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  #31  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by onlyMark View Post
I drove between London and Capetown using nothing more than a sun compass and an anemometer made out of two egg cups and sucker sticks.
It took me ages just to get out of the UK, always raining.

When I came back north I rode backwards so I could recognise where I'd been to re-trace my route.
You too, everyone is doing that these days.
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  #32  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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good one

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Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
Plus LP places are a good way to bump into groups of young ladies backpacking who are all easily impressed by the mad biker..... an obvious bonus!!
good one, same experience !!! :-))))))))))))

more and more people are travelling, so LP and others adapt. it s a business, market shares, etc ...

they try to please the average traveller or most of the travellers and maybe "we" or some of us are / think they are not the average traveller and don t belong to their target ... that s all.

as people said before you should not maybe take the guidebook as a bible ...

I did backpacking before riding and for sure LP and others are more usefull when backpacking.
i m quite happy with LP, some stuff are wrong sometimes, but like others, like me also !
they update their guides every 2 years for main countries. pakistan or central asia every 4-5 years. no tourist = no business for them (?)

in france, we have "guide du routard" guidebooks, they are also much criticized.

it depends what you expect from a guidebook. if you take everything for granted or if after a while you get more and more away from it.

making a guidebook is not easy at all !!! everyone is travelling different and that s the richness of travelling. including ewan mc gregor.

giving trip advice also, even here, is not easy. i ve tried also on my website (Informations pratiques pour les autres voyageurs) during my trip but i m sure some people won t be ok. + things change.

maybe everyone is ok to say that LP went down.
well the authors are paid for that, it s their job i agree. but i ve heard that most of them are free lance and not paid much.

MY QUESTION would be : WHICH GUIDEBOOKS DO YOU RECOMMEND THEN ???

some guidebooks are also better for this or this region? Some guidebooks don t cover the 5 continents, ...
i ve heard that "let's go" guidebooks are doing better and better

happy trails
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Last edited by vincent danna; 29 Apr 2008 at 09:10. Reason: +
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  #33  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by vincent danna View Post
MY QUESTION would be : WHICH GUIDEBOOKS DO YOU RECOMMEND THEN ???
Trailblazer stuff, while being quite specialist, always seems v. good. Am going to go with 'Rough Guide' next time I need a general country guide and see how I get on with them.

At the end of the day though, maps are the best guidebooks.

Matt
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  #34  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Smile

Agree with skim reading the Rough Guides. Far preferable to LP. :-)
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  #35  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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I think Vincent hit it on the head.... Every brand will have a book that will more "accurate" for that country or more to the point your style. And it's a bit harsh to start writing hate mail if a few things/management/political climate has changed since the book was written

The couple of Let's Go books I've picked up i felt have been even more aimed at the wealthy American Gap student. ( Though it's been few years since I've picked one up

Rough guides have been on the whole reasonabley sound. Though their maps were not as good when compared to LP on the ground (Egypt)

Eyewitness are more of a siteseeing/ tour guide book - They have a lot of indepth histroy and info about the more popular tourist sites ( get a local guide - help the local economy!)

Pinch of salt and a bit of your own common sense..........
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  #36  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Get your juices going here

Get your travel books from here

http://www.readitswapit.co.uk/TheLibrary.aspx

then they only cost the price of postage. Who cares then? Great for getting your juices moving in between trips.

As someone said don't use them as a bible and it's fine.

I love ALL travel books, as they just make me want to get out there, but I love them in my library (er spare room to the missus) more than on trips ...
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  #37  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
I don't see the need to criticize the use of a guidebook...its their holiday/adventure/money so let them enjoy it however they please.

I personally did not use one during my trip for the same reasons as HenryUk...

BUT the most important takeway from this thread ought to be the following:

Take whatever you need to get yourself on the road and opportunities will present themselves when you put yourself out there
Well said Moto! I really don't think it's very important weather you use a guide book or not, and if you do, it really doesn't put you into a certain class of traveller, does it? Remember, these backpackers are usually kids! Thrown into a new world with a small allowance and absolutely no experience... they need guideance! Myself, on my first trip i used a LP, and was happy to have it. As i travelled more, i would take one, but found that i used it less and less. Now, i like to have one for some of the really useful information they do have, like maps, bus stations, times and aproximate fares, etc....I rarely use it for hotels and resturaunts, but it's not unusual to arrive in a city really late and tired and would like to know where the nearest hostel is for the first night. Nothing wrong with that, is there? Am i still an "Adventure Traveller"? Do i still qualify, or should i just start shaving my armpits now?
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  #38  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
My experience is people who carry Lonely Planets are as good as people on a package tour. But they are less able to admit it.


The reality is the LP wielders are on a package tour, they just cant see it.

.
It's a shame isn't it? The 250,000 miles I've ridden, in 15 countries over the last 30 some years, and it was all a package tour. All because of the Lonely Planet book in my tank bag.

