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.