Saturday, October 25, 2014

Abel Tasman National Park; New Zealand

Executive summary by darmansjah

Take time to experience the tranquillity and see more of Abel Tasman National Park with 2 nights at each Lodge along the 38km (24 miles) of forest-fringed coast.

Extra nights give you more opportunity to explore, unwind, take time to yourself, develop new friendships or reconnect with good friends and family. Relax by the sea or join the expeditions planned by your Guide to explore regions of the National Park many people don't get to see.

Abel Tasman National Park is a national park located at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand.

The park was founded in 1942, largely through the efforts of ornithologist and author Perrine Moncrieff to have land reserved for the purpose. Moncrieff served on the park board from 1943 to 1974
The park was opened on the 18 December 1942 to mark the 300th anniversary of his visit.

Those in attendance at the opening ceremony at Tarakohe included Charles van der Plas, as personal representative of the Netherland's Queen, Wilhelmina. The Queen was made Patron of the park.

The idea for the park had been under consideration since June 1938. The Crown set aside 37,622 acres, being 21,900 acres of proposed state forest, 14,354 acres of Crown land and 1,368 acres of other reserve land for the national park. The Golden Bay Cement Company donated the land where the memorial plaque was sited. The area's primary historic interest was the visit of Tasman in 1642, D'Uville in 1827, and the New Zealand Company ships Whitby, Will Witch, and Arrow in 1841. The site was also of significant botanical interest

With a coverage of only 225.3 km2 (87.0 sq mi), the park is the smallest of New Zealand's national parks. It consists of forested, hilly country to the north of the valleys of the Takaka and Riwaka Rivers, and is bounded to the north by the waters of Golden Bay and Tasman Bay.

Abel Tasman National Park does not extend beyond Mean High Water Mark on the adjacent coast. Between Mean High Water and Mean Low Water Springs, the beaches are gazetted as a Scenic Reserve, covering 7.74 km2 (2.99 sq mi) in total. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve adjoins part of the park

Access: Activities in adjoining coastal waters are TDC’s responsibility. These areas operate under separate regulations.

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a popular tramping track which follows the coastline; while an inland route, the Abel Tasman Inland Track, is less frequented. Kayaking, camping and sightseeing are other activities carried out in the park.

The nearest large town is Motueka, 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the south.

In 2008 an extra 7.9 km2 (3.1 sq mi), including the formerly private land known as Hadfields Clearing, were added to the park

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Tannourine, Lebanon

Baatara Gorge Waterfall

Executive summary by darmansjah

The waterfall drops 255 metres (837 ft) into the Baatara Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone located on the Lebanon Mountain Trail.

Discovered in 1952 by French bio-speleologist Henri Coiffait, the waterfall and accompanying sinkhole were fully mapped in the 1980s by the Spéléo club du Liban. The cave is also known as the "Cave of the Three Bridges." Traveling from Laklouk to Tannourine one passes the village of Balaa, and the "Three Bridges Chasm" (in French "Gouffre des Trois Ponts") is a five-minute journey into the valley below where one sees three natural bridges, rising one above the other and overhanging a chasm descending into Mount Lebanon.

 During the spring melt, a 90–100-metre (300–330 ft) cascade falls behind the three bridges and then down into the 250-metre (820 ft) chasm. A 1988 fluorescent dye test demonstrated that the water emerged at the spring of Dalleh in Mgharet al-Ghaouaghir

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ben Bulben at County Sligo, Ireland

Executive summary by darmansjah

From the north side, it looks like a table mountain, from the other sides, it merges with the neighboring hills forming a single entity. Climbing up, the landscape changes, the bare peaks give the impression of a different, alien world. The ubiquitous peat bogs, collapsing and creating all sorts of shapes, pits and grooves in the ground, emphasize this feeling even more.

While climbing Benbulben, you have to be prepared for changeable weather conditions. Heavy showers interspersed with sunny spells may occur several times within one hour, not to mention unceasing winds. Sometimes you can observe helicopters flying below the level of the mountain over the neighboring woods.
Although Benbulben is the biggest and most distinctive object in the Sligo area, the whole Dartry mountain range is worth visiting. Not far from Benbulben, while coming back to Sligo, if you follow the road alongside the mountain, you will reach the Glencar Lake and Glencar Waterfall.