Welcome to Travel-enz

Fifty countries and many reasons to travel

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Today we often want to take time out to recreate ourselves,  or to see how the other half lives.  Unfortunately the world is becoming smaller as we communicate and travel with greater ease than ever before.

Our information is a summary of the countries listed with note of health, safety and places you should not go without specialist knowledge and local contacts.

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Moscow

Russia’s Administrative Capital

spsq

Central Moscow with Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Spasskaya Clocktower

The political, economic, cultural and scientific centre of Russia and one of the most important cities in Eurasia.

Reputed as being one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia.

It is one of the world’s most populated inland cities that’s well known for its unique architecture, historic buildings like Saint Basil’s Cathedral and it is one of the greenest capitals of the world with an urban forest in an area within the city boundary.

Almost everyone takes a walk through Red Square to see the Spasskaya Clocktower and that famous space, it separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and the official residence of the Russian President from the historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow, because Moscow’s main streets originate from the square.

Other city sights include St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour; Poklonnaya Hill, the Moscow Monorail, Kolomenskoye; a former royal estate situated several kilometres to the south-east of the Moscow’s city centre.

Fashion is important to Muscovites and there are strong fashion trends and fashion weeks in march. Moscow also has a very upmarket club scene, but be warned the best clubs a very expensive, but this is a large city and there is something for everyone and every budget.

The popular Russian band Viagra although they have been around for a few years now are characteristic of the glamorous Russian party scene.

If you’re visiting Russia alone and want some company, you can find dates for pleasure or more serious relationships.

The Central Museum of the Air Forces at Monino, Russia is located approximately 38 kilometers (24 miles) from Moscow along the Gorky Highway

The Central Museum of the Air Forces at Monino, Russia is located approximately 38 kilometres (24 miles) from Moscow along the Gorky Highway. Please note that there is no guarantee the museum will be open to drop in. It’s best to phone first:+7 495 526-33-27 or ask your hotel concierge if you don’t speak Russian.  A Ruptly Photo

Dismantling Nations

The climate of change

Street fractured in Christchurch earthquakes

Street fractured in Christchurch earthquakes

Global warming is no longer a fiction, it is a fact which means that one must be pragmatic in one’s life and also when making travel plans. Most of the Middle East is no longer a good travel destination due to the conflicts, but the rest of the world is becoming more dangerous due to mankind’s impact on earth.

Volcanic eruptions, super storms and earthquakes have been more frequent in recent years. There has been loss of life in China, Pakistan, New Zealand, Ecuador and other countries due to the earthquakes. Volcanoes are not quite so bad as for the moment they seem to be happening and more out of the way places like Iceland and Chile.

Earthquakes can strike almost anywhere at any time, but they are more common around the Pacific rim. The other aspect of earthquakes as we saw in Indonesia and Japan was the following tsunamis.

When we are travelling, there is a greater need to be more mindful of where you are travelling to and the possible risks. Below is a summary of the New Zealand earthquakes and if you scroll down the page, there is the predicted shape of the New World when this cycle of global change is over.

More on the Christchurch earthquakes

The details
Theory
Richter_magnitude_scale
The Moon Man
A scientific educational paper
International Seismic Monitor

A Possible Future – Participate in and End of Days story as the earth changes as in the video below.

MICHAEL SCALLION’S – FUTURE WORLD MAP
New Zealand expands.. some maybe..
The well known and respected psychic Edgar Casey had a similar prediction.

A list of significant earthquakes in New Zealand but not counting the thousands below magnitude 5.

22 July 2013
M 5.2 aftershock near Seddon, off the coast of Marlborough

21 July 2013
M 6.5 off the coast near Seddon, off the coast of Marlborough which caused some damage to Wellington

22 February 2011
M 6.3, Christchurch, a major earthquake centred south of the city; severe damage and casualties occurred.

4 September 2010
M 7.1, Darfield (Canterbury), caused severe building damage in mid-Canterbury, particularly to the city of Christchurch.

15 July 2009
M 7.8, Dusky Sound, This earthquake in Fiordland was New Zealand’s largest for nearly 80 years.

20 December 2007
M 6.7, Gisborne, This offshore event caused buildings to collapse in the Gisborne CBD.

16 October 2007
M 6.7, George Sound, Fiordland was shaken once again by a large earthquake centred off the coast of the South Island.

8 July 2004
M 5.4, Lake Rotoma, This earthquake shook up the Bay of Plenty area in July 2004.

22 August 2003
M 7.2, Fiordland, This severe earthquake generated over 200 landslides and several small-scale tsunami on the South Island’s west coast.

