Testing the SEATOSUMMIT dry sack

Last year, prior to a diving trip to Borneo, we bought a Seatosummit lightweight dry sack from a dive shop in KL.

8 litre capacity and weighing in at only a spectacular 58 grams.

I have just taken my lovely bright yellow dry bag with me on its first “summit” outing – a 2 week trek in the Himalayas in late Jan-early Feb.  The trek, on a frozen river, provided extreme weather day in, day out.  Cold, snow, sleet, and the possibility of having to ford glacial rivers (the latter didn’t happen, thank goodness).  I used the bag inside my daypack, to keep my camera, batteries, spare socks and spare gloves dry.

Perfect.

Everything dry, despite the fact we walked for hours in the snow.

Here’s the link to the Seatosummit website for these dry sacks.

It’s now been used on dive boats in Borneo and up in the harsh Himalayas, and has passed with flying colours.

Personally recommended.

I bought the bag, didn’t tell the shop nor the company that I blog.

Travels with my Smith & Canova Power Purse

I have an amazingly resourceful sister who always finds truly amazing gifts for me, and has done for years.

But even so, on a scale of 1-10 of fab gifts I’ve received from her over the years, my Smith & Canova Power Purse comes in as a straight 10.

LOVE IT.

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My sister bought both daughter dearest and I a power purse, and it was difficult to choose a colour – but in the end, purple won.

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Basically this is a smart leather clutch which can absolutely be used as an evening bag, AND it comes with a built in power pack and a charging cable.

You charge the in-built battery, off you go, and when your phone needs charging – hey presto.  Done.  On the go.

Genius.

Here are the specs from their own website:

This sleek and stylish rechargeable clutch bag is a must have accessory for a busy girl on the go. It has a built in wafer thin power pack which will charge an average smart phone one and a half times. There are many pockets and card holders inside to carry your other essentials. Made in beautiful soft grain leather and available in a choice of colours.

    • Genuine leather
    • Internal zip pocket
    • 2 internal slip pockets
    • Gold fittings
    • Smith & Canova branded interior
    • Built in discreet 4200mAh power pack with 5 hours charge life
    • Compatible with all Andriod phones
    • iPhone adaptor must be purchased separately

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I take mine everywhere with me, and since it has space for credit cards and several pockets, it is ideal for travelling.

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And see, sometimes, I can even colour coordinate my Power Purse! (This was in Borneo, last month):

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And here’s the link to their website.

Jane paid for these (as I said earlier) & certainly no-one in Smith & Canova knows that I blog.

But…how nice that this company is based in the old home town, Leeds.

Testing the Reebok Z Strike Elite AND the Reebok One Distance 2.0

This is a slightly unusual review since it deals with 2 different Reebok shoes, one of which I had to return due to a flaw.

On 28 June 2016 I bought a pair of Reebok Z Strike Elite shoes from the Reebok store in DLF Mall, New Delhi, India.

This was my first Reebok purchase & I was impressed by the knowledgable sales staff (despite it being sale time, so busier than usual) and I bought a lovely blue pair of shoes:

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I now possessed 3 pairs of running shoes (#takingmyrunningseriously) and since I was part of a #100daysofrunning challenge, and therefore running every day, I rotated between my reeboks and 2 pairs of Adidas shoes.

I was running an average of 10k per day, but not wearing any pair of shoes on 2 consecutive days.  From the very first run, these shoes felt comfortable, great and cushion-y (is that a technical term?) and very light.  No teething problems, no blisters, nothing.

From Day One I loved the Z Strike Elite, and instagrammed to that effect.

Here you go, just a few images.

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Took my shoes to Borneo:

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And to Kuala Lumpur:

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But…at 162 km (I log my usage on mapmyrun.com) holes suddenly appeared in the heel area of both shoes.  Like so:

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I contacted Reebok –  and this part of my review now covers their customer service.

5 August: I email Reebok, sending the photos I have just shown you (above).

6 August: Reebok Customer Care replies, apologizing and asking for details, including a scan of the original invoice, which I didn’t have to hand, so on the

7 August: I sent a copy of my credit card statement.

9 August: Reebok replies asking me to get a duplicate invoice from the store.

OK.

10 August: I went back to the store in DLF mall, where they kindly printed out a duplicate invoice in no time at all, which I emailed to Customer Care.

11 August: Reebok email me to say I could go ahead and claim my replacement shoes.

 

Score card for Customer Service?

10/10.

They were quick, polite and efficient, as indeed were the staff in the shop.

BUT sadly the much-loved Z Strike Elite were no longer in stock, & so I had to get a different shoe, and pay around Rs3000 on top, since the sales are over.

So, with some regret – it’s out with the Z Strike & in with One Distance 2.0

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I did my first run in these shoes this morning, and first impressions?

I like them.  A lot.

I like the tag at the back when you put them on:

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Love the lime green.

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They felt as cushion-y and bouncy and comfortable from the word go as the Z Strike Elite.

Now, though, I shall watch the heels like a hawk, hoping there isn’t a repeat performance.

Has anyone else experienced this?  The inner lining wearing out so quickly?

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The store manager suggested it might be because I kept my shoes laced and pushed my feet in and out.

I absolutely don’t, and told him so.  So I actually have no explanation as to why the Z Strike Elite wore out so soon.

Anyway, onwards & upwards as they say – and let’s see how the One Distance 2.0 perform.

I’ll post a follow up review in a few weeks.

Neither Reebok nor the store knew that I blogged and I paid for the shoes myself.

Is the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre worth visiting?

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre just outside Sandakan, Malaysia is in Sepilok, and is located right next to the orang utan rehabilitation centre, so it makes sense to visit the 2 sanctuaries on the same day.

The Sun Bear Conservation Centre isn’t cheap (for non-Malays) but I’d say it’s absolutely worth a visit.

The centre isn’t huge, but has an excellent raised boardwalk through the trees that allows you to look down on the bears, and even see them in the trees, as we did on our visit there last week.  The staff were excellent, stationed on the boardwalk at strategic viewing points, happy to explain and answer all our questions, all in truly excellent English.

Our first sun bear sighting was hijacked by an orang utan from next door, who swung in from the trees and proceeded to upstage the bears.

While on the walkway, trying to spot bears below us, we watched in fascination as a young orang utan stole a bottle of insect repellant from a visitor’s back pocket and then proceeded to open the bottle, taste it, pour it all out (narrowly avoiding the crowd below) and eventually toss the bottle into the bushes.

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Yes, it was an interesting photo op, (though one does hope the poor orang utan wasn’t sick as a result of his thieving) but as one of the staff explained –  orang utans will do exactly the same thing to your camera if they get hold of it.  Try and eat it and then throw it away in disgust.

You have been warned.

Back to the bears.

They are the smallest bears in the world.  They love coconuts.  And they are being seemingly well cared for and protected in this centre.

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So, to answer my own question in the title of this post…yes, definitely worth visiting.

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Website: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and this will give you the exact address & the opening times.  For what it’s worth, we went there in the early afternoon, before going on for the 3.30 feeding of the orang utans next door, and the timing was perfect.  Not too many people.

Budget about an hour.

We paid our own way and didn’t tell the people at the centre that I blog.