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Rattan and Wicker Furniture and Tropical Furniture.

Rattan and Wicker Furniture and Tropical Furniture.

#buenosaires #argentina #ciudad #architecture #urban
Source: Flickr

Have you ever wanted to get away, go somewhere tropical, comfortable, relaxing?
Well, even in your own home, you can get away, with a wide variety of tropical furniture brought to you by Stix N Things. They specialize in rattan furniture and wicker furniture, for bedrooms, home offices, living rooms, and even lighting. Stix N Things has everything you need to create the tropical bedroom of your dreams. Choose from collections like Wicker Aruba in a deep, handsome chestnut color, to the Rattan Paradise collection with its padded closely woven cane accents, to the Wicker Barbados set, beautifully detailed and available in four charming colors, with several more intriguing options available. Turn your home into a tropical oasis today and start coming home paradise.

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Kayaking to glory – cleaving through the Barrier Reef

Kayaking to glory – cleaving through the Barrier Reef

Copa Amistad Argentina-Chile de Frontón
Source: Flickr

On his desert island, Robinson Crusoe had made a Kayak (the English call it canoe) so big that he couldn’t pull it to the sea. Thankfully, today we have lighter versions made of fiberglass, polyethylene, Kevlar, carbon fibre, Royalex or hand-built systems like the ‘skin-on-frame’ varieties. Today, kayaking is an immensely popular sporting and entertainment activity, and is catching up fast around the world. And Great Barrier Reef allows one of the most exotic and fantastic kayaking trips in the whole world.

The world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef stretches over 2000 kilometers, hugging the Queensland coast of Australia throughout. It is so big that it is even visible from space! Called the largest living animal, the coral reef and the coral islands are actually the living bodies and dead shells and deposits of billions of corals – in the whole Great Barrier system, there are 900 islands and 3000 coral reefs. While the Europeans first came to know of the Reef as late as 1770 when Captain Cook ran aground it, Indigenous Australians knew about it from the beginning.

The corals of the reefs provide a huge natural breakwater, making sure the water is rather calmer that it would have been before the birth of the reef. This has been a godsend for kayaking. While whitewater kayaking is much more tumultuous, most of the tourists trying their hands at sea kayaking at the Reef are either new to it, or only modestly experienced. Therefore, the relatively placid water makes for easier kayaking and fewer capsizing (and less disturbing of corals). The waters allow the kayaks to be relatively more flat bottomed, allowing for better floatation stability. But even if you tumble, don’t worry, don’t worry even if you don’t know the ‘eskimo roll’. The kayak would stay afloat. Besides the guides and helpers from the kayak company would be nearby.

The kayaking opportunities are many around the Cairns, Palm Cove area. From Palm Cove, one can paddle around the resort Island of Double Island. One can also take a walk on the private beaches, provided the touring company has asked permission for this. A holiday destination for the rich and the famous, Double Island has better attractions in the form of dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and other marine life. Other parts of the island include beautiful tropical gardens, where you can have a relish of delightful tropical fruits, or have a nice cup of coffee or tea. One can get stunning views of the coast, Cape Tribulation and Daintree from this location.

But perhaps the greatest charm of kayaking on the Great Barrier Reef is the close proximity with the corals. The millions shades of colors, the bewildering shapes, the swaying tips of live corals and the surprising encounters with flighty fish shoals (with god knows how many millions fishes in them!) are unique experiences. As you sink in a pleasant sunset from the water, you might feel like never returning. Some try a compromise – there are some liveaboards where you can stay for a few days if you don’t feel like leaving!
The Great Barrier Reef is a fragile environment, and is heavily regulated. One must make sure that the ecological balance and the sanctity of the reef is maintained so that you and I may enjoy this heavenly gift for all time to come.

The reef is a huge stretch of wonder and can be accessed from anywhere. But the best access point is probably from Cairns area, another charming place around 25 minutes from Palm Cove that can keep you busy with sights, sounds and activities for a fortnight. And visitors to Double Island can stay at the Sanctuary Palm Cove which is situated just across a narrow channel of the Great Barrier Reef which provides luxurious accommodation facilities to add comfort to the trip.

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Cheap Honeymoon Ideas

Cheap Honeymoon Ideas

After you have exhausted your resources in your wedding day, you might consider cutting your budget for your honeymoon.

Here are some of the things that you can do in order for fulfill your aim to have a cheap honeymoon experience.

Choose a closer location

Plane tickets could carry ½ of the total expenses for your honeymoon trip. If there is a great place near you, why go far? Eliminating the need to buy plane tickets would certainly keep your budget to the minimum.

