Hiking the Trails of Mount Kailash, Tibet: A Spiritual Experience

Mount Kailash Pilgrimage

Mount Kailash, Tibet is part of the Gangdisê Mountain range. It is a sacred place for four religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Bön, an ancient Tibetan religion. Hiking up the mountain itself to reach its summit is prohibited to keep it from being deconsecrated. This is Mack Prioleau, and one of my ultimate goals is to go on a pilgrimage to this sacred mountain.

The mountain goes by different names, depending on religion. For instance, Tibetan Buddhists call it the Precious Snow Mountain, while the Bön religious call it Mountain of Sea Water and also Water’s Flower. Regardless of its name, however, all four religions consider it sacred, and thousands of people from all over the world make the pilgrimage up its paths every year for spiritual cleansing, renewal, and awakening.

There is also a specific ritual for each religion when it comes to traversing the mountain’s sacred trails. For instance, Buddhists and Hindus walk the path in a clockwise direction, while Jains and Bönpos walk in a counterclockwise direction.

It is said that the energy in this place is so strong that you immediately feel its effects on your mind, body, and spirit the minute you arrive at the foot of the mountain to begin your pilgrimage.

A sacred ritual that dates back to thousands of years

Pilgrimage around the mystical mountain of Kailash is said to have started thousands of years ago. The path stretches to about 52 kilometers long, and pilgrims believe that the ritual should be completed in one day. While this is not an easy task, most of the pilgrims that visit the sacred place each year have managed to complete the hike in a single day. Those who are physically fit and have undergone months of conditioning can complete the trek in 15 hours, on average.

For some, accomplishing such a feat isn’t as easy because they have very specific rituals that make it harder to finish in one day. Some pilgrims bend forward, kneel, and then prostate on the ground. Then they get back up on their knees, pray, and then crawl on their hands and knees. The process is repeated every few steps. This ritual usually takes the individual 14 days to complete the pilgrimage.

For anyone who wishes to hike the mountain’s sacred paths, it is advised that you first undergo physical and mental conditioning as the mountain is located in a remote area and there aren’t any modern facilities or amenities nearby. While there are benches and kiosks that sell refreshments, you may find that these are few and far between so it’s best to be mentally and physically prepared for the pilgrimage.

I, for one, know that if I were to go there today, I wouldn’t be able to complete the entire path and might have to give up after a few miles. This is why I know that I should have at least several months of conditioning before I venture to the sacred mountain.

But I will go there for sure. Mount Kailash is on my bucket list now. What about you? Do you wish to go on this pilgrimage, too? Please share your thoughts with us! This is Mack Prioleau, and I’d like to thank you for taking time to read my post.

 

 

Mack Prioleau: How Riding a Wave Can Improve Your Life

There are few things more thrilling and enjoyable than riding a wave — an activity that requires both patience and constant practice. However, while you are having fun on your surfboard, your body and mind are simultaneously thanking you; surfing is a win-win-win situation. Here are some of the hugest benefits of going surfing, whether you are a professional or are just starting out in the sport, according to passionate surfer Mack Prioleau.

Flexibility and Balance

One of the biggest benefits of going surfing is that it helps to improve your flexibility. The more flexible you become, the more likely you are to avoid being injured, both on the waves and on dry ground. Surfing also helps you to improve your balance, which is an essential ability as you grow older in order to avoid suffering injuries from fractures and breaks as a result of falls.

Health and Strength

Surfing is inherently good for your body, especially your cardiovascular system. When you strengthen your cardiovascular system — your heart, arteritis, and veins — through surfing, this ultimately helps to reduce fatigue and shortness of breath, and you can also protect yourself from life-threatening heart attacks. The more you participate in activities that stress your heart as well as your accessory organs, the better your cardiovascular system will be able to perform.

