The Osprey Aether 70 Backpack

The Osprey Aether 70 Backpack comes with a number of useful and practical features. It looks good and is comfortable to carry. The shoulder straps come with a compression strap across the chest that holds the shoulder straps close together. The pack is also designed to rest most of its weight on the backpacker’s hips instead of the shoulders. It comes with waistbands that adapt to the person’s body contours and transfers the load onto the hips. The LightWire alloy peripheral-frame suspension system keeps the pack in shape and makes it easy to carry.The Osprey Aether 70 comes with a 3-liter hydration sleeve to carry water. A tube can be fitted to the hydration sleeve to drink water directly from the pack instead of having to remove it from the sleeve. There are mesh side pockets that can carry water bottles or fuel bottles for a camping stove. There are more pockets to store tent poles and other accessories. One of the great features of the pack is that it has a day pack that can be detached and carried separately. It can be used to hold maps, cameras and other scouting accessories. If needed, trekkers can offload the main pack, wrap the day pack around their waist and scout around the area to find a good place to pitch camp.There are loops and straps at the sides to wrap hiking poles. This keeps the poles easily accessible at any time. Fishing poles can also be inserted here or in one of the sleeves at the sides of the pack. The back of the pack is aerated with mesh material and bands to keep the back free of sweat. The sleeping bag can be accessed at the very bottom of the pack. The back of the pack has a stretchable sleeve that can hold an array of sundry items like raincoats or flashlights that one might have to access in a hurry.Most backpacks in this category have a top-down access. The Aether pack also loads from the top, but it also has a side access panel through which items can be reached through the side zipper. Trekkers can carry their tent, cooking pots, water filter, stove, food, clothes, towels and everything needed for a week-long solo with this pack. The Osprey Aether 70 comes in large, medium and small sizes and in tundra, magna and dusk colors.

Backpacking Information on the Maldives

Population: 338,000 (UN, 2005)
Capital: Male
Area: 298 sq km (115 sq miles)
Major language: Divehi
Major religion: Islam
Life expectancy: 67 years (men), 66 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 rufiyaa = 100 laariRepublic of Maldives is the epitome of a dream that is “a sunny side of life.” The Maldives islands conjures an imagery of a string of white glorious pearls afloat a cobalt blue of infinity, which is the Indian Ocean. Its paradise beauty is utterly stunning and the shores are in the purest white that it has in the last couple of years earned the prestige of the “World’s Most Romantic Destination.” The world’s true jewel, it is a destination beyond all destinations. Unfortunately, such a paradise that bathed in crystal blue waters and washed in pristine blue waters comes with a price (a hefty one too!) with its appeal almost exclusively affordable to everybody well-heeled. Acknowledged on paper as possibly South Asia’s richest country, the locals, however, suffer a different side of life that translates to dark and cloudy. Indeed, the local lifestyle in a land battered by storms, possessing too thin a soil to carry out a harvest, is a far cry from the brochure pictures of honeymoon suites and first class service. But of the multi-billion dollar travel industry, the 300,000 or so islanders reap no benefits. It is the government’s battle now to integrate progress within the society.GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATEIn Maldives, life is a beach, with around 1,190 corals strung afloat a total area of 90,000 km2 in which a greater part of which is water, and only 298 km2 is land mass. The paradise is endowed with the deep blue of the ocean, white of the sands and corals, gold of the sun, and the marriage of colours from different species of foliage and marine life. The terrain of the lowest country in the world is generally flat beaches with the highest point only at an elevation of 2.4 metres on Wilingili Island in the Addu Atoll, thus causing some recent green concerns and policies to surface and be open for dialogue. In truth, it is one of the most vulnerable places, if not the most, to rising sea levels. The Kingdom of A Thousand Isles is on the geographic coordinates (3 15 N, 73 00 E) right in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, sunny as ever