15 ODD PLACES TO VISIT BEFORE EXPIRING
Or, how come these far-flung places aren’t in any tourist brochures?
By Theolonius McTavish, a tartan-loving tippler with a very full kit and caboodle just waiting for an opportunity to practice my pig-Latin on unsuspecting aliens from outerspace; (where else do you suppose cosmic crash-landing critters might come from?)
Having visited umpteen unbecoming if not a tad un-English pubs in my lifetime, it’s high time I make preparations to visit some far-flung places that do not appear in those lovely glossy-colored tourist brochures beckoning buffoons like me to a bug-infested beach somewhere with the only saving grace being lots of free mouth-watering margaritas!
Pray tell why aren’t the following fifteen far-flung and perhaps fly-by-night places not on the tip of every tourist’s tongue? Perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that few who venture a visit to these vapid vortexes of vitality return in good health or in good spirits.
Suffice to say that I’ve decided to put them on my “to-do” list of places to visit before I expire.
1. Bight of Biafra/Bonny - a lost little piece of landscape on the coast of Africa and tantalizing trivial pursuit question to pose during a long lull in a deathly boring dinner-table conversation which happens rarely in America, as no one is ever at home at the same or they’re all watching wretched wrestling on TV!
2. Funafuti - sounds like a fun-filled spot until you find out it’s an atoll in the Pacific where some like to lob things that usually blow up and cause an unsightly mess.
3. Gippsland - a dazzling domain of dirt in Australia that is home to the world’s largest earthworms, up to 12 feet in length, for those curious non-metric types.
4. Glittertind - no it’s not the home of a quaint casino in Nevada, but an 8,110 ft. (2472 m.) molehill in Norway, probably inhabited by more than a few testy trolls if I'm not mistaken.
5. Great Dismal Swamp - another languishing landmark that lies somewhere between the American states of Virginia and North Carolina, that even the alligators appear to avoid for fear of getting bogged down in the muck with no one nearby to throw a life-raft, a tree frog or even a humble animal cracker!
6. Grossglockner - well if you think it’s a place full of folks with big beaks and long necks, you’d be wrong, it’s a mountain (12,457 ft. or 3797 m) in south west Austria that welcomes abominable people of snow not to mention the odd yodeler or two.
7. Ifni - a sp"if"fy spot in southern Morocco …but who knows if it’s really there or not ...it’s been a pretty “iffy” place to visit unless that is you would care to ride a bad-tempered camel, brave a few sandstorms and grind your teeth for entertainment.
8. Lolland - an almost forgotten island in the Baltic sea whose Danish inhabitants have probably never heard of lollipops or lollygaggers, but they know The King of the Elves if they can ever get their hands on this elusive extraterrestrial being.
9. Macgillicuddy’s Reeks - you might think it was a place full of foul-smelling fish folk but you’d be wrong, it’s the highest mountain in the Land of Leprechauns and Dermot of the Love-Spot.
10. Powys - may be called the "Paradise of Wales" but unless you fancy a bit of cricket, fencing, or quoiting and happen to speak their delightful dialect, you may not find your way to a popular three-star watering hole named, "Llanfihnangel-Yng-Ngwfyna" (where they know how to celebrate every sporting success in style)!
11. Pukapuka – a sparsely populated and isolated atoll in the Cook Islands whose residents do not play peek-a-boo with the palm trees; (this vital fact was overlooked in the writings of a 1930’s anthropologist named Ernest Beaglehole).
12. South Uist – one of two islands of the Outer Hebrides whose only claim to fame is an old test range for rockets circa 1953 and an eye-sore called, “Eynort”.
13. Tittybong - not a passion pit, it’s an out-of-the-way place along with others such as Eweylamartup, Jiggalong, Mullumbimby, and Toowoomba found in the Land of Oz.
14. Zagazig – is unlikely to see any mass-tourism until its main attraction “Bubastis” is put back together again (an Egyptian version of Humpty-Dumpty), although if truth be told these ancient ruins reflect a rather ripsnorting record as the center of the largest annual orgy of all the Eastern Mediterrean in the 5th Century B.C, (according to Herodotus who stated that some 700,000 gathered for a very festive wine and women taste-testing event, usually glossed over in tour guide books).
15. Yap – a Micronesian island of the Carolines (located in the Western Pacific Ocean), is known for its quaint inhabitants who prefer to trade in American green backs rather than ancient stone money known as Fé, but if you don’t speak Ulithian or Woleaian and don’t scuba dive this probably won’t be a warm and fuzzy place you'll remember with much fondness.
Here are a few more place names to keep in mind for your next whirlwind tour of the world before you meet the "Big Bopper in the Sky"!