National Geographic’s 2013 Traveler Photo Contest is on and we’ve been sneaking a peek at some of the amazing pictures sent in from all over the world. Showcasing the natural beauty of the world, stunning portraits of people, spontaneous moments and gorgeous landscapes, it’s a feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul.
The competition is open to professional or amateur photographers who can submit their own entries until June 30th. See all the pictures from this years competition here, in the meantime we’ve picked out a couple of our favourites below.
Photo and caption by Fevzi DINTAS. This photograph was taken at Lipe Island in Thailand. Long exposure used and selective colours adjusted. Location: Lipe-Hat Yai, THAILAND
Photo and caption by vafa adib. Carpet for sale by beach vendor. Location: Mexico, Puerto Vallarta.
Photo and caption by Jennifer Holmes Beamer. While traveling through Tasmania, we took a detour to find this spectacular lavender field. After a soothing meander among endless fields of fragrant lavender we were ready for a nap in the red soil. Location: Tasmania Australia.
Photo and caption by Jasminder Singh Oberai. A boy in Nandgaon was playing Holi with his friends. I alongwith some friends was shooting the village side during holi and spotted him. He ran inside his house trying to avoid us. We stayed right outside his house waiting for him to emerge. Patience paid off very soon and he peeped from behind the door, smiled and vanished again. This moment was enough for us to capture this portrait. Location: Nandagaon, Uttar Pradesh, India
Photo and caption by Paul Oeschger. At the end of my last day of snorkeling in Kauai, I came upon this green sea turtle. It was the most amazing turtle I saw all week. Not only did it seem unfazed by my presence in the water, it actually kept swimming up to me, almost as if it was asking to have its portrait taken. I love underwater photography, something I didn’t discover until 25 years after I first picked up a camera. It’s a joy to experience the beauty of the sea and the life in it through snorkeling and photography. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. Location: Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Photo and caption by Pei-Chen Sung. She’s lying easily on the grass, within her mind’s absence, I captured this beautiful portrait. Location: Domaine de Boisbuchet, France
Photo and caption by Herschel Pollard. Amelia Island, Florida Camera: Zero Image 69 Pinhole, f/235 Film: Expired Kodak Portra 100T Exposure: About 5 seconds. Location: Amelia Island, Florida.
Here at Purple Travel we’re nothing if not helpful. Whether it’s finding you the best possible price for your holiday, tips on how to pack your bag, or what to wear on the beach this summer, we’re here to help.
Ladies – are you sick of that unsightly bikini tan? Have you got more lines on your body than Mother Teresa? Guys – does it look like you’ve still got your shorts on even when you’ve already taken them off? Is your behind akin to an Alaskan landscape?
Fret not. We’ve got you covered, or uncovered as the case may be.
Whether you just want to avoid unsightly marks, feel like getting down with your primal self or are a fully-fledged naturalist, the best nudist beaches can be a sandy haven for both your inner and outer self. With this list of our top naturalist beaches, you’ll be in the know as well as in the buff. And if you’re a little shyer, or perhaps travelling with your children – consider this a list of places to stay well away from…
Let’s begin our best nudist beaches with an old favourite:
Since the 1990s Spain’s Vera Playa has developed into an important naturism centre. It’s in the lovely region of Andalusia which mixes ancient cities with amazing beaches and deserts with ski resorts! So you should certainly be able to find a spot, to bare all. The infamous dunes of Maspalomas Beach in Gran Canaria provide plenty of coverage for stripping off and designated sections to get used to the new found freedom.
Next up is the Czech Republic; we hear there are over 50 recognized nudist beaches in the country, so you’ll have plenty of chances to get your kit off.
Leucate Plage in France, situated on the Mediterranean coast, just north of Perpignan is a superb bare beach of fine golden sand and warm waters. Three naturist resorts share the coastline, but the beach is open to all so there’s plenty of space for both first-time skinny-dippers and veteran nudists alike.
