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Rundown for the week of October 24, 1998

Travel Update
The phone number for reservations at the Kennedy Space Center for John Glenn's October 29 return to space is 407-449-4444. To contact Access Alliance, the gay-friendly consortium of travel agents, call 800-464-1829.

Just the word "Borneo" triggers images of steamy jungle, swollen rivers, pirates, rajahs and headhunters. Well, nowadays the reality of life on this island is a bit tamer. But the lure and the mystery are still there. If you don't know much about the place here's a quick lesson: Borneo sits between the Phillippines, Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula and is surrounded by the South China, Celebes and Java seas. The Southern half of the island is part of Indonesia and on the northwest coast are tiny oil rich Brunei and two states of Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. Ancient rainforest still covers the land. There are vipers, pythons, flying squirrels, orchids, orangutans and tribes of people who live off the bounty of the jungle. So for the traveler, there is endless adventure. Judith Ritter and her teenage daughter, Devorah, visited Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state and traveled up river to the Seruba Longhouse, home to 42 families of Iban people, a tribe that has lived on the river for 600 years.

Q & A I -- Considerate Travelers
Rudy talks to listeners about being a considerate traveler. The etiquette expert he talks to is Letitia Baldridge, editor of the newletter "Executive Advantage." You can visit her website at www.letitia.com.

Tim Cahill Interview
The last time we spoke with travel writer Tim Cahill, he talked about his adventures in Mongolia: riding across vast expanses of eastern China on the back of a pony and eating something unidentifiable he decided to call, "noisy cheese." Today Tim's come to talk about an adventure that's even more outrageous: swimming with great white sharks in South Africa that probably weigh as much as your car! After reading his article in the August issue of Outside Magazine, we just had to know: Tim, what in the world were you thinking?

Deal of the Week: Cheap Flights
Two deals, from two very different airlines. From Alaska Airlines, book by December 9 and two can fly for the price of one through early April. Purchase tickets at least seven days ahead of time and stay over one night. Or maybe you have Hawaii on your mind. You can take an unlimited number of flights between California and Hawaii during 1999 for a flat fee of $1300. It's Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays' AirPass. There are some blackout dates during holidays, and seats are limited on some weekend and summer month flights. But you can fly standby any time.

  • The phone number for Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays, seller of the AirPass offering unlimited travel between California and Hawaii during 1999, is 800-2-HAWAII.
  • Alaska Airlines can be reached at 800-426 0333.

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

Restaurants and day excursions in the San Francisco Bay area

  • Some restaurants Rudy recommends are Chez Panisse, 510-548-5525 or 548-5049; Farallon, 415-956-6969; Aqua, 415-956-9662 and Wolfgang Puck's Postrio, 415-776-7825.
  • Take a day trip to Marin County: Muir Woods, Muir Beach and Muir overlook. Pick up a good map before you leave, and be at the overlook for the sunset.
  • Hit Mill Valley for a nice meal and some music at the local club, Sweetwater, 415-388-2820.
  • For a quick afternoon San Francisco-style trip, visit the Anchor Brewery, 415-863-8350. It's credited with starting the microbrew craze.
  • Head to wine country, Napa Valley, and take tours of some wineries. St. Supery Wine Discovery Center and Winery, 800-942-0809. Schramsberg Vineyards, 707-942-4558. Robert Mondavi, 888-RMONDAVI. Other Mondavi wineries: Opus One, 707-944-9442; Byron, 805-937-7288 and La Famiglia, 888-4LF-WINE.

Rome for Christmas

  • On Christmas day at noon, the Pope delivers his blessing from St. Peter's balcony. Come early for a good view.
  • Go straight to Enjoy Rome on Via Verese. Phone: +011-39-06-1843. They'll give you a room in a nice hotel as well as advice on where to eat shop, and have a quiet dream.
  • Al Piccolo Arancio, a little restaurant tucked near Via Scanderbeg near the Trevi Fountain. Meals $25-35 per person. Phone: +011-39-06-786-139.
  • To get outside Rome to some of the less touristy parts, visit Ostia Antica. Just south of Rome, the Roman mosaics will make you feel like you've stepped into the second century A.D. Admission is about $6 and available at the site.
  • Tivoli, just 23 miles northeast of Rome, was home to the famed tiered water park emulated throughout the world. Also find Emperor Hadrian's estate.

Hotel and Travel Industry Customer Service
Rudy recommends politely requesting to speak to the employee's supervisor if you ever encounter difficulty. Emphasize that whether a hotel is $40 a night or $400, there should never be attitude. The customer is always right.

Peanut-Free Zones
A couple of months ago the Department of Transportation sent a letter to the largest U.S. airlines calling for them to institute three peanut-free rows in their planes. The reason: well, apparantly a lot of folks are dangerously allergic to peanuts. There's been a lot of controversy over this little snack since the directive went out. Concerned consumer Russ Theibault put in his two cents with a letter to the secretary of transportation.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
Come along with us again next week as we venture into foggy London in search of the spookiest castles in town.

"Back in Tudor England it seems it was quite easy to lose your head...literally."

And if you're already concerned about what to do with those leftover Halloween pumpkins, you might get a few ideas from the townspeople in Lewes, Delaware.

"You fill the tank up with air, put a pumpkin in the barrell and you just wick the air to it and watch her go."

We're punkin' chunkin' in Delaware, chasing rickshaws around Asia and hearing about the places where you've had harrowing experiences with the law, in next week's edition of The Savvy Traveler.

For tapes 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.

The Savvy Traveler Newsletter
The Savvy Traveler newsletter is now available. For more information, call toll-free, 888-SAV-TRAV (888-728-8728), extension 3, or e-mail mail@savvytraveler.org.

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