Tonight, I've spent a few hours stripping down my tripods - 1348 and 1228 Gitzo tripods, that I've owned for close on a decade now. What has struck me, is that each time I come home and feel inclined to strip these items down and remove all the sand and grit from them, just how long I've had them and where they've been with me.

Isn't that fantastic? To realise that a tripod you've had for 10 years has been to Cambodia, Cuba, Patagonia, Iceland, Nepal, India, Easter Island and all over Scotland, and with a little care and attention, it is still going strong?

I think so.

My preference, if I were to buy a new tripod, would be for a Manfrotto - I like the clips for the legs, rather than the threaded screws you need to adjust for the Gitzo's, but having stripped down a 10 year old tripod tonight and marvelled that it is still going strong, I doubt that I'll be getting a new tripod for a while.

Now, I'm off to buy that plane ticket for Ethiopia!