10 August 1993
M 6.8, Secretary Island, The 1993 Secretary  Island (Fiordland) earthquake was reportedly felt as far away as Sydney, Australia.

13 May 1990
M 6.4, Weber II, This earthquake was the second large shock to strike the Weber region in 1990, occurring 12 weeks after its predecessor.

10 February 1990
M 5.9, Lake Tennyson, This earthquake occurred in North Canterbury near Lake Tennyson.

4 June 1988
M 6.7, Te Anau, The earthquake that shook Te Anau in June 1988 triggered numerous landslides, and cut the power to some southern towns.

2 March 1987
M 6.5, Edgecumbe, The shallow origin of this earthquake made it very destructive.

15 December 1983
M 5.1, Waiotapu 27 kilometres (20 minutes drive) south of Rotorua.

6 October 1980
M 5.6, Napier/Taradale.

5 December 1976
M 5.1, Waikato near Korakonui.

24 May 1968
M 7.1, Inangahua, caused widespread damage and was felt over much of the country.

23 April 1966
M 5.8, Seddon,

16 October 1848
M 7.4 – 7.7, Marlborough,  the largest in a series of earthquakes to hit the region that year.

2 August 1942
M 7.0, Wairarapa II, almost as severe as the disastrous June 24 earthquake five weeks earlier.

24 June 1942
M 7.2, Wairarapa causing extensive damage to local buildings.

5 March 1934
M 7.6, Horoeka (Pahiatua),

3 February 1931
M 7.8, Hawke’s Bay causing the largest loss of life and most extensive damage of any quake in New Zealand’s recorded history.

17 June 1929
M 7.8, Buller – Murchison

9 March 1929
M 7.1, Arthur’s Pass

1 September 1888
M 7.0 – 7.3, North Canterbury

19 October 1868
M 7.2 – 7.6, Cape Farewell

23 January 1855
M 8.2 – 8.3, Wairarapa,  the most severe earthquake to have occurred in New Zealand since systematic European colonisation began in 1840.

Christchurch renewing

Four years on

Street fractured in Christchurch earthquakes

Street fractured in Christchurch earthquakes

After the city of Christchurch was almost completely destroyed by earthquakes in December 2010 and February 2011, the city is beginning to find its feet.

While a great many homeowners are still battling with the insurance companies and living in broken homes, a major building boom is underway in central city re-establishing shops and mauls to replace the temporary shopping precinct made up of shipping containers.

Being a joint host of the cricket World Cup is a test of the city’s resources, but it seems to be coping quite well one of the ongoing daily problems in the city’s traffic. As so many businesses and shops relocated away from the city centre, all the traffic flows have changed and its not uncommon to take half an hour to travel one or two km.

The other side of this of course is that there was still a great deal of roadwork ongoing as underground services are repaired or replaced like water and sewerage supplies.

theatreroyal

The newly restored Theatre Royal

Another side to change is the general escalation in prices. While food prices seem relatively unchanged, it seems that everything else has increased exponentially and residents are complaining of graft and corruption.

On a more positive note, historic buildings like the Theatre Royal are nearing completion and the cities tourist tram is once again operating, and these features are helping to restore a sense of normality although it will be many years before the city is fully functioning as it should.

As a destination, many of the cities attractions are up and running and crush it still remains the best jumping off point to tour the South Island.

City tram before the earthquakes. All but the back right building have gone from this image and the city features many small grassy spaces where building and even entire block existed.

City tram before the earthquakes. All but the back right building have gone from this image and the city features many small grassy spaces where building and even entire block existed.

Cuba

Ye Olde Island Paradise

What are you waiting for?

150 km south of Florida lies the island nation of Cuba. It is classified as a communist nation and for over 40 years it has been blockaded by the United States of America because it would not acquiesce to United States political and economic policies.

Cuba’s primary exports are Doctors and healthcare services along with tobacco products. It is interesting that while Cuba exports doctors and healthcare services to countries in need, it is classified as a terrorist country by the United States which in itself is currently engaged in more than 150 conflicts all around the world and is responsible for the deaths of many millions of people.

The nation of Cuba comprises the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is the capital of Cuba and its largest city. The second-largest city is Santiago de Cuba.

Cuba is transforming

Ancient cars and pretty girls are one of Cuba’s hallmarks

Before the United States embargo which isolated Cuba economically and socially from the rest of the world, Cuba was party Central in the Caribbean for the United States most rich and famous. Havana was infamous for its nightlife and entertainment that was more risque than permitted in the northern part of the continent.