with a tropically warm climate and a just-right temperature of 24 °C-30°C balanced out by the cool of the constant sea breeze. As the ultimate “winter escape”, the Maldives is heavily-touristed from the months of December to April but a little caution, from the months of February to April, the island is at its hottest in all sense of the word, and from June to August, the monsoon effects on the island with heavy rainfall. Regardless, there is absolutely no wrong time to visit the Maldives. As a nation that prays for future safety among the ocean where it lies, there can never be an exceptionally better time to explore this crown jewel than now when the sun is high and the waters are low.PEOPLE & CULTUREThe small archipelago of South Asia holds a small community of 396,334 (July 2009) Maldivians from the ethnic groups of South Indians, Sinhalese, and Arabs with culture and traditions of their own. More than 300,000 of the population are faithful of Sunni Islam. Adult literacy stands at 99%, and while MALDIVIAN DHIVEHI, a dialect of Sinhala, is the language of the islands, ENGLISH is widely spoken, not only by the elite and government officials, neither for business and state matters alone, but by the general public. The traveller will be amazed at how engaging and conversant the locals are that you can have a chat wherever you are in the archipelago. They aim to entertain as hospitality is comes naturally to the Malidivians.ATTRACTIONSo, no prior visa is required, and a 30-day visa is free upon arrival for all visitors, but the immortal question remains for the independent budget traveller. What is in store for the backpacker, our modern explorers? It ought to be known even at the bottom end, the Maldives still is not cheap. Well, Male has great budget choices coming in midrange at $50 for boutique brands to economically and ecologically sound hotels, and top-of-the-bottom range at $90. The backpackers are a rarity in these parts really, but we’re talking a “holiday of a lifetime” and “best value for money”. The Maldives archipelago is worth going to more than once if possible before the 23-inch sea level rise (that is almost 2 feet of water). The Maldives is the place for the “package tourist,” but getting to know the islands is by going independent. Good planning and a sweet decent financial lubrication will just about do it for the budget traveller. As 40% of Maldivians live on less than US$1 a day, so can you. Tourist policies tend to restrict contact with the locals and the tourists, so it just makes perfect sense to have your authentic Maldives vacation in any of the 200 inhabited islands like Male, if you cannot afford to stay in one of the 80 resort islands. The honeymooner or the sun worshipper may find a paradise in other few inhabited non-resort islands like Viligili, Hulhumale’, Thila Fushi and Himmafushi.FOODIt is in these non-resort islands you will find a real taste of Maldives. Maldivian cuisine is another word for exotic gourmet, or so they say. The first wave of European travellers did not like the food so the history of a Maldivian-sophistication begun. Traditional Maldivian cuisine, is entirely different from the Maldivian gourmet introduced in hotel restaurants, and is based on fish (tuna), coconut, and rice and other forms of starch. Dessert is another cultural experience because instead of a sweet jam or chocolate filling, fish meat nestles inside a puff pastry. Desserts show a tamer side to Maldivian gastronomy like Foni boakibaa, a baked sweet square dessert made with coconut, rice, flour, water, sugar and rose water. Banana in coconut milk, and watlappan, which is like a coconut custard with nuts are mild and lovely as well.For more valuable travel information on backpacking and various destinations throughout the world please visit our website Backpacking Addictz.JoshBackpacking Addictz
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Backpacking Information on Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTANPopulation: 5.3 million (UN, 2005)
Capital: Bishkek
Area: 199,900 sq km (77,182 sq miles)
Major languages: Kyrgyz, Russian
Major religions: Islam, Christianity
