This squatter is located in Transnistria (aka Trans-Dniestr or Transdniestria). It’s a breakaway territory on the eastern Moldovan border beside Ukraine.
Name Mike Richard
Who? Vagabondish.com editor, traveler and web designer living in Rhode Island.
Countries Visited About 40
1.Worst Toilet Believe it or not: a public toilet in downtown Portland, Maine. It was like someone let a pack of methed-up children loose on a poo pinata – every conceivable surface was covered. It would’ve taken a CSI clean-up crew weeks to fully sterilize it, although simply burning it to the ground would’ve been best.
2. Worst Souvenir In Montreal, I found a 5′x7′ area rug that I knew my first serious girlfriend back home would love. It was packaged exactly like a dead body. I very stupidly lugged the damn thing several hundred miles on multiple train, subway and car rides to get it home. I’m sure several folks along the way must’ve called the cops on me. (Incidentally, that girl broke up with me the following week)
3. Worst Meal The currywurst at the top of Berlin’s Fernsehturm TV Tower. It was my first foray into the wonderful culinary delights of currywurst, and it turned out to be nothing more than an outrageously overpriced Ball Park Frank. Bonus: spending the better part of that night on the toilet praying for death!
4. Worst Sunburn Latrobe Festival. I sat outside for twelve hours sans sunblock. Back at our hotel that night, I felt only a strange tingling sensation in my whole face. The next morning, my face was burnt, blistered and peeling like a zombie extra from 28 Days Later. It hurt (and looked) so awful that I almost went to the hospital. But, like any real man, I chose to down a glass of orange juice and walk it off.
5. Worst City for Driving Pick any one in SE Asia. Seriously.
Who? Co-founder and executive editor of Travelers’ Tales publishing, editor-in-chief of Triporati.com. Has edited or contributed to more than 100 books, including: The Best Travel Writing 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, Travelers’ Tales Australia, The Gift of Travel. Also co-creator of such travel sites as BestTravelWriting.com, WorldTravelWatch.com, WhozHereNow.com and the editors’ site ProseDoctors.com. Syndicated columnist since 1985.
Countries visited 50+
2. Worst Toilet Tower of filth in a long-forgotten guest house in Yogyakarta, Java (but I sure remember the squatter!).
3. Worst Border Crossing ZhangMu, Tibet to Kodari, Nepal, detained 8 hours because they felt like it.
4. Worst Beverage Tibetan tea after day five.
5. Worst Meal Grilled Zambian chicken, literally too tough to bite, and we were famished after rafting the Zambezi, and remained so.
6. Worst Place to “Visit” a jail in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Name Catherine Watson
Who? Former travel editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year and the Society of American Travel Writers’ Photographer of the Year. Her writing has been anthologized in many books, including “Best American Travel Writing 2008.’’ Her solo collections are Roads Less Traveled — Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth and Home on the Road: Further Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth. More at catherinewatsontravel.com.
Countries visited 112. (Most recent is the Faroe Islands)
1. Worst Taxi Ride My all-day-long attempt to find the Tree of Life in the desert of southern Bahrain. The taxi driver, who’d been working on this 10-by-30-mile-wide island for 25 years, admitted he’d never been south of the Manama suburbs. By the time we’d found the damned tree, we’d been lost more times than I could count, and then arrested for trespassing.
2. Worst Toilet The dank, filthy, unlighted ruin of a public ladies’ room in central Bucharest, before Ceaucescu’s horrid government fell. No toilet paper, no soap, no “feminine hygiene products” in the whole country, no nothing.
3. Worst Meal The famous raw shrimp cocktail of Kathmandu. I ordered it to celebrate an overland trip into Tibet, got violent food poisoning, was sick for the next 3 weeks and lost 16 pounds. Only then did it occur to me how far Kathmandu was from any ocean shrimp might live in.
4. Worst Foreign Policy Idea The U.S. government’s ban on ordinary American travelers going to Cuba. It would be funny if it weren’t so stupid: Technically, we CAN go to Cuba, we just can’t spend any MONEY in Cuba.
5. Worst Airport Security Nepal’s domestic terminal. As elsewhere in South Asia, “Ladies’’ are searched separately, behind a curtain. The young female officer didn’t look up from filing her nails. “Do you have big knife?’’ she asked. No. “Do you have bomb?’’ No. “You may go.’’ Well, okay, then, if you say so…
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Name Robert Young Pelton
Who? Filmmaker, speaker, and author of The World’s Most Dangerous Places, Come Back Alive and Licensed to Kill. He has traveled alongside the Taliban, CIA, Blackwater and too many rebel groups to list. And he’s the only travel writer with his own signature survival knife! (ratcutlery.com) More at comebackalive.com
Countries Visited 120+
1. Least Civilized Militants The Small Boys Unit I was with in Liberia was run by a 15-year-old who had three or four girlfriends and always smoked a huge spliff. These guys (mostly 10 – 12 year olds) like to cut the enemy to pieces after they were dead. Not very sporting chaps.
2. Worst Jungle Darian Gap. Very dry, hot and thorny. At the time I was kidnapped, getting marched at night (at gun point), so you fall a lot and the spikes on the trees you grab to catch yourself would go right into you. I was literally unhooking these tines from my hand.
3. Worst Military Food French MREs. You’d think they’d have this gourmet stuff, but they had two dozen flavors of greasy southern French crap that even the peasants wouldn’t touch.
4. Worst Spot for Getting Mugged Jo’burg, South Africa. It was worst in that no one would mug me. I put a camera on my neck and timed it because this was supposed to be some great spot for getting mugged. But I was just approached by really friendly locals telling me I probably shouldn’t stand there with a camera on my neck.
5. Worst Toilet In Mali I asked where the toilet was… they pointed outside. There is a lot of outside in Mali. Huts and then sand as far as you could see. And they didn’t go inside the huts. So everywhere was the toilet. I was just supposed to wander out into the sand and find a spot inbetween everyone else’s shit and go. With everyone watching. And you know everyone wants to see how the white guy goes to the toilet.
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