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Travel Tuesday: Osprey Packs Around the Globe

July 12th, 2011

Eastern Sierras, California

via Skunkabilly

We did an Osprey Packs Around the Globe post a couple of months back, and it was so popular we figured we should do it again!

Bordeaux, France

Photo via Randozone

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Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

October 15th, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, delivers the latest from new team member Aimee Cebulski who is on a 6-month world travel adventure. She’s taking an Osprey Sojourn 28 with her (from our new Travel Collection). This is her fifth update coming to you from Egypt…

Are we in Egypt or Las Vegas?  Sharm El Sheikh turned out to be much more of a resort town than we thought.  Once upon a time this was a diver’s haven, a little strip of land right on the Red Sea.  Now, it’s a super developed, all-inclusive style of resort town.  Not really our scene (but it does have a Casino!).

There are countless 5-star resorts and a sea of buffets (along with people stuffing their faces) – And diving is a big business here.  We almost fell over with sticker shock when shopping for a hotel.  We scored a sweet deal at the Iberotel Lido – which is actually a very nice property, right on Naama Bay, with a killer view.  We nabbed a rate of only $180/night – includes breakfast and dinner.  This is a steal here.  Needless to say, we dramatically changed our plan to spend only a few nights here and then move quickly out of the area.

We’ve enjoyed the hotel, relaxing on the pool deck and taking in some of the local seafood at restaurants here.  Our main purpose to come to the Red Sea was to do some scuba diving.  For the last 2 days, we’ve been heading out with Camel Dive Club, one of the oldest dive shops here.

It’s a well-oiled machine, extremely organized and also very focused on diver safety, which is excellent.  Jeff says it’s the most he’s ever paid for diving, so again, we are not staying here as long as we first planned.

We’ve done 2 dives each day over the last 2 days.  The water conditions are outstanding, warm, clear and blue.  Tons of fish, amazing coral (color, styles and variety) but not as much wildlife as we have seen in other spots (turtles, reef sharks, etc.).

A videographer accompanied our group on our dives today out in Ras Mohammed National Park and she produced a video for viewing before we were even back at shore!  You home video fans (dad!) would have been super impressed at the video quality underwater and the production value of the finished piece.  However, at 45 Euro (about $68) for a finished copy, purchasing one was just not in our budget!  We were shocked at the price.  At 45 Euro, no one bought one.  If she had priced them more like 10 Euro, she would have sold out!

We’re staying here until Friday (not diving tomorrow) and then heading to the coastal haven of Dahab.  This is much more of a backpacker’s place and more like the experience we are hoping to get out of the Red Sea.  We booked a cool little hotel called the Alaska Camp & Hotel (go figure) – Our 7 nights there will equal ONE night here.  Insane!

We haven’t taken too many pictures – but a few here of us and the Red Sea.

Signing off for now, hopefully will blog again in Dahab, our hotel is supposed to have free WiFi.

sojourn28Features of the Sojourn 28 wheeled convertible pack: Our StraightJacket™ compression system has always been well-suited to the rigors of travel. Add the High Road™ Chassis to the mix and you’ve got the Sojourn. For those who want to reduce the hoist component of their haul time it can’t be beat. When you do need to carry the Sojourn our superb zip-away suspension is on the ready. You’ll also find foam sidewalls for keeping the load secure, while handy mesh pockets, clothing straps and front panel daisy chains maintain your organization. Colors available: Earth, Charcoal, Pepper. Sojourn Series.

For more information about Aimee, check out her bio page here.

Brand Team posts, Outdoor Activities, Product , , ,

The fourth installment: Cairo

October 6th, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, delivers the latest from new team member Aimee Cebulski who is on a 6-month world travel adventure. She’s taking an Osprey Sojourn 28 with her (from our new Travel Collection). This is her fourth update coming to you from Egypt…

We’ve now left Europe behind and are starting our African portion of our trip…We landed in Cairo, Egypt on October 1. We’ve been here for the last four days and there is just too much to say!

Neither Jeff nor I had ever been to Egypt and really didn’t know what to expect. We had heard everything from fears of harassment and constant scams, talk of unsafe neighborhoods and overflowing garbage and a general overall consensus that Cairo was best to “get in, see the sights on a tour, and get out…”

We were blown away at how wrong our perceptions were. From the moment we arrived in Cairo and met our driver from the hotel (the historic Windsor Hotel in downtown Cairo), we have been treated with respect, kindness and courtesy. Friendliness and chants of “hello” and “welcome to Cairo” followed us almost everywhere we went.

Like any big city, there have been the occasional moments of someone trying to sell us something, pollution, people cutting in line, etc. – But, we have just been floored at the positive energy of Cairo.