Greece: there are plenty of options in Greece, if you fancy whipping off your gear. Super Paradise Beach on the frankly, glorious island of Mykonos has nude friendly policy and in some parts “nudism is actually obligatory.” Another good one is on Skiathos, near Koukounaries on the south-west coast, where you’ll find Banana Beach – the collective name for three sandy coves, worshipped by naturalist bathers. And before you get any ideas, the name refers to the fact the beaches are yellow and curved…
Croatia’s Vrsar is home to Koversada, which is one of the largest nudist resorts in Europe! According to Wikipedia it can take up to 18,500 guests per day. Better bare (!) that in mind when booking…
Looking towards more tropical climates, daring to bare in the Caribbean has never been more inviting. Seven Mile Beach in Negril Jamaica, is a very nude friendly resort, although the beach itself is public property, so topless is ok, but if you’re losing your bottoms you’ll have to pay extra. The Hedonism resort, also in Negril is as the name suggest open to not only nudist sunbathers, but plenty more besides.
Heading down Mexico Way, you’ll find the Hidden Beach Resort, an ‘au naturel club’ which claims to be the only All Inclusive Nudist Resort in the Mexico Caribbean. A top choice for the best nudist beaches in the world… at least we think so.
The Sunshine State of Florida, welcomes nudity with open arms…well almost. Haulover Beach is an official tax supported public nude beach, with excellent facilities and you don’t need to worry about getting hassled in a state of undress.
One word of caution: While it’s true ‘topfree’ is popular in most resorts, it’s not for everyone. Be sure to check with the local authority to be sure!
Stop what you’re doing. We’ve got your summer holiday sorted right now. News giant CNN has just released it’s 100 best beaches… in the world. Nice right? You’re telling us.
Grande Anse Beach, on La Digue Island, Seychelles takes the top spot, thanks to its secluded, hard-to-get to location. But they’ve also included a few that are easy to get to. Here’s our pick of not-quite-out-of-the-way beaches that are realistic options for next summer.
Falassarna Beach, Crete, Greece Crete, one of the most popular resorts from the UK, has Falassarna Beach, with an endless stretch of sand, and the biggest party on the island held on the first Saturday of each month. It’s at #100 on the list of World’s Best Beaches.
Luskentyre Beach, Outer HebridesWho would have thought a Scottish Beach would beat competition from the likes of Greece, the Caribbean and Spain? Well, that’s exactly what’s happened with Luskentyre Beach in the Outer Hebrides. Perfect for hiking and fresh air, you won’t get a tan at #16 but it is very beautiful.
A living, breathing seafood soup, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest structure on the planet made entirely by living organisms. Expect a plethora of odd-looking, colourful and often endangered animals swimming at you from all angles. The reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site, containing some 1500 species of fish. It is without rival, the world’s largest coral reef system, even able to be seen from space. Make sure you get certified before you go though – you’re not Kate Bosworth ok.
Barrier Reef, Belize
Charles Darwin once called this reef “the most remarkable in the West Indies.” Its bubbling, warm waters are home to the world’s largest population of West Indian manatee, and manta ray and spotted eagle ray are fairly common sights. Even hammerhead sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and the oceanic white tip sharks can be spotted by luckier divers (or extremely unlucky, as the case may be). Cuddle with the friendly sea cows (not with the sharks), explore the mangrove-covered islands or swim over to the Big Blue Hole – allegedly the largest sinkhole on Earth. Jacques Cousteau named it his favourite diving spot – no surprise considering this 185-mile-long gigantic wall of unspoilt beauty packs more ecodiversity than any other on the planet.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
You’ll be hard-pressed to find water clearer than the Caribbean waves of Grand Cayman. The island is actually the peak of a mountain, and most of the surrounding former peaks are now underwater, offering sheer drops so you don’t have to go far from the coast to get deep. This also provides shelter from perilous conditions, providing calm and unspoilt beauty for divers. Make sure you check out Stingray City, a series of shallow sandbars, where stingrays have been tamed for years feeding on fisherman’s scraps.
Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao is perfect for the low-budget traveller, as it is a relatively inexpensive place to learn to scuba dive. Thailand’s large Andaman coast offers hundreds of islands, many of which are uninhabited and fringed with spectacular coral reefs. Whale sharks inhabit the waters along with a kaleidoscope of brightly-coloured fish. However, the best bit about choosing Koh Tao is that it has as many nightclubs and bars on the island as there are fish in its sea, so if you’re not a serious diver, and you like your liquid as much in a cocktail glass as you like it enveloping your scuba suit, then this is the place for you.
Although primarily famous for those big hunks of pyramid-shaped mystery erupting from the sand, Egypt is also famous for its incredible diving spots. If you love history and you love diving, this is your spot. An affordable alternative to beaches in Europe or the Caribbean, Egyptian beaches along the Red Sea offer sun-filled holidays and unparalleled waters. The Straits of Gubal are a particularly interesting choice, having claimed dozens of ships over history; shipwrecks, pirate treasure and dead sailors are as much a part of the Sea as the water is and warm, bubbly, tropical coral reefs make the Red Sea feel like one big bathtub.
Although you may have to deal with the teenage shrieks of ‘Spring Break whoooooooo!’, Cozumel is not just a paradise for meathead jocks and bottle blonde cheerleaders. The warm, clear waters of this Atlantic superhighway make it a diver’s dream. The Gulf Stream in particular is a prime scuba spot – the experience lending itself to something on the long the lines of being Superman, only with more fish. But with nineteen distinct reefs to choose from and a host of deep dives that go down as far as 3,000 feet, Cozumel is a scuba diver’s playground. For awesome tunnels, caves and caverns, there are few better locations.
Mexico is a firm favourite of honeymooners – its chic credentials even stretch to being featured in the SATC movie (where Carrie spent her post-wedding ‘Mexicoma’). But why has this seemingly unromantic location become such a honeymoon hotspot?
The secret to a great value honeymoon is not just being entertained, but engaging in activities that allow you to work and play together. Very much a diverse travel experience, Mexico honeymoons fully cater to this need.
In Cancun, couples can tour through ancient Mayan ruins and bask on the palm tree-dotted beaches; in Riviera Maya, they can learn how to salsa dance and some discover some top luxury resorts; in Los Cabos, adventurous couples can dabble in water sports, lavish retreats and romantic beaches, and in Acapulco, couples can enjoy the bustling nightlife, excellent dining scene and stunning landscapes. And that is without even mentioning the remote islands that offer completely secluded getaways.
Whichever area you choose, you can rest assured that Mexico honeymoons have all the required tools to make your post-wedding holiday extra special – the people are wonderful, the food varied and superb, and its storied history has left momentous architectural and cultural pawmarks throughout the land. Expect ancient temples, white beaches that are out of this world and a rich cultural smorgasbord that provides for honeymooners of all dispositions. The only question is… where to stay? That’s why we’ve put together this guide to gorgeous hotels for Mexico Honeymoons. Enjoy!
Situated on a heavenly stretch of the Yucatan coast, set within 36 acres of jungle, mangrove reserves and natural lagoons, this super-cool hideaway feels private and exclusive although not far from tourist hub, Cancun.
Each of the 128 ultra-luxe, minimally-decorated villas comes complete with its own secluded garden bathroom and some offer individual plunge pools. A haven for total privacy, it is no surprise that the Asian-inspired guest rooms have been frequented by stars including Sir Paul McCartney and Christian Louboutin himself.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental sets a new standard of holistic well-being that embodies the riches of Mayan philosophy, intermingled with traditional Asian healing rituals. Spend an afternoon enjoying its special Mayan Tzolkin Ritual for a quintessential renewal experience, or take some time to explore the second largest barrier reef in the world, or perhaps head to the Mayan ruins close by in Tulum, Chichén Itza and Coba.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Also on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Banyan Tree Mayokoba, which opened in 2009, is a five-star resort of 132 villas, set amongst the mangroves. Each villa is completely hidden from the next, making it a firm favourite romantic escape of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas – they can count on privacy when leaping out of bed and straight into the pool.
Aside from unparalleled luxury and a staff that brings a sense of Asian hospitality to the Mexican Caribbean, the resort’s Romance Manager is its real selling point. On hand to arrange one-off romantic experiences, whether it is a candlelit dinner on the beach, a private cruise at sunset or a couple’s spa treatment at your villa, the Romance Manager adds that little bit extra.
And with a seven-course tasting menu available from the Tamarind restaurant, Banyan Tree Mayakoba feels as if it were created just for honeymooners.