Book for cheap tickets, choose a cheap airline, or use other modes of transportation

If in case you need to fly in order to get to your honeymoon destination, you can opt to have economy plane ticket. What is 3 to 6 hours of sitting in the economy class if it would mean several hundred bucks saved? You can also consider choosing some smaller airlines. They offer cheaper plane tickets than the big names. Or, better yet, try to use other means of transportation aside from plane. Take a train or a bus. In this way, you can see more places while saving more money.

Book your hotels online

There are several sites online that offer luxury hotels for less. Some of these are: Classic Custom Vacations, Expedia, Last Minute Travel, Orbitz, Quikbook, LuxRes, and All Luxury Hotels. These sites could give you cheaper hotel rooms but still getting the luxury you deserve.

Choosing an All-Inclusive Hotels

There are several all-inclusive hotels that guarantee you to have a complete honeymoon experience for less. Such hotels include: Club Med (which as a total of 120 properties all over the United States, Latin America, South America, Caribbean, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa). Other all-inclusive hotels are:

• SuperClubs

• Sandals Resorts

• Occidental Hotels & Resorts (Mexico, Aruba, Antigua, St. Kitts, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Venezuela, Egypt, and Tunisia)

• Sol Meliá Resorts (Dominican Republic and Mexico), and…

• Viva Resorts Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Mexico)

Cruising for Less

Cheap honeymoon experience does not limit to hotels and other cost cutting trip techniques. You can also afford cruise.

Choose a site that specializes on the last minute savings. You can also get cheap honeymoon cruise when you bid at auction. Shorter cruise is less expensive. Choosing a cruise that sails at a port near you would further cut the cost of the honeymoon, and making sure that you search for several cruises and comparing the prices would give you better savings.

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Get Your Canadian Diamonds Here Today

Get Your Canadian Diamonds Here Today

Railpage Albion Camera #3 Rail Movement Detection
Source: Flickr

The last Northern gold rush occurred in the late-19th century in the Yukon when tens of thousands of prospectors made their way to Dawson City to find their fortunes. Since then, miners and oil workers have continued to seek wealth in the North. In the past decade, history has repeated itself with the discovery of diamonds in Canada’s North.

Diamond exploration in Canada began in the 1960s, but major discoveries of diamond-bearing kimberlite ore did not occur until the 1990s. With the discovery of diamonds in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in 1991, Canada has risen to become one of the top three diamond producers in the world in terms of value, behind Botswana and Russia. Currently, Canada produces 15% of the world’s diamonds. According to Statistics Canada, 13.8 million carats of diamonds worth approximately $2.8 billion have been mined in Canada between 1998 and 2002. To put it in perspective, each day Canada produces one 1.5 kilogram bag of diamonds worth $1.5 million. It is hoped that the diamond mines will provide income for decades to come.

In 1991, the first diamonds were found at Point Lake near Lac de Gras in the Northwest Territories, some 300 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife. Soon after the initial find, two diamond mines were opened in this region, the Ekati and Diavik mines. Diavik is approximately 100 kilometres southeast of Ekati. A third diamond mine, Jericho-3, began production in 2005, in Nunavut. A fourth diamond mine, Snap Lake-4 in the Northwest Territories, should begin production in 2007.

The Jericho-3 mine is located near the north end of Contwoyto Lake in West Kitikmeot, Nunavut Territory (NT). It is operated by the Tahera Diamond Corporation, which has been exploring for diamonds in Nunavut for the past seven years. Operations will commence with an open pit mine, and despite the harsh climate, it is planned to operate year-round. It is currently projected that the mine and processing plant will have an 8-year life and employ a total of approximately 125 to 175 employees and contractors.

The majority of shares in the Ekati mine (80%) are owned by the Australian mining conglomerate BHP Billton. The remaining 20% are owned by prospectors Charles Fipke and Stewart Blusson. The Ekati Diamond Mine is the only diamond mine owned by BHP Billiton and produces nearly four per cent of current world diamond production by weight and six per cent by value. The mine is expected to be viable for 20 years.

The Diavik mine, located about 300 km (180 miles) north of Yellowknife, is owned by Britain’s Rio Tinto PLC (60 per cent) and Toronto-based Aber Diamond Corp. (40 per cent). It employs 700 workers and produces 8,000,000 carats annually for total sales of $100,000,000 Cdn. The area was first surveyed in 1992, construction began in 2001, and diamond production started in 2003. It provides approximately 5% of world diamond production. The mine is also expected to remain in operation for 20 years.

