1) Get a driver's license. These are remarkably useful things to have, especially in North America. 2) Get a credit card that insures rental cars against collision and loss. Such cards often charge an annual fee, but will pay for themselves if you rent as rarely as once a year - buying that insurance from the rentacar company often costs ~$15 per rental day. Make sure that card is paid up, as the insurance may lapse if you're past due, and bear in mind you have to use it to rent the car. 3) Book online, in advance, preferably with at least one Saturday-night stay. I generally use Expedia to comparison-shop the various major chains, then go to the cheapest chain's corporate site and book a car there. I rarely wind up paying more than $25/day. 4) You don't need to provide a credit card number to rent a car, so feel free to book more than one, just in case. 5) Save money when you book. The bewildering rentacar business model includes all manner of "promotion codes&quo
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Gas stations throughout Africa, like everywhere else, display their prices in big bold numbers visible from far away. One in Uganda might say something like: PETROL 2310 DIESEL 1680 PARAFFIN 970 ("Petrol", o American readers, is the British word for gasoline. Paraffin is primarily used as cooking fuel, but is also used for lamps and fridges.) If you walk from Zambia to Zimbabwe, as I did a couple of days ago, you cross over a metal suspension bridge perched 111 metres above the Zambezi river gorge. From your right comes the constant thunder of Victoria Falls. To your left, a bungee-jumping booth stands on the edge of the bridge. If you look over that edge, you may see, far below, amid whitewater wrinkles, yellow Tonka-toy-sized river rafts, full of adrenalinized tourists about to brave 22 of the 24 rapids of the lower Zambezi gorge. (One of them is Grade Six, too violent to raft; and you don't raft the last rapid, because then you hit croc territory.) O
I maintain a Flickr set of all my very bestest pictures, and these are its entries from my latest wanderings. Click through to view large versions. (Apologies for the repetition from previous posts, but it's handy to have 'em all in one place.) Spooky monk, Lalibela, Ethiopia. Wall, Axum, Ethiopia. Sign, Djibouti. Salt pearls, Djibouti. Salt field and volcanoes, Djibouti. Salt lake, Djibouti. Tree in lava field, Djibouti. Pigeons, Delhi. The Jantar Mantar, Delhi. Pines, Van Vihar, Manali, India. The Spiti Valley, India. Himalayan zoom, India. Himalayan desert, India. Stok La, Ladakh, India. Sunset, Ladakh, India. Marine Drive, Mumbai.