Category Archives: Review

The Hot Air Balloon Ride On The 13th March 2011

While you are surfing the net  you get to know a lot different things you might not have known about before. Some you might have use for, some you file away for future reference, some might trigger something in your brain and you are doing something wholly  unrelated to the job you were trying to do on the net in the first place.

Amber from a hot air balloon

While searching for websites related to Jaipur I came across the website of SKYWALTZ, they are on Facebook too,   the company is providing hot-air balloon rides around Jaipur.I started reading the information provided there and I was hooked. I just had to go for a hot-air balloon ride.  I sent them an email and they  fixed the date to fly as  13.3.2010, a Sunday.  There were 2 or 3 days to go before  Sunday and I started having doubts. So I read some more information available on the net. I found things like  in their attempt to fly humans  used the hot air balloons  first of all.

Montgolfier Brothers made the first hot air balloon which carried the frenchmen  Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Arlandes in 1783 in Paris.

The colorful  nylon oval ball is called an envelope and the wicker basket suspended from it is called a gondola-this is where the passengers ride. The envelope  can store hot air which when heated some more with burning gas can makes it rise. In India they use LPG.

You can only go up to 10,000 feet without oxygen.

And like all aircraft it needs atmosphere to fly.

It is called an aircraft as soon as it leaves ground.

World altitude record is held by Shri  Vijaypath Singhania who took off from Mumbai and landed 240 km away in Panchale setting the record by reaching a hight of 21,027  meters or 68,986 feet on 26 November 2005.

The cost of procuring the equipment and the hassle of getting permissions is such that people opt for buying rides from people like SKYWALTZ.

On the Skywaltz website they have given clipping of previous coverage where correspondents took the ride themselves and then wrote up about it.Their detailed description of the flight & the professionalism of the pilots and the outfit  sort of quelled my fears about the flight.

The only issue I could find was about landing the craft. But when the moment came to land, our pilot Mr. Imo Singh from Manipur saw to it that it was not an issue at all. The landing was perfect. We were down in a couple of bumps and bantering with the villagers who had seen our descent and had gathered around the gondola.

A Waltz In The Sky
In the morning  when we reached Amber I saw some people gathered around a couple of  huge envelopes which were being inflated in the dry part of the Mawatha. And soon enough the burners were lit and the balloons were standing tall in the morning sky. Somebody provided a step ladder for us to get in the gondola. Besides Mr.I Singh there were seven of us in the gondola. The other balloon was  being piloted by Mr.Fernando from Spain and was already in air moving and gaining altitude towards the Amber fort. Mr. I Singh also opened up the burners and removed an empty cylinder of gas from the gondola and we were air borne. The first sights we see are the Amber fort, the  Kesar Kyari and then we move on in to the raising sun. There is no anxiety. We are floating in the air the other passengers  are exclaiming at the beauty of the Amber Fort bathed in the rays of the raising sun.  I am taking pictures of the other balloon and the ground. We move some more in the general direction of the Delhi Jaipur highway . There is a lot of smoke here as there are a lot of brick kilns here. Mr.Imo Singh is providing small nuggets of informations. We move towards an area near a brick kiln which is clear enough to land. Mr Imo Singh asks us to take landing positions and pulls some ropes and we are down with a couple of bumps. The first to arrive are the villagers who want to know where the foreign tourists are from. The site team is right behind and are already preparing to deflate the balloon. Once the balloon in down on a big piece a plastic canvas the step ladder makes an appearance again and we get down. In 5 minutes the driver  from the Skywaltz team, who got me to Amber  finds me and the other passengers  and we are on our way back to Jaipur.Just before leaving the landing site, Mr.Rishi from the Skywaltz team hands over to us our first flight in a Hot air Balloon certificates. These certificates will be cherished for all times to come.

Later on I find out that we had landed some 30-40 km, by road, from Amber about 9 km from Nailla and had to drive through some body’s farm house, in a village to get to a road which would take us back to Jaipur.

“The winds have welcomed you with softness,

The sun has greeted you with it’s warm hands,

You have flown so high and so well,

That God has joined you in laughter,

And set you back gently into

The loving arms of mother Earth.”

The Balloonist’s Prayer by Anon.

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A Traveler’s Resource Known As The Travelgrove.com

The following is my review for the website http://www.travelgrove.com ,a search engine for travel related services.Click away and check it out.They are offering A chance to win  An 8 GB iPOD Nano if you register for their travel community for free and upload content.

Travelgrove.com is a website where you can search and compare numerous vendors  for any travel related service you might be looking for.They provide search  engines for Flights, Hotels,Cars,Cruise,Hot Deals , destination guides and a  forum of like minded travelers .
The web site is available in English ,French,Spanish,Italian and German.

www.metafares.com and www.faredetective.com are also
managed by the people behind the http://www.travelgrove.com website.
http://www.travelgrove.com has been been reviewed by Editors of Five Star Reviews  Magazine but the link does not seem to work.
Copy Right licence is not current. ( ©2004-2008 )( It is just a clue people will look for  to see  if the is maintained currently or not.)
The websites official Blog is @ http://travelgrove.com/blog/ .
It is simple enough to use the site.You have to submit the information of  the service you are searching for once only.In my opinion they should tie up  with some more Website vendors so that the database of hotels etc increases  manifold.Some Indian websites are  booking Bus tickets thru their Portals.In my opinion they should look into searching for Bus ticket booking also thru their  portal.The more services they offer their clients the more useful they will  be and the customers will return more often.Travel guides offer useful
information to the first time visitor to the City.Travel Themes is an
interesting concept.An Indian website is offering Tours and stay in the  Cities/Palace hotels where the ever popular Indian Bollywood potboilers have  been shot.These Bollywood theme tours will add an interesting dimension to  the Portal.They should look into the possibility of partnering with some  important local websites also.The website should look to replace Lonely Planet Books and not give a link to the LP website.

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Global Cook Book-1

Anybody who writes any thing has dreams of being published.So when I got a mailer from Fuel My Blog about their Christmas project of publishing a cook book  representing recipes from around the world of local delicacies Fuel My Blog Community members eat at their homes in their daily lives I started plotting about submitting my fish curry recipe. It was already posted on my Blog.What I needed was a good photograph of the prepared curry.So I prepared the dish just as stated in the Post and requested my brother ,Tajendra, to take a picture of the prepared Curry. And mailed it to the Fuel My Blog.And to my surprise they included it in the recipe book.This is where I thank them wholeheartedly.The reason for the numeral ‘one’ in the  title of this post is that I wish them all success in publishing other Global Cook Books with numerals ending at 101 if at all.
A Fish Curry Recipe From Jaipur,India

They have self published the book using cutting edge technology provided by the website Blurb and possible because of the Internet & Computers.

Take a look.Tell the world  how they have done in your opinion. If you decide to buy remember they are supporting Stop Hunger, a  charity .And if you would like to  publish some material in whatever numbers then consider Blurb.
Blog Post About the Global Cook Book on Fuel My Blog
Blurb Home Page