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Rundown for the week of July 25, 1998

Iran Postcard
Have you ever been to a place where the sights and sounds and the smells are so foreign that you almost wonder how it could exist on the same planet as the place you're from? And what if that place has a stigma... newspapers and politicians have deemed it an evil empire, for example. How then do you deal with the people of that culture? Do you keep your head down and try not to be noticed? Greet them with cautious acceptance? Journalist James Reston Jr. came face to face with some of these questions in a recent trip to Iran, and he sent us this postcard. Reston has just published his book The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000 AD.

Q & A I -- Best Seat Mate
After hearing tales of horror last week, Rudy takes listeners' calls about the best seat mates they've ever had.

Deal of the Week
Delta Airlines is offering something called the Executive Women's Travel Network. Except here's the funny thing--you don't have to be an executive or even a woman to join. It's going to save you a bunch if you fly with Delta, and it costs you nothing.

First you'll receive a fistful of valuable discount coupons on Delta. You'll get a one-class upgrade certificate, $25 off a weekend Delta Shuttle ticket, and a coupon good for a discount of between $30 and $100 on your next flight. But here's the best perk: You'll also receive a coupon that allows you to take a companion on a round-trip flight anywhere in the continental U.S. for only $99. The only catch: you must pay for your travel with an American Express card.

Now, you've gotta join by September 18th, and the coupons are good 'til the end of the year. Join by calling 888-241-8526 or by visiting Delta's web site. You'll also receive certificates for other stuff, like upgrades on rental cars and a discount on ordering flowers. Me, I got sucked in by that $99 companion travel deal. And even though you have to complete travel by the end of the year, next year you'll get another envelope full of goodies.

Delta's Executive Women's Travel Network -- good even for unemployed guys -- that's my Deal Of the Week!

Q & A II -- General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general questions about travel. He mentions:

Villas in Bali

  • Private Villas Ltd. in Bali--call them at 62-361-703-060 or reach them by e-mail:info@villanet.com

Traveling with Pets

  • AAA Pet Guides cost $8.99 for AAA members and $12.00 for non-members. They're available at any AAA office.

  • For more information on travel pets and pet-friendly accommodations, try Heather McLean's series Take Your Pet Along and Take Your Pet Too. To order, call 908-879-7564.

Spend the Eve of the New Millennium on the International Date Line

  • Paradise Adventures and Cruises offers cruises and yachts to charter for sailing between Tonga and Samoa. Call the Tonga Visitor's Bureau for home stay information: 011-676-25-334

  • Prasad and Associates has package tours to Fiji, where the date line crosses the island of Taveuni. Phone: 905-785-0360

  • First Light Tourism in Gisborne, New Zealand will also offer millennium events in the area. Phone: 011-64-6-867-2000

Mystical Journey in Peru
Every once in a while, we're thrilled to bring you a story that runs a little longer than usual because we really want to take you away somewhere, even if you're stuck in traffic or sitting in your kitchen. Today, The Savvy Traveler's Sandy Tolan leads us to a religious festival high in the Peruvian Andes: Kollor'iti. "I think that this journey is not supposed to be easy, that the cost of the trip--$45 for two nights of camping, food, tour guide--isn't the real price. That somehow, the difficulty of the journey must be related to what lies at the end... at 16,000 feet..." There are so many rich layers to a country like Peru, that as a traveler it's hard to know where to begin. You can visit colonial cities, the streets and buildings which still maintain the history of the Spanish conquistadors. You can visit the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco or explore the lost city of Machu Picchu. Tolan set out last month on a journey through the Andes with the intention of taking a walk back in time to the last days of the Incan Empire. But on his way toward the Inca trail, Sandy got waylaid, took a different turn, and -- as happens so often in travel -- went on a much more surprising journey.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler

We'll take a tour through wild animal game reserves in South Africa...

"It is very very dangerous. The animals are pretty wild. They're not tamed at all. We've had incidences of people trying to take photographs, jumping out of their vehicles and it did turn out to be dangerous at some stage."
The sights and sounds of South African wildlife in next week's journey. And we'll get the chance to chat with renaissance man John Lurie who's latest adventure took him on fishing trips with some pretty famous guys. So if you've ever wondered what it's like to go fishing with Dennis Hopper...

"He's the worst fisherman you ever met so mostly I spent time untangling his line is what I spent most of the time doing."

We're goin' fishin', riding the rails of Alaska, and we're swapping tips on how NOT to get duped on the road...That and more in next week's voyage with the Savvy Traveler. I hope you'll join us.

For a tape of the show...
If you want your very own copy of The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call 303-823-8000. The price is $15. As Rudy says, it's a steal.

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