Tag Archives: Travel

Brazil’s new wildlife haven is revealed | Instant News

For the first time in Brazil, a project is unfolding that will reshape the narrative of South America’s wild space

CUpside down within the trunks of a fallen tree, roots stretched out like sunshine, Gaia flared like a fireball against her rosette-patterned skin – a moment of wild life that will forever burn in my memory. It was my third sighting of jaguars in just a few hours and, impressively, my guide knew the name of the usually shy big cat.

Ten years ago, definite sightings in Brazil’s Pantanal could not have happened. But thanks to the efforts of the non-governmental organization Oncafari, which borrows habituation techniques from South Africa to accustom animals to machine sounds, last year, 98 percent of guests at the Caiman Ecological Refuge saw at least one jaguar. Since 2011, sightings have increased from seven to 900 a year.

But keeping track of predator encounters is not Oncafari’s only achievement to date. He has spearheaded redevelopment projects (the subject of the BBC Attenborough documentary), educated the public about the benefits of ecotourism and purchased patches of pure forest for protection. Now his ambitions are growing, with projects to stunt even a collaboration with Sir David. In a year when conservation efforts have been hit hard by Covid-19 – resulting in dwindling funds, diverted attention, and a frustrating reversal of progress towards reducing waste – the team has done the unthinkable.

It has written a preface to environmental success stories that will reshape the narrative of South America’s wild space for generations to come – a project disclosed exclusively to The Daily Telegraph.

By joining forces with like-minded neighbors and securing investors to buy up the surrounding farmland, Caiman and Oncafari have secured land the size of Luxembourg as a protected zone, never to be divided or sold. The goal is to increase it to nearly 1.5 million hectares of pristine and untouched space, where rivers can flow, forests thrive and wildlife moves freely.

Caiman Ecological Refuge is a hub for wildlife enthusiasts

wolgang kaehler / getty images

“This is the first time in Brazil a group of people have come up with a conservation idea,” said Mario Haberfeld, a former Formula One test racer who quit his life on the track to found Oncafari. “This is a game changer. This will be Brazil’s largest private conservation initiative; who knows, maybe in the world. “

Located in the heart South America and shared between Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, the Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland and one of our most effective carbon sinks.

“People think it’s hot and full of flies,” a Brazilian naturalist once complained to me. Flies and other 4,700 species of plants and animals, make it one of the most diverse places on our planet. On various visits, I have seen giant pangolins walking through long grass, midnight tapirs feasting under mango trees, and roseate spoonbills coloring the river with their reflections.

Nearly 95 percent of the Brazilian Pantanal is privately owned by cattle breeders. Fences disrupt wildlife corridors, new developments risk leading to deforestation and the area is prone to forest fires – concerns that call for better management, improved local regulations and shared thinking.

Frustrated by a president who is muting the cries of conservationists and trying to weaken environmental protection laws, Brazilian activists such as Haberfeld and Roberto Klabin, the owners of Caiman, have taken matters into their own hands.

To ensure their new project is self-sustaining, they have certified the area for investment in carbon credits and are in talks with various partners about potential new ecotourism ventures. Not that money is their main motivation.

“This is the legacy we leave behind for the Pantanal,” said Haberfeld. “But it is also a conservation model for future generations. It proves there is a desire for people to protect nature; we just have to give them the right tools. “


Abercrombie & Kent (01242 547701; abercrombiekent.co.uk) offers three nights at Caiman and three nights at Cristalino Lodge from £ 6,500 per person based on two people sharing. Includes flights, accommodation and transfers.


image source

Castropignano: Italian village that sells houses for $ 1 | Instant News

(CNN) – You wait a while for a house that is practically given to you, and then three come at once.

Yes, the € 1 house in Italy is back – and this time, up for grabs is a collection of houses in the southern region of Molise.

Castropignano – a village with ruins of a medieval castle, 140 miles southeast of Rome – is the newest community to offer abandoned buildings to newcomers.

However, unlike most schemes, which auction off dilapidated buildings from € 1, or $ 1.20, Castropignano does things differently.

There are about 100 abandoned buildings here, but rather than selling to the highest bidder, mayor Nicola Scapillati wants to match interested parties with the right house for them.

“The scheme here works a little differently,” he said.

“I am moving on two parallel lines, reaching out to potential buyers and existing owners at the same time, step by step, to make demand meet supply.

“I don’t want my town to be overrun by property raids or turned into the latest speculation housing deal.”

Customized operation

The village is located in the Apennine Mountains

Bruno Sardella

In fact, instead of going through the authorities, Scapillati wants interested parties to email him directly.