In addition to improving your heart, you also improve your muscles when you surf. Paddling a surfboard constantly will lead to a boost in your muscle mass and strengthen your chest, arms, and shoulders. The more muscle mass you have, the more capable you are of completing daily-living activities. A high muscle mass also increases your body’s metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories in a day’s time and therefore can more easily accomplish your weight-loss or weight-maintenance objectives.

Mental Peace

For many surfers, the many mental benefits of surfing seem to outweigh the physical ones. For instance, the act of surfing is indeed challenging and fun, but the feeling a person gets afterward is incomparable. This feeling is a mental peace that is hard to find elsewhere but out on the ocean. In addition, when you are riding a wave, you are fully living in the present. You are not distracted by technology or by other people or situations; all you have is yourself, your surfboard, and the wave beneath you. Your focus is on what is before you at the moment, and this “living in the now” is what makes surfing feel like such an escape from the rest of the world.

Self-Confidence

The more you master surfing, the more of a self-confidence boost you will experience. You can liken riding a wave to riding a bull: You have no clue how the ocean will behave sometimes. Although this can be unsettling and frightening for many people, surfing gives you the opportunity to practice staying calm, cool, and collected in even the most unpredictable of circumstances — a skill that can help you in all areas of your life.

Mack Prioleau: Why Take a Hike?

Rather than take a cliché beach trip the next time you go on vacation, consider tapping into your adventurous side by going on a hike. Hiking is one of the most rewarding activities you can do for yourself: You get the opportunity to experience nature up close and personal, get plenty of fresh air to clear your head, and get some body-building exercise in the process. Here are a few of the most alluring places to go hiking on the North American continent, according to sportsman Mack Prioleau.

Banff

Banff is a perfect destination for those who want to experience what it is like to be in a skiing village in Switzerland without paying the big bucks needed to fly there. Banff is located in the Canadian Rockies and appeals to explorers who love the idea of being in the thick of the great outdoors during the day but would prefer a comfortable hotel at night. However, if you would rather rough it at night as well, then there are plenty of campgrounds that can serve as your home away from home. Here at Banff, you can go biking along Healy Creek, climb the Stoney Squaw Mountain, hike to the Hoodoos — limestone pillars — or going skiing down Mount Norguay. The possibilities are seemingly endless for the adventure lover.

Sedona

Sedona in Arizona is a must-see for the avid hiker who finds inspiration in landscapes that are colorful and dramatic. In Sedona, you will find jagged buttes and red rocks that meet the blue sky in a stark contrast — the stuff of a photographer’s dream. In fact, these rock formations in the northcentral part of Arizona have been included in movies such as “Midnight Run,” “3:10 to Yuma,” and “Broken Arrow.” In addition to enjoying views of these formations, you can take advantage of some well-deserved spa treatments, ones that have a local touch: for instance, blue-corn body scrubs and red clay wraps.

Adirondacks

When it comes to displaying natural beauty, the Adirondacks is second to none. This region of New York is nearly 300 miles away from New York City, to the north, and is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. In the summer, you can easily go hiking along with whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing, and biking. During the winter, there is still plenty to do outdoors, ranging from skiing to dogsledding, snowshoeing, and bobsledding. You also cannot miss Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake — three other gems in this New York area.

Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most magical hiking hot spots in North America. On this island, can embark on trails and visit the types of state parks that simply cannot be found on the other Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui. The black-sand beaches and snow-covered mountain peaks also make this island stand out for adventure seekers. Of course, the Kilauea volcano is also a remarkable part of the island, actually causing the land mass of the island to increase since the 1980s. From Hawaii to New York, no matter where you turn in North America, you are sure to find a unique hiker’s paradise.

