Feeling For the adrenaline junkies: The best cliff diving locations in the world

Cliff diving is a very popular extreme sport. It originated from Hawaii during 1770, when Hawaii’s king, Kajekelli, devised a method in order for his people to prove loyalty and their courage to him. The aim was to jump into the water from a cliff and make as little splash as possible.

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Today, adventurous people searching for the next thrill partake in cliff diving all over the world. It has turned into a worldwide sport and requires skill, focus, and physical conditioning, and obviously the nerve to jump off a cliff.

 Diving cliffs come in a range of heights, and there are many popular spots dotted around the world which boast fantastic scenery and the thrill to match. Many cliff divers are looking for the next spectacular cliff diving destination. Because of this we have done our homework and have compiled a list of the best cliff diving locations in the world. Here are the top locations:

La Quebrada Cliffs, Acapulco, Mexico

La Quebrada Cliffs offers a huge shot of adrenaline when it comes to jumping. Jumps off the 44m high cliff need to be timed to perfection as the difference of a second can mean the difference between life and death. Divers must land in the water when the ocean swells, which is only for 5 seconds, in order for the water to be at a safe depth. Despite the chance of injury and even death, La Quebrada Cliffs is extremely popular for divers and also tourists, who can watch the action from the Acapulco restaurant terrace.

Rick’s Cafe, Negril, Jamaica

Rick’s Cafe is located in the western tip of Jamaica and is one of the finest places to watch a Caribbean sunset. As well as this, it is also one of the world’s most popular cliff diving destinations in the world. Either sit back in Rick’s Cafe and watch the action or take part in conquering the three dive cliffs. The tallest reaches 35 feet above the cove. In 1974, the town was a small fishing village, now it is booming with both locals and tourists visiting Rick’s Cafe.

Kamari Beach, Santorini, Greece

 Kamari Beach cliffs are very popular with both tourists and cliff divers. As the water under the 35 foot cliff is very deep, it is perfect for divers of all abilities, especially beginners. The cliff offers divers a breathtaking jump into the ocean as well as astonishing views of the volcanic island and its pristine beaches.

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Tar Creek Falls, Los Padres National Forest, California

Getting to Tar Creek Falls is as thrilling as actually diving of the cliff. To reach the cliff, you must hike up 70 feet of rock face before emerging at the cliff, making it particularly dangerous. The cliff is a spectacular sight and is next to a flowing water fall. The exhilarating trek and dive, the wildlife and the scenery, attract many people to the Los Padres National Forest in order to visit Tar Creek Falls.

Rishikesh, India

Rishikesh is the yoga capital of the world and is the favourite place for many thrill seekers. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh offers may incredibly tall cliffs which range from 20 to 30 feet. Divers dive into what, according to the people of Rishikesh, is holy water which has healing abilities, however, the water is also very cold and dark so it is recommended that only experienced cliff divers dive from the Rishikesh cliffs. Rishikesh is also famous for its whitewater rapids of the Ganges, which is an added bonus for people visiting Rishikesh to cliff dive.

Ord River, Kimberley, West Australia, Australia

The Ord River features some of the largest diving cliffs in the world with many towering over 84 feet, and a wide choice to dive from. The river is located in Kimberley which offers breathtaking scenery of cliffs, waterfalls, mountains and gorges, and is one of the least populated places on earth so you will certainly have lots of room to explore. However, be sure to let someone know you are going and when you plan on returning, or take a partner, to avoid becoming injured and stranded.

Serpent’s Lair, Inis Mór, Ireland

The Serpent’s Lair is a very unique cliff diving location. It features on the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series and put many divers to the test. Serpent’s Lair is located in the rugged island of Inis Mór. It is a natural blowhole which was carved into the island due the the furious Atlantic Ocean. The cliff is 85 feet high and divers have under 5 seconds to pinpoint their jump. It is certainly not for the faint of heart.

There are many cliff diving locations dotted all over the world that offer fantastic scenery and exhilarating descents into the ocean or river, too many in fact to place in a list. If you are a keen cliff diver, be sure to travel around the world in search of the best cliff diving locations, it will certainly be an unforgettable experience.

What do you think of this blog? Can you think of any more cliff diving locations? If so, please let us know in the links below.