With the slogan ‘paradise found’, Las Alamandas, a luxury boutique hotel in Costalegre, forms its own lost world of seven sorbet-hued villas and 1,500 acres of unspoilt tropical bliss.
Each of the fuchsia and orange-coloured room has its own theme that incorporate a pleasing mix of designs, fabrics, and crafts, selected from all over Mexico, including Rattan sofas upholstered in canary yellow or shocking pink and Mexican folk art hand-painted artifacts.
The candlelit Oasis restaurant serves fresh and healthy cuisine including sushi, vegetables picked from their own garden and guacamole and huevos rancheros for breakfast, but any wish is the kitchen’s command. In fact, the hotel can organise almost anything. In response to anything you request, the staff will simply say, ‘Of course, this is your home.’ From horse riding and hiking to an ocean-side massage, this is the most relaxed you’ll ever be.
Rosewood San Miguel
Tucked away on a cobbled side street, the Rosewood San Miguel appears to be a beautiful old haçienda, although it is actually brand new. You’ll drive through real cowboy country to get there and be greeted with a margarita at the door, to aid your step into the past.
Situated in the enchanting artists’ village of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World heritage site, the hotel is decorated with a fusion of traditional Mexican artwork and furniture, complemented by modern luxuries such as Frette linen and poolside cabanas.
The world-class Sense spa sanctuary follows a similar theme, offering a full range of therapies that integrate Mexican healing traditions and indigenous ingredients, with state-of-the-art facilities and an extensive treatment list.
The high altitude slows the pace, so fill your days with Pilates classes, Mexican cookery class or watch the sunset on a star-studded sky while enjoying amazing cocktails and moreish nibbles at The Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar.
Las Ventanas Al Paraiso
As its name implies, Las Ventanas is a window to paradise. Perched on the Baja California peninsula on the west coast of Mexico, the desert beach hideaway in Los Cabos mesmerises couples with huge suites, inspired cuisine and a fantastic spa that’s a sanctuary of renewal and revitalization.
The huge bedrooms all have a plunge pool and a wealth of famous fans (Kate Beckinsale honeymooned here and Jennifer Aniston is a regular).You will be greeted by an in-room tequila welcome and fresh fruit that’s replenished daily.
Las Ventanas offer some innovative honeymoon services, in fact, they have a whole ‘romance department’ dedicated to meeting your needs. Services include requesting a handwritten love letter that would be discovered amongst household bills telling your intended about a surprise getaway, an Aphrodisiac Dinner menu for private diners, salsa classes for two or even a message in a bottle to appear whilst bathing at the beach.
From a dinner by the sea to a movie for two on the beach, Las Ventanas makes romance happen.
If you’re looking to let it all hang out, feel the passion and generally get up to as much mischief as possible, check out our sexiest holidays. As always, whatever we’ve missed leave it in the comments.
Hedonism Resorts,Jamaica this place really lives up to its name. Au naturel accommodation (including mirrored ceilings), singles opting to share rooms, and nightly parties, this is where grownups go to lose every inhibition.
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Sin City was bound to appear on this list. The Moorea Beach Club is an over-21s ‘European Bathing Experience’ offering poolside massages, a waterside casino, and some of the best and most attentive staff in the city. Just remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Thermal Baths, Budapest Hungarians are known for a bit of a lack of inhibitions so why not join the party and strip off like the locals in one of the gorgeous thermal baths. Filled with saunas, whirlpools, plunge pools and men and women in various states of undress. Getting all hot and naked is as good a way as any to get a party started.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands Eh, there’s the Red Light District, that famous relaxed atmosphere and reputation for free-spiritedness all combining to make Amsterdam an excellent getaway particularly if you’ve only a few days to do it. Head for a burlesque club, or the famous sex museum to really spice things up.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans The infamous carnival is easily one of the biggest street parties in the world, there’s nothing quite like the seductive rhythm of Mardi Gras to spice up your holidays. There’s the odd flash of flesh in exchange for beads, but be warned, it’s not exactly legal, hundreds are arrested each year for public nudity.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil It’s got everything you need for a sexy holiday. It’s exotic, has the ultimate party reputation, the hottest guys and girls vying for space on the unbelievable beaches and a thumping club scene. Head for the Copacabana to soak up the atmosphere.
