Monthly Archives: June 2011

Clue #4: Alan & Harriet’s 2011 Summer Vacation Contest

Dear Friends,

Uh oh. A few of you seem to have dropped out and we suspect there are some who are waiting to do a last-second-eBay bid/guess sort thing. Maybe it’s time we answered a couple of questions and reviewed a clue that seems to have slipped by many of you.

To answer Sylvia’s question, the destination does not start with the letter “B.” So Bolivia, Botswana, Burkino Faso, Bamako and Bhutan are all out, however they’ll all be considered for November.

Clue Review: We’re all clear on the geography (landlocked) thing and that the average temperature this time of year is about 90 degrees. Good. Now let’s give Clue #2 another look-see, shall we: “a week in Paris… one of our very shortest… trips” means “less than a week.” Not that we wouldn’t spend more time in airports and in the air than at the destination itself if there were a compelling reason or free ticket involved, but in this case, we paid for our airfare and we’ll be “there” longer than we’ll be traveling to and from there. Hell, this little contest is lasting longer than we’ll be there.

Clue #4 (Trivia)
We do not need a visa to travel there.
The predominant language is English.
It is a popular tourist destination.
In addition to tourism in two well known cities, the major industry is gold production.

Oh, in answer to Gayle’s altitude/attitude question, we’ll just say that “altitude” was not a typo but we readily acknowledge Harriet’s “attitude” is (always) a consideration.

Clue #3: Alan & Harriet’s 2011 Summer Vacation Contest

Greetings fellow travelers and virtual travel gamers!

We’re very pleased with the entries so far. Quite impressed, actually. Keep ’em coming. Remember, you can enter as many times as you’d like. We might even consider throwing in an extra prize for perfect attendance, persistence, or sheer volume.

We’re hoping that a few of you might appreciate a bit of clarification and perhaps a little geography lesson before you make your next guess so here goes…

There were several votes for Bolivia. The temperature there right now is in the 50s — not our idea of “hot” as mentioned in clue #1 — so we’re going to shift Bolivia to the list of suggestions for our November trip. Just to be clear, by “hot” we mean the forecast calls for temperatures in the low 90s. This is the average temperature for July.

Here’s a little clarification on that whole “landlocked” thing mentioned in clue #1: We consider the states of Missouri (Keith’s guess), Montana (Laura L’s 2nd guess), Nevada (Diane and Judy) as landlocked even though the U.S. is not a landlocked country. So those guesses stand. Any state or province bordering on one of the great lakes, however, would not be considered landlocked. Peru is not landlocked but Kristen specifically guessed Machu Picchu which is inland. Hmmm. Clever. But we’re going to gently toss it anyway since temperatures there are in the low 70s right now… and we did the Inca Trail a few years ago. Sorry.

Guesses that came in via email rather than as comments on the blog:
Sylvia: Bolivia (although she acknowledged it is winter there now) or Bhutan
Wayne: Bolivia or Uganda
Kathryn: Bolivia or Moldova
Judy: Las Vegas
Amy: Serbia and/or Hungary
Kristen: Machu Picchu
Shari: Burkino Faso (Incorrect answer but we’re awarding bonus points for including a great description and good link.)

And now, your third set of clues:

Clue #3A (As they say in Lonely Planet, “Dangers & Annoyances”)
There are some safety considerations; we’ve invested in proper equipment and protection and will likely buy a couple more items as soon as we arrive. Magellans’s does not carry what we need (except for sun screen).

Clue #3B (Health & Immunizations)
Malaria is not one of our concerns.
The tap water is potable.
No immunizations are required for us although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get our tetanus boosters.
Altitude may be a challenge, especially for Harriet.

Looking forward to more thoughtful, ingenious responses.

Clue #2: Alan & Harriet’s 2011 Summer Vacation Contest

Glad to see you’re all so easily distracted from whatever you should be doing and that you’re playing along. Excellent responses, all.

Congratulations to Laura for being the first to respond with “Cambodia.” Been there, done that, incorrect answer, but she does get bonus for being first to buzz in. Bonus points, too, to Diane for guessing a destination as well as a purpose.  Nina was the first to respond by email. A San Francisco native and major world traveler herself, Nina emailed all the way from quaint little Truckee (one would have expected Mongolia or Uzbekistan) to participate. However, she did not venture a guess so no prizes for her at this time.

So that you’re all playing with the same information, there were two other guesses on the first day of this competition that came via Facebook. Jonny — who did a lot of major hard traveling long before the internet, ATMs and even wheeled luggage; has known Harriet for more than 35 years, lived and traveled with her — guessed Bhutan. Keith, who has done the same guessed Missouri.

Thanks for playing!

And now for today’s clue…

Clue #2 (Budget)
Except for a week in Paris, this is one of our very shortest, most noteworthy trips. Not including airfare, on a per day basis, this will be one of our most expensive trips. There are $25 rooms to be had but we won’t be staying in any of them. We’re springing for something with a few stars for at least a couple of nights.

Alan & Harriet’s 2011 Summer Vacation Contest, Clue #1

Admittedly, we are slacker bloggers. Sure, we finished the Thailand/Laos blog from last November, but we still owe you photos and tales from the latter halves of Guatemala, Chile & Easter Island, and Egypt. The tales are a bit foggy now so you’ll have to settle for pictures. Actually, you’ll have to wait for those, too, as we’re preparing for another trip in just over a  week… and you get to guess where we’re going.

Contest rules: Prizes (something fun, we promise) will be awarded to the first person with the correct answer; to the person who gives an incorrect answer but best suggestion for our November trip; and to the person with the most creative answer. The very small handful of you who know the details are ineligible for the grand prize but are encouraged to keep the secret and participate by putting forth red herrings or other fishy guesses. You are encouraged to enter as many times as you’d like. There will be a total of 6 clues posted on the blog, one each day beginning today. Winner(s) will be announced on or about July 4th.

Here’s your first clue. Admittedly, it’s not a big one, but you might get lucky.

Clue #1 (Geography)
Like most of our trips, this is to a destination where the weather will be hot.
Like Laos, this place is landlocked and a river runs through it.
Yes, there is an airport and no, we don’t mind flying in small planes.