• Mira Rai voted National Geographic’s 2017 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year

    Ramesh Tiwari
    January 27, 2017
    Mira Rai voted National Geographic’s 2017 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year

    Washington : Mira Rai, a Nepali trail runner, has been named the 2017 National Geographic People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for her tireless efforts in breaking down barriers for women in Nepal through sports.

    She was selected from an impressive group of adventurers whose extraordinary achievements in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism and adventure sports distinguished them in the past year.

    The 10 honorees were announced on Nov. 3, 2016, and the public was invited to vote through Dec. 16, 2016, for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year according to a statement of National Geographic.

    Rai is a high-elevation racing phenom in Nepal who has placed at international trail running races in both Australia and Europe. In 2015, she received second place in the Skyrunning World Competitions. In a country where access to education is limited for girls and women don’t have time to study, the strides Rai has taken to compete as an international elite athlete are truly inspiring.

    A ruptured ACL in early 2016 forced Mira to undergo surgery and put her running career on hold. During her recovery, she took on an active role in encouraging others to run by organizing the first ever running race in her home village of Bhojpur, Nepal. She secured 90 pairs of running shoes for children who do not have them and raised money through her running community, a pasta sale in Italy and screenings of a movie about her journey, entitled Mira, at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. 

    “Mira is an outstanding natural athlete with huge potential in trail running,” said Mary Anne Potts, editorial director of National Geographic Adventure. “She’s had the courage to break with traditional expectations to follow her dreams—and she is determined now to use her experience to empower the younger generation in Nepal.”

     2017 Adventurers of the Year People’s Choice nominees are:

    The Hōkūle‘a Team, comprised of celestial circumnavigators who have embarked on a four-year journey across large swaths of oceans in the famed Hōkūle‘a voyaging canoe guided only by the stars and the belief that Polynesian culture should not be lost to the wake of modernization. In the process, they ignited a cultural restoration in Hawaii and taught a new generation of adventurers how to navigate by the stars. Nainoa Thompson, a member of the team, was a 2016 recipient of the National Geographic Society’s most prestigious award, the Hubbard medal.

    Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, an American business woman and adventurer turned conservationist. Tompkins funded the creation of a large wilderness conservation areas in the heart of South America’s famed Patagonia region. Along with her late husband, Doug Tompkins, she helped create five national parks and preserved more than 2.5 million acres of mountains, forests, waterways and the fauna that depend on the landscape.

    Krzysztof Starnawski, a Polish cave diver and National Geographic Explorer who discovered the world’s deepest underwater cave in the fall of 2016. For two decades Starnawski believed that the Hranická Propast cave complex in the Czech Republic could be the deepest underwater cave system in the world. Last year, he discovered a small passage 800 feet down that he squirmed through to discover a deeper chamber. This fall he went all the way to the bottom (1,325 feet) using a combination of human and ROV-enabled exploration.

    Peter McBride and Kevin Fedarko, American hikers, journalists, and National Geographic Explorers, both with long ties to the Grand Canyon, embarked on an incredible journey to hike its entire length—875 mostly trail-less miles. While the arduous journey has been completed before, McBride’s images and Fedarko’s words catalyzed attention to the troubling issues facing not only the Grand Canyon, but our park system as a whole.

    Semit Lee, a Chinese kayaker who completed the first solo source-to-sea descent of the 5,464-kilometer-long Yellow River in China. The river is thought of as the cradle of Chinese civilization. Lee negotiated fierce rapids and steep gorges, but the trip also had a different purpose—a cultural and environmental survey of how people live along the river banks.

    Colin Haley, an American mountaineer who has doggedly pushed the boundaries of alpine climbing for the last 15 years. But, as veteran alpinist Rolando Garibotti put it, Haley’s 2016 season might be the best anyone has ever had in Patagonia. He completed the first solo ascent of Torre Egger, the 9,350-foot snowcapped granite turret on the border between Chile and Argentina, considered amongst the hardest climbs in the world. He also achieved several other rapid ascents in the region. Then, in June, he stormed up the Infinite Spur on Mount Foraker in the Alaska Range by himself in a day.

    Ashima Shiraishi, a teenage American rock climber who has continued her progression as one of the world’s best climbers, becoming the first female to climb the hardest-rated boulder problem—Horizon in Japan, in March, then Sleepy Rave in Australia, in August.

    Antoine Girard, a French paraglider who soared above 8,100 meters to fly over the summit of Broad Peak on the China-Pakistan border in the Himalaya. It’s the first time a paraglider pilot has broken that elevation, much less flown above the summit of one the world’s tallest peaks.

    Shannon Switzer Swanson, an American surfer, marine conservationist and National Geographic Explorer who embarked on an ambitious journey to illuminate the global supply chain of tropical fish destined for American aquariums. Using her unique set of water skills and an academic approach, Swanson and her team journeyed from Indonesian reefs to enthusiasts’ homes to shine light on human impacts both positive and minus on our world’s sea life.

    Nepali mountaineer Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita was voted the 2016 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year for her courageous efforts to help her fellow after 2015’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

    Source: National Geographic , Jan. 26 , 2017

    • Connecting you with the world of travel and tourism

      News Brief

      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism