Monday, May 10, 2010

0 Mailbag Monday: May 10, 2010

I know you are big fans of The Amazing Race. What did you think of the finale?
-Nick, Brooklyn, NY USA

From day 1 we were big fans of the cowboys (who wasn't?), so it was disappointing to see them get so close and fail to seal the deal. The Rhode Island brothers, though, pulled out a great last leg  (save for the idiotic fighting over their place in line at the ticket counter which was made moot by the brilliant move to first class which may have single-handedly won them a million dollars) and we're happy for them. Jordan's fandom of the show really paid off, and Dan's reference to Boston sports made us happy.

But honestly, what we cared about most last night was that Brent and Caite NOT win. They wised up throughout the race and ran a lot smarter at the end, but they were whiny, snarky, bigoted, and overall miserable people who we did not want to see $1 million dollars. Hopefully more people will recognize Caite now not for her botched Miss Teen USA speech but for her meanness on The Amazing Race.

We're independent travelers, but Africa, let alone extended overland travel in Africa, seems best done with a guide. I know you had concerns about car-jacking, which thankfully, were not realized. I'm also concerned about the infrastructure (driving or busing) outside of South Africa. Not to mention self-guided safaris, and not just for safety concerns, but also just missing out on what could have been seen with a guide. Did you omit much of Africa for these same reasons? Should we hold off on including this on our round the world trip until we have some jingles to throw down for Africa done proper (Have you looked at some of the Intrepid Travel - Africa trips? Drool-worthy.)?
-Breanna and Jake, Madison, WI

Africa was totally incredible. Safari...there are no words. But we did come to the realization that we weren't going to be able to do that much there since the costs were so high. Independent travel just isn't much of an option there. It's also the kind of trip you need to really plan ahead, in a way that we couldn't do from hotel rooms in southeast Asia. Originally we wanted to do a big overland safari from Victoria Falls through Botswana and Namibia to Cape Town, but it was just way too expensive. We decided that some day we'll go back when we can really spend the money and plan everything right. I hate to say skip it for now, but especially if you are on a tight budget it might be the most practical option.

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