Thursday, September 30, 2010

General Travel Data

Travel list now seems to be finalised at 8 confirmed.
Nepalese visas can be purchased at the border easily for approx $25AUD, but Indian visas must be purchased well before departure. The consulate staff are hopelessly inefficient, get it wrong repeatedly, and the whole process can be quite frustrating. Before my last trip to India earlier this year, I had to sign a statutory declaration to certify that I was not (nor had I ever been) a Bangladeshi national. It must have been the passport photo that worried them ?-)
If you haven’t already got one, then give some thought to a tankbag with magnetic attachment, and then try to pack 2 week’s worth of crap into said tankbag. Keep in mind that you will get both quite cold in the Himalayas and bloody hot and sticky in Calcutta/Delhi.

Water purification tablets are a must, unless you agree to ride at the back the whole time. No one wants to follow a mobile mud slide.Found great deal on the Scala Rider bike-bike intercom if anyone is interested. On the open road, the Q2 easily gets 500m range, but that drops back to about 100m in the city. The unit allows riders to receive GPS voice instructions, communicate with other riders or with the passenger on the back seat, conduct calls on a bluetooth equipped phone and connect to an MP3 player or listen to the embedded FM radio (all at the same time). It is also full duplex, so you can have a ‘real’ conversation, rather than waiting for the other party to speak before you, which makes for a very stilted conversation. Talk time is supposed to be 8 hours. The unit fits to the helmet in less than 5 minutes and is quite unobtrusive. The only major drawback is the $599 price tag. but an Australian eBay supplier (thecuffman: ), sells the Q2 at two for $459 + postage with full Australian warranty.
Whilst I have heaps of photos from past trips (Round Europe, Thailand-Laos, Sri Lanka, Romania-Russia, Croatia-Bosnia, etc) it has always pissed me off having to choose between stopping every 2 minutes for a photo or just carrying on and hoping to remember the scene. It is a real trade off and we have often wished that we had stopped to take the photo. If course, stopping means helmet and gloves off, dismount, fiddling around with the camera, and then the whole process in reverse. Previously the helmet camera approach only offered 640x480 resolution, and was only really suitable for uTube quality type video and quite impossible to put on the big screen for mates. You can now get the Lots of people have commented that it is great with both helmet and handlebar mount, east to clip on and off, and no wires or cords to worry about. It can also record about 8 hours of video on one card. It can be ordered it from if you are interested.