This blog was written by Rachel Jensen on behalf of Cruise Nation, the cruise specialists.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Best City Hikes | World

Stretch your legs over hours or days, without leaving some of the world’s biggest cities.

Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro


Welcome to the jungle. Brazil’s first national park, the world’s largest urban forest, smack bang in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Reclaimed and replanted as Atlantic rainforest in the latter half of the 19th century, the forest is a green smear of waterfalls, tall trees and rugged peaks. Winding through it all is a series of hiking trails. The sharply pointed Tijuca Peak (1022m/3353ft) is the highest mountain in the park, with a trail leading to a final ascent on stone steps aided by an iron chain. Or for something truly Rio, hike to the summit of Corcovado – inside the park – and its iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.

A number of Rio tour companies offer guided hikes to Tjiuca Peak and Corcovado. The national park website is www.parquedatijuca.com.br.

Great Coastal Walk, Sydney

Few would disagree that Australia’s largest city has one of the world’s most spectacular urban coastlines. And it’s possible to walk the entire thing – all 94km of it – if you have a week to spare. The walk begins at Barrenjoey, at the tip of Sydney’s northern beaches, and plods a sandy course to Manly before heading inland to the Harbour Bridge and southern shores of Sydney Harbour. The walk ends in the southern suburb of Cronulla, though if 94km isn’t enough, you can always ferry across to Bundeena and continue another 26km on the popular cliff-top Coast Track through Royal National Park.

There are good accommodation options along the coast, or easy transport links into the city each day. For more details, see www.walkingcoastalsydney.com.au.

Thames Path, London

The Thames Path stretches for 294km along the length of England’s most famous river, but you needn’t leave London to hike some of its finest sections. Begin in Kingston-on-Thames, and it’s two solid days of walking to Tower Bridge or the path’s end at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich. The walk is like a London highlights reel, passing Kew Gardens, Battersea Park and power station, Westminster and Big Ben, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe and so on.

Expect surprising contrasts: the leafy emptiness of the riverbank through Richmond and Kew against the chaos of South Bank, where the entire world seems to come to meet.

Learn more about the path at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thamespath. There are easy transport connections from central London to many points along the trail.

Hoerikwaggo Trail, Cape Town

Beginning at southerly Cape Point, on the Cape of Good Hope, this 75km (47-mile) trail crosses Table Mountain, finishing at the aerial cableway above Cape Town’s city centre. It’s an intimate look at the mountain that defines Cape Town, while offering views of the city. The trail, which was constructed by 162 unemployed workers from the Cape Peninsula townships, is designed to take five days, with four tented camps positioned along its length. The camps contain kitchens and bathrooms, but you’ll need to carry all your food. The trail isn’t signposted, so be certain to get hold of decent maps or hire a guide.

Details of the trail, including contact points for booking accommodation and guides, can be accessed through the South African National Parks website (www.sanparks.org).

Berlin Wall Trail, Berlin

Best known to cyclists, this trail follows the course of the Berlin Wall that once separated West Berlin from East Berlin and East Germany. Seventeen years after it was famously breached and pulled down in 1989, it became the Berlin Wall Trail, a 160km (99-mile) hiking and cycling path. The trail is well signposted and has interpretive boards detailing the 28-year story of the wall and Germany’s division, including memorials to those who tried to escape over the wall. It’s a slice of modern history that’ll also keep you fit. The trail is divided into 14 sections, each between 7km and 21km (4 and 13 miles) in length and easily reached on public transport.

For a full overview, see www.berlin.de/mauer/mauerweg/index/index.en.php.

Seawall, Vancouver

If you want to see the best of Vancouver, you need barely stray off the 22km seawall. Beginning at the convention centre, it rounds Stanley Park, which was originally a military reserve but is now one of the best positioned urban parks anywhere in the world. Out of the park, the trail continues around False Creek, passing the glass bubble of Science World and über-trendy Granville Island, before ending at Kitsilano Beach – if you time it right you might be here for a perfect sunset. If you need to shorten things, consider the 9km section around Stanley Park – the sunsets are just as good from the logs on Third Beach.

The City of Vancouver website has a seawall map at www.vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/seawall.aspx.

South Mountain Park, Phoenix

It’s hardly surprising that the USA’s largest municipal park (and some say the world’s largest city park), covering almost 66 sq km (41 sq miles), should have plenty of good walking. Don’t arrive expecting the typical city park of footpaths and neatly manicured deciduous trees; this is the Sonoran Desert, so expect cactus and creosote bush instead. The park has more than 80km (50 miles) of trails open to hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The most spectacular trail rises up the mountain to Dobbins Lookout. Here, more than 300m above Phoenix, you’ll be treated to the finest possible view of the city.

South Mountain Park is 10km (6 miles) from downtown Phoenix. Maps and information can be found at http://phoenix.gov/parks; follow the ‘Trails & Desert Preserves’ link.

Coast to Coast Walk, Auckland

There are coast-to-coast walks in various places in the world, but perhaps only in Auckland can you walk coast to coast and never leave the city. New Zealand’s largest city sprawls across an isthmus – the narrowest part of the country – and the Coast to Coast Walk spans just 16km (10 miles) from one bit of salt water to another: the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea. The walk begins in Viaduct Harbour, by the city centre, and passes through the city, suburban streets and parklands, and by five ancient volcanoes, before ending in the suburb of Onehunga, on Manukau Harbour.

Walk information and maps are available on the Auckland Council website (www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz); follow the ‘Parks & Facilities’ link.

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat is hard to overlook. The rough lump of volcanic rock – Edinburgh’s highest point – looms above the city like a counterpoint to the crag supporting Edinburgh Castle. Taking time to explore Holyrood Park, the former royal park around Arthur’s Seat, you’ll walk 8km, which can stretch into hours, as there’s lots to see. From the lookout, there are views over the Scottish capital and along the Salisbury Crags, a line of cliffs across an adjoining spur.

Begin the walk in the Holyrood car park on Queen’s Dr, behind the Scottish Parliament building.

Hong Kong Trail, Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Trail is one of four long-distance hikes in the city – not bad for one of the most densely populated places on earth. The path snakes around Hong Kong Island, covering 50km from Victoria Peak and its cracking views of Victoria Harbour to Tai Long Wan, a beautiful surf beach on the east coast. Effectively you’ll be walking from the island’s highest point to its lowest. The trail is divided into eight sections, some of which can be combined to turn the trail into a three- or four-day hike.

Take the Peak Tram to reach the starting point on Victoria Peak; the return from Tai Long Wan is by bus and MTR metro.

Travelers | The Longest Way – Christoph Rehage

The Longest Way 1.0 – walk through China and grow a beard! – TIMELAPSE from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo.

Christoph Rehage walked through China in 2008. This is what he says about it:

- I never finished my original goal of walking to Germany. Instead, I walked for a year and roughly 4500km, passed the Gobi desert, and then decided to stop walking for now.

- All of the distance from Beijing to Ürümqi was completed solely on foot, straight good old walking. There are instances where you can see me in the video sitting on a plane or riding a boat, but those are during breaks I had to take from walking, either to sort out bureaucracy issues or to take care of some personal things.

- I had been planning this trip for over a year before I even started, and getting as far as I got was an experience for which I am very grateful.

- Obtaining the necessary visa for a trip like this was not very easy, hence I had to go back to Beijing a few times to resolve some issues.

- This is not a strict “1 pic a day” video, because I wanted to make it a bit more alive by adding some additional movement. Sometimes during the film you would follow me turn around, or something would happen in the background. I tried to capture these moments to make the video more interesting.

Add him on FB: facebook.com/crehage

Or drop by on his blog: thelongestway.com

Places | Red Beach, Peru

Paracas Peru is a paradise of unrivaled beauty, the wild and harsh surroundings of its National Reserve will supply its visitors with untouched beaches and windswept dunes.

While the main purpose of the Reserve is to preserve the sea ecosystem and the place’s historical heritage, a visit to the park will certainly include a litany of magnificent scenery and sites. Perhaps one of the most spectacular views is that of the colony of pink flamingos. While getting too close to them isn’t possible the view of these beautiful pink birds will be sure to create the perfect photo opportunity.

A trip to Paracas must undoubtedly include a visit to Playa Roja, or the Red Beach, The reddish rocks and red cliffs, created by the pebbles, which end up on Playa Roja, due to the erosion of cliffs, is sure to be a sight you will not easily forget.

