Travelling Light

“How do you get your kayaks on the plane?” is a question I've heard several times, but it's getting easier to transport a boat: airlines are starting to realise that planes are big and can hold several kayaks; it's the taxis at the other end which can be more of an issue. Having got several flights with the BA-Quantas alliance, we told our travel agent our plans and she was a star in getting agreement that we could take out boats with us. I've travelled with a kayak before, and my choice last time was my Kingpin, which is short, narrow and rather light. Each time I look at my Mamba, I see that transporting a creek boat may be slightly more difficult. David and I considered not taking boats briefly but figured one of the main purposes of the trip was to do lots of paddling so it would be silly not to take essential kit with us and so it is I'll be lugging a long, rather heavy, bright green kayak with me. So much for travelling light! Adding another weight to my pack will be the medication I need to take. I've had insulin-dependent diabetes since I was nine – far longer than I've been kayaking – and I'd like to think we generally get on quite well. If I treat my diabetes right, then usually it doesn't hassle me, although there are always surprises along the way. Sometimes it can be interesting paddling white-water since exercise lowers blood sugars while adrenalin raises them. Trying to work out the best way to ensure I have my insulin and bits, has been rather confusing. Some people recommend talking to the manufacturers, however they'll tell you while they supply the product in that country, they couldn't tell you how to actually get hold of it. Others suggest taking all medication with you, but I guess the holidays they're talking about don't usually last 12 months. Since my Mum is visiting us in New Zealand, the best option for me seemed to be to take six months supply with me and then have my Mum replenish my stocks when I saw her. This was all fine until my doctor informed me that their recommendations was to only prescribe a month's worth of medication for anyone leaving the country. However, he thankfully decided to go with his duty of care and prescribe me the necessary amounts, even though he got a slapped wrist because of this. It's unfortunate that I seemingly put him into a difficult position and so I'm still looking for the answer of how best to deal with these circumstances so I'll know for next time!

I'm very fortunate to be travelling with someone who knows the day to day effects of my diabetes and who is willing to carry spare equipment and medication for me. I'm grateful to all those who have been so supportive of my plans, it's been fantastic to have encouragement even from people I've not met. Having such a condition may add its own element of challenge to the trip, in a similar way that taking a kayak around with me might do. However I believe the preparation that David and I have done will help deal with the worst of it, and that sometimes travelling light isn't the best way to go.

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