After my rather quaint and leisurely scenic boat ride through Winter Park, a rather different boating experience was in store for me: a high speed airboat ride through Lake Tohopekaliga, provided by Boggy Creek Airboat Rides.We got started early in the morning and took the first tour out. The temperature must have been about 45 degrees Fahrenheit or so, and in wise anticpation we both wore our Canadian winter jackets. Good thing, because it gets pretty darn cold zooming along at high speed on the airboats.We were the first ride out of the gate, and fortunately we were provided with white blankets which kept us reasonably warm. Off we went on our 6-passenger airboat, exploring the coastline of Lake Tohopekaliga, getting a glimpse at various types of wetland birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, egrets and cranes that live here in the Central Florida Everglades. The name of the lake means "sleeping tiger" and it extends over 11,968 acres.Our captain, "big and beefy Chad", took us around to give us an idea of an authentic Florida lake experience. At one point he drove the airboat onto land and got out of the boat to take a picture of us. After the picture he really cranked it up as he went northwards on Lake Toho. At the northern end of the tour he took us into some sidearms of the lake where we got see the marshy wetlands up close. On the way back he took his foot off the brake and firmly put it on the gas pedal. He mentioned that airboats can reach speeds up to 65 miles per hour, I think we must have been pretty close. He even did some gentle turns with the boat which turned into an exhiliarating high-speed slalom experience for all us in the boat.I looked over at my husband, and he had a strange smile on his face. After the ride was finished he admitted that he was really scared, for one thing he doesn't swim and he was worried about exiting our high-speed vessel. But not to worry, Chad brought us back safely, and I for one, being a bit of a high-speed freak myself, was glowing with the experience - I truly had a blast!According to Michelle Peters, who works at Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, the company was founded by her sister and brother-in-law, Margie and Chris Long, in 1994 and operation was started with one 6-passenger airboat. Today, the Boggy Creek Airboat Rides are among the top 10 Orlando attractions according to the Orlando Business Journal. The company now has eight 18-passenger boats and two 6-passenger boats.The company is AAA approved and all of its captains are Master Captains who have to undergo a one-year apprenticeship. The Coast Guard does surprise inspections to ensure compliance with all safety regulations. Michelle also mentioned that the Water Management Authority uses their airboats because they virtually float on the water and are less invasive to plant and wildlife than regular propeller driven boats.In addition, the company has added swamp buggy rides to their offerings about 4 months ago. The swamp buggy was completely custom built by a company that regularly builds monster trucks. We entered this monster vehicle from its rear end over a ramp and started our swamp buggy tour.Chad, being the all-round talented individual that he is, also took us out on the swamp buggy, this custom-built monster contraption. We went through some solar-powered remote controlled gates onto a working cattle ranch. Florida actually still has a pretty sizeable cattle industry, and the historic term for Florida cowboys actually is "cow men".On our swamp buggy ride we saw a variety of wildlife, including cattle and some awefully cute baby cows. We also caught a glimpse of the very tail end of an alligator, who was doing its best to hide itself under the leafy vegetation surrounding a little pond. We also saw some deer and a whole range of different birds, including the tall sandhill cranes who seem to be totally unafraid of human beings. The ground was pretty wet in some areas, and I was amazed that our vehicle was capable of plowing through all the muck - we even crossed a river!Boggy Creek Airboat Rides and Swamp Buggy Tours is a great family outing, and the high-speed experience will even soothe teenagers' cravings for high adrenaline fun. Airboat tours are generally half an hour long, are offered every half hour and don't require reservations. In the summer, the company offers night rides that are an hour long. Michelle mentioned that on one of the night tours last summer she saw 17 alligators, who are nocturnal creatures and come out in full force at night time.Well, we didn't really get a good view of any alligators, but the combination of airboat ride and swamp buggy tour really kick-started our engines for the day!For the entire article including photos please visithttp://www.travelandtransitions.com/stories_photos/orlando_boggy_creek.htm
In the first part of RV in Australia, I tried to give a sense of the country from a newly arrived road trave enthusiast's point of view.This time I will be looking at what you can expect to find if you rent a campervan, as we call them. There are two or three National companies, like Kea or Britz that rent these, with availability in all capital cities. There range includes two to six berth vehicles, with all supplies, such as cooking utensils, dishes bedlinen etc. These are roughly equivalent to what would be supplied in a vacation apartment if you stayed for a week.The vehicles are commonly Ford, Mazda or Volkswagen based, 4 or 6 cylinder turbodiesel with manual transmission. They include a 4x4 Land Cruiser conversion.The daily rate for a short term rental (less than 3 weeks) varies up to $300 Australian. (AU$1=US$0.75). Longer periods are slightly less. You will pay up to $345 for a full package with full insurance cover, plus "extras" like outside table and chairs.Even if there are only two people travelling, it is worth getting the 6-Berth for the extra space, plus no folding of seats etc.Many smaller companies serve local areas, for instance 4x4 safaris from Perth.The roads generally good quality on the main routes between capital cities, some of the minor routes can be less satisfactory, some still have no bitumen. A hazard on some long distance truck routes, in the Northern Territory especially, can be the Road Trains. These are large semis with two trailers. It is a good policy to keep out of their way! The drivers are very capable, but their vehicles can only be driven within their limits!Take heed of the long distances I mentioned in the first article. Often in 40+ degrees C (105+F) the hundreds of miles of straight road with a featureless landscape, although beautiful, can be mesmerising.Don't let all this put you off! This is a wonderful country, unlike anything you've experienced. You don't have to stray far from the big cities (Sydney 4 million Melbourne 3.5 etc). But it would be a shame if you missed it! After all, is New york City typical of the US? or London typical of England? Paris of France?I don't think so! Give it a go!