Its become fashionable to slam LP, since they are popular they can't be hip to use. Kind of the Wal-Mart of guide books. I find them good at directing you to the part of town that is likely to have cheap accomodation, even if you don't stay at one of the places they specifically recommend. I like the central city maps, too. They definitely cater to those using public transport, which come to think of it, I use myself sometimes. I'll be sure to wear my Hawiian shirt and black socks with my huaraches next time I get on a chicken bus.

Seriously, if anyone knows of a guide book series that is more useful to us with private vehicles, I would like to hear about it.
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  #39  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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When I came back north I rode backwards so I could recognise where I'd been to re-trace my route.[/quote]

(Markus, I cracked up when I read that one.)


Is LP fine as a guide book? Sure, a lot more mainstream orientated than they used to be but still adequate.

Is using a guide book cheating? Not at all, if it was then we are all cheating in one way or another. IMHO that a guide book just shortens the time you spend screwing around.

As an example, I rode into Allepo, Syria at night sans guidebook or city map. Managed to make into the town center, easy enough but from there it's asking a lot of people who direct you a little bit until you get lost again and have ask for directions.

These aren't modern cities on a grid, they are ancient towns that are spread out higgledy piggedly. Still, kind of fun. After a while I make my way to the hotel part of town - every town has one. From there, I fumble around from ramshackle hotel to ramshackle hotel and find one that has a room and not too many rats. It's a "locals" hotel and I negotiate the room price with the basic Russian I learned from a couple of weeks in Russia (ie not much). This whole exercise takes about two hours.

My neighbor in the hotel is a trucker from Iraq and with the clerk translating, he tells me that I am an American pig. I counter that I am Canadian - like he gives a shit about the subleties of North America vs. America. Still, all good fun and no one gets beaten up in the middle of the night.

Mildly proud of the adventure I am experiencing, in the morning I walk across the street to make sure my bike hasn't been stolen and there are three other bikes parked there. Hmm, what a miracle that they also found this lost world of culture! When we met up later, I asked them where are they staying and how in the world did they get to this area? Easy, they are staying in a hostel a block away and with the little city map in the guidebook it only took them about a half an hour to ride straight there.

So in short they we sitting on a terrace drinking while I was fumbling around like a tourist. We all like adventure, but the guidebooks allow you to eliminate some very time consuming "housekeeping" items of travel so you can put your time to better use and more "true" adventures. I, for one, would prefer to be drinking the cold as you always get more than enough opportunities to get lost
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  #40  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up 15 countries, OK you're the daddy

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Originally Posted by AndyT View Post
It's a shame isn't it? The 250,000 miles I've ridden, in 15 countries over the last 30 some years, and it was all a package tour. All because of the Lonely Planet book in my tank bag.
Yeah its pretty easy deliberately taking quotes out of context, especially if it gives you chance to grin to yourself and throw in the trusty old "how many countries and how many years" routine.

In light of the original post I thought my post (that you have uncontextually quoted) was clearly in reference to the travel sheep backpacker crowd (I even contrasted it with the go anywhere, anytime ability of motorcyclists). If it wasnt clear enough I clarified it a couple of posts later, explicitly as referring to the backpacker crowd who treat these books as bibles. You either didnt read that, or chose to ignore it as it would have spoiled your chance to slip in the "how many countries and how many years" punchline.

Nice touch !
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  #41  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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Tom,
Glad to see you're still Ok (physically if not mentally I suppose!)
Cheers, Mark.
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  #42  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Yeah its pretty easy deliberately taking quotes out of context, especially if it gives you chance to grin to yourself and throw in the trusty old "how many countries and how many years" routine.

In light of the original post I thought my post (that you have uncontextually quoted) was clearly in reference to the travel sheep backpacker crowd (I even contrasted it with the go anywhere, anytime ability of motorcyclists). If it wasnt clear enough I clarified it a couple of posts later, explicitly as referring to the backpacker crowd who treat these books as bibles. You either didnt read that, or chose to ignore it as it would have spoiled your chance to slip in the "how many countries and how many years" punchline.

Nice touch !
Well, you can't expect to put people down based on the brand of guide book they use, of all things, and not expect to have someone point out the ridiculousness of it. Sorry you're taking me so seriously, I don't take you seriously at all.
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  #43  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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Does anyone ever step outside of the HU bar?

There always seems to be a oneupmanship that exists whenever anyone travels. Each to their own I reckon but I must say I'm normally against anyone who takes themselves too seriously as the new David Livingstone. At the end of it we're all tourists and it's all been done before. We're not special but we are privileged.
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  #44  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by mattpope View Post
Does anyone ever step outside of the HU bar?

.
Evidently, my sarcasm doesn't travel over the internet any better than a tourist with a Lonely Planet book, but point taken. I'll sit down and shut up before we need a fight cage in the HU bar.
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  #45  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Some guides are better than others.
I understand the bitching, but do suggest remembering these aren't tablets brought-down to you from The Mountain, regardless of the cost or personal beliefs.

All this type of information is quickly becoming avalable on the Net.

Guide books go well with maps when planning.
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