Equipment

Earplugs

Arguably the most important item while travelling in Asia is a supply of high quality earplugs.
My choice of earplugs are German made Ohropax that consist of a soft wax compound which effectively seals off your ears, even to a whole Indian family watching a Hindi movie next door to your dingy, thin walled hotel room.

Tech

For keeping this blog updated, I bought an Asus T100 notebook that met all my requirements and was still cheap enough not to blow a hole in my budget. It has a keyboard (which I like because I expect to do a lot of typing)  and something called Flash Memory which sounds incredibly cool, if it wasn’t for the suggestion of being worryingly impermanent.  Having no hard drive means I won’t have all my files deleted if I bounce from one pothole into another.

The T100 comes equipped with Windows 8.1 so I can put together a Powerpoint presentation which could be useful should the need arise to entertain a crowd.

Tent (bicycle touring)

In Europe, during the cycling part of my trip, I slept most of the time in my Hubba Hubba. It’s a lightweight, freestanding tent, ideal for bicycle touring. Apart from being recommended by a lot of experienced cyclists, I thought it had a reassuring name. It sounded like a homely place to sleep in.

Hubba hubba

This picture was taken in Slovenia during a hiking trip.

What I like is the inner tent which can be used as a mosquito net. Another positive note is the height which allows me to sit upright in it. And finally, thumbs up for the color: a nicely, inconspicuous green.

Bike (bicycle touring)

I rode a Santos Travelmaster 2.6 Alu with Rohloff hub. And that’s really it. Frankly, it’s a bit disconcerting to spend such a large sum of money (think the national debt of a small African country) on just a bicycle.

Santos Travelmaster 2.6
What I liked was the simplicity of the machine, which meant that even I would be able to fix most of the things that could go wrong with it. In the end this proved hypothetical: nothing went wrong.

The bike was fitted with  Magura HS11 hydraulic rim brakes which was really nice, although I am not entirely sure why. They weigh 445 grams each. Apparently.

Finally, it came with a saddle so I could sit down for those long, boring bits.

Stove (bicycle touring)

I carried an MSR Whisperlite International. It’s a robust, low weight stove that burns white gas, kerosene, and unleaded auto fuel. So, provided there were gas stations around, I would never be short of fuel.

Never used it because at all localities it was easy to procure butane cannisters for my trusted camping stove.

 

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