zmidloch.com

Traveling around the world

Posts by: jirka

Iceland trek – Trek in the Landmannalaugar and around the Eyjafjallajökull

By on 7. February 2017

Before you visit Iceland

Iceland is a very expensive country. Every single thing, every single service will take a lot of money from your pocket. Plan carefully before you visit Iceland. Every day you spend in iceland that you haven’t planned for, is going to be quite expensive. There are several ways to spend your Iceland trip. Most of people rent a car – a big 4×4 off-road car –  and all of them visit the same places at the same time in the same order (because they follow the Lonely Planet Guide recommendations). I don’t judge this kind of traveling. You can visit all the attractions in a short amount of time. But it is not for me. It’s about money and laziness. Some people do the Iceland trip in “punk way” and they hitch-hike. This kind can be fun but you can lose a lot of time. My way of travelling is somewhere in the middle. I usually make good plans and then I improvise. I am used to use public transportation and if there is no other choice, I hitch-hike. It is the best way to get to know Iceland.

Targets

Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork, Skogar, Godaland, Asbyrgi, volcanoes, hot springs, arctic fox. (more…)

Annapurna Circuit – The first Himalayan experience in Nepal

By on 16. November 2016

Annapurna Circuit experience – first Himalayan trek

Two years ago I visited Nepal for the first time. I have been there between two major events – one moth after the snow disaster in Thorong La (2014) and 5 moths before the catastrophic earthquake (2015) – obviously, I was lucky. I visited this country on my own so the best trekking choice for me was the legendary Annapurna Circuit. It was a great experience and I wrote a lot of articles about it – unfortunately in my native language, Czech. If you know Czech language you can find these posts here:

If you do not speak Czech, this post is written for you.

Arrival to Káthmándú

It was a really crazy travel to Káthmándú. Bus Brno-Vienna, plane Vienna-Düsseldorf, plane Düsseldorf-Abú Dhabí, plane Abú Dhabí-Káthmándú. The first administrative operations (and troubles) waited for me right at the airport. Well… I had enough money for the visa, but it took some time to find some extra photos.

(more…)

Visited countries – map of my traveling

By on 2. November 2016

This is map of my traveling. Countries and places I have been visited. I hope that there will be more visited countries in the future. (more…)

GPS and other electronic devices – essential outdoor equipment

By on 31. October 2016

Garmin 64s – GPS device

Garmin 64s is something like an electronic outdoor brother. I still use paper maps as well, but only as “overview maps”. I use GPS maps in terrain. Garmin 64s is quite a big device, but it is excellent. It has high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver and 3-axis electronic compass with barometric altimeter. It is waterproof, temperature proof and almost unbreakable. There is only one thing to improve – the screen. After first year the screen was full of thin scratches so I have started to use screen protective foil on it. Sometimes, if you need some special function,  it takes a while to find it in the menu. But generally it is the best choice to buy. Alternative (cheaper) device I would buy is a Garmin eTrex 30x – may be in my next life.

Globalstar Spot – satellite messenger

Globalstar Spot is a very useful device especially if you travel alone. It communicates with the Globalstar satellites and sends your position (and movement) to the special map site. You can send a private link to your family and friends and they can watch your outdoor steps. There is a messaging button and an emergency button in this device as well. It also cooperates with rescue services. You can use several Globalstar services, but all of them are commercial. I use an older version of this device. A new version is available now (2016) – SPOT Gen3. If you think about it, find out the maps’ coverage first. In Himalayas (Nepal) and Patagonia it does not work properly, there is bad coverage. But for example it is good in Europe, Island, Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). (more…)

Map sources – Commercial and alternative GPS outdoor maps for Garmin device

By on 22. October 2016

How to get maps for my GPS Garmin device?

If you want to use commercial Garmin maps, you probably have to buy them. They are not cheap. But there are a lot of alternatives that will help you with orientation and navigation on your trek. You could download (stolen!) commercial Garmin maps for older Garmin devices (for example Garmin Dakota), but it is not easy to use them in the new Garmin devices such as the Garmin 64 series and newer. I work with the Garmin 64s device. I bought some commercial GPS maps but mostly I work with free map alternatives. This post deals with my favorite GPS map websites.

Commercial GPS maps for Garmin devices – map sources to buy

(more…)

GPS software and Apps for orientation and navigation

By on 8. October 2016

Hi-tech trekking

I made a decision to share some of my experience I have gathered during my travels. I used to use basic equipment during my trips ten years ago – usually a map (a paper one) and a compass. Today…today everything is much more sophisticated, hi-tech, smart and also expensive. There are many tools, gear, apps and on-line technologies you can use for comfortable planning of your trek and for navigation in the middle of wild mountains.

