After a lot of research and thought, I’ve started putting orders in for some of the gear we are buying for our trip. Not all of it is just for this trip – we’re just using this as an excuse to buy stuff we’ve been wanting for a while. It will get a lot of use beyond the trip next month.
The biggest decision I had to make was about a laptop. With my online businesses – it’s pretty much impossible for me to be offline for 6 weeks – and it would be difficult for me to adequately manage my sites using internet cafe computers. Thus, I have decided to take a laptop with me – most of the hostels have WiFi access these days, so it’s pretty easy to get online.
The problem I have is that my 15″ T60 is just too big and heavy to lug around, and my 14″ T41 is a bit old to run the software I need. IBM/Lenovo have had a sale on for select models of their ultralight 12″ X61 series laptops (1.5kg and very thin and small – ideal for travelling!) … and I have been very very tempted to buy one for this and other trips. The issue is that I’m also planning on buying a new digital SLR camera, which will be very expensive, so I’ve found it difficult to justify spending another $2,500 (down from $4000 !!) on a laptop that I arguably don’t really need. I’ve lost sleep over this for a couple of weeks now, but I finally made a decision NOT to buy the X61 (*sob* – it’s such a lovely little laptop). Instead, I decided to upgrade my T41 with some extra memory – $140 for an extra 1GB RAM (total 1.5GB) is a lot less to pay for significantly increased performance!
Speaking of cameras, I ordered a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR and some lenses today as well. I’ve been wanting one of these for a couple of years now (was actually looking at the 30D and the 20D before it … was really excited when the 40D came out a couple of months back). The deal was that Leanne wanted to see non-refundable tickets to South America before I could buy it … and that’s what she got !!
I also put in an order for some bits and pieces to REI – an online travel and outdoor clothing and accessory store in the US. I’ve decided to get some trousers sent over from the US since I’m having such trouble finding stuff locally that fits … and so I decided to have some other gear shipped over as well – it’s much cheaper than we’re paying here! I asked them how long to expect for delivery and they said around 4 weeks to Australia – which should (hopefully!) give me plenty of time to have it all arrive before we leave.
Yet another order went in to an Australian based travel accessories company – GoGoGear, who have a great range of products – all those little bits and pieces that you need to take with you. Their prices are generally very good and they have useful reviews from people who have used their products too.
Finally, I booked our other cruise – the Navimag from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales. More about that later.
This is starting to get expensive!