Getting organized for our train holiday on the Ghan

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Rucksacks for our train journeys

On Saturday 28th February Ian and I set off to the shops to have a look at rucksacks. We only went to see what was available but ended up buying one anyway. A good one doesn't come cheap. We paid $360

We went to Mountain Designs. We both felt their shop assistant was very knowledgeable. He was also a good salesman too because we only went in there to have a look and we actually ended up buying one instead. You might wonder why we bought one when there are two of us travelling? It was the assistant's idea. We are to pack all our gear in this first one and then see if the second one should be bigger. The next size up holds an extra 10 litres but only costs slightly more. The idea will be that Jean (the more delicate creature :) carries the one we've just bought and Ian (the strong male:) will carry the larger one if needs be. These style rucksacks come with a little bubby version inside too.


Buying rucksacks

These are the rucksacks we bought Our first rucksack (duo)

The little backpack can fit inside the big one for storage. For use it can be connected to the big one such that the big one is on your back and the little one is on your chest. Neat eh!

The rucksack has a lifetime warrantee which is wonderful. Hopefully we'll get lots of use out of it on the planned Trans Siberian Railway trip and the kids can use it too at some stage. Important point to note: join the Mountain Designs membership club before you buy anything major. It doesn't cost anything to join but it gets you a 10% discount on all their products. We wish we had known this before we spent our $360!

It's the 3rd March. We are now waiting on maps and tourist information to come from the tourist offices in both Darwin and Adelaide. We haven't packed the rucksack yet so we don't know if we need to get the second one in the bigger size or not.

Things to see and do in Darwin

Nikki the travel agent tells us there is masses to see in Darwin but we need to wait until the maps and brochures arrive from the Darwin tourist office before we know exactly what.

Things to see and do in Adelaide

The Adelaide tourist office is sending us maps and brochures which should arrive in a couple of days. But we already know we want to go to Hahndorf and to Glenelg so those two attractions will be top of our list. Hahndorf is a picturesque old tourist town in the Adelaide hills. It's Australia's oldest surviving German settlement. Glenelg is a beach side suburb of Adelaide that can be reached by a ride on an original vintage 1929 tram.

I've discovered our hotel in Adelaide (the Mercure Grosvenor) is right near the tram stop so that's good. We'll be heading to Glenelg on Good Friday so I've rung the transport company there to find out if the tram will run on that day. I spoke to a very helpful fellow (Tel: (08) 8210 1000) who gave me all the information on timetables and tram stops. He also told me we can get to Hahndorf by public transport. We thought we would have to pay mightily for a tour but we can do it for ourselves for the grand sum of $4.20 each, each way.


Rucksacks (again)

I've received an email from Mountain Designs. They have a 4 day special. Everything is 25% off. I'm meeting Ian there after work to buy our second rucksack. We're going one-size bigger this time. We thought it would be wise to buy a larger one because we believe we will need the extra room when we go on the Russian trip. Next year we will head off on the Trans Siberian and we have to carry our own tissues and toilet paper etc for that trip. Lots of room will be needed for those two items apart from anything else. I wonder how much toilet paper the average couple would go through over a 28 day period. I think we'll have to monitor our usage at home here so we ensure we take sufficient with us. Some of us use more than others.........need I say more!


Next page: Gathering travel facts


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