EDU | Earth’s Water Cycle

Every traveler should know at least something not only about the country or a place he visits, but also about the Earth. So please spend 5 minutes of your time between your travels to watch this educational video about Earth’s water cycle. After all, it is your home.

Water is the fundamental ingredient for life on Earth. Looking at our Earth from space, with its vast and deep ocean, it appears as though there is an abundance of water for our use. However, only a small portion of Earth’s water is accessible for our needs. How much fresh water exists and where it is stored affects us all. This animation uses Earth science data from a variety of sensors on NASA Earth observing satellites as well as cartoons to describe Earth’s water cycle and the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth.


Sensors on a suite of NASA satellites observe and measure water on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere. These measurements are important to understanding the availability and distribution of Earth’s water — vital to life and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on a growing world population.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11054

Most Peaceful Countries in the World

1. DENMARK

Denmark tops the list of the most peaceful countries on Earth since it’s really a safe place to live. Even while Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, was under occupation by the Nazis during the World War II, it still did not fight. The point is that people living in Denmark prefer to focus on economic matters, instead of involving themselves in various armed conflicts. Danish people are very friendly, open and helpful.

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2. NORWAY

Many people do not expect Norway to appear in the list of the most peaceful countries in the world. Perhaps, this is because of Anders Behring Breivik, mass murderer, who hit the pride of the country hard. Sure, it was an extraordinary incident, but according to the Global Peace Index Norway is one of the world’s most peaceful countries and friendly and safe place to live. Norway is the country with the highest level of human development in the globe, plus, the government of Oslo always places peace at the forefront of the priorities of the country.

3. SINGAPORE

As an active member of the international community and, overall, a small nation, Singapore can never take its right to exist and security for granted. Since achieving its independence in 1965 as a sovereign Republic, Singapore has always concentrated on being a great neighbor, through establishing social, peaceful, economic, cordial political relations with all countries. The country has worked with the United Nations and its supporting agencies on a great variety of efforts. It also participates in various global, unilateral and multilateral organizations to promote international cooperation, including WTO (World Trade Organization). Singapore is among the most peaceful countries in the world as well as one of the world’s wealthiest countries. The homicide and violent crime rates are lower than the criminal rates.

4. SLOVENIA

A beautiful European country, Slovenia is also among the most peaceful countries in the world. The country got its lowest marks in funding for the United Nations peacekeeping missions, number of police and security officers, level of perceived criminality in society, number of organized internal conflicts, violent protests, and number of internal and external wars fought. I agree with the Global Peace Index and believe that Slovenia deserves its place in the list of the most peaceful countries on Earth. Moreover, with its wonderful cities like Maribor and Ljubljana teeming with unique culture, Slovenia is a fantastic travel destination.

The 10 most and least expensive cities in the world

…just so you can plan your travels wisely!

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Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures

The historic town of Samarkand, located in a large oasis in the valley of the Zerafshan River, in the north-eastern region of Uzbekistan, is considered the crossroads of world cultures with a history of over two and a half millennia. Evidence of settlements in the region goes back to 1500 BC, with Samarkand having its most significant development in the Temurid period, from the 14th to the 15th centuries, when it was capital of the powerful Temurid realm.

Man_at_Registan_-_Samarkand_-_15-10-2005

The historical part of Samarkand consists of three main sections. In the north-east there is the site of the ancient city of Afrosiab, founded in the 7th century BC and destroyed by Genghis Khan in the 13th century, which is preserved as an archaeological reserve. Archaeological excavations have revealed the ancient citadel and fortifications, the palace of the ruler (built in the 7th century displays important wall paintings), and residential and craft quarters. There are also remains of a large ancient mosque built from the 8th to 12th centuries.

Samarkand

To the south, there are architectural ensembles and the medieval city of the Temurid epoch of the 14th and 15th centuries, which played a seminal role in the development of town planning, architecture, and arts in the region. The old town still contains substantial areas of historic fabric with typical narrow lanes, articulated into districts with social centres, mosques, madrassahs, and residential housing. The traditional Uzbek houses have one or two floors and the spaces are grouped around central courtyards with gardens; built in mud brick, the houses have painted wooden ceilings and wall decorations.  The contribution of the Temurid masters to the design and construction of the Islamic ensembles were crucial for the development of Islamic architecture and arts and exercised an important influence in the entire region, leading to the achievements of the Safavids in Persia, the Moghuls in India, and even the Ottomans in Turkey.

