Getting ready for the long trip with a waterproof camera, tiny computer, rugged GPS and ultra-light customized shoes.
Our camera Pentax Optio W60 is completely party-proof – dropping it in a glass of beer or wine can cheer up the most boring evening. This thing should survive all our adventures as it's waterproof, dustproof and coldproof. We'll take it for some hard-core testing and let you know the result after. When it comes to picture quality it's doing fine in bright daylight, but it's not a really an option for indoor or flash pictures. So we'll stick to the Canon G10 for the serious stuff, and bring the Pentax for fun and wet occasions.
Klara's neon-colored "Adidas IDEA NOMADS edition" shoes were designed (so to say) by Klara herself at the computer screen in the Beijing flagship store. miAdidas takes a more serious approach to customized footwear: while competitors
Puma and Nike just provide a funky mix of colors and materials, Adidas lets you customize a one-of-a-kind shoe that fits your foot perfectly and is made for your type of sport and usage. The IDEA NOMADS edition is a mi Adizero 2008 running shoe and will come handy when Klara has to run after all those Indian buses. As they are ultra-light, they don't add much weight to the packing. The downside to the whole professional approach is that the shoes have to be ordered at an Adidas flagship store. As far as we know, there's only one such store in China.
What computer to bring on a world tour where luggage space is limited and power outlets scarce? The Samsung NC-10 already had us convinced by its small netbook size, nice keyboard, 160GB hard drive and good performance. We knew this was a love meant to be when it came clear the battery life is nearly 8 hours. Ok, we didn't really time it yet but it stays alive pretty damn long. So far so good – let's hope the little one makes it for a year. We'll keep you posted. Only negative design aspect was the horrible glossy surface on the lid; a storage area for greasy fingerprints. Gerhard immediately grabbed a P500 sandpaper to grind down the coating. Problem solved; the computer now has a nice matte black lid.
Funny fact about China: the GPS data for the whole country is off-set a few hundred meters north-west, so that the GPS shows the wrong map location and you never know exactly where you are. For national security reasons? We are not sure, but this means we couldn't test our new GPS in detail yet. All we know is that the Oregon 300 is a sturdy little friend who shows the right way and eats LOTS of AAA batteries. And that it's a fulltime occupation to get the right maps onto the device. First real trial will be on scooter tours in Taiwan, and luckily we have nice and detailed maps for the whole island already.