Go Hog-Wild for Wild-Hog Hunting

Mack Prioleau: Go Hog-Wild for Wild-Hog Hunting

When deer hunting season is over but you are yearning to be out in nature again, hearing a large game animal trample leaves in the distance, nothing can fill that empty space in your hunting-loving heart than a wild-hog hunt. In fact, in the Golden State, more Californian hunters are actually pursuing wild hogs than they are deer. And in states such as Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida, you can shoot wild hogs in the fall, spring, summer, and winter; there are no seasonal restrictions. These hogs can be found in more than 30 states, as far west as Hawaii and as far east as New Hampshire. Here are a few reasons to go wild-hog hunting, and a few tips for making your hunt a successful one, according hunting aficionado Mack Prioleau.

Wild-Hog Hunting Benefits

As mentioned earlier, wild hogs can be hunted year-round, so no urge to hunt has to go unfulfilled. The Northeast, outside of New Hampshire’s Blue Mountains, does not seem to have any wild hogs. However, no matter your location in the United States, you are just a day’s drive away from your dream wild hog — the kind that will fit perfectly on your grill.

Wild-hog hunting does more than just fill your belly with some scrumptious meat, however. It also gives you the chance to be a little patriotic. This is because wild hogs are considered a nuisance: They dirty clean streams, tear up habits, eat innocent turkey chicks, and compete with native animals for food. When you hunt these hogs down, you essentially do land owners as well as wildlife managers a huge favor.

Season

The best time of the year to go wild-hog hunting is during the spring, when the heat of the summer season has not crept in yet. However, sweltering summer days can lead to your biggest trophy hogs, as you can easily anticipate a wild hog’s patterns on a hot summer day when they will be pursuing critical water sources.

Senses

While a wild hog’s sense of smell and smell of hearing are excellent, it has poor eyesight. For this reason, it is common for hunters to stalk a hog after spotting it from a ridgetop or a road in the distance. If you are hunting on an open ranchland, you will have to work on spotting hogs from behind a windshield or via binoculars. Early in the day, check the sources of water that pigs frequent before they move to thicker country as the sun moves higher in the sky.

Stands

If you are extremely comfortable with stand hunting during deer season and wish to use a stand for wild-hog hunting as well, you are in good company. Many people have done this effectively. One method that will help to increase your chances of success during stand hunting is to use timed corn feeders to pull a wild hog into an open area, where it can easily be targeted. Also, consider searching for a wet area, as hogs must cool off in wet mud and water since they lack sweat glands. By following these tips, your next big-game catch may occur sooner than you think.

Mack Prioleau: Biggest Largemouth Bass Fishing Myths

Mack Prioleau: Biggest Largemouth Bass Fishing Myths

Largemouth bass fishing is an activity that offers many hidden benefits outside of the thrill that comes with reeling in the biggest catch of the day. It also cultivates patience, an appreciation for the outdoors, and ingenuity. However, admittedly, catching a fish is one of the most rewarding parts of the fishing experience. Unfortunately, there are several myths about largemouth bass fishing that prevent people from experiencing these rewarding moments more often, according to avid fisherman Mack Prioleau. Here are some of the most common myths about bass fishing.

Use Red Hooks

One common bass fishing myth is bass are attracted to red hooks since they look like blood. It is for this reason you will see red reel spools, red line, red blades and sinkers, and even lures featuring red hooks. Some professional fishermen have indicated that the red color simulates crawfish’s gills’ or baitfish’s blood. However, although research has shown that bass fish can spot the color red with ease, no studies show that these fish are instinctively attracted to this color. They essentially do not have the mental processes necessary to conclude that a red object may indeed be prey since bleeding baitfish are red and are vulnerable to being attacked.

All Bass Are the Same

Another common myth is that all bass behave in the same manner no matter where they are found. In reality, any knowledgeable angler would tell you that stark differences exist in largemouth and smallmouth bass’s behaviors, prey choices, and habitats. Largemouth bass include two distinct subspecies, which are the northern largemouth and the Florida largemouth bass. In addition, research shows that even fish from the same state have unique DNA, and differences in cover type, diet, and water color additionally make bass behave differently in different lakes. For instance, topwater lures can be effective in some lakes, while they are ineffective in others. In the same way, night fishing can be productive in some places and useless in others. This is why consulting local fishing guides and experts is wise when you are fishing in a new body of water.

