I've been updating my Equipment Page. Now that I'm cycling instead of Vespa - ing a lot of changes needed to be made to my list, My bike is the obvious change, however I no longer need motorbiking spares and motorbiking clothes.
Clothes - is the thing I'm most pondering over. It's easy for a guy, they really only need 1 change of clothes and a warm jacket. But for females, it's a wee bit different.
1) We'll be away for about 4 months. There's no way I'm wearing the same clothes for all that time.
2)The weather. Most of the places we will be going to will be very hot, even tropical, but there will be times where it won't be.
3)What is really tricky is dressing for a country where Muslim customs dictate covering up,even if it's really hot.
4)I need something tidy to wear on Aeroplanes and out to restaurants.I don't want to give offence by being a scruff.
5)I need something comfortable for day walks, or sightseeing.
6) Everything I take, I have to carry.
Four months - that's one third of a year. I could wear the same clothes up to 6 weeks, but no longer. It's bad enough wearing the same cycling clothes everyday. That doesn't mean I need a whole wardrobe, just something I could mix and match.
Peru and Bolivia are hot and tropical, Cuba [our stop over of choice] is definitely tropical. Morocco will be in the Springtime. Hopefully the temperatures will be comfortably warm, however the nights might be quite cold. Beijing[China], is quite high in latitude, about the same as Korea, so it will be quite cold in late Spring. As we cycle south, it will get warmer and warmer, then tropical and finally reaching the Equator at Singapore. So that's a lot of climate changes to adapt to.
Morocco and Malaysia are Muslim countries. The Moroccan guide book states that "Western style of dress is not uncommon in the cities, but scanty clothing should not be worn when exploring traditional quarters of towns or venturing into the country" and " for women, wearing a headscarf may avoid unwanted attention". The Malaysian guide book states that " Women must dress modestly". So although it sounds less strict than Iran [for example], it is still necessary to be covered up. I'm thinking light loose layers.
I don't want to look like a baggy clothed hippy though, when it is required to be tidy and respectable [ like on the Plane or at a restaurant], some sort of tidy top and shoes are necessary as well.
There will be times when I'll need walking shoes, can you imagine exploring Angkor Wat in Cambodia in rigid cycling shoes?
Okay add this all up and it seems like a lot. That's the whole point, it can't be a lot, that's why I'm pondering. Everything I take, I'll have to carry with me on the bike. Obviously the lighter the bike the easier it will be.
On one of our trips to Europe, I met up with a girlfriend in England. She was a city girl, and couldn't get over how little luggage we had. "but where are your clothes?" she asked repeatedly. I will continue to ponder, and adjust the list until I'm satisfied, I'll get there in the end.