2016 apps options

This article deals with apps, windows software and on-line tools for outdoor activities. It is 2016 right now, so if you read this post later, some of these apps and tools may not exist anymore. I won´t  write about the best apps in the world either – I am going to write about apps and technologies I currently use. I am going to write about the maps and gear as well, in different posts later on. (more…)

Svaneti Trek – Georgian Caucasus

By on 20. September 2016

Why travel to Georgia and where to go

Georgia is a strange country. It is an Asian post-soviet country, nevertheless wherever you look there are signs that they would rather be a European country. Nobody can understand the Georgian language, but you can communicate in Russian with everybody. And then there are Caucasus mountains..naturally. I was traveling across the Russian part of Caucasus 15 years ago, and there was an opportunity to visit this area again. This time on the Georgia side.  There were two interesting (and famous) areas I intended to visit – the Tusheti area and the Svaneti area. Because of the direct flight from Katowice to Kutaisi I chose the Svaneti area. I wanted to see the famous mountains such as Ushba, Shkhara and perhaps touch a glacier.

How to prepare yourself

Preparation depends on how you want to spent your time in Georgia. If you want to travel across the mountains, sleep in a tent, cook your own food – you should have good travel gear with you. You should know that in July and August there is extremely hot weather in the Svaneti area. So do not take your feather jacket, or winter sleeping bag because you will be sweaty all the time. If you have enough cash with you, than you can sleep and eat in the villages with locals and you will need just a small bag with you. There is a lot of cattle everywhere which also means that there is lot of excrement. Take some water-purification system with you (for example Steripen or Micropur tablets). If you intend to spend most of your time on your feet, you should be prepared for a lot of hill climbing. Every day is the same – you will start in some village and then you will go up, in the middle of the day you will be on the top and then you will go down to some other village – it hurts sometimes. So train your thighs, ass and knees. (more…)

Grossglockner trek

Hohe Tauern – Trekking around the Grossglockner

By on 12. July 2016

Austrian Alps for short treks

I had an opportunity to visit the Austrian part of the Alps at the beginning of July 2016. The Alps are a wide trekking area and it was not easy to choose the exact location. There were mainly two attractive options for us – Dachstein or Grossglockner. We finally made the decision to visit the Grossglockner area and I have to say that we chose the right option. The whole trip took five days – two days for transport and three days of trekking. There are some tips for you below.

Transport and travel costs

We went to Austria by car – this is probably the best option for people from Czech Republic. Distance Brno-Vienna-Heiligenblut takes around 7 hours (depends on weather, car, and traffic) and we were completely exhausted after that. Your travel costs depend on distance, your car and driving skills. You will have to pay for Motorway Vignette, 10 days is enough and it costs around 9 EUR. But there are more costs waiting for you later on. If you want to visit The Grossglockner High alpine road, you have to pay 54 EUR/car/30 days. More information about National Park Hohe Tauern fees. (more…)

View to Pico de Teide

Tenerife and La Gomera – Sleeping on the top of Pico de Teide

By on 29. May 2016

Planning of the Tenerife trek

What is the best option for Christmas holidays program? The best option is definitely visiting Tenerife – Canary Islands and sleep in the wild nature. The weather is good all year long, the views are amazing, there are no predators and really easy treks. So we went there and enjoyed our Christmas time. There is some information below, so you can follow our steps. You should know that we did not want to swim in the ocean, we wanted to experience great outdoor adventures.

Targets

Pajsaje Lunar, Guajara, Las Canadas, Pico de Teide, Masca, whales or dolphins. (more…)

Top of the Gokyo RI, Nepal

Mount Everest Base Camp trek via Gokyo Ri

By on 22. May 2016

Planning of EBC trek

During Christmas 2015 I started to plan my 2016 Himalayas trek. I have already visited the Annapurna area and this time I wanted to visit a different place. My first idea was the Langtang trek, but I was recommended to visit Everest area because of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal (which left the Langtang area completely destroyed). This time I made the decision not to travel alone, so I took a friend of mine with me. I didn’t want to do the classical EBC trek, so my main target was the Gokyo valley and Gokyo Ri. Our plane left Prague on March 12th, so there was one big advantage – our trek started 1 month before the regular trekking season.

Targets

Gokyo Lakes, Gokyo Ri, Cho La Pass, Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar (more…)