Thanks to SOL Laptops for supporting our next West Africa photography adventure: ‘When you need to share your adventure, just “plug” into the sun!’

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Image courtesy of the SOL Laptop website

Sometimes there is a need to have a techie blog post – particularly when it comes to the SOL Laptop! Read on…

On both our River Gambia Expedition and A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush expedition, powering our gear – particularly our laptops, essential for uploading Florios images and updating the blog – has always been a big hurdle to overcome and, despite having extensively researched before purchasing the latest gadgets using solar power technology, on both expeditions we ended up purchasing a car battery locally to charge our gear effectively and fully! Therefore, we are constantly on the look out for solar power technology that does in fact do exactly as it says it will do on the box. So, imagine our delight when we came across a recent review on the G-Layer blog – the Australian sister company to Yellowbrick, UK, who sponsored our recent River Gambia journey with the YB3 tracking device:

‘Cutting-edge sustainable technology is what we’re all about here at the G-Layer, and we’re always on the lookout for new exciting developments, so when we discovered the SOL solar laptop we were overwhelmed by the possibilities this tough little computer offers to our sun-drenched country!

The 10-hour laptop’s battery  is charged by a built-in solar panel (detachable).

SOL can be connected to the internet using the 4G network or an optional satellite module, opening up the world wide web to communities, schools and workers all over Australia. This revolutionary product will also feature a GPS, HD graphics and an integrated webcam. Using the latest in nanotechnology construction, and priced at a sum nearly anyone can afford, we believe this product will revolutionise life in the outback, which is why we had to bring it to our customers at the first opportunity!’ G Layer

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Image courtesy of the SOL Laptop website

And we were thrilled beyond belief when, after submitting to Sol Laptops, a Canadian based company, about our next West Africa venture, we won a place in their Expedition Sol‘ …choice of ‘professionals, researchers, adventurers and unique individuals‘ to get our very own SOL Laptop when it is officially launched later in the year!

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Expedition Sol – meet the explorers (click here or on image to view page). Image © Jason Florio , with Helen Jones-Florio and the village chief of Tuba Dabbo, The Gambia, W Africa, 2009

And, as for our next West Africa venture? You’ll just have to stay tuned until we are ready to officially announce our plans! However, again, it will most definitely involve lots of great photography – and this time, we hope, not just from Florio – and neither should we have any of this nonsense…

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…Helen: “I haven’t got enough power – again!” Image © Jason Florio – Sila Kounda, Senegal. Camping on the roof of the village chiefs compound, 2012

Why? Because, we’ll have ‘The world’s first truly solar-powered laptop’. It never needs to be plugged in!’.

Immense thanks to the team at SOL Laptops (WeWi Corp)  for inviting us on board.

More news soon, about what we are planning next.

The Florios (H & Flo)

Yellowbrick Tracking and The Ally 811 canoes – on the River Gambia tomorrow, from Kedougou, Senegal, West Africa

YellowBrick Tracking Devices © Jason Florio - on the road to Mali Ville, Fouta Djallon, Guinea

YellowBrick Tracking Devices © Jason Florio – on the road to Mali Ville, Fouta Djallon, Guinea

We’ll be on the River Gambia as from tomorrow morning, in ‘The Twins’ – our 16.5′ Ally 811 – canoes. We’re setting off from Kedougou, Senegal, towards Mako. On route, we’ll be staying in about seven villages, as part of the River Gambia Expedition. We hope to be in Wassadou for Christmas. Afterwards, we’ll wend our way towards The Gambia.

This may be the last post for a week or so. However, you can check our route on our Yellowbrick blog – which will ping our location every 2 hours or so. BIG thanks to Nick and the YellowBrick team for their support

Please keep checking in and, if we don’t get on before: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Yellowbrick Tracking - YB3 - Devices. Click on image to visit map

Yellowbrick Tracking – YB3 – Devices. Click on image to visit map

The Florios (H & Flo), Abdou and Ebou – the River Gambia Expedition team

Quick update from Tambacunda, Senegal – River Gambia Expedition

Florio, YellowBrick and Concern Universal – on route to Tambacunda, Senegal © Helen Jones-Florio

Just a very, very quick update as we’ve had a super long day – up since 4.30am and now in Tambacunda, Senegal, on route to Kedougou, and nearer to the source of the River Gambia. But, we just wanted to remind you that you can follow our trail on our YellowBrick blog – see where we are at, at all times, should you so desire. I know my mum has been following our progress today (thanks mum!) – and she can now go to bed because we have switched it off for the night! Huge thanks again to YellowBrick Tracking for the loan of the trusty device – the YB3.

And, last but not least, a BIG thank you to Concern Universal for the trade: Florio’s services as a photographer for a vehicle and driver – to bring us all the way down to Tambacunda, Senegal – and the smoothest border crossing yet, from Gambia, with all our gear too! Our CU driver, Nicolas Gomez is the king of speedy (but extremely safe) driving, over all kinds of terrain today.

Spot the Florio! Fleuve Gambie (River Gambia), Gouloumbou, Senegal, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio – from this bridge (which we weren’t supposed to take photos of – it’s a military check point) we had a great view of the section of the river we’ll be coming back down. In a word (or two), its wide and moving pretty fast!

River Gambia Expedition is on the road – and soon to be in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea – at long bloody last!!

Much more to come soon – when the connection is faster and I can get some of Florio’s images up here.

Please drop by again

The Florios (H & Flo)

Follow our tracks – YB3 Blog