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!

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.

Weekend Practice Trip

 Posted by Elizabeth at 8:38 pm
Feb 062011

Back to Willowglen 1This weekend we joined a trip with our 4wd club to practice our new skills. To say we got to practice a bit is an understatement! Some Back to Willowglen 2of the tracks we tackled were pretty full on for our stock standard Prado! We spent Saturday wandering the tracks on the club property at Willowglen. There are numerous tracks on the property with varying degrees of difficulty and plenty to put our skills to the test. For those that know the property, most of us decided to go UP the opposing wheels and the road building tracks for a challenge. The Prado made it up both, which is pretty impressive. There were a few tracks we didn’t try considering the guys with lift kits and lockers were having difficulty! (See the photos).

Back to Willowglen 3Sunday we took the long way back to Nowra through Monkey Gum Road. What a great experience! It was pretty challenging for both the driver and our Prado (a lift kit would have Back to Willowglen 4been useful!). If we can get through that road we should be able to tackle anything Africa can throw at us, well at least where we are intending to go. Not so sure we’d make it through the Congo! A few minor casualties to a couple of vehicles but all in all a great day and excellent practice for us. Not so sure though we’ll be tackling anything so full on again with our stock standard Prado, but we’ve done it, we survived and it was excellent practice. The photos just never do it justice, it was about 100 times harder than it looks!  

Back to Willowglen 5 Back to Willowglen 6


 Posted by Elizabeth at 8:20 am
Feb 122011

We have started our vaccinations for our trip. Luckily we have most of them already from previous trips to Africa, China and Asia, such as Hep A, Hep B, yellow fever, tetanus, and polio. We needed a booster for typhoid as it was more than 5 years since we were vaccinated and this time it was recommended we get the rabies vaccination as we are travelling for so long and to remote locations. This is a series of 3 shots over 4 weeks. Our doctor is using an intradermal injection as you only need 0.1ml and this reduces the cost and seems to be just as effective. We will also need a meningitis vaccination and of course malaria tablets. We will take Lariam again as we have not had any side effects from it in the past.

Vaccinations Complete

 Posted by Elizabeth at 5:48 pm
Mar 052011

Our vaccinations are complete, our arms are full of needle pricks and our wallets are several hundred dollars lighter! Thank goodness our health insurance covers some of the cost. So we now have had the following vaccinations, some we already had, some needed a booster and some are new. I think this covers us now for just about anything!

  • Hep A
  • Hep B
  • Tetanus
  • Polio 
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Meningitis
  • Cholera
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever
  • Diphtheria
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