January 6, 2013

Travel-friendly January sales

The Boxing day sale gods were kind to us and at long last the North Face Base Camp duffle bags were discounted (20% off in Bivouac) so we pounced. Mine is red and the Husband’s is yellow.

I also managed to find that very illusive beast – a functional AND stylish rain jacket in my size. I had scoured the internet for possibilities and had been looking at a Nau Urbane jacket but found that on top of the not so insignificant price tag, there was also a US$60 postage charge. Then, as luck would have it, I was in Kathmandu looking for something to spend my gift voucher on, when I came across this Alopex jacket …. in size 8 …. with all the features I wanted … and in grey (not lime green or ‘I’m a road cone’ orange)


AND, to top it off, the price was ridiculous! Originally $895, it had been been reduced to $495 and was now listed at 20% off the ticket price bringing it down to $395. When we arrived at the checkout, we found that it was further reduced to $295 – SOLD! as they say. The jacket is uber high-tech (better than the Husbands actually) with Gortex Pro Shell fabric, toggles and adjustments for Africa, waterproof zips including ‘pit zips’ (such an ugly term – but practical) and reflective decoration on the cuffs and chest. It will go very nicely with my rain skirt and leggitts and should keep the worst of the European rain on the outside. Incidentally, have you ever seen a more revolting coloured car than the one parked outside? Who buys a car that colour? Indeed, what colour is that?


The two deep dish plates and frying pan eventually arrived to complete our cooking set just before Christmas, having ping ponged backwards and forwards between Wellington and Auckland due to the courier’s inability read the label and figure out how apartments ‘work’. I know my apartment ‘exists’ because I am sitting in it right now. The cooking set nests together very well but with one potential problem. The spout of the kettle/tea pot looks like it could scratch the inside of the pot it nests in when packed away and jiggled on the road. The solution was to make a small fleece bag for it. I also threw in a small design feature to enable the storage bag to double as a tea cosy when we are making a brew. I’m sure Bear Grylls would approve of multi-tasking adventure equipment.

I was lucky enough to receive a bicycle computer for Christmas. I have attached it to my bicycle and am currently figuring out what all the numbers mean. Being computerised is very interesting as previously I had no idea how fast (slow) I actually cycled. I can now report that I usually cycle in the city at the dizzying speed of approximately 15kph on the flat with bursts of acceleration about 25kph going down hills and 10kph, fully laden from the market, going up again. I now have solid scientific evidence to back up my ‘slow cyclist’ tag-line on Twitter.

I have finished my cardigan. Unfortunately, it is difficult to test out its fit and wearability at the moment as it is a warm cardigan and the temperature in Auckland is a long way off optimum Aran cardigan wearing weather. I am now working on my arm warmers. I have already had to start over as I massively overestimated the size of my biceps on the first attempt. The rib cuff of the arm warmer now looks more like an egg cosy! Depressing but true.


Happy New Year everyone.

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