10 Best Tech Travel Backpack

Updated on: May 2021

Best Tech Travel Backpack in 2021


Fresion Travel Laptop Backpack for Men - Business Laptop Backpacks with USB Charging Port,Water Resistant College School Computer Bag pack fits 15.6 Inch Laptops and Notebook

Fresion Travel Laptop Backpack for Men - Business Laptop Backpacks with USB Charging Port,Water Resistant College School Computer Bag pack fits 15.6 Inch Laptops and Notebook
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2021

KAKA 40l Travel Backpack, Durable Carry On Backpack Heavy Duty Convertible Duffle Bag Fit for 17 Inch Laptop Black

KAKA 40l Travel Backpack, Durable Carry On Backpack Heavy Duty Convertible Duffle Bag Fit for 17 Inch Laptop Black
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2021
  • Durable anti-theft travel bag: This backpack is Made with high quality terylene oxford fabric. It's a very durable backpack,Anti Theft, Water Resistant, Scratch Resistant, Professional design, strap with high density soft decompression foam for your comfort.
  • Larger Roomy Compartments: A total of 10 pocktes. 1 Main zipped pocket, 3 front zipped pockets, 1 side mesh pocket, 2 small strap pockets and 3 pockets in the large front zip pocket,It can provide separated space for computer, iPad, A4 files, wallet, clothes, power bank and more your items.
  • Large-capacity Backpack: The backpack Size – 20.5 X 11.8 X 7.1 inches, Laptop Compartment Dimensions – 18 X 11 X 6 inches Capacity: 40L (Large size fits most 17" Laptop.)weight:3.68 LBS
  • Multifunctional Daypacks:Hybrid (Backpack/Duffle Bag/Shoulder Bag/Travel Bag) conversion. Can be used several different ways. It can be served as everyday backpack,spacious college bookbags, professional backpack for laptop or daily use at anywhere for weekend getaway,occasional international travel,overnight backpack camping,hiking with the large capacity backpack,Our product provides a all in one system design that allows you to pack for traveling, business meet.
  • Comfortable back and shoulder strap: Its back and shoulder straps are made from elastic and breathable materials. It can make your journey comfortable rather than burdensome, even if you load a lot of items. Its shoulder straps are sturdy and have four ring-shaped loops to hold your belongings and an adjustable waistband.(If you receive a backpack different from what you expected, please contact me and I will help you.)

Travel Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant College School Computer Bag Gifts for Men & Women Fits 15.6 Inch Notebook, Grey

Travel Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant College School Computer Bag Gifts for Men & Women Fits 15.6 Inch Notebook, Grey
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2021
  • ★LOTS OF STORAGE SPACE&POCKETS: One separate laptop compartment hold 15.6 Inch Laptop as well as 15 Inch,14 Inch and 13 Inch Macbook/Laptop. One spacious packing compartment roomy for daily necessities,tech electronics accessories. Front compartment with many pockets, pen pockets and key fob hook, make your items organized and easier to find
  • ★COMFY&STURDY: Comfortable airflow back design with thick but soft multi-panel ventilated padding, gives you maximum back support. Breathable and adjustable shoulder straps relieve the stress of shoulder. Foam padded top handle for a long time carry on
  • ★FUNCTIONAL&SAFE: A luggage strap allows backpack fit on luggage/suitcase, slide over the luggage upright handle tube for easier carrying. With a hidden anti theft pocket on the back protect your valuable items from thieves. Well made for international airplane travel and day trip as a travel gift for men
  • ★USB PORT DESIGN: With built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside,this usb backpack offers you a more convenient way to charge your phone while walking. It's a great tech gift for him from wife, daughter and son. Please noted that this backpack doesn't power itself, usb charging port only offers an easy access to charge
  • ★DURABLE MATERIAL&SOLID: Made of Water Resistant and Durable Polyester Fabric with metal zippers. Ensure a secure & long-lasting usage everyday & weekend.Serve you well as professional office work bag,slim USB charging bagpack,college high school big student backpack for boys,girls,teens,adults

Inateck 40L Travel Backpack, Flight Approved Carry on Backpack Hand Luggage, Anti-Theft Business Laptop Rucksack Large Daypack Weekender Bag for 17'' Laptop - Black

