The Pilgrim’s Staff

Yesterday we bought our walking poles in St Jean Pied de Port – our final piece of equipment for the Camino de Santiago – the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostele in Spain. Today we should have been walking, but have decided to take a couple of rest days …

Hands-free trekking umbrella

What the…? This post is my solution to using an umbrella hands-free. Sometimes when hiking, or walking with trekking poles, it can be useful to use an umbrella. Now, before I get shouted down by the ultra-lightweight hikers, it is, of course, a personal choice. The problem with an umbrella …

Cassini – Science the Church and a Gnomon

As the Cassini Saturn probe prepares for its final few orbits before being de-orbited into the planet, it’s worth considering who it was named for – the C16th Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini. These days the Vatican collaborates with the European Space Agency and NASA on space science. Even the Vatican Library …

Paris – the final pack for the Camino

Arriving back in Paris after a two-day visit to Northern France to see some friends, it is time to get serious for the final pack. We will be sending a bag on to Santiago de Compostela with our smart clothes, so we will only have the bare essentials for the …

Rijksmuseum – The well-stocked kitchen

The Well-Stocked Kitchen – painted 1566 In 1566, the painter Joachim Beukelaer warned us about the dangers of Facebook, Pokemon-Go and distractive technologies. Perhaps not literally, but he illustrates the point beautifully in his painting: The Well-Stocked Kitchen. In this painting, we are drawn first to the kitchen maids in …

Eucla – connecting east and west

Eucla Telegraph Station The Eucla telegraph station was particularly important because prior to Federation in 1901, South Australia and Victoria used American Morse code, whereas the rest of the country used International Morse Code. So the station was staffed by both South Australian and Western Australian telegraphists – separated by a …

Reflection in an age of mass distraction

We are marinating in information and distractive technologies. I noticed recently that I check my phone quite regularly from the time I wake up until the moment my head hits the pillow – just after I’ve plugged the phone into the charger. I do occasionally make actual phone calls, but …

Trekking pole tripod – camera mount

Travel with a tripod? Planning for a long trek on foot, it is important to pack and travel as light as possible. But does that mean you have to compromise on recording the experience? I pondered that when considering alternatives to a camera tripod. For the Camino de Santiago de Compostela …

Travel Tech Review: Kaiser Baas Bluetooth Mini Keyboard BT-100

Why use a keyboard? Travel blogging – or just recording your trip electronically – means you sometimes want to leave the larger laptop back at the hotel. Yet typing full pages of notes is tricky and slow when trying to use the tiny touch screen keys on your phone. Sure, …