All You Need is a Boat

People often think the presence of a boat can make or break an angler’s fishing experience. In reality, the skill level of the angler plays a much greater role in the angler’s success than his or her watercraft does. However, it can still be helpful to have a small boat. A small boat fits well in small bodies of water, the homes of large bass in states ranging from California to Iowa and Florida. A full-sized bass boat cannot enter shallow zones, and it struggles to navigate through dense vegetation and timber. Even when it can reach these hard-to-reach areas, the boat can end up spooking large fish. Small boats are even helpful in large bodies of water because they force you to go slowly and stay focused on your environment and the fish you are attempting to catch, which is necessary to experience success behind the reel.

Best Places to Visit in Switzerland

Interlaken 

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In its glory days Interlaken was known as the watch making center of the world. They were known for their watchmaking around the world so there is defintely a lot of history here if you or someone in your family is into history. Tourist have been coming here since the 1800s to breathe in that fresh mountain air (which is probably more appealing now then ever) as well as utilize the spa treatments. Tourist looking for great photo opportunities defintely need to take advantage of the beautiful the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Monch. If there are any people who are looking for that adrenaline rush, there is also a lot of out door activities to take part in, especially in the winter.

Zurich

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Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city which can very appealing to tourist as it boast over 50 museums and over 100 art galleries looking for people who want to take in the culture. If you ever get tired of shopping for famous Swiss brand name goods (or you just run out of money) you can take part in the beautiful Lake Zurich or go hiking in the nearby mountains. The night life is probably the best here in the whole country with Zurich offering a diverse range of options from night clubs to restaurants. If your group varies a lot this is probably the best place to go as there is something for everyone.

Zermatt

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If you are looking for something a little more quaint then Zermatt is the place for you. It is a small town known for its skiing and its mountaineering due to the fact that it is incredibly close to Matterhorn one of the biggest mountains in Switzerland. An interesting fact about Zermatt is that gasoline-driven cars are not allowed in the city so any vehicle must be battery operated.

Best Snowboarding Spots Around the World

Best Snowboarding Spots Around the World

Whistler, Canada 

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There is a reason this place has constantly been rated the number one spot in North America. It hosted the 2010 winter Olympics along with Vancouver. The terrain is absolutely beautiful so when you combine that with the fact that it is extremely lose to Vancouver it makes it a must see destination. What makes it a great destination is that it has a lot to do for any people in your group who are not into snowboarding as well. But if you are it has 37 lifts that can reach over 8000 acres of varied and very challenging terrain for beginners as well as more advanced snow boarders. It has everything you could possibly want in bowls, steeps, a superpipe and much more.

Mammoth, California 

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Mammoth is gorgeous and a great excuse for any snowboarder who has not been to California to come to the sunshine state. Because of the great snow it get’s some times it is even possible to snowboard all the way up until May at this great resort. The Village is located at the edge of town and that in itself is a huge tourist spot. Once again if you are vacationing with a group that may not be as excited about snowboarding as you they definitely give them something to do as well. But the main attraction is definitely snowboarding and with over 150 trails set on a dead volcano, Mammoth delivers.

Davos, Switzerland 

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This is the best overall spot in Switzerland and it is not only a major snowboard resort it is also is a massive town and once again it offers things not just for snowboarders but the whole family as well. The deep powder, massive amount of trees, the big natural hits, half pipes and fun parks make this a must go to destination.

 

Surfing Destinations in the World for Beginners

4 Surfing Destinations in the World for Beginners

Best Spots to Surf for Beginners

With summer just a few months away, now is the best time to look for surfing destinations around the world. Whether you’re thinking about hitting the beach somewhere in the country or considering a surf-and-beach holiday abroad, there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to the best beaches for beginner surfers.

To help you get started, below are a few recommendations you might want to consider.