Inateck 40L Travel Backpack, Flight Approved Carry on Backpack Hand Luggage, Anti-Theft Business Laptop Rucksack Large Daypack Weekender Bag for 17'' Laptop - Black
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2021
  • [Cabin Approved Size] The dimensions of the backpack are 55x34x18cm (21.6 x 13.4 x 7 Inch). You can carry it onto an airplane, demensional design meets the maximum size allowed by IATA flights, easy to carry around. Sufficient room for a 17” laptop and clothes for short trip or international travel.
  • [Ingenious Structure] Main pocket x 2, laptop compartment x 2 (fit for a 13” tablet and 17” laptop respectively), change pocket x 2, toiletry bag x 1, and many other pockets for different purposes.
  • [Easy-to-Carry] The backpack is light to carry. Two handles are set both on top and one side of the backpack allowing a more flexible carrying experience. You can carry it vertically or horizontally, or by fixing it on a trolley. A great choice for travelers, students and weekenders.
  • [Made to Last] The backpack is made up of durable abrasion, scratch and splash resistant materials. A free rain cover is packaged for you to travel carefree on rainy days.
  • [Anti-theft Design] The main bag adopts a dual zipper design. The two lock heads can be locked in the middle to protect your belongings from theft. It’s very convenient for you to reach your precious items.

Laptop Backpack, Theft Proof Travel Backpack, Hidden Zipper Bag with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant Business Back Pack for Student Work Men & Women by Oscaurt New Version Black

Laptop Backpack, Theft Proof Travel Backpack, Hidden Zipper Bag with USB Charging Port, Water Resistant Business Back Pack for Student Work Men & Women by Oscaurt New Version Black
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2021
  • ANTI-THEFT BACKPACK -This Backpack apply anti-theft design techology. Zipper of main pocket is fully hidden in the back of this laptop backpack, no theft will easily open your backpack. This is super good for travel, work or school
  • USB CHARGE PORT AND WATER REPELLENT FABRIC- External USB with built-in charging cable offers a convenient charging of your electronic device anywhere, and this bag do not include a battery, you need a power bank to charge it
  • MULTI-COMPARTMENT BACKPACK - Large main compartment, equip with varies function pockets for pens, phone, wallet and 15.6 inches laptop
  • NIGHT SAFETY BACKPACK - There is a Reflective Stripe on the front of the laptop backpack which makes this backpack more conspicuous in the night. This is a safe backpack for you to walk in the night
  • SIZE AND CAPACITY - Size :11.02 X 4.92 X 17 inches. If you have any problems with our backpack, please feel free to to CONTACT US

kopack Laptop Backpack Men Women USB Port Slim Business Computer Backpack Anti-Theft Water Resistant Travel Laptop Bag Lightweight 15 15.6 inch Dark Gray

kopack Laptop Backpack Men Women USB Port Slim Business Computer Backpack Anti-Theft Water Resistant Travel Laptop Bag Lightweight 15 15.6 inch Dark Gray
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2021
  • 【Anti-theft Hidden Laptop Zone】 Want to keep private when pick laptop in public? Separated Laptop compartment behind straps design for you. Get laptop easily and keep rest in private. Zipper can be locked to D shape ring with your lock to keep laptop privacy. (Lock Not Included)
  • 【Super Organizer Bag】If you want a bag always matches your business-casual look, get a decent slim bag. Commuter daypack with17 slots offers you a fantastic experience. Say goodbye to dig around in bag, Every gadgets will be organized. Size: 17.7 x 11.8 x 4.3", Laptop slot: 14.9 x 9.4" (Measure your PC to judge if fit), holds 15 most 15.6" thin laptop
  • 【Detachable USB Cable】Built-in severe quality controlled USB charging port, easy to charge Smart phone without hassle to take out your power bank. Better for cleaning backpack, won't get usb rotted, replacing the cable by removing the built-in cable. (Power Bank Not Included)
  • 【Anti Theft Dual Layer Zipper】 The anti-puncture 4 tooth zipper of the main compartment provides double anti-theft protection with lockable zipper provides super travel safety to you. Perfect for business trip/weekend getaway or heading to the office/school/home.
  • 【Quality Material】 Upgraded fabric with excellent texture, featured with durable tear-resistant water resistant oxford for unexpected rain,wipe in 5 minutes, no mark left. High elasticity sponge padded shoulder straps and back offers extra back support and comfort. Great textured lining inside.

