You're Allan Quartermain, and you're searching for your next adventureFebruary 11, 2016

You were overjoyed after reading "King Solomon's Mines". You've seen the celluloid versions of the novel, and you noticed the actors who played Allan Quartermain to be good looking. They have lean bodies. And they were tall. The last one hurt your feelings, as you were vertically challenged. (Your mates couldn't suppress their laughter.) It turned out that Haggard's description of Quartermain was far from Hollywood's. He was just like you. Then again, there won't be viewers if Richard Chamberlain didn't portray him. This made you think of your next holiday.

Bali was the last one, with your family, and it happened many moons ago. Your mother was curious about this destination after reading "Eat, Pray, Love". Sam, your sister, wasn't sympathetic to the author at all. (She would argue that most women won't be like Elizabeth Gilbert, who would rebound from a divorce by travelling for a year.) In your case, you liked meeting young travellers. And you yearned for solo backpacking.

You wondered if there were any unsolved mystery. You rather not go to Machu Picchu, which turned into a tourist trap. You don't want to set foot in the Great Wall either. (You can imagine the crowd exploring it.) And then you were reminded of one. Make it two. No, three. You tried to imagine it:

1. Darren recounted the awesome party in Ha Long Bay, where he met his girlfriend. You wished it was you who saw the female backpacker from Surrey, but your curiosity was piqued after his description of Hoa LÆ°. This was the capital of Vietnam during the 10th and 11th centuries. Temples would be found within limestone mountains. You were excited at the prospect of hidden treasure in this region. You could see Quartermain drenched in mud, but it could be a wild goose chase. Vietnam is about to turn into a tourist trap.

2. You envy Sam for her trip to India last winter. Taj Mahal wasn't her favourite destination. She wanted earthy colours, which she found in Rajasthan. You thought that building the Taj Mahal was the most romantic thing that a man could do for his wife. You don't mind locals eager to take a selfie with you. And you won't be disappointed to see the womenfolk washing clothes at the back of this impressive landmark. But what if there was something else. It could be glittering in the dark. This excited you until spicy food gave you second thoughts.

3. Your tutor told you a fantastic tale. He and his wife rode a bus to the Meroe pyramids, but a flat tire led to a loss of precious time. They arrived to the site in the afternoon. There was no bus to take them back to Khartoum, so they have to spend the night there. He was scared, unable to sleep soundly. He would cherish the experience, though. You imagined yourself inside one of the pyramids. You heard footsteps when it was close to midnight. The locals found you, and they don't seemed friendly at all. What would you do? You have a deadline to beat, so this would wait for another week.

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