“I welcome anyone looking to buy a new home here to email me directly (nicola.scapillati[AT]me.com) with a detailed plan of how they intend to change their style and what they want to do with the property – making it a home, B&B, shop, or craftsman shop.

“They should also list any requirements they may have, such as access for people with wheelchairs. The village is small and cars cannot pass narrow alleys and stairs.”

The more specific the request, the easier it is to find suitable housing and get in touch with the current owner.

“This is a targeted and tailored operation,” he added. “People need to know what they’re signing up for.”

So what’s the catch? Of course there are conditions. The buyer must renovate the property within three years of purchase and provide a guaranteed deposit of € 2,000 ($ 2,378), which will be returned upon completion of work.

Make the village safer

Castropignano sells houses from 1 euro

The owners have been told to renovate their abandoned home, or the council will take it away

Nicola Scapillati

The project was launched in October, when authorities notified owners of abandoned properties that if they didn’t renovate themselves, the city would take ownership for safety reasons.

So far, many owners have agreed to give up their property, because wanting to release the house will cost money to demolish.

Scapillati is confident that at least 50 people will join. Otherwise, the city council will take over the homes of those who don’t respond and put them on the market.

Meanwhile, dozens of interested people from Europe have contacted him, asking to buy a house. And he hopes that, with their help, the village will not only regain its joie de vivre, but also become safer.

“It pains me to see the beauty of our ancient historical center which is filled with houses that are collapsing, slowly decaying,” said the mayor.

“It’s sad and dangerous. Without renovation, these buildings are a threat. They can collapse at any time – it’s also a matter of keeping the village safe.”

Scapillati – whose family emigrated to work in Italy’s richer north – felt the pull of her adult origins. He is back on a mission to preserve the village’s architecture, hoping to keep their traditions going.

“I want to stop the descent of the track, keep the village fire alive. I am driven by passion and love for my hometown,” he said.

And while Castropignano isn’t a bustling place – it only has one restaurant, bar, pharmacy and a few B & Bs – he thinks it has a sleepy appeal.

“Here we have nothing extraordinary to offer except peace, silence, pristine nature, oxygen-rich air, beautiful scenery and excellent food, ideal for removing toxins from everyday stress. It’s not about life, all I have to say, but it is peaceful and simple “, he added.

Today, there are only 900 residents, down from 2,500 in the 1930s. After World War II, many families emigrated in search of a better future; then, from the 1960’s, young people began to move to big cities to study and find work.

Currently, 60% of the population is over 70 years old.

The starry past

Castropignano sells houses from 1 euro

‘Dodda’, or the annual dowry festival

Nicola Scapillati

But Scapillati wanted to restore a past glory when Castropignano became a thriving feudal center with craftsmen, merchants and travelers crossing Italy, protected by powerful dukes. In fact, this village was once famous for its shoemakers and shoemakers.

Situated on a rocky hilltop in Italy’s central Apennine mountains, Castropignano was built on top of the ancient settlement of the Samnites, the ancient Italians, who used them as defensive scouts against the Romans – who eventually defeated them.

The Samnites built forts and settlements in the surrounding countryside. In the valley below the village, next to the ruins of an ancient Roman villa is a large stone monument built by the Samnites. Half an hour to the south are the magnificent ruins of Saepinum, a city founded by the Samnites and later taken over by the Romans, whose city walls, theaters, and temples still exist.

This is the deepest part of Molise, an Italian region largely unknown to tourists, situated east of Lazio and between Abruzzo and Puglia on the southern Adriatic coast.

The lack of visitors has helped preserve its rural authenticity, making Molise one of Italy’s best kept secrets.

Castropignano’s abandoned house is located in the historical center, atop a roofless medieval castle – it was bombed during the war and much of its stone was used to build the house which is now for sale.

A maze of winding and cobbled alleys, gargoyle-covered arches and passageways, connecting the castle to the upper layers of the village settlement.

Another group of homes for sale is in the cliff-top hamlet of Roccaspromonte, perched on a high cliff two miles away. Nearby is the Santuario della Madonna del Peschio, a ruined forest church now open with the sky as its roof and oaks as its walls.

The nuts and bolts

Castropignano sold the house for 1 euro

One resident said the stones “live” here

Bruno Sardella

So what’s up for grabs? Scapillati said that most of the buildings for sale were in decent condition, although they had doors that didn’t bend, peeled off paint and were partially covered with vegetation.