Laptop Backpack Bag, Waterproof Hiking Duffle Travel Diaper Bag for Women Men, Mother's Day Gifts

Laptop Backpack Bag, Waterproof Hiking Duffle Travel Diaper Bag for Women Men, Mother's Day Gifts
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2021
  • ★ FUNCTIONAL MODULAR STORAGE & SPACE: Our laptop backpack for men & women is specifically for short travel. As the picture shows, three different detachable and replaceable packing cubes are free with the mens backpack for travel to help you further organize things: electronics bag , make-up bag and ETC bag. If you want another storage bags, welcome to search "bag for ARUNGOR" for more information.
  • ★ USB PORT & WATER RESISTANT: Large capacity, USB port & durable material. ARUNGOR backpack for women is suitable for 15.6 inch laptops and Macbook. With USB charging port and built-in charging cable, you can easily charge your electronics devices like cellphone while walking (our carry on backpack doesn’t charge itself and portable power bank required). Made of water resistant and durable Oxford, our back pack is sturdy and tear resistant.
  • ★ LUGGAGE STRAP: A luggage strap allows backpack fit on luggage/suitcase, slide over the luggage upright handle tube for easier carrying. With a hidden anti theft pocket on the back protect your valuable items from thieves. Well made for international airplane travel and day trip
  • ★ CARE TEEN'S SHOULDER HEALTH & CROSSED ELASTIC STRAPS: The shoulder straps adopt extra sewing areas for shoulder comfort. And at professional business backpack sides, we have adjustable chest strap and hip belt, which can help relieve shoulder stress via transfer pressure to waist and legs. It has special fastening straps to settle books, folders or clothes for boys. So you can run or jump more freely with minimum shaking inside your bag.
  • ★ UNIQUE LAPTOP COMPARTMENT DESIGN: Plentiful and thicken sponge padding at the backpacks bottom, especially with a height of about 1.5cm from the bottom, provide 360 degree protection to your computer. If your happens to drop your computer backpacks for laptops, your laptop is always safe from falling onto ground directly. Please see to the pictures as show for details.

Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack, Black Crosshatch/Black Rubber, Mid-Volume 17.0L

Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack, Black Crosshatch/Black Rubber, Mid-Volume 17.0L
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2021
  • HERSCHEL COLLECTION: Click on our brand logo at the top of the page to explore the full collection from Herschel Supply.
  • WARRANTY: We stand behind the quality of our products with a Limited Lifetime Warranty* - our guarantee that every Herschel Supply item is free of material/manufacturing defects. This warranty begins on the date of purchase and covers common/everyday use for the duration of the original purchaser’s lifetime. Herschel Supply’s warranty is only valid on products purchased from authorized retailers. Amazon.com and select Amazon affiliates are the only authorized retailers on Amazon.com.
  • DURABLE DESIGN: A timeless silhouette inspired by the classic mountaineering style. Sturdy polyester and nylon fabric, made for all adventures. Signature striped liner, drawcord closure and magnet-fastened straps with metal pin buckles. Finished with Herschel’s classic woven label. Spacious, versatile and tech-friendly, the Herschel Little America is suited for both your everyday commutes and your airplane carry-ons.
  • MEN/WOMEN/UNISEX: The Herschel Little America Backpack was made for everyone. Use it for your commute, the school week, a business trip, or a weekend adventure.
  • 17L CAPACITY: 16” high and 10.75” wide. From your passport to your heavy textbooks, there’s plenty of space to fit everything you need for school, work or travel.
  • COMFORTABLE CARRYING: Padded, contoured shoulder straps and breathable air mesh back padding, designed for a more supportive and comfortable commute to work or school. The Herschel Little America also makes for the perfect airplane carry-on.
  • EASY TO ORGANIZE: Multiple compartments for keeping your essentials in place. Front pocket with key clip and hidden zipper, offering anti-theft protection. Tech-safe sleeve is padded and lined with fleece, fits laptops up to 15”. An internal media pocket is the ideal fit for your smartphone, and the additional headphone port is perfect for an on-the-go playlist.

