Australia 2008 – Prologue

Date July 27, 2008

After too many years of spending all my time and money traveling domestically (Canada is such a big country and I’ve got friends and family in almost every corner of it), I’ve finally got the chance to take a month off and do some real traveling. Natalie and I are planning a month-long trip to Australia this September.

Coincidentally, one of Natalie’s best friends is getting married at the beginning of Sept, right when we were planning to start our trip. Of course we’re attending, but here’s the twist: the wedding is in Amsterdam! So we’re traveling to Australia via Europe, which is going to be a little more difficult, but a lot more interesting.

I’m super excited! I’ve never been to Europe or Amsterdam before, so I’ll be crossing two continents off of my ‘places to see’ list. So far my list consists of all places on this planet except most of Canada, the US and Cuba.

Our rough itinerary consists of flying from Toronto to Amsterdam for the wedding, spending a few days there and then flying to London (for 42 Euro each!) for 24 hours of hasty sightseeing there. We then fly from London to Sydney. The return trip is the reverse, excluding Amsterdam. We will be making a couple of refueling stops in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but I don’t think there is enough time to even leave the airport unfortunately.

The major flights are booked so now it’s just a matter of deciding what sites to see. For this, we’ve got a Lonely Planet guide book, another borrowed travel guide and a book my mom gave me entitled In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson. I’m only about a third through it so far, but it’s highly entertaining and a recommended read for anyone thinking of visiting Australia.

Of course, as an avid photographer, I’m also hoping to get a lot of amazing photographs, the best of which will be on display on my Flickr page and of course on my photoblog, so be sure to check these out. I will be acquiring a few new gadgets to help me out on the trip. We’ve decided to abandon the laptop on this trip, so I’ll have to make do with other devices for photo backup.

One device I’m 99% sure I’ll be getting is a Hyperdrive Colorspace O photo storage device. This is basically a battery powered hard drive with a card reader and a screen on it. It uses standard laptop hard drives that you can install yourself, so you’ve got basically limitless storage for your trip. Right now you can buy a 160GB hard drive for about $80, so it’s cheaper than memory cards too. The fact that you can review your photos is a plus as well. I currently only have about 9GB of compact flash storage, so that will probably only last me a week. I figure I’ll probably use up about 40GB on this trip, depending on how trigger happy I am.

I’m also contemplating on getting a travel tripod, but these things can be expensive. A good travel tripod is small and lightweight, but should still hold your gear stable, and preferably at a good working height so you don’t need to stoop down to look through the viewfinder (I’m 6’2″ so I’ll probably be stooping to some degree regardless). When selecting a tripod, you have the following factors to consider: weight/stability/price. Choose two. If you want a cheap/stable tripod, it will be heavy. If you want a lightweight, cheap tripod, it will be unstable. If you want a stable/lightweight tripod, it will be expensive. This is my dilemma.

The best tripod out there would be the Gitzo GT1540T. This tripod is about $700 so it’s out of my price range, though I would really love to have one. Aside from the Gitzo, my current choice for travel tripod is the Feisol CT-3441S, currently priced at $299. It is made of carbon fiber and can support all of my current gear, and pretty much anything I plan on getting later on (always buy future-friendly equipment).

I’ll also be taking with me my Gisteq PhotoTrackr to geotag my images from the trip. You can read more about it here. I’m basically just going to keep this thing charged and turned on in my backpack so it will record everywhere I travel. I can probably have it log once every 10 seconds for the whole trip before it runs out of memory.

I’ll hopefully have time to post more before I leave. Until then, best wishes!

One Response to “Australia 2008 – Prologue”

  1. Australia - Epilogue | The RobLog said:

    […] In the prologue I talked a lot about the new gear I was thinking of acquiring for the trip.  Well, here’s what I ended up with: […]

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