Life expectancy: 63 years (men), 71 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 som = 100 tyiynsThe barren, hot, and impoverished fields of the Kyrgyz Republic used to be a sleepy back border of the Soviet Union. Now, it is the best kept secret for travellers and tourism. Kyrgyzstan has become a vivacious nation that is no longer defined by dominating powers, having proven this recently by temporarily ousting its president and the entailing capitalist government. National tourist promotions state Kyrgyzstan as meaning “40 towns”, but locals recommend it to be not so. Kyrgyzstan from the sound of its name elicits an impression of a strange and mysterious place unknown to the world for the most part, but the name which actually means in Kyrgyz “immortal” or “indestructible” suggests an interesting culture that would name its nation such. Kyrgyzstan has the most liberal tourist visa policies in Central Asia and an economy to match Kazakhstan’s prowess.GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATEKyrgyzstan (42 52 N, 74 36 E) is a mountainous region dominated by the Tien Shan range, which in Kyrgyz means “Celestial mountains”. The traveller will find wild and rugged snow-capped mountains that give an admiration surpassing that of the Swiss Alps. And with 93% of the region mountainous, the nation is a wonderful place to be for nature-lovers. The republic is also a site for glaciers and high altitude lakes, the highest point being Jengish Chokusu at a height of 7,439 metres which is absolutely beautiful for hiking. The lowest point is 132 metres above sea level, the Kara Daryya. The climate is dry continental to polar in Tien Shan, temperate in the the north foothill zone, and subtropical in the southwest, at Fergana Valley.PEOPLE & CULTUREOf the 5,431,747 Kyrgyztanis in 2009, the Kyrgyz (Turkic group) comprise a fat demographic of around 70% of the population. Uzbeks (14.5%) are concentrated in the south, and the Russians (9%), in the north. The sizeable minority of Russians in the region explains the culture that remains and, also RUSSIAN as the official language. KYRGYZ, on the other hand, is the language of the state used in the parliament and at home. ENGLISH is spoken for its deemed significance and has been given the spotlight in education since the 1960’s, but English is widely spoken by the Kyrgyzstani youth who have been taught since primary school or have been learning the language as exchange students in the U.K. or Germany. Kyrgyzstan is a largely Islamic with 76% of the country as Muslims, while Russian Orthodox followers have a significant population of 20%. As a semi-nomadic society, agriculture is an important sector of the republic where livestock is the largest agricultural activity.ATTRACTIONStill a lot of the big cities are modern like Bishkek. Nonetheless, the charm of Kyrgyzstan depends on its nature culture. The stunning beauty of Kyrgyzstan appeals to the traveller who mostly loves the outdoors. Song-kul’s simplistic life amongst the grandiose of its pristine pastures and Lake Izzyk-kul’s versatility for sailing, surfing, boating, scuba diving and fishing are the main attractions of Kyrgyzstan. Izzyk translates to “hot” because it is the lake that never freezes even in winter seasons. Hiking is just superb in the hills around this lake. What a sight! The best part about Kyrgyzstan, there is no traffic. The rationale: public transport is a developing concept in these parts. The people of Kyrgyzstan make travel even more worthwhile with their naturally generous and respectful nature, so a traveller should know when planning to stay with a Kyrgyzstani family. Hospitality is uber important to the Kyrgyz people, which is why the Kyrgyzstanis host their guests in a generous manner to a point where they will offer you anything and everything they have.FOODFood is a significant part of Kyrgyz hospitality and might it be said that Kyrgyz cuisine is one of the best offerings you’ll get out of such hospitality. Meat is a primary ingredient in any Kyrgyz meal like horse meat or mutton. There are numerous dessert recipes in the Kyrgyz cuisine that are universal in Central Asia like meat dumplings (manty), noodles and meat (besh barmak), meat and veggie soup (shorpa), or fried meat and rice (paloo). And a Kyrgyz meal never ends without simple delicious desserts, from a nan-and-cream cheese/jam combo or fresh fruits to the most popular choymo tokach or tan mosho cookies made of intertwined leavened dough, fried in oil, and powdered with sugar. Khalvaitar is another ultra-delightful dessert is khalvaitar from mixing flour with sugar fried in sheep’s tail fat. Chak-chak, made of dough sugared with honey is also very popular in Kyrgyzstan or bliny, a Russian dessert of pancakes filled with cheese or jam. In Kyrgyzstan, less is indeed more.For more valuable travel information on backpacking and various destinations throughout the world please visit our website Backpacking AddictzJoshBackpacking Addictz
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