OUTJOY Anti Theft Travel Backpack Waterproof Laptop Backpack for Men Women Lockable Computer Backpack with USB Charging Port Padded Compartment for 15.6 inches Laptop School Backpack TSA Friendly Grey

OUTJOY Anti Theft Travel Backpack Waterproof Laptop Backpack for Men Women Lockable Computer Backpack with USB Charging Port Padded Compartment for 15.6 inches Laptop School Backpack TSA Friendly Grey
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2021
  • 🌟SECURE LOCK DESIGN & TSA FRIENDLY: OUTJOY anti-theft travel backpack is equipped with a smart secure lock to detour theft and to safeguard valuables securely. ★180°LAY-FLAT design enables you to pass through checkpoint security without removing electronics. ※The password lock is easily set (with instructions included). If you forget the password or have any product quality issues, contact OUTJOY for assistance.※
  • 🌟USB PORT DESIGN : This waterproof backpack for travel includes an external USB interface with built-in charging cable. The charging cable connects to your own power bank (not included) while the other end connects your digital device for a quick charge anytime, anywhere. Experience totally hands-free phone calls while charging and walking.
  • 🌟ERGONOMIC BACK CONSTRUCTION: The back panel and shoulder straps are crafted from comfortable and breathable pads with excellent ventilating construction. Our college backpack combines comfort and breathability.
  • 🌟LUGGAGE STRAP DESIGN : Our water resistant backpack offers a durable luggage strap on the rear to connect the bag to luggage, making your trip easy and effortless; ★SAY NO TO THE BAGGY BACKPACK: Our computer bag keeps its own shape as it is filled in and covered with durable PVC shell, while the outer layer is covered with WATERPROOF fabric to safeguard your belongings and to avoid items getting wet.
  • 🌟SMART POCKETS with ORGANIZED LAYOUT :①The work backpack with USB charging port has 3 protective padded compartments for 15.6” laptop and tablets to protect your laptop and decives from scratches and dents. Inner elastic straps attach to your digital device to keep it in place.②There is a hidden zip pocket for a quick access to your valuable items such as passport, phone, ID card and wallet. ③A card-size zip pocket on the shoulder strap allows for convenient access to metro card or other gadget

Travel Laptop Backpack Water Resistant Anti-Theft Bag with USB Charging Port and Lock 14/15.6 Inch Computer Business Backpacks for Women Men College School Student Gift,Bookbag Casual Hiking Daypack

Travel Laptop Backpack Water Resistant Anti-Theft Bag with USB Charging Port and Lock 14/15.6 Inch Computer Business Backpacks for Women Men College School Student Gift,Bookbag Casual Hiking Daypack
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2021
  • 【LIFE-TIME QUALITY ASSURANCE】 Life-time quality assurance from Tzowla and friendly 24 hours customer service.Please be kindly noted that the Laptop Backpacks Only Sold by TzowlaDirect are the Tzowla Authentic Backpacks. The Backpacks are Fulfillment by Amazon. We are not responsible for Tzowla backpacks sold by other sellers except by TzowlaDirect.
  • 【CONVENIENT USB&HEADSET PORT DESIGN】 USB interface with built-in cable design, great convenience for charging your electronic devices via connecting your own power bank. And the headphone interface frees your hands when enjoying audios, music, etc.
  • 【ANTI-THEFT DESIGN】 With Fixed Password Lock and Durable Metal Zippers, it is safe guaranteed for protecting your valuable items inside. No need to worry theft easily opening your backpack when you are travelling or lining up.
  • 【MULTIPURPOSE BACKPACK】 High quality Polyester Fabric Material & Practical luggage Strap design & Comfortable Widen Padded Shoulder Strap & Built-in Key Ring design, fits for daily use at school, college, business and travel, suitable for women, men and students.
  • 【LARGE CAPACITY】 External dimensions: 19.29x 11.8 x 5.43 inch. Multiple divider pockets, easy for holding 15.6 Inches laptop, water bottle, readers and a bunch of other items, iPad, journal, pens and pencils, iPhone.