Registan_-_Samarkand_-_15-10-2005

To the west there is the area that corresponds to the 19th and 20th centuries expansions, built by the Russians, in European style. The modern city extends around this historical zone. This area represents traditional continuity and qualities that are reflected in the neighbourhood structure, the small centres, mosques, and houses. Many houses retain painted and decorated interiors, grouped around courtyards and gardens.

The major monuments include the Registan mosque and madrasahs, originally built in mud brick and covered with decorated ceramic tiles, the Bibi-Khanum Mosque and Mausoleum, the Shakhi-Zinda compound, which contains a series of mosques, madrasahs and mausoleum, and the ensembles of Gur-Emir and Rukhabad, as well as the remains of Ulugh-Bek’s Observatory.

Books | Travels with My Hat by Christine Osborne

Today is really easy to be a tourist. Just go into any tourist agency in the world, say your destination and go. To be a traveler is a little bit harder, but imagine how it was hard to be a traveler before all the technology and information available in just a second.

How it was before (were they the good old days?) you can find out in the book “Travels with My Hat” by Christine Osborne.

It is the story of how an Australian nurse switched from regimented hospital routine to become an award-winning travel writer and photographer. It is a colourful record of her experiences defined by travel and frequently against all odds.

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‘We don’t know who you are,’ she was told on arrival in London in 1974. ‘To get a name here, you need to write a book.’ Which is what she did. Publication of The Gulf States & Omanin 1977 brought commissions on the Middle East. Books followed on Jordan and Pakistan. In 1979 she was accredited to the Buckingham Palace press corps  to cover Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s historic tour of Arabia.The Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein invited her to Baghdad in 1981. Her experiences in Iraq, Ethiopia, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Morocco and other exotic places, are rounded off with letters to her mother who had never left Australia.We join Christine foiling bandits in Yemen, dining with skeikhs in Dubai, and feeling the breath of death on top of the spiral minaret in Samarra, in a racy account of her adventures when only one of a thousand and one problems, was that she was a western woman freelancing her own.

 

zambia2b2b_cosborne_s-luangwa_19942Born in Sydney, Australia, Christine Osborne is an award winning journalist and photographer who has contributed to many prominent newspapers and magazines. First leaving the then cloistered shores of Australia in the 1960s, she came to prominence in 1970 when she received the Pacific Area Travel Writers’ award for articles on south-east Asia written for “Signature”, the Diners Club magazine in Melbourne.

For many decades Osborne explored the Middle East and Africa from her base in London. Following publication of The Gulf States & Oman in 1977, she fulfilled writing and photographic commissions throughout the East. Her haunting pictures of starving children taken during the devastating Ethiopian droughts of the 1970s were published in a number of European newspapers, including The Times.

One of her many assignments was interviewing Joy Adamson, the Lion Woman, in Kenya in 1973. In 1979 Osborne was the only woman photographer accredited to the Buckingham Palace press corps to cover Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s historic tour of the Arab States. The Queen of Jordan wrote the introduction to her second book, An Insight and Guide to Jordan.

Osborne saw many of the world’s most pristine places before the advent of mass tourism, her ground breaking work taking her to many of the world’s most beautiful and dangerous places. In 1981 she travelled to Iraq, invited to Baghdad by the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein. An intrepid traveller throughout her career, Osborne has spent a lifetime on the road. She has written fifteen books and  hundreds of articles, including on Pakistan, Morocco, Thailand, Malaysia, Oman and the Seychelles and Comoros islands in the Indian Ocean.

Her self published book about her unique experiences is published in Australia as a paperback.

To order via Paypal visit: www.travelswithmyhat.com.

E-book will be available in February. Christine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mudskipper

Places | Emerald Cave, Colorado River in Black Canyon, Arizona

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The Black Canyon of the Colorado is the canyon on the Colorado River where Hoover Dam was built. The canyon is located on the Colorado River at the state line between Nevada and Arizona. The

western wall of the gorge is in the El Dorado Mountains, and the eastern wall is in the Black Mountains of Arizona. The canyon formed about 15 million years ago during the Miocene Basin and Range uplift. Black Canyon gets its name from the black volcanic rocks that are found throughout the area.

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