Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Airport Porn

Right now I’m at Newark Airport. Since I have some free wifi at my hotel, might as well post about the first day of the RTW trip! May 8th, 2010.

I’ve always found it funny that the iconic German sex shop, Beate Uhse, has a branch in the Munich Airport:

Beate Uhse at Munich Airport

The window is filled with… well, things you wouldn’t want your kids asking, “Mommy, what is THAT for?” But, that’s Germany!

Private by Beate Uhse

My first experience with German/Austrian TV had the following news stories in prime time:

  • 7:30: Re-enactment of a police sting that busted a child pornographer. Complete with a box of videos with unsubtle titles.
  • 7:45: A piece on tanning beds. I was a bit shocked when the woman dropped her robe, standing naked in front of the tanning bed while explaining the details.
  • 8:00: Feature about a famous motorcyclist who’d had a bad accident and had severe damage to his junk. As he lay there in bed, with a football-sized bandage covering his otherwise naked crotch, his wife says “This is the 22nd operation. I only hope that it works and we can soon have sex again.”

Welcome to Europe!

Posted 12 years, 5 months ago at 3:35 pm.


Overstuffed Pack

Stay tuned for my upcoming ebook: “How to fit a 30L daypack inside an already-full 65L backpack!”

Stuffed Osprey 65L Pack

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out an author interview that I gave over at Swordreaver! It’s a cool blog that has lots of author interviews and a fast-growing base.

I leave for my plane in a few minutes, hoping to avoid any ash-cloud delays. 😉

Posted 12 years, 5 months ago at 11:29 am.


What is this Sauce of Death?

Blair’s Death Sauce is one of my favorite hot sauce brands. It’s got real flavor, despite being very hot (which hardly any chili sauce can achieve). The sauces range from warm (Sweet Death) to outrageous (Ultra Death – see YouTube clip) to the hottest food ever: pure capsaicin extract.

I plan to bring a bottle of Death Sauce with me on my round-the-world trip. Which kind should it be? Currently I’ve got these babies sitting around:

Death Sauce Collection 1

I was debating about Salsa de la Muerte (Spanish-speaking export version), After Death, or perhaps Stronger than Death. I don’t want to bring one so hot that no one can do more than taste a drop on a toothpick. Of course, if Blair could comp me a bottle of Golden Death (and could get it into Europe despite the volcano), I’d gladly share the newest member of the family with those I meet around the globe…

Hot Sauce lovers, Chiliheads, lend me your taste buds… which sauce do YOU think I should take around the world with me?

Death Sauce Collection 2

For those interested in how the photos were taken, see the setup below:


The first picture featured here was taken with a red gel on the off-camera strobe with the umbrella. The second was taken without gels. In both cases I used a “puffer” on the camera’s flash to soften the light.

Posted 12 years, 5 months ago at 3:44 pm.


The Grand Canyon of the Pacific

One of the destinations I plan to visit on my round-the-world trip is Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. By lucky coincidence, I got in touch with a local resident who volunteered to write a guest post about this fantastic island: Jake Garrett from The Villas at Poipu Kai. Currently [month of Mar 2010] they are offering a promotion for a free helicopter ride to Waimea Canyon. On to Jake’s post, which includes details on a great hike I’ll definitely do!


In 1866 Mark Twain travelled to the Hawaiian Islands and gave the secluded tropical paradise a real place on the map. He was on assignment from the Sacramento Union and wrote 25 letters documenting his journey. During his time he never made it to the Garden Isle of Kauai, yet Kauaians are anxious to claim him as part of their history. The legend goes that when Twain visited the Waimea Canyon he dubbed it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Well, the story is false, but it doesn’t require a folk hero to see that the title is well attributed.

The Waimea Canyon stacks up the Grand Canyon quite well in beauty and history. Two natural processes have formed the island over the last 5 million years – natural rainfall from the wettest place on earth and the collapse of the islands’ primary volcano. Centuries of cataclysmic events and continuous erosion give sightseers a breathtaking experience. The canyon is 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and 3,600 ft deep. The displaced sediment over the years forms the entire plain of the southwest portion of the island.

Waimea Canyon

All these facts make Waimea Canyon a must see when visiting Kauai. You can make the trip to the canyon one day long or a week long. If you are going to make it a day trip be sure to bring a long sleeved shirt. The temperature up the canyon is 10-15 degrees cooler than the rest of the island. Also, you should go on at least a small hike. While the lookouts are nice and the vistas spectacular – there is nothing like walking down through this immense canyon and forest area. There are a number of hikes that you can choose. A great day hike is on the Canyon Trail to Waipo’o Falls. The trail is 2.4 miles one way. The trailhead starts at the Pu’u Hinahina lookout between mile markers 13 and 14 on Waimea Canyon Drive. The hike should take 2-3 hours depending on how long you linger.