Review: Eric Horvath Nature Tours North Peru Trip

An account of a far-from-pleasant two week birding trip in northern (non coastal, alas) Peru.

(1) Even before that, it is necessary to establish a distinction between those who like to watch birds and "birders." I am interested in human behavior and in the behavior of other species, too. "Birders", in contrast, are primarily interested in identifying a species, checking it off their trip list and (preferably) life list of birds seen/identified and moving on to another bird (species). On a bird trip, I am happiest watching a bird go about the business of living. I consider that I am a "bird watcher" and that many "birders" are not. On one of the Dry Tortuga Islands on an earlier trip led by Eric Horvath I remember being fascinated watching a Merlin tear up and consume an Ovenbird, while the birders glanced at it, pronounced "Merlin," and began looking for a next bird.

Not quite as numerous as "birders" are "SOBs" - spouses of birders. There are single birders and some couples in which both parties are ardent birders, but there are also a substantial number of spouses who are along for the walk(s), willing to look at colorful new birds should some come in view, but mostly along because their partner wants to bird. "SOBs" retreat to vehicles earlier than the birders, or as a birding trip day or week goes on to stay back (if possible, in hotels, or in the vehicles by which a group moves from place to place).

As I have already indicated, I consider myself a bird-watcher, though others might regard me as an SOB.

(2) Speaking of my mother, a third-generation Danish-Minnesotan, she raised me to regard punctuality as a moral imperative. My culture considers making others wait for one disrespectful and reprehensible. I try very, very hard never to be late for any appointment I have made and do not like to be kept waiting.

(3) This trip was my fourteenth birding trip of five-plus night, seventh Latin American birding trip, and fourth trip led by Eric Horvath, an Oregonian with a BS in zoology who did not complete a graduate degree. When I say that the North Peru was the worst birding trip I've been on and that I saw fewer birds for shorter time, I do have bases for comparison. Of possible relevance is that the four Horvath-led tours were all under the auspices of the Oregon Nature Conservancy, and the longer two had a convivial Oregon Nature Conservancy employee, Charlie Quinn, who was very good at spotting and identifying birds along, driving a second van and probably doing more to make the trips pleasant than I noticed at the time.

(4) I am not particularly patient. Keelung, my partner is.

(5) I like to walk. Walking 4-8 miles a day is no problem for me (at least below 2000 meters in altitude any way!) My back and legs balk at standing in one place for more than about ten minutes.

(6) I like quiet, particularly out "in nature."

(7) I wanted to see the major Northern Peruvian archeological sites, Chan Chan and Chavín, and thought we were going to the Peruvian North Coast, not into the Andes. (I consider that I've "done" the Andes, both in Perú and in Ecuador and my body does not adjust particularly well to high altitudes.) I will stipulate that before paying money to go on the tour, I should have insisted on receiving and reviewing a detailed itinerary. (The only one we received, along with a 36-page bird checklist, was a list of hotel names and telephone numbers.)

THE TRIP

Frustrations began before getting off the ground. We were scheduled on a 6 AM American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Miami with a three-hour layover before the Miami-Lima one. When we arrived as required at 5 AM at SFO, the estimated departure time had been moved back to 8. Around 7 is was moved back to 10. I don't know if or when it finally flew to Miami. We were rebooked through Los Angeles, losing my business-class international seat, while the ratio of international to intranational air time changed from one-to-one to eight-to-one.

Not only did we arrive in Lima hours later than scheduled, but cramped into coach for 8.5 hours when I was supposed to be in business class.

The queue for Peruvian immigration in the Lima airport just around midnight consumed another 1.5 hours, followed by a half-hour taxi ride to Miraflores.

When finally we reached the hotel at 2 AM, we were informed that (1), despite our reservations, there was no rooms available with two beds and (2) we would be leaving to go back to the airport at 6 AM. Even before seeing Eric I was tired and frustrated, not only at American Airlines, but at him for not making sure our requested room arrangement was waiting for us and for not staying somewhere close to the airport.

I met the other two paying members of the group, an Oregon couple I will call Oink and Ooie, en route back to the airport, where Eric's wife and daughter had arrived on a red-eye flight through Miami. We had breakfast in the airport and then flew to Cajamarca.