Paphos, Cyprus has good credentials when it comes to loving. It was the home of an actual love goddess in the form of Aprhodite, who tempted the mighty Adonis with lust. It may not have all worked out, but you can still recreate that summer romance on the perfect party island.
Temptation Resorts, Mexico A themed hotel designed with an adults-only atmosphere, Temptations has its focus on relaxation, with a casual attitude to all aspects of your holiday. Go topless, enjoy a themed night, party for 24 hours, or simply chill out in this all inclusive resort.
Fun, fun, fun at Disneyland USA Surely a no brainer, Disneyland is the chance to treat your kids (and yourself) to an unforgettable adventure. The Radisson WorldGate Hotel in Kissimmee is just a mile from Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. You can even watch the theme park’s fireworks show from your room and hit the shops for some much needed retail therapy. It’s really the cherry on top of any family holidays you might be after.
Hit the beach in the BalearicsMajorca, Menorca and Ibiza, take your pick: The handy family run Hotel Almudaini in Palma de Mallorca, is just a few minutes’ walk from Passeig Maritimo and almost every amenity in town – the port, palace and market. For Menorca head for the family friendly resort of Cala’n Forcat, with its beaches, bouncy castles and aqua parks. Remember, Ibiza is not just for serious partying, there’s a softer, gentler side, with cosy villas away from the clubbing centres, but lively enough for mum and dad to enjoy too. Try Santa Eulalia, or Es Cana for great family holidays in the sunshine.
Ski adventure in Borovets Bulgaria is a fab choice for families with children, with a snow park especially for youngsters and wide runs in amongst green pine forests. There is a high standard of English speaking schools, and it’s a good choice for beginners, improvers or advanced skiers. Depending on where you stay there is free nursery or ski school as well as a great selection of cosy restaurants or day trips to the capital Sofia. The Hotel Rila has gorgeous views, mountain biking and hiking trips organised by qualified guides along with a great location right at the bottom of the ski runs.
Tropical getaway Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa, Riviera Maya, Mexico the ideal in all inclusive, the Dreams in Tulum has excellent rooms, some with ocean or garden views and a private terrace. The onsite Explorer’s Club offers a Mayan themed world of fun for children aged between three and 12. Daily activities include climbing walls, splash fountains and outdoor movie screenings. For more adventurous kids, there’s a camping adventure every week.
Cruise in Turkey A great choice for one parent families, you join a party atmosphere on a cruise past tiny fishing villages, practically deserted beaches and tonnes of kayaking, swimming or diving. In the evenings, parents can gather on deck and relax over a glass of local brew, while the kids are entertained with movies.
Family luxury Cyprus The Almyra Hotel in Paphos is the perfect laidback getaway that’s is both stylish and child friendly. Children of all ages are at the heart of this hotel, with excellent childcare available. This includes supervised clubs, indoor and outdoor play areas, interconnecting rooms and children’s menus and a Baby Go Lightly service, so you can order all sorts of baby necessities before you arrive, e.g. nappies, car seats etc. For older children and teenagers, there is a dedicated ‘urban graffiti’ designed area with video games and big screens.
Dude Ranch, in the USA A holiday with a difference, this is the chance to test your cowboy skills. Set on a huge ranch, you and your family will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and glorious sunsets. The Elk Mountain Ranch is known as the “White Water Capital of Colorado” and there is plenty of opportunity to go rafting along with hayrides, biking and erm, square dancing. A great choice for children, each day has a theme such as cowboy or Indian, there are dedicated camp counsellors and even a water slide park nearby, meaning every base is covered.
Classic sunshine Depending on who you talk to, there are a couple of thousand islands in Greece, so there is plenty to choose from. To top it off, it’s one of the best places for a bargain break; there is a big push to get visitors in this year, so prices have dropped and there is room for haggling. Try the resort of Amoudara in Crete, with a three mile long stretch of sand and tonnes of tavernas to lunch in. For days out try the Labyrinth of Knossos or the AquaWorld Aquarium and stay at the Castro Hotel, just a couple of minutes from a private beach, with its own pool and plenty of restaurants nearby.
