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Lonely Planet Unpacked

Product Code: lonelyplanet
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Price: $12.95 Ex Tax: $12.95

Every traveller has a horror story to tell: lost luggage, bad weather, illness or worse. In this lively collection of travel disaster tales, Lonely Planet writers - Tony Wheeler among them - share their worst moments of life on the road.

From Kenya to Sri Lanka, from Brazil to Finland, from the Australian outback to India, these travellers have encountered hurricanes, road accidents and nasty parasites. Suzanne Possehl finds there is life in the KGB yet, Tim Nollen discovers the kindness of strangers and Anthony Haywood survives a taxi ride through Siberia. Dani Valent walks away from a desert car crash, and Ryan Ver Berkmoes is stranded in the Arctic Circle. Reading these funny and frightening stories from the dark side of the road will make you think twice about a career as a travel writer, but the best thing about them is the knowledge that it all happened to somebody else.

Contributors: Jennifer Brewer, Bruce Cameron, Andrew Draffen, Jim DuFresne, Steve Fallon, Matt Fletcher, Susan Forsyth, Paul Greenway, Rosemary Hall, David Harcombe, Anthony Haywood, Mark Honan, Scott McNeely, John Mock, Tim Nollen, Randall Peffer, Suzanne Possehl, Nick Ray, Daniel Robinson, Miles Roddis, Chris Rowthorn, Dani Valent, Ryan Ver Berkmoes, Tony Wheeler, Brad Wong andPat Yale.

This collection of 26 first-person essays by Lonely Planet writers includes tales that describe, in mostly self-effacing detail, the horrors and embarrassments that can befall even the most seasoned travelers. Getting into his car after a soul-cleansing hike in "Walking the Mount Kailash Circuit," Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet Publications, is startled when a drunk Tibetan repeatedly slams his head against the car windshield. In her Kafkaesque tale of her detention in a police station in Mirny, a desolate Siberian city, Suzanne Possehl writes: "I tell him I write for Lonely Planet; he looks at me like I'm from another planet." Andrew Draffen details in "The Local Cure" how he survived a case of Bicho Geographico, a parasite he picked up while walking (stoned) along a beach in Trancoso, in the northeast section of Brazil. He turned to native bartender Ulysses, who recommended a natural way to stop the parasite from burrowing too far into the travel writer's skin. The remedy? Draffen tied a huge block of ice to his foot and drank caiupirinhas till he was too soused to worry; eventually, the parasite froze "estupidamente gelada (stupidly cold)." Readers wanting a real look at what it's like to work in one of the most seemingly glamorous professions will find a wide variety of insider information and confessions of na?vet? and helplessness experienced in remote parts of the world.

  • Author: Tony Wheeler
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; First Edition edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186450062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864500622

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