After a grueling trip to Cumbe Maya, allegedly a pre-Inka site, though predominantly a birding site. After some more jolting in the van, we visited the niches in a sandstone cliff called Ventillas (windows), where I became sick.

The group returned to Cajamarca for lunch. I went back to the hotel and missed the afternoon excursion to the hot springs. (The group did not go to the room that the last Inka emperor, Atahualpa, had filled with gold to ransom himself from the conquistadors, who tried and strangled him after they had the ransom.)

I was taken aback to hear Eric say "No one got sick," and pointed out that I had. I see this as an early indication of insensitivity to what was going on. Remember, this is a group with only four paying members.

After that, the trip continued to consist of early departures and late arrivals, Except for some brief roadside stops, the birding stops went on long after the other Horvaths, Ooie, and I quit and returned to the van, and often after Keelung had also.

The uxorious Ooie may have been perfectly happy to wait hours each day for Oink and Eric. Keelung wanted to get to the night's lodgings before dark to settle in. Keelung and I paid as much as Oink and Ooie, and Eric never once indicated awareness that there was anything amiss with three of four or even four of four members of the group waiting (cumulatively for many hours).

The road down and up the "grand canyon" or Perú, the Marañón is rough and narrow with huge dropoffs. Passage on it is regularly blocked by derrumbes (landslides--a word providing occasions to demonstrate that I can roll my r's).

About three-quarters of the way up to Leyembamba, a road crew was dynamiting cliffisde onto the road. "Hysterical" is the only possible description for Eric's behavior in the van. Rather than doing anything to calm our anxieties, he went on an extended rant that makes the "mad scenes" in Bellini operas seem mild in comparison. He wanted to turn around and go back to the bottom, the town of Balsas, which the guide book describes having extremely questionable accommodations ("what might pass as 'a room'"). Everyone else remained calm and willing, if necessary, to spend the night in the van at an elevation of 10,000 feet rather than go down and then back up the next day.

The mad scene at the derrumbe showed not just a lack of calming leadership but lack of even a modicum of common sense. In contrast, Keelung extrapolated the progress at clearing the road and predicted that it would be passable at 6PM. That turned out to be almost the exact time that the caterpillar drove across (and then spent another ten minutes cleaning up remaining debris).

We spent three nights at the new bungalows at the Estacion Biolgica Lechucita Bgotona, on the Bra Patricia Reserve, which enabled me to skip pre-breakfast birding. On the last full day there (the eleventh of the trip), I was frustrated at the low ratio of time watching birds to time standing hoping something would appear (see #5 in the preface). I estimated that I was seeing birds for about one second out of every three minutes of standing around. (I forbade thinking about including the hours of rough roads in the denominator!) Oink and Keelung are better at spotting (finding) the birds than I am, but I greatly doubt that except at the hummingbird feeders their ratio could have been above a second out of each minute of standing.

I was also fed up with Eric and Oink (mostly Eric) playing recordings to try to lure "target birds" out (see #6 in the preface). Territorial birds respond to what sounds like intruders to their territory, which means that the birders have a better chance of glimpsing them. I find the repetition of recordings (and even without any response, Eric was not inhibited by concern about literally upsetting the birds by more than half a dozen iterations) noxious, as well as harmful to the birds. They are distracted from getting food or rest, and the instinctive emotional responses probably shorten their lives.

I felt that between the vast stretches of time in the van and standing around, I was not getting enough exercise on the trip, and set off down the road (suitably sunscreened, but not carrying water or rain cover). I went at least a couple of miles (5 km?).

The next day, between Jaen and Olmos, just over the continental divide (finally, at least on the Pacific slope, rather than on drainage to/through the Amazon), I again tired of standing around torturing and/or waiting for birds and walked up. I had my most extended conversation with Peruvians other than our two drivers. They were walking home, carrying things and/or pushing a bicycle. They all told me that if I wanted to see birds, I should go down and west.

I was fetched by the second-string driver who said that it was time to go. When I got back to the group, Eric said that the driver had gone to get me on his own initiative and that there was nothing to do in Olmos. I decided to go down the dirt road (avoiding the bumpy ride) to the highway. It was about 4 PM. I decided to leave my jacket in the van, but carried water.

