Just a quick update. Took tons of photo/video yesterday, but haven’t been able to move it to my laptop. Saw a great Blue Man Group show at the Venetian and had a probably one of the best seafood meals of my life too. Today I’ll be seeing Penn & Teller and having dinner at Picasso in the Bellagio. I’m really looking forward to that.
I’m writing this from the lounge at the Luxor in Las Vegas.
This is my 4th time to Vegas in the last seven years. If you haven’t been to Vegas, you owe it to yourself to go. Its like Disney World for adults. You don’t have to gamble to enjoy Las Vegas. I have yet to place a bet, and I’m having a good time. Last night I saw the new Cirque du Soleil show at the Mirage: Love. Its a Beatles tribute show and very different from previous Cirque shows I’ve seen before. Much less emphasis on acrobatics and more on visual presentation and dance. Different, but still pretty good. Tonight Blue Man Group is on the schedule. This will be my 3rd time seeing BMG.
Vegas might seem like an odd way to kick off a world tour, but I think its really a great idea. Vegas is the world. Vegas is a microcosm of the Earth in casino form. We can walk up the strip and go from ancient Egypt to the Middle Age Europe, to the French Mediterranean to Italy, to Ancient Rome, to the Amazon, to the Caribbean…..well, you get the idea.
Vegas is the island of sanity is a world that is constantly trying to regulate and control every aspect of your life to try and usher in utopia. Here you can stay up late, drink all you want and piss away your life savings because your are a grown up.
Anyway, I’ll be taking video and photos for much of today. I hope to have some stuff up for viewing tonight.
I finally got my video camera. Based on the minimal playing with it I’ve done so far, its a pretty nice camera. I’ll be able to shoot in 1080i high definition. The camera is very compact (smaller than my DSLR by quite a bit) as are the tapes and batteries. There filters and other lenses I can get, but I don’t think I’d bother with anything other than maybe the polarized filter.
I still need to get a wireless lavalier mic, but there is no rush for that.
The above is a photo of most of my gear laid out. I’m missing a pair of shoes and the camera (duh). I have a buy a few more things, but I’m pretty much done. Make sure to click on the photo to get a more detailed list of gear.
Yes, it does all fit in the bag. The bag is in the background so it looks small, and the gear spread out makes everything looks bigger.
I got my insurance taken care of.
I purchased a health/evacuation policy with World Nomads and a policy to cover my gear with Safeware. The cost really wasn’t too bad for either policy.
I got the receipts for my laptop and camera scanned so I can access them on the road if needed should I have to file a claim.
I think I’ve almost got all my loose ends tied up. Few more days and I’m on the road.
I got FIVE shots today.
- Yellow Fever
- Typhoid Fever
- Hepatitis A & B
- Meningococcal Meningitis
I passed on rabies and polio, so there is a chance I will spend the rest of my life in an iron lung or foam at the mouth. Oh well.
Everyone at the travel clinic was sort of aghast at my travel plans. On the form I had to fill out, under “itinerary” I put “everywhere”. Most people come in because they have a very specific trip they have to take. The lady to took my payment thought was I was doing was “highly risky”. She was also probably in her mid 60s.
Most of the information they gave me was straight off of the CDC website. In fact, they gave me a bunch of printouts.
I have to schedule two more shots for hepatitis. One no sooner than 30 days and another no sooner than six months. I’ll try to get the second one in Honolulu and the other in Australia or something.
Strangely enough, the shots didn’t really hurt. I think I have a high threshold for pain and a low one for discomfort.
I drove down to REI in Milwaukee and got most of the clothes I need.
- 3 Pair of ExOfficio Boxer Briefs
- 2 Quick drying t-shirts
- A combo duffle bag/backpack
- Quick drying bath towel
- 2 quick drying (notice a trend here) shirts, buttoned
- Lightweight rain coat
- Lightweight, insect repellent hat
- Dry sack for my laptop
I still have to purchase some shoes and sandals as well as a few other odds and ends. I also got a nice, lightweight tripod that should work with both my SLR and video camera. (3.5 lbs)
In an hour or so I have to go and and get my shots for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A-Z, AIDS, the common cold, hitting your funny bone, and cancer.
Tomorrow I hope to have my insurance taken care of for the trip.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Today I’m off to Madison to go shopping at REI. The local sporting goods stores really specialize in stuff like hunting and fishing, not backpacking and travel. I’ve found all the stuff I’m looking for at REI in the Twin Cities and now the closest store is in Madison….so off to Madison I go.
My goals today are as follows:
- Backpack. I really need to get this ASAP so I can start packing. I’m looking mostly at the Osprey line of travel backpacks.
- Underwear. In particular the ExOfficio boxer briefs. They are expensive as underwear go, but they are designed for travel.
- Shirts. Probably ExOfficio shits as well. Quick drying and anti-bacterial so they wont stink.
- Socks. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. My feet can really stink after a day of heavy activity.
- Sandals. My Tevas served me well for about a decade. Its time to move on.
- Sleeping sack. Really just a silk cover to protect me from bedbugs and other nasties in hostels.
- Pack Towel. Something big that dries quickly.
This should give me a good chunk of what I need for gear. I should have a update with photos later tonight.