Kindles have arrived

 Posted by Elizabeth at 8:07 am
Feb 042011

Our Kindles have arrived and they are just as cool as we thought they would be. They are very slim, light, easy to use and read. So far we have downloaded free books from Amazon to try them out and they are excellent. These are definitely the solution for travelling. No need to carry heaps of books with you or trying to duck into the local bookstore – not such a great option through the remote parts of Africa!. We plan to download a number of books to them before we leave. We can then download more as needed along the way whenever we have internet, either via the laptop or, if we are lucky enough to have Wi-Fi, directly to the Kindle. The books take less than a minute to download to the Kindle!

We realised after we ordered them though that we would need some sort of light to use them at night whilst we are camping. We could use our headlamps but the batteries seem to die on these pretty quickly as it is, so that wasn’t really a good option. We found some Kindle lamps on Amazon and bought the Verso clip on light. They are very small, very light and use CR2032 batteries which are much easier to carry with us. So far the light seems great and manages to light up the whole screen. The light fits in the case with Kindle so is easy to carry.

Jan 252011

We finally received our first aid kit last week. This has taken quite some time and several emails to organise, although I have to say they did send it to me to review without charging me for it (and they are cheaper overall anyway, so it was worth the delay). I am just glad I didn’t leave it until the last minute! For details on the contents see our first aid kit list.  I wanted to use a soft case, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite big enough, so we’ve bought a hard case and everything fits in – just!

We have also bought a new GPS so that we can upload our routes from Mapsource and Tracks 4 Africa can display 2 overlapping maps without losing the details in the overlapping areas (an issue with the Garmin 3760t that we bought initially). We have purchased a Garmin 1490t and so far everything seems to be working as expected and the routes will upload, which is something that was important for us but may not be an issue for others.

To give us a bit more flexibility we have purchased Garmin’s Mobile PC and GPS receiver to allow us to use the laptop as a GPS device if required. This will give us the option of a larger screen and viewing area if we are trying to see what else is around us, such as camping sites, fuel, alternate tracks etc. without having to scroll around on the GPS screen. I don’t envisage we will use it constantly but for the minimal cost it seems like a useful tool.

Our Kindles are ordered and on their way. I’m hoping these will be as easy and convenient to use as all the positive reviews make them out to be. It will definitely take up less room than several books and eliminates the need to find new ones along the way. We both have a number of books in our Amazon Kindle Wish lists ready to download once they arrive.

Our list of preparation tasks is slowly reducing, although there is still quite a number of things to finalise and not too many weekends left to do them. That though is a good thing as it means we are closer to departing on our adventure!

Trip to Koolandilly

 Posted by Elizabeth at 1:20 pm
Jan 162011

Last weekend we did our first 4wd trip with the Toyota Landcruiser Club. After meeting very early at Hazelbrook, we took a leisurely drive past Jenolan Caves and out to Kanagara Walls. Here we took a walk down to look at the walls and to visit a cave. Back on the road and before too long we were into 4wd territory. Our car handled terrifically, hardly slipping in the thick clay descent whilst some vehicles were slipping sideways down the hill. There were a number of water crossings through out the day, one was deeper than it looked with a large rock in the middle but all in all they weren’t too bad and we crossed them all without any issue. Around 5pm we arrived at the club property which is close to Wombeyan Caves. The property has lots of grassed areas close to the river where you can camp and was really quite civilised with showers and toilets. We will definitely be visiting again for a weekend.


Satellite Phone

 Posted by Elizabeth at 2:05 pm
Dec 222010

After watching satellite phones on Ebay for some time, we have finally purchased one at a reasonable price from the UK. It is in pretty good condition and seems to be working, which is always a plus! Now just to wade through all the satellite phone plans and work out which one will fit our needs the best.

Sand Driving

 Posted by Elizabeth at 11:16 am
Dec 192010

This weekend we did a sand driving course with the Toyota Landcruiser Club at Stockton Beach. We had a great time! Once again, it is amazing what our cars can actually do. Whilst I don’t think we’ll be driving over sand dunes in Africa, we will definitely be driving on sand tracks and the course has certainly helped us to understand the basics for sand driving.


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