I saw both the supposed "target birds" for the stop (two of the flycatcher, at least half a dozen of the local variety of Inca finches) on the way. The young Peruvians with whom I had talked were right.

I thought I'd be overtaken before getting to the highway, but wasn't. I decided that if it rained, I'd get wet and headed down the highway. According to the road markers, I went another 3.5 km on the highway before being picked up.

By arriving late in Olmos and leaving early, Eric made sure that no one could find out if there was anything in Olmos.

At the end of dinner (I've failed to mention that Eric and Oink went through the bird checklist almost every dinner; Keelung kept his own and ceased to participate, having his own irritations with the two of them and their field manners), Eric designated getting out at 5 AM the next morning.

I asked for a firm departure time. Leaving the Choctmal Lodge (where we did not have electricity, because the power plant in Chachapoyas had some broken belt and Eric had a less extended "mad scene" flailing for alternatives that did not exist) was supposed to be at 6:30 AM. Instead of leaving on time, Eric took Oink off to show him something and we did not leave until almost 7. He designated a 9 AM departure from Abra Patricia and was the last to arrive at the van, so that we left at 9:30.

The target bird that morning was an adult male Marvelous Spatuletail. We had seen juvenile males with their extravagant (mot-mot-like) tales. After climbing up a trail that was alternately mud and loose rocks, we waited for more than an hour before I gave up. The only bird I saw on the way up other than domestic chickens was one black vulture in the sky. Oink and Ooie did get brief glimpses at the target bird. Then we had lunch back by the bird feeders at which we again saw juvenile male Marvelous Spatuletails.

There are 1300 some birds documented in Perú, and I totally fail to appreciate spending three hours (and some difficult climbing up and down) to see a better example of one of them. (Actually, this would be abhorrent even to hardcore birders eager to increase the number of species seen!)

I did not want to get up at 5 AM and wait for him again. Eric claimed that those who went birding that morning left at 5:15. However, he had not communicated that bags were going to be put on top of the van later, so that after being careful to get ready and out without waking me, Keelung had to knock on the door so that I could open it for him to put the bags back. And for our real departure from Jaen, the four paying members of the group were also waiting in the hotel lobby for him.

I said that my purpose in asking was not recrimination but to decide the time at which to set the alarm clock, but he could not (would not) give me a firm departure time. He reiterated that the best time to see birds was at dawn. Vital as it was to get to the birds when they were waking up, coffee for Oink and Mrs. Horvath was more important. We could not leave before they got their coffee, so he could not give a firm departure time.

The White-Winged Guan (a wattled bird that looks like a small black turkey) has been reintroduced into Quebrada Limón, an hour and a half drive northeast of Olmos (70 of the 90 minutes on rough unpaved road). The White-Winged Guan is also found at the Chaparri Conservation Reserve that is east of Chiclayo on a paved road. (That is, instead of being trapped in Olmos or along for that rough ride, I could have gone to some site near Chiclayo while those who wanted to look for the semi-wild guan did so. I've seen genuinely wild guans and I've seen other kinds of birds that have been born/raised in captivity and released.)

If the Olmos hotel (where, incidentally, we were not expected, so that rooms had to be made up after we got there, which was after sunset) had had a swimming pool, I would have stayed and been picked up on the way back through Olmos before driving to Chiclayo.

As it was, there was another extended wait by 3 of 4 (and 6 of 7) in the van for Oink and Eric to deign to let us depart).

On the final full day (before a 5 AM departure for the Chiclayo airport followed by a 16-hour layover in Lima), the usual 3 of 4 did not want to get up early and go birding with Oink and Eric.

The driver had caught the cold Oink had had earlier. It might be too much for Eric to consider not going birding just because three-fourths of his group did not want to go, but to force the sick driver to get up at 5 AM, knowing that he would have a six-hour drive after the end of the day's outings strikes me as profoundly inhumane.

For repeated failure to consider the majority of group members I blame Eric, not Oink. Oink wanted to bird and apparently Ooie was Oink's doting enabler. I do think that Oink is culpable for what I regard as the abuse of the driver, Juvenal, on the last morning in Chiclayo.