The Windsor Hotel is a turn-of-the century hotel with a famous bar and lounge, old-school gate elevator and even an old-fashioned punch style phone switchboard downstairs. It has the aura of a hotel that was once grand but now a little faded. It is in need of some repair and you can tell things might not work as well as an ultra-modern hotel, but we are loving it! Staff is unbelievably nice and helpful – In the mornings, they always make sure I have a take away for Jeff if I go down for breakfast early and he hasn’t faced the world yet…

The best experience with staff so far was 2 nights ago – I was sitting in the lounge doing some research and a nice gentleman was introducing himself \to everyone in the lounge, making sure they were enjoying themselves. He was the owner, Mr. Doss. I mentioned to him that Jeff & I were going to head out the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar later that night. Mr. Doss volunteered to personally drop us off there on his way home, even though it was out of his way! It was a comfortable ride in his Mercedes, but we were swallowed in a sea of crazy traffic as he pointed out facts about parts of the city we were driving through.

A word about Cairo traffic: Insanity. If you think you’ve seen bad traffic in LA, NY, London, Bangkok, wherever – You haven’t seen anything like this. Traffic lanes are merely suggestions, lights really don’t exist, you cross the street “Frogger” style (hopping from lane to lane) – However, we haven’t seen a single accident of any kind! Cairo drivers are either the best or the worst in the world!

In terms of attractions/activities, there are so many to mention. I’ll let the photos do the talking but I’ll post some highlights here:

(Night 1 – we arrived, went to hotel, enjoyed the lounge…)

Day 1: Over to Old Cairo, walked the maze of streets below the city, underground churches. We left the tourist area (you can easily see everywhere where the tour buses stop and how tourists are shuttled away, never to see the real Cairo)….We ended up walking for miles just checking out local neighborhoods, finding the old city walls, etc. I didn’t take many pictures as we didn’t want to intrude into people’s lives, just a few here…But we were greeted by so many smiles it was wonderful! We were the ONLY tourists we saw anywhere during our excursion; one little boy even said “cheese” and took my picture!

Night 2: We went to the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar. Overwhelming! People, stalls, food, scents, sounds, a crazy mix and a fun way to spend a few hours. Got a few cool trinkets.

Day 2: Egyptian Museum in the morning – amazing collection, but it was a bit jumbled and disorganized (as much of Cairo is!) – Royal Mummies were cool but overpriced; favorite part was all the loot that was taken out of King Tut’s Tomb in 1922 – Over 5,000 pieces, including his sarcophagus and head piece!

Night 3: Relaxed at hotel for a bit, then went out over to The Nile Hotel (right on The Nile River) for their rooftop bar – fantastic views of the river, we enjoyed some food and drink and took in a football (soccer) match on TV.

Day 3: Pyramids!!! We started early, went around the grounds, into some smaller tombs – The only bummer was The Great Pyramid was not open to interior visits today due to restoration work, but we plan on going to tons of temples at Luxor so we were OK with that…Walked around the Sphinx, enjoyed cold drinks in the café looking out to the plateau…Obviously, pictures don’t do it justice.

We took our time, watching tour groups getting herded in and out in rapid succession. We even left the grounds for a while, explored a bit of the Giza neighborhood, had lunch at Pizza Hut (one right outside the gates has the BEST view in the world of the Sphinx and Pyramids)…

It’s a trip – The pyramids are right in a suburban neighborhood – you look over in your car and bam! There they are…We went back in, walked around some more, had another cool Coca Light and took it all in before heading back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

Later today, we are heading to Luxor via the night train and can’t wait to see more temples. Cairo has been an absolute blast and we are so glad we did things on our own, used the subway, walked around (and got lost on occasion, but had a great time) – It’s a shame more people don’t venture out of the cocoon of their tour groups and tourist hotel compounds – we feel like we saw a lot more than the average visitor and are leaving with a fantastic impression of the city and the Egyptian people.

My Sojourn continues to serve me well. I wheeled it around the Milan and Cairo airports easily and have found a few new nooks and crannies in the bag (the space behind the straps inside the zip-up portion makes a great space for storing dirty laundry!)

Sorry this is so long – there has just been so much to share! Signing off for now…

Brand Team posts, Outdoor Activities, Product , , ,

Next stop: Slovenia

September 30th, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, delivers the latest from new team member Aimee Cebulski who is on a 6-month world travel adventure. She’s taking an Osprey Sojourn 28 with her (from our new Travel Collection). This is her third update coming to you from Slovenia…

After two weeks in Western Europe, we decided to maximize our Eurail and hit some of Eastern Europe. Austria borders Slovenia so we headed to the capital town of Ljubljana.  We watched the countryside change as we trundled east and ventured into the land behind the former Iron Curtain.

