starts running to your head. Gulmarg is located at a distance of 50 km from Srinagar and is situated at an altitude of 2730 mt. It is in the Beginning of December that snow also makes appearance. The number of foreign tourists is simply mind boggling. I have not been to many skiing resorts but I certainly think that the facilities that are provided here should be as good as any where else in the world and that is what attracts so many international tourists to this small and beautiful town.
Regular use of Snow beating machines make the slopes absolutely perfect for slopping. I'm absolutely novice in skiing; well I was when I started going to Gulmarg, but I was absolutely comfortable and perfected the art of skiing in very little time. The instructors here are qualified and were simply outstanding in making you get acquainted to this beautiful sport of beautiful hills. Of course, watching professional skiers in action helps you a lot and there are tons of them here. Gulmarg, from even before independence has been a destination for international ski championships and they continue till today.
For starters and for kids, it is advised that you start with less steeper slopes. Get used to the conditions and the sport itself before you try to go higher towards the top. Believe me, it is worth getting perfect and only then moving up. Beacause a perfect run down the slope from higher spots is an experience that is unmatched and unmatchable.
And for the information, Gulmarg is the world's highest lift served ski resort in the world. The gondola lift takes you up to Apharwat peak which is the base for heli-skiing. Gulmarg is the only ski resort in India where heli skiing is possible.
Though it is quite close to Srinagar, there is no need to look for an accommodation in Srinagar. There are ample guest houses in Gulmarg. However, once the season starts, they get filled up at the rate of knox. You can drive down to Gulmarg from Srinagar or take a taxi or a bus. The frequency of buses is quite good.