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Beyond Boundaries - An Interview With David Farland
Fantasy and science fiction author Dave Wolverton, writing as Dave Farland and creator of the successful The Runelords series shares his love of travelling with Nerine Dorman.
ND: WHERE have you had your most recent holiday and what did you enjoy about it?
DW: While I travel quite a bit, for my last real holiday I went to Bryce Canyon in Utah. I hiked through various rock formations with the family, and it was easily one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been. I’d seen pictures of the fairy canyons and had always thought that they must have been taken with special cameras by dedicated photographers who climbed out on perches at dawn. But that wasn't the case at all. The views were unbelievably spectacular. So we’re going back again this summer.
ND: What is your favourite hotel, and why?
DW: Tough question. I can think of a lot of good ones, but I love to stay at the WorldMark in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when I’m writing. Choose a large room. I like to get up in the morning and sit on the veranda to write. The sunrises are almost always perfect, with warm breezes wafting in from the ocean, rustling the leaves of the palms, and the sun boiling up out of the sea like a rose-coloured pearl. I’ve stayed in nicer resorts, but the overall ambiance there suits me.
ND: What is your best travel experience, and why?
DW: My wife and I travelled through England and Wales on a research trip a few years ago, visiting various castles and gardens. It was great on a number of levels – the weather was good, the company was great. I had the perfect combination of relaxation, tasty food, excellent scenery, valuable research, and great places to stay. We checked out a number of the best B&Bs in England.
ND: What has been your worst travel experience, and why?
DW: I was visiting China on a business trip, scouting out locations to shoot a movie. We went to the far western provinces, which is a very poor region, and a bit unstable due to a strong Arabic influence. Things just started to go bad. The food was all local Chinese fare, which included snacks of dried needlefish on the airplanes, and things like lichen soup, and boiled ram’s heads. Perhaps the best thing that I had on that leg of the trip was burro meat smothered in some type of brown sauce, so I grew sick from the strange food.
To give you an idea of how bad the hotels were: one of them had a huge billboard out front that read in English: “Suitable for Peasant Families”.
While staying at one hotel that had dirty sheets, I got this terrible boil under my arm which swelled to the size of a baseball. I had to walk around for days with my arm up in the air, out to the side.
Nasty business, that! It has been five years, and I still grow nauseous at the sight of Chinese food.
ND: Which destinations do you still want to visit, and why?
DW: I’ve got so many places that I’d like to go that I’m not sure where to begin. I've always wanted to take a boat trip down the Amazon but I'd love to visit the Mayan ruins in Central America, tour India, Egypt, and Africa, and spend some time in Italy, Greece, and France. I guess I'd like to see some of the great art and architecture in the world.
ND: What do you never travel without?
DW: Always take an ample supply of credit cards!
ND: Recommend your five best destinations you’d keep returning to.
DW: I keep taking my children back to Disney World in Florida. While we’re there, the children love to go to the water parks. I also try to visit the United Kingdom every few years to take in the gardens, the castles, and various historical landmarks. I travel to Mexico a few times a year to take writing retreats, though I have to admit that with the drug war this year, I’m going to opt out. Instead I’m going to take more trips to Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, and the Grand Canyon – all in southern Utah. I also love to visit the West Coast of the US – the redwood forests of California and the scenic coast of Oregon.
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