We didn’t make any reservations and decided to wing it, even though this is a relatively small town for a capital city.  Luckily, the extremely friendly associate at the Tourist Information Center was able to book us in a nice, clean hotel just a short walk from the old town.  We were planning on staying only 2 nights, but we like it here and are taking a day trip to Zagreb, Croatia tomorrow…The plan was to actually go over to Zagreb and stay a night, but once we saw how close it was by train and the easier train connections to Venice from this region, we decided to turn it into a day trip.


Like most of Eastern Europe, Ljubljana is a city of contrasts – Ancient medieval castles and structures next to 60s era Communist block structures covered with graffiti of all colors and types.  We’ve dubbed it the “City of Cigarettes” because we find ourselves playing a game – how many people can we find at a café not smoking??  It’s a bit tough on the lungs but we are figuring out where to best position ourselves at each meal.

The food has been delicious so far and we’ve enjoyed wandering around the town, strolling the river and today we visited the obligatory castle high on the hill and the town market.  I’m attaching a few photos of the city, the castle, Passport Duck visiting the famous Dragon Bridge, etc.

We have no idea what to expect tomorrow in Zagreb, but we’re up for an adventure!  After Slovenia, we’ve booked ourselves 2 nights in Venice (thanks Internet for finding the smoking deal [not the third rate Pall Mall type]…) and then our last 2 nights in Europe will be in Milan – We fly to Cairo on October 1st.  Who knows what adventures lay ahead?!

sojourn28Features of the Sojourn 28 wheeled convertible pack: Our StraightJacket™ compression system has always been well-suited to the rigors of travel. Add the High Road™ Chassis to the mix and you’ve got the Sojourn. For those who want to reduce the hoist component of their haul time it can’t be beat. When you do need to carry the Sojourn our superb zip-away suspension is on the ready. You’ll also find foam sidewalls for keeping the load secure, while handy mesh pockets, clothing straps and front panel daisy chains maintain your organization. Colors available: Earth, Charcoal, Pepper. Sojourn Series.

For more information about Aimee, check out her bio page here.

Brand Team posts ,

Away We Go!

September 4th, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, introduces new team member Aimee Cebulski. Aimee is a San Diego County resident about to embark on a 6-month world travel adventure. She’s taking an Osprey Sojourn 28 with her (from our new Travel Collection) and will be documenting her experiences right here. Check back often for her stories and experiences putting the Sojourn through the rigors. Welcome to the team Aimee…

So here we are with less than one week to go until D-Day! 6 months hitting the road, traveling throughout Europe, Africa and SE Asia — We’re both taking a leave of absence from work (we both work for ourselves) and I’ve rented out my house for a year! The storage unit is packed and complete — Jeff’s up at his folks’ condo and gave up his place — I’m still here at my house though there is not much left. Just some furniture to be picked up today and really just the clothes I’ll be taking.

I will be storing my computer and camera accessories at my folks’ to avoid overheating them in the storage unit. I’ll be working from this makeshift desk with a kitchen nook table until departure day…

Also have gathered all the necessary meds, prescription and otherwise, I’ll need on this adventure — I am packing as light as I can but man! Attached is a photo of my bag (Osprey Sojourn 28) that I am using and my clothes — I already have my packing list done and organized. It might change a little, but this is basically it.

Photos attached here of the packing dry run…Keeping it to the bare minimum!

  • 4 t-shirts
  • 4 tank tops
  • 2 long sleeve lightweight t shirts for nighttime/bug repellant
  • 2 pairs of lightweight pants
  • 1 pair of jeans (still debating this)
  • 2 skirts
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 2 dresses — one nicer/one sundress
  • 1 pair flip flops
  • 1 pair black mary janes — walking shoes
  • 1 pair merrell hiking shoes
  • 1 floppy sun hat
  • 1 baseball hat
  • 1 light windbreaker

That’s pretty much it! It fits easily in the Sojourn so far with lots of room for goodies down the road! Much more to come…

Features of the Sojourn 28 wheeled convertible pack:

sojourn28Our StraightJacket™ compression system has always been well-suited to the rigors of travel. Add the High Road™ Chassis to the mix and you’ve got the Sojourn. For those who want to reduce the hoist component of their haul time it can’t be beat. When you do need to carry the Sojourn our superb zip-away suspension is on the ready. You’ll also find foam sidewalls for keeping the load secure, while handy mesh pockets, clothing straps and front panel daisy chains maintain your organization. Colors available: Earth, Charcoal, Pepper. Sojourn Series.

For more information about Aimee, check out her bio page here.

Brand Team posts, Outdoor Activities, Product , ,

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