He argues that the complete renovation will start from around € 30,000-40,000 ($ 35,000-48,000). Italian taxpayers get a tax credit for eco-friendly and anti-seismic jobs.

But there is a lot of potential. The architecture is a juxtaposition of style – an ornate rich portal at the entrance to a simple cottage. And many houses have a see-through panoramic view of the Biferno river that flows through the valley.

Cecilia Vampa, a retiree from Rome who fell in love with Castropignano during her college days, has renovated several residences here. He said the rock was alive.

“There is poetry woven into it by sculpting it, through art and hard work. These stones tell a story, I fell in love with them. They arouse emotions.”

Vampa said he likes a simple community that is closely knit and welcoming to locals. In Castropignano, he said, he had found “the rural peace lost from his youth.”

Ghosts and parades

Castropignano sold the house for 1 euro

Molise is one of the most pristine regions of Italy

Bruno Sardella

Even today, the village seems to have gone back to its previous era. In the past, families would sleep upstairs while the kitchen and living room were on the second floor. Pets such as chickens and donkeys – the only means of transportation – are kept in cages on the ground floor.

Ancient herding trails for moving livestock between summer and winter pastures across villages – still used today for moving sheep and grazing cows, as well as bicycle tours, on foot, and on horseback.

And every summer, the villagers celebrate “Dodda” – the re-enactment of a custom whereby young girls getting married offer their dowries to their husbands. Women ready to tie the knot parade the streets in traditional white robes carrying baskets of linen, blankets and other bridal items made by their grandmothers. It is a symbolic gesture believed to bring good luck.

There is even a spooky story about a magical forest filled with dwarves and fairies who sing sad songs in the middle of the night.

Gastro food and beach retreats

Tremiti Island is within the reach of the village

Tremiti Island is within the reach of the village

Enit Photo Archive

Today, it is food that will persuade those on the fence to move to Castropignano. Local specialties include sausage soppressata stuffed with lard, cold cuts of meat and cotenna (pork rind) – said to give it an edge thanks to its fresh air.

Cavatelli is a pasta in the form of threads served with a pork sauce sauce, while ‘mbaniccia is a special soup cooked with corn “pizza” (stale slices of bread). The specialty cheese in the area is caciocavallo oozy, which is tied in a knot and strung from a rope, giving it a distinctive teardrop shape.

Premium black and white truffles are found in the surrounding countryside, while local vineyards produce Molise’s most famous red wine, Tintilia.

Have a sweet tooth? Get ready to indulge in savory jams, a Christmas cake filled with candied fruit called Pigna, and almond and honey biscuits for dipping in the wine.

Day trips to Rome and Naples are possible, as Castropignano lies between the two. The hotel is also within reach of the famous beaches on the Adriatic coast, as well as the snow-capped mountains of the Campitello Maltese ski resort. Ferries to the unspoiled island of Tremiti – a hotspot for Italian tourists – leave from Termoli, an hour’s drive.


image source

How border restrictions destroy interstate flights during the coronavirus pandemic | Instant News

It is one of the busiest – and most profitable – routes on the planet.

As of earlier this year, more than 90 minutes of air travel between Melbourne and Sydney had traveled than any other in the Western world, with an average of about 5,000 flights carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers between cities each month.

But that all changed in March, as travel became a potential public health hazard.

Within months, the country’s most popular airline route will be the route between Brisbane and Cairns, as Queenslanders seek an interstate holiday.

Other domestic routes among the most popular in the country during the pandemic are Sydney-Ballina for NSW and Perth-Karratha for WA.

Interstate routes across the country were destroyed.

But now, with national borders lifted and flights across the country continuing, airlines hope the increased travel ahead of Christmas will bring a taste of COVID-normal to the country’s skies.

When the sky becomes a dead zone

Data released by the Australian Government explains the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s domestic aviation industry through September.

In April – Australia’s first full month of coronavirus restrictions – the number of flights between Melbourne and Sydney plunged to 439 – less than 10 percent from previous months.

But even then the planes were flying empty, with an average of only 38 paying passengers per flight, compared to 153 per flight in January.

In a normal month, more than 2 million paying passengers will fly on Australia’s top 10 airline routes. At April’s nadir, that number was only 70,000.

In September, when the entire city of Melbourne was in stage four of the lockdown, the Melbourne-Sydney route was removed from its mantle as Australia’s most traveled, replaced by Brisbane-Cairns.

In fact, seven of the 10 most traveled air routes in September (last month data) did not cross national borders at all.

