Lonely Planet’s Blue List

Here at gadling, we’re all about finding new travel ideas. And equally, we’re about pointing you to places where those ideas are most abundant. Well, where abundance is concerned, I have just closed the covers on a cornucopia of ideas that, frankly, has me feeling a little exhausted right now.

Lonely Planet’s new edition of its Blue List series is a compelling page turner that, if you’re like me, will cause an immediate shortage of yellow post-its. Those post-its now cling to the inside pages of my Blue List guide, making it look a bit like a paper peacock flattened by a semi.

The Blue List guide, subtitled “The Best in Travel 2007” provides page after page of sumptuous photos and informative text about interesting places and things to do in them all over the globe. The ideas start off with a calendar section that groups together events by month. For example, December has the Festival of the Oases in Tunisia and the Hornbill Festival in India. Chances are, you’ll have to Google these for more info, but they’re a fine start.

Other recommendations in the book are broken out by activity, so if you are, for example, a fan of scuba diving, you can get a good idea of the top trips for bubble blowers. The books lists the Cocos Islands in Costa Rica and Chuuk lagoon in Micronesia among their top spots. Or let’s say you have long believed in UFOs and want to design a trip for you and your ET-loving friends? Well, you can do that, too, with their paranormal trips section.

Then savor my favorite section, called the Go List, which breaks out LP’s top picks for places to visit in the coming year. We’re NOT talking Florida and Vegas here. We’re talking about exotic, less-explored locales like Maluku, Indonesia and Gabon. Then there’s a section on gadgets and the best places to wed and dark travel and, well, more and more.

If I have any complaints, it that while the book really whets your appetite, you don’t leave feeling completly satisfied. In fact, you leave a bit hungrier than before. But as I say, maybe that’s what Google, or LP’s country-specific guides are there for. Either way, keeping to their fine tradition of helping you REALLY get out there, the good folks at Lonely Planet have done a fine job with this new book.

Goin’ Tribal

Just in case you missed it, the show Going Tribal runs on Discovery and is worth checking out. It was originally produced by the BBC and thus has numerous British characters, but that shouldn’t keep you from watching it (jk!). The show follows former British Royal Marine Bruce Parry as he takes a month to immerse himself in the culture, language and rituals of a native community. There was a fair amount of hullaballo about how insensitive the idea is, but I have to say it all seems pretty much on the up and up. Various episodes have had Parry horseback with the Darhads in Mongolia, visit cannibals in West Paupa, practice donga with the Suri in Ethiopia, eat “rat cake” in the Himalayas and hunt in the rainforests of Gabon.

Forget Oceans 12, See Oceans 8

bowerJow Bowermaster is a hero of mine. For years I’ve read his articles written for the world’s best adventure mags and dreamt of taking trips like his. His current project is called Oceans 8 and seeks to explore the world’s oceans from the seat of a sea kayak.

I mean, how simple an idea, and yet, how cool? Last spring, he did an expedition to western equitorial Africa. Accompanied by photographer Peter McBride and two Gabonese eco-guides, they circumnavigated Gabon Loango national park. They kayaked and portaged more than 200 miles around the park’s perimeter, and saw river-swimming elephants, manatees, tarpon, surfing hippos, gorillas and more. Check out details of Bowermaster’s amazing trip here.