Getting things done

The preparation continues.  In the past week or so I’ve managed to sort out another couple of important items.

The first of these being my Driving License renewal.  Although my driving license is not due to expire until June 2010 I’ll be needing it for the trip so thought it was best to get it sorted now before I leave.  Its currently with the DVA so hopefully I’ll have it back soon so I can get an international driving license to accompany it.

Altai 60 litre backpack with 15 litre day pack
Altai 60 litre backpack with 15 litre day pack

The second item that I sorted out was the backpack.  I took a half day in work on Friday and met Donna in town to try and suss out some.  We dropped by Millets, Tiso and Surf Mountain.  Donna spotted a huge 90 litre capacity one and tried it on for size.  It was massive.  There was no way I was going to let her even consider it.  She even complained that it was heavy and it was empty.  If she was moaning about it when it was empty, I don’t want to think what she’d be like with a full one trekking down some dirt roads in the hot, humid heat of Vietnam.  I’d already had words with her in previous months  when she casually mentioned that she wanted a wheeled suitcase instead of a backpack.   I could picture all sorts of trouble with that ideal on the aforementioned dirt roads.  We did, however, spot a compromise in the form of a travel pack with wheels.  This hybrid backpack/travelpack/wheely suitcase thing had the best of all worlds.  It had straps like a rucksack but folded away like a travel pack.  It also had wheels so it could be wheeled along.  The only downside that Donna could see to it was that it was “only” 60 litres and there was no way she was going to get her 14 pairs of  shoes, 46 tops and 12 dresses fitted into it, and thats not even including her “going out clothes”.  It was also a reasonable price but Donna is going to take some convincing that 60 litres is probably big enough.

Next stop was Tiso what had a decent selection of travel packs.  One that I spotted was the Lowe Alpine Travel Trekker 60 litre pack.  It was priced at £145 which I though was a bit on the expensive side.  I made note of it as a possibility moved on to Surf Mountain.  Surf Mountains selection was a bit more limited but the staff member was very helpful and pointed out a LifeVenture Atai 60.  He said that it was by far the most robust backback that they stocked (probably also the most expensive).  I tried it on for size and had a good old investigation.  It included a 15 litre day pack that convieniently tucked away into a side pocket when it wasnt being used.  It aslo has a built in rain cover.  I liked it a lot.  It was a decent size and was comfortable to wear (might be a different story when its full).  I decided that this could be the backpack for me.  It was priced at £125 but I remembered that we got discount vouchers from STA Travel but didn’t have them with us.  We decided to leave it in favour of returning and using the discount vouchers.

Donna was out on her lunch break so we decided to head back towards Tesco and splash out on Tescos £2 meal deal consisting of Pasta, Crisps and a drink.  While we were eatting I decided that the LifeVenture backpack was the pack for me so I thought I would go back and see if I could blag the discount without the voucher.  The staff member said it wasn’t a problem and I walked out with the pack in had for the respectable sum of  £112.50.

The tricky part will be getting everything fit into it.  I’m going to have to be roofless with the packing.

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