The Snap Lake mine, owned by DeBeers and operated by DeBeers and AMEC consultants, is starting this year and is expected to remain in production for 20 more years. This mine is located under a lake and will be the first entirely underground diamond mine in Canada. DeBeers also owns the Victor mine, an open-pit diamond mine in a remote area in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario, approximately 90 km west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat.

Canada’s diamond industry has a world reputation for both quality and integrity. In recent years, there have been ethical problems with African diamonds, which can originate in unstable countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola where diamond sales fund terrorism, war and weapons sales. Canadian diamonds are traceable, as each one is etched on the girdle with a serial number as well as a microscopic Canadian logo such as a maple leaf or a polar bear as a trademark. The pictorial logos vary with the companies selling the diamonds.

Canadian diamonds, especially those from the Ekati mine, are high quality and extremely white. They’re also fashionable, which was demonstrated when the Canadian teen singer Avril Lavigne attended the 2003 MTV Awards in New York wearing Canadian diamonds worth $50,000.

The mines provide high-income jobs with an average salary of $63,000, many of them permanent, not just the temporary make-work projects for which the Aboriginal communities of the Canadian north are well known. Almost 40% of the jobs are done by aboriginals. For instance, one diamond-cutting operation in the Northwest Territories is majority-owned by the Yellowknife Dene First Nation.

Some of the more specialized jobs, such as diamond cutting, are done by professionals from Armenia, Israel, China and Vietnam who earn salaries of more than $100,000. Many of the diamonds are cut and polished in facilities in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Matane, Quebec. Between 1998 and 2001, employment in the diamond mining industry in the North increased from 90 to 700 workers, with estimates of more than 2,000 jobs currently. Another 2,000 jobs are created in support industries for the mines and their workers. Diamond mining produces more than just diamond sales. It also funds many other activities such as construction, road-building, Arctic and sub-Arctic surveying and engineering projects.

Diamond fever in Canada’s north shows no signs of abating, and an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail in February 2004 reported that prospecting companies have laid claim to more than 70 million acres in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The newspaper said the most dramatic increase in diamond prospecting is in Nunavut, where the number of prospecting permits grew to 1,518 in 2004 from just 190 in 2003.

Starting on Dec. 1, 2003, companies were given one month to apply for prospecting permits, resulting in long, round-the-clock lines at offices in Yellowknife and Iqaluit. There is a charge of 10 cents an acre to register a claim, $1.50 to $2 an acre to stake a claim. With 70 million acres involved, the cost of these claims is expected to generate up to $140,000,000 in government revenue even before the mines open. Prospectors desperate to finish filing their claims have even been known to drop claim stakes from helicopters in poorly-accessible areas.

An economic boom is occurring in the north as tradesmen move into the area to fill jobs in the mines. This has raised the cost of living in the north, which was high to begin with due to the cost of transporting food and other necessities to isolated northern communities. In such places as Yellowknife, a basement apartment can rent for as high as $1,500 a month.

In 1998, Yellowknife Mayor Dave Lowell said that the diamond rush might have saved his town from economic decline. “Quite simply, it is our future,” Lowell said. “We’d be going into quite a recession if it wasn’t for the diamond mine.”

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Australia: A Few Things To Do On Your Visit

Australia: A Few Things To Do On Your Visit

HFB Acelor Mittal Liège
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You will have many choices of things to do when you visit Australia. Here are just a few ways to spend your time in this lovely place:

It would be a shame to visit Australia without spending time on one of the gorgeous beaches. Along the coastline of Australia there are miles and miles of unbelievably beautiful sandy beaches. Sydney alone has nearly 40 ocean beaches and you will be able to sunbathe and enjoy the beauty of the water and the sand. If you love the ocean air and want to return home with a lovely tan, be sure to plan for time on the beach.

Take a bushwalk and you will glimpse flora, fauna and all kinds of bird life. Bushwalking is a popular pastime in Australia and the parks are fantastic. You will get a little exercise and some stunning photos as well.

If you are a lover of wine, Australia is the place for you. Arrange a visit to a country vineyard and sip some of the finest wines in the world.

Shoppers, you are in luck! Look for fashionable leather clothing, woolen goods, arts and crafts and gifts made from sheepskin. You will be able to go home with at least one suitcase filled with terrific gifts and souvenirs. Choose some unique gifts that you will never find other places.

Sooner or later you are bound to get hungry. After all the shopping, sightseeing and wine tasting you will need to eat. Fresh ingredients are emphasized in contemporary Australian cuisine. You will find all kinds of menu choices that feature fish and seasonal vegetables. Every state in the country has specialties and you will find many excellent choices.

For those who love the water there are numerous activities. You can snorkel, scuba dive, water ski and wind surf.

Visit Australia for an amazing experience.