Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Travel Guides Are NOT Always Right

Reading a guidebook about Canada's North last night (I have no life), I glanced at the handy little map included there to get my bearings. North of Hudson's Bay -- a great big honking bay of water clearly visible on any globe as the large blue frying pan shape in the top middle-- there's a very large island named Baffin Island. Well, not on this guy's map. He'd named it 'Ellesmere Island', which is a fine island to be sure, but it can't hold a candle to Baffin Island.

It made me think of another guidebook for Ethiopia that badly let me down. Near Bahir Dar, in the Ethiopian Highlands, there's a grand waterfalls called Blue Nile Falls. It looked so wonderful in the guidebook photo, I could hardly wait to see it. (I wrote about this trip on snapshotjourneys.com/ethiopia.html) Though the guidebook had been revised and republished just the year before my trip, the water to the falls had been 'turned off' 4 years before that!

Guidebooks can't ever hope to be truly up to date, but honestly! Four years? I wouldn't mind so much, but we'd driven for half an hour, then climbed for 45 minutes in the heat and at altitude only to see a trickle across a valley.


Abfab Art Studio said...

How frustrating!!! I guess this just reminds us all that if we find something really fabulous we want to see or visit, we need to check multiple sources. I even write to the tourist office in the location I'm heading to, for more 'local' info. Not always, but sometimes, and it just might save you an unnecessary journey.

Love your blog!

Karen said...

Hi Teena

Good advice, for when it's possible to check alternate sources. Like with computer files and travel money, it's good to back up travel information, too!

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