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Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America
 
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Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America [Kindle Edition]

Catherine Ryan Howard

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Product Description

Product Description

The laugh-out-loud new travel memoir from the bestselling author of Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida
 
Catherine Ryan Howard prefers bath robes to bed bugs, lattes to lizards and mini-bars to malaria. So why is she going backpacking
 
She doesn't know either...   
 
Catherine isn't the backpacking type. Working for one of the world's biggest hotel chains, she and her employee discount have become accustomed to complimentary bath robes, 24-hour room service and Egyptian cotton sheets. As for holidays, Catherine likes places that encourage lying - lying on the beach, by the pool, in bed...
 
She's been on what feels like one long holiday in Florida when her fearless best friend, Sheelagh, announces plans to backpack across Central America. With Catherine's US visa about to expire, her having no desire to return home to Ireland just yet and her common sense, evidently, on a day off, she agrees to go along.
 
After all, how bad can this backpacking thing be?
 
Um... very bad, actually. Catherine soon finds herself showering with the threat of electrocution, living with mutant cockroaches, sleeping on wooden planks, suffering from all but one of the side-effects listed on her bottle of anti-malarial tablets (liver failure, in case you were wondering) and riding a horse up the side of a smoking, lava-filled volcano.
 
And that's just the first week.
 
Backpacked is the wry tale of what happened when one very reluctant backpacker hit the backpacker trail and discovered that beyond the mosquitoes, bad coffee and flea-infested hostels lie even bigger mosquitoes, even worse coffee and flea-infested hostels whose bathrooms have no doors...
 
Praise for Mousetrapped by Catherine Ryan Howard:
   
"[Catherine] writes with wit and humor about her time in Orlando. Thoroughly enjoyable and a great read!" --Talli Roland, bestselling author of The Hating Game
 

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JU5FG0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,235 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  128 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Backpacking is the best way to travel! March 29 2013
By Calamity Jane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I am disappointed at the author's attitude towards 'backpacking' as a form of travel. The entire point of traveling is to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible; to really experience local culture, not visit "mini-America" by sticking close to expensive tourist hot-spots. If that's the case, why bother traveling at all?

While the author does have a sense of humor describing her adventures, she does come across as needy and is certainly not a travel companion I would want tagging along with me.

As an avid traveler myself, attitude is everything and I think she really cheated herself out of what should have been one of the best enjoyable and cultural learning experiences of a lifetime.

Her novel could have been so much more had she taken the opportunity to really appreciate the value that this type of travel offers.

So while her writing is mildly humorous and well-written, if not fantastical at times, I just could not get past her poor attitude to really enjoy this novel. It's a shame; her experiences could have offered her readers so much more. Stick to your expensive sheets and room service I suppose...
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read! Sept. 4 2011
By Kim Larrabee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read "Mousetrapped" while vacationing with my family - where else, Orlando - poolside on my Kindle. I stumbled across it almost by accident, looking for tourist-y type books on Florida, and I'm so glad I did! I subscribed to Catherine's blog and downloaded Backpacked as soon as I saw it was available. I finished the book in two days, and enjoyed every chapter. If you are looking for a lighthearted, fun book Catherine will not disappoint! I wish I didn't have to wait for October before Results Not Typical!
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Goodness, this book is the definition of negative. Nov. 25 2012
By POIA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hummm!!!! I wonder if the author reread her story from the perspective of her readers??? I can't imagine she really meant to come off as needy and whiny throughout the course of this book as she did...but she really does. I understand she was reluctant to go on the trip in the first place, but it was a choice she made and, as such, she should have had the moxie to buck up and enjoy herself. After all, she and her travel partner really didn't rough it at all throughout the trip. They visited some really nice places, ate in restaurants and never cooked a meal, stayed in private accommodations and took buses or taxis everywhere--yet all the author could do was complain, complain, and complain some more, about almost everything. It certainly killed the joy in reading this book for me. I got it free from the top 100 list and, I can assure you, if I would have paid the outrageous price they are asking for it in printed form...I would be really p.o.'d. I think some serious liberties were taken with embellishment in this book. For example: the author states that she was in the crater of an active volcano with lava flowing right under her feet as she stood on a little "bridge" which spanned the flow. Now really, are we supposed to believe that (1) she could actually get that close to flowing lava without special gear and (2) she would be dumb enough to do so??? Look, I think the author had a chance to make something really special out of this book, but page after page of complaints ain't it. I gave it three stars because it was fairly well written and contained some interesting information, but it simply got old before it was half over. What a shame.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. May 13 2013
By Mamaliga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a VERY disappointing read. I had high hopes for it as I am planning to backpack through Central America in the next few months. Unfortunately, there isn't much substantive information about any of the countries that the author visited. Instead, she seems more intent on scrutinizing and criticizing the other travelers she meets during her travels. Ironically, the travelers that she meets and then ridicules are living far more authentically then she ever achieves in her journey, but she paints them all as misfits and losers. It seems like the entire purpose of her travel was to gather fodder to write this book. Towards the end of the book she finally meets some other travelers with whom she resonates...I guess this proves that she is enlightened and not anti-social after all. Or not.

