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Old 01-16-08, 07:34 PM   #1
Machka 
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On the road again in 28 days!

It hardly seems real, but my flight for Australia leaves in 28 days. I'll have about 2 weeks there to tour around the Melbourne area (Philip Island, Wilson's Prom, etc.) with Rowan.

In the next 28 days, I need to find shoes and a bag. I think that's all I'm missing from my collection of touring gear. The rest of the stuff is pretty much still packed. I don't seem to ever completely unpack from my tours.

I know I had lots of suggestions to look at Crocs for shoes, and I did, but they are just too bulky. I've got to keep everything small. So then I had a look at those water shoes which are starting to appear in stores now. Have any of you used them? The ones I have my eye on have mesh on the tops and sides to help keep the feet cooler. They seemed very comfortable, and they squished flat.

As for bags, I'd like a very inexpensive, light duffle bag or backpack into which I can put all my stuff. I'd like to put Machak and my panniers into a bicycle box, and then put my sleeping stuff, clothing, toiletries, tools, etc. into the duffle bag or backpack. When I get there, everything will go in the panniers, including the duffle bag or backpack, which is why it has to be light and be able to fold down into nothing.

I was using a canvas laundry bag with a shoulder strap. That worked OK, but was bulky and awkward to carry around the airport. I need something a little more managable.

Oh ... have any of you taken textbooks with you on a tour??? No, I'm not actually planning to bring an entire text with me, but I am toying with the idea of photocopying a chapters or two of a few of them to bring along so I don't get too far behind with my studies. As it is, I have to submit one notebook/journal entry by email from the road! It's required for marks, and I told my professor that I would not be there on that day, so she asked if I could submit it by email. I said, "Sure"! We're supposed to relate our personal life experiences with what we have been reading in the text in those journal entries. The course is about languages and cultures (different countries, travel, different cultures, etc., etc.) ... I figure I'll relate a little bit of this Australian trip to whatever the textbook reading of that week is. Why not!?!
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Old 01-16-08, 08:32 PM   #2
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Good on ya!

I've found that it's very hard to get anything useful done studywise while on any sort of tour.
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Old 01-16-08, 10:27 PM   #3
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I bought a cheap nylon duffel bag, put 3 of my 4 panniers in it (packed already!) & my tent, and carried the 4th pannier as my carry-on, the handlbar bag as my "purse". The cool thing about duffel bags is you can put one handle over each shoulder and it becomes a giant backpack. I think the one I had was about 3 feet long and 20" diameter. Got it at REI.

Oh, and, as usual, I'm jealous.
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Old 01-16-08, 10:45 PM   #4
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Dang! I'm jealous. In 28 days I'll still be grinding it out with my high school kids....

As for school - we did a fair amount of "school" last year with our kids. I will freely admit that we probablay didn't do as much as we "should" have - but they learned so much just from being on the road that we didin't worry about it. You do need to be determined to do it or it won't get done!
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Old 01-17-08, 12:40 PM   #5
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I'm seriously envious, Matchka. Good luck, not that you'll need it. Enjoy the road.
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Old 01-17-08, 04:31 PM   #6
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As for school - we did a fair amount of "school" last year with our kids. I will freely admit that we probablay didn't do as much as we "should" have - but they learned so much just from being on the road that we didin't worry about it. You do need to be determined to do it or it won't get done!
Well, I'm thinking that I can probably accomplish a fair amount on the flight over ... it's a rather lengthy flight and as I recall from the last time I went, I was getting pretty bored by the time we landed.
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Old 01-17-08, 05:01 PM   #7
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I know I had lots of suggestions to look at Crocs for shoes, and I did, but they are just too bulky. I've got to keep everything small. So then I had a look at those water shoes which are starting to appear in stores now. Have any of you used them? The ones I have my eye on have mesh on the tops and sides to help keep the feet cooler. They seemed very comfortable, and they squished flat.
First on the Crocs, I don't understand the concern for bulk. For travel to and from the tour location I wore them and when on the bike they hang on the outside of the panniers. Bulk was never an issue. I'm not saying that your concern is wrong just curious why this is an issue for you.

On the water shoes... The ones that I had were so so for hiking and a bit harder to slip into than Crocs, but generally serviceable. I never toured with them, but used them a lot while on canoe and kayak trips.

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Oh ... have any of you taken textbooks with you on a tour???D
My daughter took a big heavy fluid dynamics text book with her on the transamerica. She didn't carry it long before sending it home until clear of the Rockies. At that point she had it sent back to her and carried it until the Ozarks at which point she sent it home again. She was a Math/Physics undergrad and was getting ready for grad school in Atmospheric and Oceanographic Science. I am not sure how much she studied since I conked out early pretty much every night!
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Old 01-17-08, 05:06 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Machka;So then I had a look at those water shoes which are starting to appear in stores now. Have any of you used them? The ones I have my eye on have mesh on the tops and sides to help keep the feet cooler. They seemed very comfortable, and they squished flat.[/QUOTE]

I've used them and like them a lot. They don't give your feet much support so it's sort of like walking around barefoot but you do get protection from sharp rocks, hot sand, spiky vegetation and the like. Plus you can go into grocery stores, restaurants or other locals that require shoes with them.

