Packing for Europe

With only ten days in Australia before my departure, my packing was left to the last minute. I kept most of the same stuff I used in New Zealand except for three main things.

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1. Switching winter gear to summer gear: out with the thermals and in with the bathers and shorts. It’s just a bonus that my pannier bags are a kilo lighter than before.

2. Adding some upgrades to my equipment; handlebar mounted Garmin for GPS, new sunglasses and some dog protection. When I cycled in Tonga I had some run ins with dogs and dog gangs, which made me afraid to cycle without at least a bag of rocks close by.The reality of cycling in developing countries is that you may come across stray and/or aggressive dogs and in parts of Eastern Europe this may be an issue. As a last resort, I bought a Dazer II, which produces a high pitched sound that annoys dogs so they’re less inclined to have a go at you. It’s safe to use, legal and effective up to 6m, but I’ll only use it when I have to.

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3. Trading Mr Banana for a more travel friendly version: okay, some back story is needed here. In December 2009, I traveled to Penang with my family and boyfriend at the time, who bought me this cute toy from the Cool Bananas Poolside Café . Since then he has been with me to every single country I’ve traveled to, including New Zealand. Despite the inconvenience of transporting a giant banana across NZ, I kept him in my front basket anyway. Sadly, for three months in Europe, I won’t be taking him, not because of weight or space constraints, but because he has too much sentimental value, that insurance just doesn’t cover. In the meantime, the mini version will have to suffice.

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