December is here and even with a few weeks left it´s time to have a look back at the year that has passed.
The year started with yet another Pink Caravan trip to South America. Eight weeks on a bus exploring the southern parts of this amazing part of the world. The most memorable experiences being the climb on to the Villarica Volcano and the last few days exploring Rapa Nui.
If you haven´t already have a look at my video from this trip.
Spring and summer
Coming back after such a great trips is always hard. Especially when you start thinking of how long until you get to go again. It did help however that the Norwegian Concert band championship was just weeks after I got back. Going to Trondheim this year I didn´t have a lot of expectations. We just qualified for a place at a lot higher level that we had played before so the chances of a letdown was there.
In the end we did great and ended up placing third. Much better than I would dream about.
When spring turned to summer I decided to start doing something I´ve been thinking about for a while. Getting out and about in nature near town. Living in Oslo you can pretty much travel for half an hour and end up in the middle of the woods.
I had just the most basic camping equipment. My sleeping bag, a propane stove and some bits and pieces. Instead of getting a tent I opted for trying a bit of hammock camping. The idea was to start out with a cheap hammock and go from there. But after looking around I got very impressed with the Draumr 3 hammock from Amok equipment. A fresh think on what a hammock might be and a nice place to sleep.
It was a bit more expensive what I had thought but a great way got get me up and going. Had to use it to get the cost per night down. I also ended up getting a new backpack for hiking. My first trips were made using my trusty Haglöfs Tight XXL backpack. But I soon found it just to small for more than a night out. I also got a older 80L backpack that I used when I went inter-railing and traveling in Australia. However it was showing its age and isn´t not the best in the wet. I was also a bit concerned about getting a to big backpack. Knowing my self I would just add a lot of unnecessary stuff if I had the space.
In the end I got a Gregory Baltoro 65 it is a good size for me and by getting the medium back and large hip belt I got a backpack that fits good and can carry a lot of stuff. At least enough for me to now want a bigger one.
I had a few very nice one nighters building up to a whole weekend in the woods. I guess after new year I´ll have to try it again in the winter time. This time I´m a bit worried about my sleeping bag, so I guess I´ll look for a spot where I can bug out if it get to cold.
There will be more fun in the woods next year, and perhaps I´ll look into trying a bit of tenting as well. Trolltunga and Preikestolen are places that I still haven´t visited. And doing a night up there would be cool. I guess that means no hammock.
Christmas and starting the new year in South America.
I´m not completely finished with South America for this year. And that is one of the reasons why I´m doing this look back so early.
On the 20th of December I´m going back. This time for a trip around Colombia for Christmas and New Year´s. This is a brand new trip launched by Rosabussarna (Pink Caravan) this year. No pink bus this time, but we´ll still cover a lot of ground and see a lot of great places.
Some of the highlights beeing:
- Mt. Monserrate
- Coffee plantations
- Cocoradalen and palma de cera
- Palomino and beaches
- Hiking in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
- Tayrona National Park
- Santa Marta
- Plaza de los Novios
- Cartagenas old town
- Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
- Isla Tierra Bomba
This trips got people I know from some of my other trips joining and I´m looking forward to seeing them again and explore new places.
For the first time on these trips I even got some inside information. I got in touch with Luisa who I know from my time in Wollongong and Isabel who I played Planetarion with ages ago. It is always nice to know someone local that can give you some hints on what to see and do. I might not be able to see them this trip, but who knows.
Keep watching, not too long until Colombia.