The embargo and blockade by the United States severely access and trade to and from Cuba, his best trading partner became Venezuela although Cuban cigars are famous worldwide.

As a result of this embargo, the growth and development of materialism ground to a halt and the infrastructure again to decay. In the latter years Cuba became uniquely famous because it’s vehicle fleet until now has being made up of 1940s and 50s American cars. However now that trade restrictions have eased a little, modern Japanese cars are making an appearance on Cuba’s roads.

Old paint continues to peel off old city buildings, however there are splashes of newness and restoration beginning to appear as remittance money from Cubans working overseas as well as a new openness to business in Cuba is allowing individuals to begin to prosper.

Most Western governments derided Cuba for as political ideology, however despite all the sanctions, all the economic and social isolation forced on the country, there is sufficient food and no one goes hungry and as well as this, Cuba has free education for every child and free healthcare for every citizen.

Although they lacked many modern educational tools, the Cuban people are well educated and the healthcare system is rated the highest of most countries. In fact the healthcare system is so good that people from nearby countries will go to Cuba for medical treatments if they can afford it. The medical treatments themselves are very inexpensive, it is simply the airfare that stops people from going.

Caban beach front

The Cuban economy is largely based on agriculture and fisheries, but tourism has been steadily growing as people found their way around the American blockade. Now that Barack Obama has softened the rules, more Americans will be making Cuba a holiday destination.

Travel is going to Cuba today love its honest simplicity, the Caribbean climate and the friendliness of the people. The Cuban people are poor by international standards and love imported things, therefore tourists need to take the usual precautions and not overtly display their wealth else they might lose it.

The tourist hotels are more than adequate and comfortable, but the more intrepid tourist might find themselves staying with families and getting to know the local culture.

Entertainment

Independent Journalist
Abby Martin
In Cuba

There are some great nightclubs in Havana with bachata, salsa, merengue and reggaeton and charming teachers if you need lessons.

Get out and meet the people, partly because of the heat many people socialise outdoors and most groups are happy to welcome smiling strangers, but it helps if you speak the language, even just a little.

Great beach’s, swimming and diving

Don’t forget your bathers or you can buy them there.  Nudism is illegal in Cuba but tolerated on some beaches.  But when you’re in someone else’s country, mindfulness and good behaviour takes you more into the hearts of the people. Most naturalists go to Cayo Largo.

Australia in Perspective

Behind the news

When the English took up residence in Australia, the country was already fully occupied by those who we call Aboriginal inhabitants. The Aboriginals assisted those first explorers to survive and what are vastly different conditions to the UK.

That once the Europeans began to get themselves established, the aboriginal landowners were suddenly a problem and a carefully calculated extermination program began.

Part of the program was easy, something providing the native Australian peoples with disease infested clothing and blankets and other means of exposure to the common European diseases resulted in a heavy toll of life amongst the native peoples.

Image of Australian native territories prior to European settlement. Image courtesy of Beth Muldoon

Apart from a small number of native Australians who managed to cross from Tasmania to the mainland, the entire Tasmanian native population was exterminated under the colonial genocidal policy driven by greed and the land itself was carved up and given to the friends of the administrators.

Of course Australia is most famously known as being Britain’s largest penal colony and many thousands of convicts were sent there to fulfil their sentence. Remember that in Britain in those times, one to be imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread and this was a time when the Industrial Revolution was taking off and the new machines were rapidly replacing workers who were left with nothing and if they wanted to survive, some low-level crime was their only option.

These cruel social policies were also exported to Australia and […]

Filipinos can Sing

The Filipino industry of sound

Music and song is culturally endemic and for many career minded Filipino’s, a good voice can launch a great career.

The Aegis Band performing in Christchurch, New Zealand 31-01-15 Charice Pempengco; a child star who’s reputation soared after her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show. Pinikpikan Butanding

Consequently almost every Filipino learns to sing from a young age and for many it represents a pathway out of poverty. Whe you’re touring the country, there’s music everywhere and people either singing along or wowing the performer.

It’s hard to believe that many girls who are scarcely five feet tall can hit and hold those high notes that many singers can only dream of. Charice Pempengco blew the world away with her high notes and flawlewss renditions of hits by Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Celine Dion.

The lead vocalists in the Aegis band have powerful voices that can send nice shivers down your spine. The Aegis band is a family affair from the Southern Philippines. They are a family band and are one of the better know groups who have toured internationally. They perform a mix of their own work, traditional songs and popular covers. Aegis greatest Hits on youtube.

