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Some fascinating guest have dropped by to visit this past year. Some of them wrote books with travel tips as well as travel stories...like William Langeweische who came by to talk about his book "Sahara Unveiled" and tell us what we should know if we ever get to the Sahara ourselves.

by William Langewiesche

Listen with RealAudio: Sahara Unveiled

Rudy: How do you get around the Sahara?

William: Well, with whatever is available. In the Northern Sahara, where there are decent roads, you can travel by communal taxi, the Bush Taxi of Africa.

As you get arther into the desert, the roads disappear, and the desert becomes harsher. You then have to travel either by bus, or by cargo truck. To travel by cargo truck, you go to the market and wait, sometimes for days. Finally, you find someone who is moving a load of some kind of cargo - it could be chickens, or dates, or even goats. You talk to the driver, you get a ride and join perhaps 20 or so other people who are also riding in the truck.

And from the driver's point of view, it's a good deal because he has people ready to dig the truck out when it gets stuck. And there, the trucks get stuck all the time.

Sahara Unveiled, by William Langewiesche is available from Powell's Books.

You can also listen to Rudy's complete interview in Real Audio.

Then there was mystery writer Carl Hiaasen who lives in a place where people often go to disappear.

Interview with Carl Hiaasen

Listen with RealAudio: Key West, Florida

Here in the islands, the Keys, you meet a lot of people who have grown up here and whose daddies grew up here and who can disappear into that backcountry in a skiff in the middle of the night with no lights and there isn't a coast guard boat or a plane in the world that could ever find them; they know it that well. And until I saw that with my own eyes I didn't believe it either, because I spent a lot of time back there and I need a map, and these guys can just -- it's just in their blood. Some of them live on the edge of the law.

Rudy: The Florida Keys are sort of the end, sort of the last stop. How does that affect the kind of people you find here?

Well, they say that Key West, which is of course, the end of the road -- that's where US 1 starts -- they say that they serve more fugitive warrants than in any other place in America because a lot of people just run and run and run until they run out of pavement. It's an attractive place, not just for tourists and yuppies and sport fisherman and that sort of thing, but it's an attractive place if you're a criminal too. I mean it's alluring. It has a mystery and appeal , if you're on the road or on the lam for whatever reason it's not a bad place to come. The only problem with it is, there's basically one road in and out and most master criminals don't put themselves in that position, so we have a lot of not very successful criminals in the Keys

Tourist Season, by Carl Hiaasen, is available from Powell's Books

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