There was a time in my life, not too long ago, when the A train from W. 4th Street to Times Square was my idea of a thrill ride. But since June I've racked up some serious frequent flyer miles, hit the open seas, and taken many a road less traveled.
In fact, some of my biggest adventures this summer were in transit. from crashing on the banks of the Mekong River in a rickety Cambodian motor boat, to zipping around Bangkok in a 2-person Tuk-Tuk with five robust Italian men, to treacherous scooter rides along the jagged coastline of Sorrento, getting from point A to point B was never dull. Here are some of my most memorable moments:
Yellow Pages Delivery Van
Cost: Free (hitchhiking)
Perks: The driver graciously offered us the latest edition of the Milano yellow pages, hot off the presses!
Cambodia Speed Boat on Mekong River
Cost: 20 USD per person
Perks: We sailed beneath stiled houses and through thick groves, waving at curious children as they splashed about in the water. Sit on the bow for the most unobstructed view, but beware: our boat crashed into the brush, breaking the wire attached to the motor and stranding us for a good 20 minutes. I nearly went overboard.
Horse and Carriage
Cost: Free activity - part of Cirie' English Camp
Perks: La Mandria park in Torino is even more beautiful when toured atop a vintage carrozza from the beautiful Cascina Vittoria. www.parcomandria.it/index.shtml
Capri Self-Driven Motor Boat
Cost: USD 25 per person for 2 hours
Perks: Check out my previous blog entry "You Drive It" for all the details. It was just too go to be true!
Cost: How well can you negotiate?
Perks: Aside from being a cool dude, Than knows Siam Reap like the back of his hand and has the cleanest tuk-tuk in the city. Here's Than photographed on the bow of our boat trip. Not only was he a star Tuk-Tuk driver, but look at his moves. Email him next time you're in Cambodia and tell him tell him Courtney says "Sues'day"! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thai Sea Planes
Cost: USD 100 (THB 3,285)
Perks: Great views of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. Not sure why, but something about the experience reminded me of a scene from Weekend at Bernie's.
Cost: Free - an extension of our Tuk Tuk ride with Than
Perks: When monsoon season hits, the roads become too narrow and muddy for tuk-tuks to pass. Than called some of his buddies who took us deep into a remote village on their dirt bikes. I should probably have been holding on with two hands, but I coudln't pass up the chance to snap this photo of Alby and Marco.
Other interesting ways to get around:
Romanian family's luxury sedan, overpriced Milano taxis, Cirie' bicycle without breaks, Guiseppe's race car (never again), Italian buses...ticket? What ticket?