This book has NOTHING to do with Central America. Save your $2.99 - it is NOT worth it!!!
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick it in your backpack.... Or your handbag... Or any bag! Sept. 6 2011
By Leah Graham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Earlier this year I won a copy of Catherine Ryan Howard's non-fiction book Mousetrapped on Catherine's blog. It was just before I got my Kindle and if I hadn't won a copy (thank you, Catherine) I was going to purchase it for my Kindle when I'd decided to get one. I'm not a big travelogue fan, for no other reason than I prefer fiction. I mean, there's rarely a happy-ever-after, let's-skip-off-into-the-sunset ending on a non-fiction book is there? But I really enjoyed Mousetrapped and was inordinately pleased when Catherine sent me an e-copy of its sort-of-sequel Backpacked and I finished up my current book quick as you like and dived eagerly into Backpacked.

I'm not really known as being a traveller. I've been on holiday to Florida - twice - to Alicante in Spain and to Tenerife, where I now live. However I would love to be a traveller. I dream of doing a road-trip across America; of visiting Australia; South America intrigues me as a place to travel, but I certainly would never go alone, that would be miles too terrifying. Backpacked allowed me to travel to South America all in the comfort of my own home! I went to Costa Rica, to Guatemala, to Honduras, to Nicagura and to Panama. It allowed me to visit all of those countries in South America and it seriously whetted my appetite for wanting to go to those countries.

Catherine Ryan Howard is our intrepid traveller, someone who prefers chilling in a 5-star hotel to backpacking through South America. But with no job, no home and nowhere else to be, Catherine figures going backpacking is going to be an adventure. And she's going with her best friend Sheelagh, who can save Catherine from all kinds of terrible things since she's a seasoned traveller herself! What follows is a 9-week adventure that is highly readable. At times when I was reading Mousetrapped (the predecessor to Backpacked) I found myself a bit bored with some of the longer ramblings from Catherine (I mean that nicely; the ramblings just weren't my kinda ramblings!) but in Backpacked it's as if Catherine has stream-lined herself and it all flows brilliantly. I was thoroughly ensconced in the book and couldn't wait to see where Catherine and Sheelagh were going to next.

Catherine is an excellent writer. She's scaled back on the more information-heavy paragraphs, only giving us the bare basics from books about the countries they're visiting and it's a much more personable read than Mousetrapped was. Catherine injected such humour into the book that I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions, particularly when Catherine travels up a mountain on a HORSE! There are many brilliant moments during Backpacked and every page was brilliant. I felt as if I was part of Catherine's journey and she writes about the places she and Sheelagh visited so thoroughly and with so much passion that I'm tempted to hop on the next flight to Guatemala. Backpacked is just brilliant, I thoroughly enjoyed it and despite Catherine was indeed a reluctant backpacker, you can tell she did on some level enjoy it and I enjoyed reading all about it. I'd hugely recommend it to anyone, but mainly to backpackers thinking of going to South America `cos Catherine really knows her stuff!

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