Month May 2019

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Say Hello to the man with a mission

Read about this underwater Diving Adventure

Bhushan is a social media expert now based in Singapore. Growing up in Mumbai he loved swimming & the beach. He was always keen to try out diving. Bhushan had his first diving experience underwater at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia back in 2014 and loved it. He also went for trip in 2017 where he decided to live on a live aboard (a yatch that stays in the sea for 2 nights & has rooms like a hotel) the agenda was scuba diving morning, evening and night. 

My experience underwater

On the other hand I find diving daring, going so many feet underwater to a world that you have never seen before, uncovering the depths so to speak. On my recent trip to Bali I went snorkeling for the first time. Even from the surface of the water it was so lovely to see the fish and coral in their natural habitat. However, I am yet to find the time and courage to go diving.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that my friend Bhushan has decided to embark on a scuba diving mission. He will complete 12 dives in 12 months across the Asia Pacific. Here he is telling us about it.

Bhushan at his recent dive at Jeju Island

1)  What has prompted you to go on this mission?

Living in Singapore – travelling across the Asia Pacific regions is easy and cost friendly. I wanted to travel around but not just do touristy things. I got my scuba diving license in Singapore. That’s when I decided to make Scuba Diving my main mission while I travel – I have never looked back!

2) Where have you gone to till date?

I have been able to dive in 7 countries out of the 12 that’s my target this year. They include 1 dive site each in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand & Korea

3) What’s your message to aspiring divers?

Try it out once in life, don’t be scared, enjoy it.  

4) What would you want to know when you started diving?

The costs involved and the different types of certifications you can get. Do you know even people with Asthma can dive!

Swimming with the Manta Rays at Manta Point
Swimming with the Manta Rays at Manta Point in Bali

5) Any unique experience/ favorite animals to see  

Every time I dive – the feeling is relaxing but the views are so different. No 2 dives feel the same. I don’t dive just to see some underwater species – I find scuba like jogging. However – some of my best experiences underwater include seeing & following a turtle, manta rays & a school of yellow fin tuna (around 500 fish together)

Spotting a 120 year old sea turtle in Phuket 

We need to protect our beautiful ocean

While Bhushan started out on this mission more for his love for the ocean. He is inevitably bringing awareness on global warming and how it is affecting our oceans. He says diving has a twofold benefit, one is obviously personal satisfaction. But the more we undertake offbeat trips like this, the more the tourism and environment agencies across the world have funding to ensure that they can invest in protecting the corals.

Some important statistics

  • It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. 
  • 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found. 
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic.

Remember this the next time you travel or are at the beach. Marine life is a treasure for the next generation and worth protecting.

We wish Bhushan all the luck on his journey. If you want to follow him you can do so here https://www.instagram.com/yourappa/

 It’s an inspiration to see a young Indian man follow such a unique dream. We hope to catch him at the end of his under water diving adventure as well. So stay tuned !

If you want to read about Must have drinks in portugal Click here

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Must have Portuguese drinks

Portugal’s best kept secret

By far Lisbon is one of my favourite cities. I cannot wait to visit again. One of the quaint features of Lisbon, is the tiny little bars at every street corner. Like our Indian ‘Tapris’ however, instead of Chai (tea), they serve alcohol! What a concept right? With this article I will highlight some of the must have Portuguese drinks, when you visit the country. Before my trip, everyone recommended the port wine. However, two other portuguese drinks were the highlight for me.

Enjoying Ginjinha liquor, bought from Lisbon, back in Mumbai. This should be a must have when you are exploring Portuguese drinks.
Opening my bottle of Ginjinha in Mumbai

Ginjinha– The Ninja of Cherry liqueurs

Nobody tells you about this very special alcohol –Ginjinha!  The ‘unofficial’ official drink of Lisbon. Maybe you have had cherry liqueur before, but I can guarantee that you have not had anything till you have the Portuguese one! This Portuguese drink is made by infusing Ginja berries in alcohol and adding sugar and other ingredients to it. Served in little plastic cups, on the streets, it is full of flavour.  Have the one with real cherries at the bottom, it will give you a good kick! Locals have this drink throughout the day. We had it on a windy, cold day in the city and it set us in the right mood for the rest of the evening 

Pro Tip: Look for the places that serve the Ginjinha in a chocolate cup, the two together will get you swooning!

Check out Moscatel

Moscatel is another drink you should be looking for. Unlike Ginjinha, it is had throughout Portugal and is the real winner. At first I thought Portuguese drinks consisted only of Port, but the Moscatel I tasted here, took it up a notch. Moscatel has a lighter more citrus flavour. It makes for a great drink after a meal. Hence I bought back 2 bottles for my ‘mae’ and she is still raving about it!

View of Quinta da Bomfim winery from the river different
View of Quinta da Bomfim winery and vineyards beyond, from the river

Porto – the wine producing region of Portugal

These days the Portuguese don’t want to focus on their Port wine. They would prefer you taste their world class wines. Also it’s good to note that the wines in Portugal, come from the north, given the hilly region as compared to the beaches in the south. Porto, in the North, is the second largest city after Lisbon. Port wine is named after Porto, given all the wine producing regions here.

Wine tasting at Quinta da Bomfim in the Douro valley,Portuguese drinks namely their wine are truly world class
Wine tasting at Quinta Da Bomfim

Must Visit- Douro valley & Quinta Da Bomfin

I went for a local wine tasting tour from Porto. We visited the Douro valley, which should not be missed. There are a lot of Vineyards in the Douro valley and‘Quinta da Bomfim’ is one of the oldest, going back to the 17thcentury. Thus, it is one with the largest land holding in the region. We tasted a LOT of wine on the tour. Considering the amount of wine I tasted I have no specific recommendation. However I can tell you, enjoying well-made wine in the beautiful hills of Douro is definitely worth it! 

If you want to read my post on eating like the locals in Portugal: Click here             

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