Since I visited Iceland for the first time, back in 2013, for work, I promised myself I would be back soonest, in this particularly stunning piece of land in the middle of the North Atlantic. Come this spring, I saw an opportunity to have a go at the classic Landmannalaugar trail, and drafted a rough plan to cover the trail over a long weekend in June. As this hike, during the peak season also playfully referred to as Laugavegur trail (after the busy main street of Reykjavik) trail, meets a lot of traffic during the summer months, once all the huts and backcountry roads are open, I scheduled my flights as early as possible in June, trying to avoid the worst crowd.
Starting a new hobby is a whole lot of fun and while you are eagerly snaffling information all over, trying to get on top of the basics, sometimes it is good to resort to professionals to put you on the right track right from the start. This approach was proven very useful for example on my entry to alpine climbing few years back, when hiring a UIAGM certified guide to show me, literally, the ropes provided a sound foundation despite having climbed rock and ice before in non-alpine environment. As sailing involves quite a lot of knowledge about sails and sailboat mechanics and physics, and related to the surrounding natural environment, I felt it would be smart to use a similar approach and kick it off with an instructor. Sailing courses typically start running around May and booking early is advised. I chose the earliest possible slot, and completed the Competent Crew course (Purjehtijakurssi) last week, with Kesäpurje.
A big fan of utility watches, I have always had a keen eye on new innovative products that are entering the market, especially if they have any potential to be a game changer when it comes to form and/or function. Wristop computers, or wearable smart devices if you will, have come a long way from the launch of of the world’s first outdoor watch Suunto Vector back in 1998, packing today an impressive amount of functions for such small gadgets. For me, Suunto, Polar and Garmin are the companies that have been pushing the envelope through the generations of products, and over the last 15 years, I have been happily using products such as the Vector, T6- and Ambit-series from Suunto, S-series bicycle watches from Polar and Edge bike computers from Garmin. While the physical products themselves have improved over time with better design and use of materials such as light composites, stainless steel and mineral and sapphire glass, so have also the software products that are paramount for this type of smart devices. Evolved from executables running on your desktop computer, at times only on Windows OS, today we see them gone all cloudy and social, which is all very welcome, if not completely trouble-free.