Posts Tagged With: bag

A bag for Southeast Asia – Osprey Farpoint 70

My prep continues for the trip to South East Asia, as the clock is ticking down – my gAdventures app now happily reminds me i’ve just got 70 days until departure!

Thankfully most of the gear I bought for my adventure to Peru is the same stuff i’ll need in South East Asia, but one thing I did need is a sensible travel bag.  As you probably know I do a lot of travel for work – but that’s always ‘easy’ travel – a suitcase, into a taxi, into a hotel.  Whilst this trip is fairly comfortable, it’s much more suited to a backpack style packing than a suitcase, so it’s time for me to invest.

For Peru I borrowed my friends bag, a Haglöfs backpack, but since i’m no longer living in Sweden, that’s not a convenient option.  On top of that, i’m planning to more of these style trips, so it makes sense to invest in my own.

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Osprey Farpoint 70

Today, I decided, was shopping day – and I headed into an area of London where there are a bunch of outdoors shops.  I’d already done a bit of research online so I knew roughly what price point I was looking at, and who stocked which brands.  In the end my decision was fairly easy – hanging right by the entrance to Cotswold Outdoor was the beautiful Farpoint 70 from Osprey.  It’s a brilliant idea – a 70 litre backpack which combines a holdall style packing with the carrying convenience of a backpack.  The whole thing zips up so you can hide the backpack straps and turn it into checked luggage, or you can quickly unzip it and stick it on your back at the other end.  On top of that, there’s a front section which doubles as a day-pack, but zips to the main bag when you’re ready to carry them together.

Backpack-6

Two bags in one!

What a brilliant idea!

Essentially it’s two packs in one, but they can be carried as a single pack – one of my big fears about having my own pack was having to do that silly front/back carry which you see travellers doing all the time.

A 70 litre pack should be enough for 18 days, plus some space for souvenirs.  The really neat thing about this pack is that rather than packing top-down as most backpacks do, it unzips open like a hold-all.  This makes it much easier to get in and out of it when you’re travelling quickly between different hotels – rather than having to delve deep into the bag to find that one illusive item.

BackpackPacked

Front-loading packing system

I’m really happy with my purchase, and looking forward to getting to the stage where I can pack it!

Video review here

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Categories: Gear, Shopping, South East Asia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quest of the Gods – Day 15, Journey home

Boarding started at 00:30, and everything was normal – I took my seat, did up my belt, stuck on my eye mask and fell deep asleep.  I’d love to tell you a lot about the flight, but honestly… I woke up 30 minutes before landing, when they turned the lights back on.  The lady next to me commented that “you slept like a baby” – I had managed to sleep for almost 5 hours non stop.  My flight route was: Lima – Houston – Chicago – Frankfurt – Gothenburg.

Plane selfie

Plane selfie

When we landed in Houston, I made my way to the next gate.  My boarding pass was flagged up as TSA-PRE which means I should get the expedited security process, but on connecting flights in Houston there was no TSA-PRE line so I had to join the normal security line and go through the usual TSA rubbish of taking shoes off, emptying laptops out, etc.

I had a while to kill in Houston and even though it was only 7am local time, I stopped in at a diner in the terminal and ordered a veggie burger and a milkshake.  I was trying to shift my body back into European time, so eating a lunch sized meal at breakfast is part of the process.  I had actually been craving french fries and a veggie burger for a few days (the food in Peru was amazing, but always very healthy… sometimes you need to cheat a bit!).

Once I got to the gate, they announced that the plane was “still in the hanger” and that the “super” machines they use to transport them aren’t to super, because 2 of them had broken down and therefore we would be delayed departing out of Houston.  I was freaking out because I had a 1:09 connection in Houston and the lady at the gate looked sympathetic but was unable to do anything until we started boarding, by which time it was too late.   Luckily Chicago is a busy airport so if I missed my german connection i’m sure there would be another possible route.

Plane selfie

Plane selfie

As it happens, I slept almost all of the Houston-Chicago flight as well, waking just before landing again.  I wish I could write a manual for how I do it, because i’m sure everyone would like to be able to do this – but I have no idea.  I think it’s a combination of being on far too many planes, and having a small body.

Knowing Chicago well, I was sad to see we arrived in the B gates and my connecting flight was departing from C…. this meant I had to tackle THE TUNNEL.  If you’ve been to Chicago, you’ll know what I mean. It’s a crazy underground tunnel which passes right under the jetway between the two terminals, and is decorated in horrible neon sculptures.  I RAN from B14 to C10, literally sprinting, and was pleased to make it to the gate before they started boarding the last group… I sat down in my seat, wondering if someone was also running with my bag.

We arrived early in Frankfurt, at 5:15am.  I have been to Frankfurt well over 30 times this year, and made it extremely quickly through immigration and into the executive lounge. Life was starting to feel a bit more normal now – croissant, coffee, yoghurt and familiar surroundings.

I headed to the gate a little early to enquire about my bag… had it made it?  I was told by the gate assistant that it had, and they were loading it onto the plane as we spoke.  Phew!  That would have been a frustrating end to the holiday, albeit an all too familiar situation for me.  Once we boarded the plane, I was surprised by just how quiet the flight was…. I guess a 7am departure from Frankfurt on a Monday isn’t a popular flight to Sweden.

Plane selfie

Plane selfie

On the last leg, I finished reading The Book Thief, which was a really well written and touching storyline.  I need to try and see the movie now, since it really intrigues me how you can create a movie covering such a broad timeline in a teenage life.

Landing in Gothenburg, I reflected that i’d last seen a bed at 7am two days before (this was now Monday morning, I had woken up on Saturday in Lima).  Thank god I can sleep on planes! It had somehow turned into Christmas time when we got to the terminal in Gothenburg, which kind of took me by surprise.  I wasn’t able to enjoy that though, since I felt pretty gross, and desperate for a shower, which is exactly what I did as soon as I got home.

Christmas in GOT

Christmas in GOT

Home… the end of the journey.

Categories: Peru | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can I go yet????

Well, after three tries, I managed it! Everything fits into the rucksack. And the rucksack fits into the flight bag.  Which means, it’s time to go!!!

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Except I have a week of work still to go.

Can I go yet?!?!

Categories: Gear, Peru | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The anxiety dreams have started

Last night I was treated to a night of anxious dreams about packing for Peru – in my dream I had epically managed to forget to pack my bag and the flight was leaving in just a few hours. I had to rush around and sort things out and get everything ready for the trip in way too short a time, and of course it meant I ended up arriving with completely the wrong stuff!

I don’t know why i’m getting dreams like that – the bag is sitting in my living room half packed already and I still have 20 days to go! My spreadsheet is basically all ticked off and everything is in neat little piles – i’ve never been so organised for a trip!  I guess the human brain works in mysterious ways…  Let’s just hope it was a one off, I don’t really fancy 3 weeks of anxiety dreams before my departure!

Categories: Future Adventures, Peru | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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