Most popular air routes in Australia, September 2020:

  1. 1.Brisbane, QLD – Cairns, QLD
  2. 2.Brisbane, QLD – Townsville, QLD
  3. 3.Brisbane, QLD – Mackay, QLD
  4. 4.Sydney, NSW – Melbourne, VIC
  5. 5.Brisbane, QLD – Sydney, NSW
  6. 6.Brisbane, QLD – Rockhampton, QLD
  7. 7.Perth, WA – Karatha, WA
  8. 8.Sydney, NSW – Ballina, NSW
  9. 9.Perth, WA –Broome, WA
  10. 10.Brisbane, QLD – Adelaide, SA

A spokesman for Virgin Australia said that by the middle of the year, the number of interstate flights served had shrunk to the point where domestic destinations were the most popular.

“As border restrictions remain in place for most states and territories in September, the most popular places for travel are mainly domestic destinations in Queensland, such as Cairns, Townsville and Mackay, as well as intras Western Australia, with Broome as the top destination in terms of this. state, “he said.

“Then in September, Adelaide also became popular when the borders of South Australia were relaxed.”

He said the upcoming opening of the Queensland border to Sydney and Victoria on Tuesday had created a surge in demand.

“We have seen very positive demand for travel between the capital and to popular holiday destinations such as Hamilton Island and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.”

Qantas wishes you a busy Christmas

Airline economist and UNSW professor Tim Harcourt said the domestic capital-to-capital route was critical to the airline’s profit.

“The temporary loss of Sydney and Melbourne due to COVID has become a major problem.

“We are not the largest airline nation, but the routes from Sydney to Melbourne, Sydney to Brisbane that generate the most money are airlines.

“[Qantas] lost a lot of money on international routes, but that’s enough to some degree in Sydney-Melbourne. ”

Qantas hopes to restore 60 percent of its operations before Christmas.(ABC News: John Gunn)

Last week, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline had seen a surge in bookings on the Sydney-Melbourne route since travel restrictions between Victoria and NSW were lifted.

“We see a massive demand has occurred,” he said.

The airline hopes that by Christmas it will operate at 60 percent of domestic capacity before the coronavirus.

“Then in the new year, we started to get closer to 100 percent,” said Joyce.

Professor Harcourt said while Christmas would give airlines a boost, it would be muted somewhat.

“People are not that interested in still flying. People who fly really have to, they have sick relatives or they have to work,” he said.

“They will not have a normal year but they will definitely do better than what they have done all year.”


image source

Prisoner Nyon | Deccan Herald | Instant News

Nyon, a beautiful city in Switzerland, about thirty kilometers from Geneva, was a Roman fortified city during the time of Julius Caesar. There are still remains of Roman colonization.

One such structure is a magnificent arch consisting of two pillars with an arch at the top. The ruins of the third pillar stood to the side. Pillars and arches overlook Lake Genèva, like skinny guards who seem to guard the city. Nearly ten centuries later, a medieval castle was built in Nyon around 1017 AD, by a local ruler named Humbert the White-Handed. The current Chateau of Nyon was built in the 13th century by the Cossonay Prangins family and later taken over by the House of Savoy in 1293. Today the Chateau is home to a museum and an old prison. The prison continued to function until 1979 when it was finally closed, after 400 years. The cells were beautifully preserved and, most interestingly, the graffiti scrawled on the walls by the prisoners was preserved behind sheets of glass.

Graffiti on prison walls

The prison closed in 1979 and the final set of scribbles is the one that has been kept for posterity. There is one graffiti that surprised my imagination. It is a picture of ‘Lord Shiva’ playing a flute with the letter ‘Om’ on the side. The Lord has four hands and he holds the flute in both of his arms. On one arm, he is seen holding a mace and in the fourth, he is holding a candle. There is a human face right below God’s image. On the one hand, there is the date (23 October 1979) and four words in French, ‘To cut out loneliness‘which roughly translates as’ to overcome my solitude’ followed by a slash and ‘Shiva’ in bold.

All attempts to track down the artist were empty. Is it male or female? Was it an Indian who went to Switzerland or was he someone who immigrated to Switzerland? Is he still alive, in 1979 not too long ago? I think this is what coincidence means. A person goes to look at something and ends up seeing something completely different. I was wondering if this article would be helpful in tracking down prisoners. It was a complete coincidence !!


image source

Emma Wiggle about the survivor lockdown, wrote the song for Wiggles and his deputy in New Zealand | Instant News

Wigglemania has got to grips with New Zealand. Since announcing a nationwide tour here last week, brightly dressed Australian children’s entertainers have seen demand soar, and parents are in desperate need of tickets, twice as much.


image source