Waipoo Falls

The stories that you will be able to tell will give Mark Twain his biggest regret – not visiting the Grand Canyon of the Pacific!!


Thanks for the great post, Jake – this canyon is somewhere I’ll definitely spend a few days during my trip in May!

Map picture

Posted 12 years, 6 months ago at 7:39 pm.


What to pack?

Since the last travel post, I upgraded (exchanged) from a 50L pack to a 65L model. With the Osprey Atmos 65, I was able to fit in everything I need, at a weight (so far) of 28 pounds. I expect that’ll go up about 2 or 3 pounds before I leave. Here it is so far:

Pack contents

Packed into the backback (including the “small” 30L day-pack):

Atmos 65 packed up

Dave wearing the Atmos 65

Am I missing anything vital?

On the list so far:

  • Osprey Atmos 65 backpack
  • Osprey pack cover for the time it spends on a plane
  • Deuter 30L daypack
  • REI 45 degree down sleeping bag
  • Camelbak water bladder
  • 1L Sigg bottle (not sure yet)
  • D-SLR camera with mini tripod
  • 70-300mm lens for the D-SLR
  • 13″ laptop with power adapter & plug adapters
  • 2 pairs of long pants (one convertible to shorts)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 3-4 short-sleeve shirts: one Smartwool, one normal high-tech fabric, 1-2 quick-dry button up
  • 2 long-sleeve shirts: one Smartwool, one quick-dry button up
  • 1 Smartwool lightweight sweater
  • 1 Windstopper vest
  • 1 waterproof/breathable shell
  • 1 Microfiber towel
  • 1 mesh sack to hold clothes
  • 1 stuff sack for dirty stuff
  • 3 pairs Ex Officio quick-drying underwear
  • 2 pairs REI light wool hiking socks, 2 pairs light quick-dry socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Teva sandals
  • Suntan lotion
  • Mini pocket camera
  • iPod Touch
  • 50′ rope (clothesline, extra shoelaces, etc)
  • Swiss army knife, chosen over a Leatherman due to size, price, and having a corkscrew
  • Zipka headlamp
  • Earplugs and eye covers
  • Mobile phone
  • Bag o’ chargers
  • Sunglasses (2 kinds, one for use with contacts)
  • Toiletries kit (contacts, razor, toothbrush, soap, ibuprofen, antacid, etc)
  • Sewing repair kit
  • Cap with brim
  • Thin liner hat
  • Travel money belt
  • Lightweight walking shoes with mesh for quick drying
  • 1-3 hangars to dry button-up shirts on (?)
  • Zip ties
  • Luggage lock for hostels (standard, or cable lock?)
  • 18-200mm lens to replace 18-55mm + 70-300mm?
  • Another short-sleeved Smartwool or Icebreaker?
  • Mini umbrella?
  • Belt
  • Safety pins
  • Plastic bags
  • Woolite
  • Insect repellant?

I can’t believe that all this weighs in at just about 30 pounds!

Posted 12 years, 8 months ago at 11:00 am.


Around the World

After a lot of time and effort, I’ve saved up 200,000 frequent flyer miles on one carrier. Say what? Yes, that’s a lot. Enough for a coach-class “round the world” fare with 5 stops.

Some equipment (jackets, pants, Tevas, D90 D-SLR) I already have, but I’m loading up on gear this week while I’m in the States where the stuff is cheap. So far I picked up this pack, an Osprey Atmos 50:

Osprey Atmos 50

Plus I’ve found:

  • a lightweight down sleeping bag (perfect for hostels)
  • short and long Smartwool shirts, 150 weight
  • merino socks
  • headlamp with AAA’s
  • slimline money belt
  • in the plans: lightweight shoes

What critical pieces of gear would you recommend? I have super short hair so can skip the shampoo, but I need to bring a beard trimmer. I hope one charge on my Braun will last 2-3 months, hehe.

Possible stops after I depart Munich:

  • somewhere in South America
  • Hawaii
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Asia… Korea? Thailand?

Where have you been? What was the BEST hostel you ever stayed at? (For me it was the AF Chapman ship in Stockholm). I’m definitely open for suggestions. I’m planning a couple of side trips from my main itinerary with separate airline flights or train trips. And I’m aiming for warm climates, as I won’t bring full winter gear.

Let’s see what happens — maybe I meet a few of you on my travels!

Posted 12 years, 8 months ago at 5:49 am.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.