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What goes up...

In a change from our usual programme, here’s the lowdown on some of the things that are making our day on our trip.

Slippers and Socks.
It may sound obvious, but on a trip like this you miss your home comforts. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything especially luxurious, but rather something you would normally take for granted – maybe a clean T-shirt or some hair conditioner. Real luxury is to take this a step further – box-fresh slippers and a pair of new Icelandic Angora socks can feel like a weekend in a five star spa. Bliss.

Turkish Cotton Candy.
In this global day and age, it is really quite difficult to come across anything genuinely different. But as far as it goes, we can safely say we have never tasted anything quite like this candy from Ismit, which apparently is in the Guinness Book of Records (although we’re not sure for what). Surely invented by the Turkish Willie Wonka and defying all logic, when you put this in your mouth it’s crumbly like digestive biscuits with a bit of halva and the taste of candy floss. Confusing it may be, but we reckon it has to be the most
fun thing we have ever eaten.

Gaffer Tape and WD40.
Someone much handier with a spanner than us once told us that you only really one of two things to fix anything. Gaffer tape for things that move that shouldn’t, and WD40 for things that don’t move that should.

Mountain Equipment Jackets.
We expected that the time that we would be wettest and coldest would be out in the great wide open on some windswept broody crag in the middle of nowhere. However, we can tell you that on the ferry to Iceland around about the Faroe Islands is one of the windiest and wettest places we have ever been. The horizontal rain a stern test for our outer layers and the whipping wind equally asking questions of the permaloft coats and fleeces, we were seriously impressed by how admirably they coped.

Italian Pronunciation.
An ongoing source of discussion en route has been whether the voice of our Garmin is the bloke off ‘The Weakest Link’ – “Martin is the strongest link with the most correct answers. At the next roundabout take the third exit”. Even more entertaining has been the pronunciation of some of the more challenging Italian street names, occasionally sounding like a cross between Peter Kay and Trevor McDonald.

Jimmy Bo Crumpler Bag.
The search for the perfect camera bag is over, after 30 years of disappointment. Tough, waterproof and extremely usable, this bag can be worn over the shoulder or round the waist for the market trader feel. Either way, it’s big enough to get everything in with great access, but doesn’t drag you down when clambering up to a fault line.

Fishing Nets.
Whilst the tadpoling has been sadly lacking so far, these fishing nets have proved to be an unexpectedly useful form of support when wading Icelandic river crossings.

Mini wind-up torch.
This was a last minute buy in Decathlon. Cheap as chips but brilliant as it has no batteries and is very satisfying to wind up. Makes a nice noise,too. Because it’s so small it’s always in your pocket, so when it gets suddenly dark you don’t have to go rummaging in the bag for a torch which will inevitably be in the bottom of a bag ratchet strapped onto the roof anyway.

Roof lights.
We suppose originally these were intended for something exotic like lighting up the darkest corners of the bush on the search for lesser spotted possums. But we have to say that they have been absolutely invaluable in the deserted mountains of the darkest parts of North Anatolia.

Plastic Zip Loc Bags.
These are brilliant. Used receipts, cables and chargers, passports, loose change, stationery – all of them can be given a sheen of organisation with a Zip Loc bag. We’re even using one for a wash bag following several bids for freedom by the toothpaste.

At the start of a trip we had two chairs and three people, creating a sort of impromptu musical chairs scenario most evenings. However, The Lord will provide, and we came across this wonderful little chair abandoned in a campsite in Denmark. Looks great and well comfortable, they don’t make them like this anymore.

On first inspection, this didn’t appear to be the most appetizing of dishes. But the proof of the tentacle is in the eating, and it was in fact a delight of melt-in the-mouth delicious butteriness and easily the best thing we’ve eaten so far.

Inflatable crocodile.
The most common piece of advice we received before we left was to travel light. Pack only essential items, and pare everything down the absolute minimum, as every bit of space and weight is critical. We ignored that and brought along this inflatable crocodile and it was well worth it.

5 Responses to “What goes up…”

Colin on 1/11/2010 at 7:03 pm said :

The question is did you steal the deck chair or did you just borrow it ;)

Adam on 4/11/2010 at 12:05 pm said :

It was abandoned in the trash in Denmark, so I like to think we saved it from oblivion!

Tim on 5/11/2010 at 7:55 am said :

If you’re not going to finish that Octopus can I have it? Shame to waste it.
LIke the slippers & socks, it’s a good look.

Adam on 9/11/2010 at 2:37 pm said :

The advantage of the octopus over the chicken is that there is always enough leg to go round.

Bob Silver on 16/11/2010 at 10:59 am said :

Keep the photos coming old son, I want to know more!!! Hope you’re keeping it together ;-)

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