Have a great trip!
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Old 01-17-08, 05:15 PM   #9
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First on the Crocs, I don't understand the concern for bulk. For travel to and from the tour location I wore them and when on the bike they hang on the outside of the panniers. Bulk was never an issue. I'm not saying that your concern is wrong just curious why this is an issue for you.

On the water shoes... The ones that I had were so so for hiking and a bit harder to slip into than Crocs, but generally serviceable. I never toured with them, but used them a lot while on canoe and kayak trips.


My daughter took a big heavy fluid dynamics text book with her on the transamerica. She didn't carry it long before sending it home until clear of the Rockies. At that point she had it sent back to her and carried it until the Ozarks at which point she sent it home again. She was a Math/Physics undergrad and was getting ready for grad school in Atmospheric and Oceanographic Science. I am not sure how much she studied since I conked out early pretty much every night!

I just don't like anything dangling outside my panniers ... I don't even like hanging my laundry (towels etc.) out there to dry. I think I have this fear of dropping stuff or something. And they're too big to fit into my panniers.

And I have to hand it to your daughter!!
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Old 01-18-08, 05:14 PM   #10
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OK, I bought a pair of those watershoes ($7 from Walmart .... that's about where my budget is these days), so I'll see how they work. If I'm really uncomfortable, I'll have a look around at what's available in Australia.

And I'm down to 26 days now!! I'm getting excited!!
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Old 01-18-08, 05:34 PM   #11
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Machka, if I don't get a chance later...........

Safe travels and tailwinds, have a great time!!!
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Old 01-21-08, 04:29 PM   #12
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... I'd like a very inexpensive, light duffle bag or backpack...
Have you checked Wal-Mart? I found (a couple of years ago) a duffle bag that had zippers on the ends to store the bag. It doesn't lock, but it might work if they still carry that brand.

Kevin
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Old 01-21-08, 06:24 PM   #13
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Have you checked Wal-Mart? I found (a couple of years ago) a duffle bag that had zippers on the ends to store the bag. It doesn't lock, but it might work if they still carry that brand.

Kevin
Actually, after looking at several other, much more expensive bags at places like MEC and luggage stores, I'm thinking that there is a Walmart bag that might do the trick without breaking the bank.
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Old 01-21-08, 07:29 PM   #14
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Good luck and have fun. I love and greatly miss that area. Give the old Flinders Street Station a wave for me if you get in town.
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Old 01-22-08, 06:21 PM   #15
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Hi Machka, have a great tour! In regards to studying while traveling or in airports I have never had much luck. Last fall I was in America on a work related tour and I found it very difficult to study even while staying in posh hotels with desk, computer and internet. Do your assignment before you go and just enjoy the tour.
Have a great tour,
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Old 02-06-08, 04:07 PM   #16
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8 more sleeps!! And two midterms, three large assignments, and three small assignments to go!!

I've got the shoes, I've got a bag, and I've got an idea what I'm going to bring with me to read on the non-stop 16-hour portion of the flight. Although, I may be trying to catch up on my sleep.
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Old 02-06-08, 04:40 PM   #17
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8 more sleeps!! And two midterms, three large assignments, and three small assignments to go!!

I've got the shoes, I've got a bag, and I've got an idea what I'm going to bring with me to read on the non-stop 16-hour portion of the flight. Although, I may be trying to catch up on my sleep.
Can I go too ?



Have a great trip, take photos for us.
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Old 02-14-08, 12:36 AM   #18
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3 classes, 1 assignment, and 20 hours to go.

Sounds like there's a good chance I could have my requested 28-32 degrees in the Melbourne area too.
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Old 02-14-08, 12:54 AM   #19
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Have a great trip Machka!
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Old 02-16-08, 03:38 AM   #20
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I've arrived!!

It is WONDERFULLY warm!! I love it!!
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Old 02-16-08, 09:47 AM   #21
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Do you bring a laptop, and find places to get on line?




It's cold here.
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Old 02-16-08, 10:00 AM   #22
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Enjoy Oz,Machka!

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I've arrived!!

It is WONDERFULLY warm!! I love it!!
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Old 02-16-08, 10:29 AM   #23
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Have a great trip, Machka!

I know it's probably too late, but the Amazon Kindle might be good the next time around when they get something happening with Vodaphone.



Safe travels and let us know if we can UPS you some spare tubes
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Old 02-17-08, 03:01 AM   #24
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If you refresh my page and click on the 2008 link, you will get this page:
http://www.machka.net/2008/2008.htm

And if you click on the Australian Tour link, you will get to the first part of my story of this Australian tour.

The wonders of modern technology! I'm actually posting my story as it happens (sort of), instead of 3 months later!!
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Old 02-17-08, 08:21 AM   #25
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You have a new bike?
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