1. La Jolla Shores, California. Situated in the upscale town of San Diego, the mild waves at La Jolla Shores are perfect for newbie surfers. Plus, the beach is patrolled by trained lifeguards to ensure the safety of all beach goers enjoying the waters off the beach. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to swim with dolphins. Surfing lessons are available.

2. Bali’s Legian Beach. With mellow waves breaking close to shore, this is the ideal out-of-country destination for beginner surfers. The beach offers a quieter counterpart to Bali’s popular tourist hotspot, Kuta, so you can enjoy your surfing lessons in a more private environment.

3. Clarke’s Beach, Byron Bay, Australia. Australia is famous for its surfing spots, with beaches offering waves of varying degrees for all levels of surfers. But for beginners, the recommended spot is Clarke’s Beach. Small waves at the beach are ideal for beginners who wish to practice. Lessons are also available.

4. Hanalei Town, Kauai, Hawaii. Last, but certainly not the least, is Hanalei Town. Surrounded by gorgeous beaches, the town is one of the most idyllic regions in Hawaii. For beginners, the Hanalei Pier is ideal. The swells are moderate and friendly for newbies.

There are various other surfing hotspots all over the world that are perfect for beginner surfers. It is recommended that you do a bit of research first before booking your holiday. And since you will be traveling in the summer, it’s best to plan ahead and make your reservations early on.

 

 

Mack Prioleau: South Africa Trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed writing my last list of animals you must see on safari, I decided to keep it going with another list and with more animals. Do not feel that you are limited to the animals you see on this list or any other list for that matter, part of going on safari is seeing animals in their natural environment so unlike the zoo there is no guarantee on what you will see but you will see something amazing that puts life in perspective for you.

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Elephant

This one almost made it on my last list but there was just not enough room to fit it….pun very intended! In all seriousness this is the largest mammal on earth and the rare combination of beauty and size will definitely leave you in awe after you see this creature close up and in it’s natural habitat. The best things about these animals is that they are very peaceful when left alone but as you can imagine disturbing these creatures is not the way to go because having 12,000 lb’s of straight power charging you is probably not a good idea. Their size can reach over 14 feet and can be 30 feet wide and because of this as you can imagine they drink and eat 30-50 gallons of water and veggie every day.

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Giraffe 

The Giraffe may seem like a strange animal to put on this list for their lack of “excitement” as the other animals. But just like the elephant there is just something awe inspiring but the size and beauty of this animal. They have blue tongues (be honest we all turned our own tongues blue at one point with candy) they have 5 inch knobs in their hand and obviously incredibly long necks which makes them the tallest mammal on earth. This is a must see for any safari.

Mack Prioleau South Africa Trip

Having just recently visited South Africa, I thought I would include a blog about some of my favorite animals to see on safari as well as some others that I heard are a must see from fellow travelers, or in my research leading up to the trip.

Lion 

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This should come as no surprise, whether you are a fan of Lion King or just want to see the true king of the jungle in it’s natural environment this is usually the main attraction to going on safari in South Africa. Since they sleep about twenty hours a day (what a life) you are most likely to see then snoozing then running about but nothing can replace seeing a lion in their natural habitat whether they are sleeping or not.

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Mountain Gorilla

I wanted to add this one to the list because most people may overlook this animal as they can visit a gorilla in most zoo’s across the United States. But this is not a normal Gorilla this is an extremely rare one that only exist in a tiny area in East Africa and you actually have to take a special safari to see. If you  happen to be in East Africa this is definitely must see and will blow all your expectations out the water

Crocodile

Nile Crocodile 

This is one of the easiest animals to spot on safari as they can be found in almost every river across the continent. This is on the list because they have been around for over 200 million years and have that prehistoric look to it that I personally find so amazing. Not only that but the sheer size of them can be intimidating they can grow up to 18 feet. Because of their power they are actually responsible for a number of human fatalities so if you do see one be sure to proceed with extreme caution!