We were well impressed with Felix Baumgartner’s jump, where the Austrian hurled himself out of a space capsule a whopping 24 miles up in the air. Well, when we saw Fearless Felix, we thought we’d like to have a go at it, here’s our run down of some crazy adventure holidays… If that’s what you’re into! Enjoy!
Wife Carrying this is not strictly for husbands and wives, but each male competitor must carry a female teammate across a special obstacle track as quickly as possible. There are various techniques including piggyback, fireman’s carry or our personal favourite, Estonian style, where the wife hangs upside down, holding onto her husband’s waist with her legs over his shoulders. It started in Finland but is growing in popularity in the USA.
Zorbing Hop into an inflatable orb, (usually) made of plastic and you’ll be pushed down a nice gentle slope. Not really extreme, but included in this list for its level of unusualness. The first zorbing site was in New Zealand, but it’s spread globally (possible after its use in Gladiators!) and is a hit in Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Greece.
Chess Boxing A kind of hybrid sport, chess boxing was invented by a Dutch artist this is one of the craziest ‘adventure holidays’ you could ask for. It’s made up of eleven rounds – six of chess, each lasting four minutes and five rounds of boxing, each three minutes long. Participants have to be as good at boxing as they are at chess. It’s very popular in Berlin and London and growing in places like Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Cheese Rolling Take one massive wheel of cheese, throw it down Cooper’s Hill in the Cotswolds, and watch as competitors break arms, legs or teeth trying to catch it. As soon as the cheese is thrown a group of twenty or so participants leap down the steep hill and the first one to cross the finish line wins. The intensity of their injuries is a badge of honour in this case.
Extreme Ironing Not two words you would normally put together, extreme ironing combines the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt, with the white knuckle thrills of extreme outdoor activity. Thrill seekers attempt to iron on tiny mountain tops, in the middle of the M1, while skiing or snowboarding, and even while bungee jumping. From the Florida Quays, to the Netherlands to Australia, this is one sport you’ll be never get board of (wah wah.)
Limbo Skating One for the flexible only, we’re told this is the latest rage in India, where riders wear rollerskates and stretch eye wateringly low to pass under cars. This requires some serious strength and balance.
Volcano Surfing Yes, this is a thing. It is a fairly new sport having just been discovered/invented and sees surfers use a thin layer of plywood or a metal board to travel down a recently erupted volcano. Riders hike to the top and sit, slide or (attempt) to stand on the board all the way down. So far, we’ve only found evidence of this new sport in Nicaragua.
Camel Wrestling If you’re on holidays in Bodrum in Turkey, you have to check this out. After a camel beauty pageant, entrants (the camels) are set on each other to fight it out over a female. It’s actually strictly controlled to protect the animals taking part.
Bog Snorkelling Every year in Wales, crowds gather to watch competitions swim up a 133 metre stretch of bog water, filled with weeds and muck. ‘Nuff said.
Crocodile Bungee Jumping If you’re a bit bored of regular old bungee jumping then this will spice things up a bit. Already a bit of a hit in Oz, croco-bungee sees jumpers hop into water which is home to the snappy animals.
Cliff Diving Championed by Felix’s buddies at Red Bull, cliff diving is becoming more and more popular all around the world. Not for the faint hearted, this takes a lot of effort, training and dedication. Spectacular to watch, it’s one of our favourites. In the past few years alone there have been huge competitions in places like the Azores, Yucatan Mexico, the Aran Islands off Ireland, Athens, Greece and plenty more beyond.
After extensive research (!) we’ve compiled our list of the best boozy holidays. Whether it’s a stag or hen do, a beer discovering holiday or you simply like to throw back a few pints, choose these holiday destinations for a spirited pick me up.
Cancun, Mexico This purpose built resort has been serving the best in tequila since the 70s. It’s a kind of anything goes place, so be prepared to let your hair down.
Amsterdam, Holland The home of Heineken is a firm favourite for stag dos. Not only will you get up to all sorts of boozy shenanigans, but it’s well known that Amsterdam’s explosive nightlife caters for all kinds of fun.