I purchased a lot of expensive items for my trip and thought it would be useful to log which ones did well and which ones didn’t.  I’ve listed the items below and will fill in the blanks about their performance as and when appropriate.

Pure VPN

As an Australian, with the data retention laws, it has become important to protect your own privacy using a VPN.  My research has lead me to PureVPN and I have been happy so far.  You can choose the type of privacy you require and the location you wish to go through.  I currently work through Brisbane.  It can be a bit of an issue because of the Timezone difference – online booking systems register my time as half an hour different from what it actually is.  I can use my VPN on up to 5 devices so I have it on my desktop, laptop, iPad and Android Phone.

I have been told that this VPN will work in China enabling me to access blocked sites such as Facebook.  Their tech support was really good and I leave armed with a set of IP addresses I can use over there.  I will report back.

Update 1 – May 3

Despite the claims of PureVPN that connecting would be seamless in Beijing, it appears not to be the case.  I sometimes get a connection that lets me access Facebook, but not really.  So.. Plan B comes into play.  I can post to my blog and then it shares to Facebook… Where there’s a will there’s a way!
I won’t see comments/likes etc until I get my VPN issues fixed, but at least I can share with the family as I go.

Someone at breakfast recommended BetterNet…  I may try that later.

Peregrine Adventures

This is my third trip with them.  The Xinjiang section is with Peregrine.  My travel agent handled the booking. Everything is good so far.  The real test is the actual tour in a politically sensitive region.  We have been promised the experience of spending time with Uighyr minority people in their home – this is a major reason for booking this tour so I hope that what I imagine in my head is what happens in reality.

Spirit of the Silk Road Limited Edition

Student Flights

  • All flights and tours booked by Zoe Mure at Student flights Cairns
  • Covermore Health Insurance

Purchased from Lone Dingo Alice Springs

  • Boots – Merrell Moab Ventilator, Taupe J86612
  • Trekking Poles – Distance FLZ 120-140cm, interchangeable rubber and carbide tips
  • 2x Colombia omni shade pants
  • www.Smartwool.com outdoor socks women specific 1 medium cushion and 1 ultra light cusion
  • 2 Colombia omni-shade shirts
  • long sleeve Icebreaker merino 200 top
  • short sleeve Icebreaker merino top

Purchased from Travel Baggers Alice Springs

IT luggage Duraliton Apollo

I go through suitcases quite quickly.  They come with a 10 year warranty.  However, this warranty only covers manufacture defects, so the stitching etc is what they are talking about.  My previous case split after a short time but this was due to airline wear and tear.. This reasonable but I don’t think the warranty claims truly reflect this, it appears that they are saying your case will actually last 10 years – not true at all.  My cases last about 2 years at most.

I chose the hard case because

  • it protects the contents better than soft,
  • it is water proof and also
  • it opens like a clam shell which is very handy – the clothing can be in one side of the clam (covered and zipped in).  You can see everything and get to it all much better on long trips.

Indiegogo Project – Scrubba Wash Bag



The Scrubba™ Wash Bag is the world’s smallest washing machine and the ultimate travel and camping essential.

Our ultra-portable washing machine makes your journey easier and now features a new easy to use twist valve for deflation.  This convenient, pocket-sized travel companion allows you to travel lighter and helps you save money, time and water. Weighing less than 142g the Scrubba Wash Bag is a modern take on the old fashioned washboard. It is twice as effective as hand washing* and a lot more hygienic that a dirty hotel sink.

Kick Starter Project Oneadaptr

I always look for better adapters to use when travelling.  This one is an all in one.  I can twist to use it in Asia/US/UK/Europe/Australia.  It feels solid so I  have high hopes.  It also has USB charging ports.


Twist World Charging Station

TWIST World Adapter DUO

Dizolve Laundry Detergent Sheets

I have used these for a while.  The detergent is pressed into a flat cloth style strip.

  • light weight & takes no space
  • you won’t get laundry powder spilling in your bag
  • purchase online
  • CHEAP!