One of my favourite bands is Pinikpikan, a band sarcastically named after Pinikpikan which is a cruel method of killing and cooking chicken. There is a wide selection of their music on youtube as is everyone else’s. Pinikpikan however embrace Phillipine tribal music and present it as a mix […]

Dengue Fever

A Disease in what should be paradise

The dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day.

Dengue is a relatively new mosquito-borne viral disease endemic to more than 120 countries throughout Latin America, the Pacific and Asia. It is spreading rapidly and you need to be aware as you travel. It is also spreading in the USA.

Nicknamed breakbone fever, dengue can be extremely painful and debilitating flu-like illness that can lead to life-threatening complications such as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). The disease is caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus. Infection provides lifelong immunity against the infecting sterotype but not the other three.

Encouragingly, the number of deaths due to dengue is falling due to better clinical management and the implementation of PAHO/WHO guidelines.

A personal experience

Hello, in most descriptions of dengue, the information speaks of painful symptoms, however I had none. Here’s what happened to me.

Despite that I thought I was taking reasonably good precautions, I personally had the misfortune to contract Dengue fever on a holiday in the Philippines in 2012. I later calculated that I may have been bitten by a mosquito when visiting a fish farm with city officials and symptoms became apparent about two weeks later. The only symptom I felt was that of a sense of languor which I put down to the tropical climate and laid back lifestyle, however my family suggested that I looked unwell.

I began to feel a little weaker than normal and as […]

Colorado

Left of centre

Colorado WeedImage by WeedPornDaily

Colorado is located in the Western United States where Rocky Mountain high recently took on a new meaning. You may think of the song by John Denver, but no; the referral here is to Colorado’s new status as the mile high state which should also not be confused mile high club.

The mile high club of course is a reference to people who have enjoyed the pleasure of sex on an aircraft in flight, the mile high state is a reference to Colorado’s legalisation of marijuana or cannabis.

Before continuing, lets remember that marijuana was made illegal back in the 1930s. The reason for it being made illegal was nothing to do with human health or risks of its mildly euphoric effects. Marijuana is another name for hemp, a plant that has traditionally been used for making ropes, building materials, medicines and to a lesser extent, recreational highs.

Cannabis plantby Stoners Euphoria

The hemp plant can also be processed to produce oil and plastics, and the bodies of Henry Ford’s first cars were made from hemp plastic. This is a very tough and durable material that can be composted at the end of its life. The oil and steel industries saw hemp as a threat to their business, they lobbied the government and had the plant declared illegal citing their fear of what it did to the people who consumed it.

Of course the people who consumed marijuana suffered few ill affects. Those who smoke the […]

Waiheke Island

Auckland’s disconnected paradise

Waiheke Island is a tranquil getaway from the hectic pace of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. There are ferries to and from the island leave about every half hour which makes it very accessible.  Most of the island is farmland and besides the café’s in the township of Oneroa, the main attraction is the ocean and the beaches.

If you are going there for a day trip, take your drinking water, food and sunscreen along with your beach gear.  While it is possible to charter your own boat, plane or helicopter most take the ferry from downtown Auckland or Devonport.

When you get off the ferry, you can hire a pushbike. There is a bike rental behind the car park adjacent to the ferry terminal and a car rental place a little further on but may take the bus the 1.6 kms into the village of Oneroa  where you can also buy anything you might have forgotten, or book some more adventurous recreation.

Oneroa Beach, that’s the main beach which is only a few minutes walk down from the Oneroa town centre.  This is a nice long sandy beach and the bay is generally filled with pleasure craft making for a picture perfect place to spend a lazy day. There are toilets and showers near the west end of the beach.

Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

If you need a rest from relaxing, you can go around or over the rocks at the east end of the beach.  This takes you onto Little Oneroa beach that has a kids play area […]

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the worlds wonders and a must see on any American tour. The Grand Canyon is a great chasm carved by the Colorado River cutting through the Colorado Plateau which is slowly rising as the Earths crust changes.

The most popular view points are from the South Rim which is some 7000 feet/2134 m above sea level and often hidden from view 5000 feet or 1524 metres below the rim or the canyon the turbulent Colorado River is popular for white water rafting. On foot it is a two-day hike down to the river and back from the South Rim although you can take a tour by mule.

It’s a longer trip from the North Rim and you can to drive to the Colorado River at Lees Ferry which is the official beginning of the Grand Canyon near Marble Canyon which is a 2.5 hour drive from the South Rim.

It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those who explore the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of.

To see the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is an ideal starting point or the town of Page is on the north rim where you will find the ancestral home of the Puebloans and Kaibab Paiute Indians and Pipe Spring National Monument which is worth a visit for it’s early explorer and Mormon pioneer history.