After my Olmos demand for a firm departure time, even the oblivious/insensitive leader (Eric) was aware that I was very resentful at being kept waiting. He said he would return to pick up those who stayed back (three-fourths of the group) at about noon. I don't know when Oink got his coffee in the morning and the group of one paying group member left, but they had not returned at 12:30 PM, at which point we set out by taxi to the Museum of the Lords of Sipán.

When we returned, I left a note for Eric asking him to put our boarding passes, reimbursement for the Sipán Museum entrance fees, and modest amounts for lunch and dinner that day and the last one (when he was going birding somewhere north of the Lima airport) at the front desk. We made our own arrangements to get to the Chiclayo airport and to eat, and felt much relieved not to have any further group participation.

CONCLUSIONS

Had I known that the trip was going to be almost entirely in the Andes and not go to either of the capitals of major north Peruvian pre-Inka civilizations (see #7 in the preface), I would not have gone on it. I have to accept responsibility for accepting the vagueness about where we were going, but I do not think that a reasonable, even moderately competent tour leader continues day after day to stay out with one member of the group while the others have to wait in a van.

On previous Latin American birding trips, the leaders (who have all been natives of the country we were visiting) would return to those waiting when (or very soon after) a majority voted with their feet not to continue at a location. On a Panama birding trip that had 13 members, I was in the happy position of usually being the swing "vote." (That is, if I turned back, there would be only six going forward.)

Never, ever, ever before have I had to wait for the leader of a birding group, either at the start or at the close of a day of travel and/or birding (see #2 in the preface). Nor have I previously been on a birding trip in which the leader persists in birding at a stopping place with 1/4th or 0/4ths of the group.

I saw some rare, endemic birds and a few birds that I could actually watch (some flycatchers, including a torrent tyrannulet that I watched for a long time; orioles, and the usual immobile trogons), but I can without any reservation say that I saw fewer birds and fewer kinds of birds on this trip, even though it was longer (both in days and in hours in the field) than any of the previous ones. I think that Eric is good at spotting and ad identifying birds, though he has not spent much time birding North Peru and I think knows less where the birds are than the native leaders of the other Latin American birding trips on which I've gone. It seems to me that the birds of the northern Peruvian Andes are particularly reclusive. I mean even the jays (the "green jay" which looks yellow to me) are reclusive!

I think that over time Eric has become less sensitive to the needs of his customers other than the hardest-core ones - in this instance, one. He has become like a teacher who pitches exclusively to his favorite student, not caring about the boredom or perplexity of the rest of the class (birding group).

If you are willing to get up very early, have 16+ hour days day after day after day, never tire of waiting for birds, are able to avoid getting sick (throughout the trip, I wondered what would happen if anyone got sever diarrhea, as US visitors to South America regularly do!), perhaps you might consider an Eric Horvath Nature Tour. I have no doubt that Oink was happy having own guide(s) to himself.

Although I was a returning customer (I think we had been on more previous trips with him than Oink and Ooie, and Keelung had been with them on his Amazonian Perú/Macchu Picchu one in addition to the three intranational ones I'd enjoyed), and, as I have written paid as much as Oink for the dubious pleasure of being on this trip, I felt that I was subsidizing the Eric and Oink birding trip that went beyond trying my patience to outright abuse of the native driver (whom I thought was ill-treated/exploited in other ways during the trip - and I am sure that rather consideration for his getting home, the reason he was relinquished before taking us to the Chiclayo airport was to avoid paying for his room and board for our last night in Chiclayo).

We (not just I!) were so frustrated by Eric's "leadership" of the North Perú trip, his (mis)treatment of customers, local people and even local birds makes it is certain that it will be the last Eric Horvath Nature Tour for either of us. I think that it has alienated me from any birding trip in the future and very nearly destroyed my interest in watching birds (remember the distinction between "birding" and actually watching birds from the start of this long posting!). So, perhaps, it can be considered a cure for any interest in going on birding trips: hence my title.

The bottom line is that I 'shoulda stood in bed' -- or at least home, and certainly should not have signed up for a trip without an itinerary that would have told me that this was not where I wanted to go in northern Peru.

Related Bestselling Lists That You Might Like