Internet has totally simplified everything that needs to be done to have a great vacation. From buying flight tickets to hotel bookings and even hiring a car, it can all be done online, in the comfort of your home. Nothing could be easier than this.The first thing to do before making the vacation reservation is to do your homework well. Study all the options and prices, compare all the data and ensure that you get the best bargain for cheap holidays. This is all just a click away on the net.Find out from family and friends who have made online reservations earlier about which sites to use. There are many dubious sites, which are but scams, so be careful. It is always advisable to use reputable sites like http://Expedia.com for all bookings, be it for air travel, hotels or even renting cars.You will need to plan ahead in order to make hotel and flight bookings online. Generally the hotels and airlines have policies of not accepting any bookings, which are made two or three days before the date that you need the reservation for.Travel sites often mention the price of tickets without adding on the tax, this can be misleading. So make sure you read the fine print before deciding.Generally you will receive an email confirming the order that you have placed online. This is important. In case you do not receive any confirmation, then you should check back with the vendor.When you booking online, make sure that you print everything. Generally websites give a web or email receipt for your purchase. It is prudent to save a copy of these just in case there is some mix up about your air or hotel booking.For those of you who prefer to personally confirm your reservations, it's quite all right to call a few days before the date for which you have reserved. All you need to do is give your confirmation number and may be a few other particulars for you to get a confirmation over the telephone.
Did you know that private jets are available for purchase in a timeshare-like arrangement? Its called fractional ownership. Fractional ownership of a private jet is now affordable even for small businesses and the upper middle class. The most well-known providers are NetJets, Flexjet, CitationShares, Flight Options, and Airsprint. NetJets is generally considered to be the leader of the pack.A five-year ownership agreement is required for "fractional ownership" in most "private jets" . A one-sixteenth fractional share (about fifty hours of flying time per annum) runs from US$400,000 and up.If you like to travel, fractional shares can save you money in many ways, believe it or not. In addition it can save you a lot of time, since flight times are shorter and theres no need to wait in line. To add to the convenience, private jets can land at many, many more airports than commercial flights, meaning that wherever you land is probably going to be not only closer to your final destination (reducing your ground transportation time) but less crowded as well. And since private jets dont have to follow rigid commercial schedules, you can arrange your trip more efficiently to eliminate unnecessary overnight stays and thus save money on hotel bills.Nevertheless, there are hidden costs. Fractional ownership requires the payment of steep monthly fees along with fuel charges, among other things. Accordingly, dont expect fractional ownership to directly save you money. But think about this - the comfort, convenience, and efficiency of a private jet will provide you with a host of indirect economic benefits since you can avoid delaying or canceling meetings, and you can arrive in at the top of your game in terms of physical and mental condition, you will be more effective in business endeavors such as negotiation, etc.Dont forget that fractional jet ownership is also a considerable investment, since an interest in a private jet can be bought and sold.
What is your idea of a safari?It will depend on how you interpret the word.Safari is a Swahili word that implies journey or travel. This typically means journey for survival's sake or travel to scour for areas of habitat. Nonetheless, since the earliest exploration of the African safaris and the inevitable bloom of the industry, safari became correlated with leisure travel amidst the wild. It may also be viewed as exploration of nature with the limit ascribing to the safaris alone.At a glance, safari may present endless arrays of wild creatures, some only having their residence in the safaris while many can be found in other locations like the jungles or the forests. Some 500+ birds are found in the safari, not to mention the insects, bugs and the preys and predators.Safari does not only have its focus on the wild. It mainly concerns culture and the interactions of people with the original settlers of the safaris- the lowly creatures.With these ideas established we can now decide on what safari decoration to use. Let us give our focus on a room them.The target room for which the safari decorations will be used must be themed primarily with woods or savanna concepts. The wallpapers or the wall paints can appear in shades of cream with touches of high grasses or visions of trees. It may also be that some display of safari activities is seen on the wall. However, be keen not to over-emphasize the decorations.Now, on your furniture. Having a safari themed room would be more expensive than having it plain and conventional. Nonetheless, safari decorations are relatively more appreciated since they offer novelty and uniqueness. You may start with your wood furniture.There are many resources where you may find concepts of safari furniture. One of which may be of tribal theme. But you may choose to have it simple with the use of plain wood home furnishings.The key in safari decorations is to make every idea connected with the big picture. If you have wood furnishings then you might as well accessorize them with articles that you have bought from your recent safari trip. However, if you have nothing of these stuffs, you may choose to seek items from local home furnishing shops.On top of these, add a touch of Africa with a painting that depicts the life found naturally in its realms. There are many concepts to choose from. Only, secure to it that all will merge as one big concept once you're done with decorating your room.