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Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America by [Howard, Catherine Ryan]
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Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 278 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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

About the Author

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD is a twenty-something writer, blogger and enthusiastic coffee-drinker from Cork, Ireland. Before writing full-time she pushed paper in various offices, cleaned tents on a French campsite and was a front desk agent in a Walt Disney World hotel. She is currently dividing her time between her desk and the sofa. She blogs at and will never go backpacking again. Ever.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 600 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JU5FG0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #338,019 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
4.5 stars.
An easily flowing, fun and interesting written travel story. I couldn't 100% identify with Catherine since I am a bit more adventurous but that did in no way effect how much I enjoyed reading about the trip. I had to laugh out loud when reading about “Doc” since I am usually the one attracting the crazies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 180 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun memoir, but not a go to for backpacking advice Jan. 4 2014
By Rebecca VanDerWende - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book to read before my own 3.5 month backpacking trip in Central America. I almost didn't buy it because the description made the author sound like a spoiled, unlikable character who I wouldn't be able to relate to, but it was very cheap so I thought I'd give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised and found Catherine's ability to admit to her true motives, thoughts and feelings to be humorous and refreshing. Though I wouldn't want her as a backpacking partner, I did end up appreciating (and liking!) Catherine because I understood where she was coming from.

I was really hoping that Catherine's travel experience would be a bit more rugged so that I could glean some tips for my own trip. There were a few times I got really annoyed by Catherine's exaggeration of "dangerous" situations (though I recognize that the risks probably seemed very real to her, and may interest people with similar comfort zones). I also wish Sheelagh's character had been more developed. I still didn't feel like I knew her at all by the end of the story, and I would have liked to.

If you can enjoy a fun travel story from a very typical young women without getting hung up on your own superior backpacking skills (seems to be the focus of many negative reviews) then I'd definitely recommend reading this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Overland Through Central America Dec 10 2014
By bjm - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. I think Ryan did a great and humorous job of describing what it is like for someone, travelling the way she and her friend did, to venture overland from Guatemala to Panama. I’ve lived nearly all my adult life in Central America and can believe that she tells the story with no exaggeration; well, maybe just a little regarding the guy brandishing a knife in Guatemala. Not really a threat, I think. Perhaps if he had a machete…

Some who have been critical of the book discount it because she really didn’t ‘backpack’. One critic categorized ‘backpacking’ as a sport. What? I think it’s a choice of luggage. They travelled as they wanted to. The backpack was more convenient than wheeling a suitcase behind them. Was taking the Hedman Alas bus, with it’s videos, air conditioning, reclining seats, and on-board restroom a breach of the backpackers code? On my first trips to South and Central America I carried a duffel bag that had accompanied me to Vietnam (The War; not tourism). I didn’t consider myself anything but a traveller; certainly not a backpacker. The duffel bag was just convenient in those circumstances.

For armchair travellers who are interested in reading such a tale, but will never venture south of Mexico (or south of Texas) this is a great book and a fun read. For the readers who would consider such a trip, I can tell you that it’s possible to visit the same places Ryan did, getting to them all via land in much more comfort. And when you get there, you can find much better places to stay and dine. All of that costs a bit more, but it’s all doable. First class pullman-type buses now run the length of Central America connecting all the major cities. Not all of them show Steven Segal movies. On the TicaBus I once saw ‘A Beautiful Mind’...four times.

Come on down.
4.0 out of 5 stars Likable Book of Worldly Woman's Backpacking Misadventures With the Expected Outcome Jan. 21 2015
By Don Kidwell - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have to say that this book reinforced what I already knew from other people's experiences that backpacking would not be my preferred means of travel. Written in an informal writing style, I found many of her accounts amusing in an "I'm not surprised" manner making for a fun romp as she winds her way thru Central America. So long as you're not wanting for much detail of the region and are just hoping for an airy account of one individual's clash with reality I thought it a decent read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Increase your LPM (Laughs Per Mile!) March 4 2014
By Whistlers Mom - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't be put off by the grumpy backpacking purists who are insulted because not everyone enjoys riding on a bus next to a crate of chickens or staying in a hostel where hot water is only a dream and the cockroaches are armed and dangerous. Howard is a wonderful writer and story teller and this book is hysterical and frequently thought-provoking. Only an idiot would pass this one up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written, easy to read, and humorous book Jan. 23 2014
By Longhorn Girl - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the author to be easily relatable, quite hilarious with her delivery, and enjoyable to read in her tales of a backpacking adventure through Latin America.

As someone who is intrigued by adventure, yet more comfortable with western conveniences, her point of view and reactions to scenes were fairly spot-on as I would have felt in her shoes and she provides just enough detail to make you feel the experience without becoming overly descriptive. She focuses as much about her relations and interactions with strangers as she does to the destinations and beach descriptions, which makes for some interesting stories that seem realistic and not overly embellished.

The only thing I wish this book had included would be some of the fabulous photos! I recommend this book to those who like reading about travel experiences and personal humorous memoirs. I really enjoyed it.