I would rather be here now -- #1

7/21/2013 08:44:00 PM

    Jellyfish lake Palau Island photo courtesy - http://www.strawberrykoi.com/

Is 2:30AM here, blame it on the heat wave, I have had an extremely sluggish saturday, I am still dawdling around in my house trying to figure out what I need to do for the rest of the sunday, and prepare for the week ahead.But honestly, I am more lost with in four walls of home, with out a checklist of things to do, then I could ever be out in the wild with out google-maps or a gps. So what I thought would be better is to take a break, smooth over all my thoughts and conjure up images from my day dreams, if they look like some place other than New York City that would do.

Well, If I were Sir Richard Branson, I'd "actually" be taking the flight to the island of Palau right now rather than imagining a swim in the jellyfish lake and writing about it here on the blog. but since I am not, I will just exhale my excitement out here for now writing about some of the most interesting places I found recently, those, I loved at the very first sight, and those that I cant wait to fly to, at the speed of mind and explore through my own eyes and camera.

The first of the list, Jellyfish Lake, as I already announced, is a 12000 years old, 30m deep lake in the uninhibited Rock Islands of Palau Island Nation in the pacific region with millions of freshwater non-stinging golden jellyfish. the story of this lake coming to existence as pbs.org explains and I quote.

"Millions of years ago, jellyfish were trapped in this lake after a submerged reef rose from the sea, creating a landlocked saltwater lake. In this lake, the jellyfish have adapted to the new conditions by losing their sting. They have eight primitive eyes and algae that live within their cells. These algae are what the jellyfish live on. Twice each day, the jellyfish in the lake swim from one side to the other. The jellyfish do this to get sunlight to their internal algae so that the algae can grow. At night the jellyfish swim to a lower depth where the water is rich in nitrogen. The nitrogen also sustains the algae population. The jellyfish has only one main predator in this lake -- the sea anemone. Jellyfish can be stung, trapped, and killed by these creatures."

Jellyfish lake is one of most popular diving in Palau. They are stunningly beautiful yet harmless, and I wonder who's heart wouldn't be pounding when taking a swim in this peaceful lagoon, amongst a million golden pulsating jellyfish. Talk about me, I just found out my most favorite swimming pool in the world.

Flight of the Ray, Baja California Sur Mexico

I have heard many things about Baja Sur in mexico, but not until I stumbled upon this photograph, that I knew, I could also witness a sight like this here. Actually it is a rare one, as per the photographer Florian Schulz, who won the environmental photographer of the year in 2010 for this aerial catch showing a thousands-strong group of Munkiana Devil Rays heading in single direction.

Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, the peninsula of Baja Sur is one of the best diving site to not only see the giant blue and gray whales but many other marine creatures including the deadly predators, yup the great white sharks. well, for a moment you can imagine me mumbling, that aerial photography would do. but If Curiosity does kill. I am happy to be murdered.  see you soon baja. 

Cappadocia, Anatolia, Turkey and Travertines, Pamukkale, Turkey

These two aren't ones that I discovered only yesterday, I have been aware and these places've been in my list for quite sometime. what made me remember the Cappadocia again, was that Hot-air ballon in the picture above.

Did I mention I went to Poughkeepsie 2 weeks back to capture Hot-air balloons flight over the hudson river?
Guess I dint, and the reason why, because It was a failed expedition. besides them mentioning clearly on their website, that Balloons will take flight, both in the morning and evening, they did not. and I ended up spending entire day on walking on the World's longest pedestrian bridge in unbearable afternoon sun. well made me upset, this and then the amtrak, but it dint demoralize me not to see and shoot hot-air balloons again, though I wont be going to Poughkeepsie again. nope. :(

Travertines however was the result of a search for National Parks, which landed me to Plitvice in croatia and that in turn here. I am not writing much about these two places, reason being these are already pretty famous, and touristy, and every other website has 'em in its "most stunning in the world" list. My point of adding them, I cant determine, they are worth for a person like me, or not, until unless I see them myself. these two photos above though dint give broader view, still are inviting enough.

Fly Geyser, Black Rock Desert, Nevada

I wonder how I never heard of this till now. because I have been to Reno twice, at different years, and I have been following Burning Man for past 2-3 years, which also happens to be in Black rock desert, Nevada.

Anyways,  Fly Geyser is a rock formation that is the result of drilling a well and hitting hot water. It erupts continuously and has built up a cone of minerals around the pipes that were part of the original well about 100 years ago. The colors are from various heat tolerant microorganisms pretty much similar to the hot springs of Yellowstone. Needless to say it looks stunning, even with out lot of photoshop, and I cant wait but explore and photograph this area. Now that I am back in United States for good. I am sure, You'll see my photographs from here pretty soon.

Brinicle -Antarctic icicle of death

Now you'd say, OH, Yeah! we know what your usual to go places are. Arctic & Antarctic right. Absolutely right, but to be honest, I was searching for a lake in Canada, that is shallow enough to see and photograph starfish floating as a beautiful landscape foreground. I read about it sometime back, and forgot to save the pointers. Well, I couldn't find that but this is what I got. Internet is strange isn't it. so BBC recorded this in a documentary called "Frozen Planet" about 2 years back.

The Brinicle that you see in this photograph is a kind of icicle, formed by salt brine. with extra concentration of salt, the lower it keeps going and ultimately it freezes,  but the freshest areas of water freeze first, concentrating the saltier areas together, hence creating a hollow tube of ice. If the water is shallow enough, this "brinicle" extends to the sea floor, discharging the super cold brine directly onto whatever hapless starfish are lounging around down there. Quite usual they say, but unusual enough to be shot only a few times, with time-lapse etc. All I can say is BBC or any of you NatGeo or Discovery, if you, ever do it again, Please call me.

With this I conclude the first installment of "I would rather be here now" Series. I hope you enjoyed reading about them, I' will continue to share more random locations as I discover them, more so because I need a permanent place holder for them and also have to research more on how to get there. If you have experienced any, photographed them, do share your experience as it can help me plan my travel, and It can be helpful for my readers to in the same way. until next time.

All the images are copyright of their respective owners, please do not copy/use  without permission.

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  1. This is a fabulous post! You put together a great list, some best to see from afar ;) Not sure if I could muster the courage to swim in Jellyfish lake!

    The Traveling Footprint

  2. Best to see from afar... :)) I know, cant figure out I have it in me until i really jump in. I'd take a chance. you too should :P

    Thanks you. I am glad you enjoyed the post. letsee whats in for next installment, even I have no idea yet ;)

  3. Hello,

    I hope you are well.

    I write to you on behalf of Woodland, the leading outdoor adventure brand.

    Woodland is looking towards associating with travel & adventure bloggers for upcoming activities.

    Would request you to please provide me your contact details (E-mail address and phone number) for the same.

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    1. Hey Megha. thanks for writing in. replied back to you. not sure if you received it.you can always reach me at poonamparihar@gmail.com


  4. All on my list. Thanks for the blog and pictures. I need to start planning that trip to Turkey I want to go to this year.

  5. @rupal patel - Wonder how i missed the comment and to say thanks. Thank you, and all the best for the turkey trip. I guess I'll stick around roaming in US this year.


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