BEAM ME DOWN, SCOTTY
This week's random co-ordinates chosen by the computer are: 31 11' N 43 13' E
Sunday 17 May 1998
I could have sworn I just saw a pile of weapon-grade plutonium.
COUNTRY AND REGION
You have landed in southern Iraq, specifically the southern desert region of An Najaf.
NATURE OF THE TERRAIN
Relentlessly flat and featureless desert, stretching deep into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, interrupted only by the occasional limestone hill.
About 250 metres.
The oasis town of Al Ma'aniyah lies near the Saudi Arabian border, about 40km to the south west.
Putting heat-stroke and sunburn aside, you are in danger of being arrested on suspicion of being either a spy or an escaped weapons inspector (assuming that you don't have a visa).
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER
Like it or not, Saddam Hussein is still the president.
LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS
Horribly hot in the daylight hours. The average summer temperature is often in excess of 38C with practically no chance of precipitation.
REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND
Unfortunately you have come down at least 100km from the historic area of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. If you can get that far, you'll see lots of shady date palms. You should also visit the cities of Kerbala and Najaf, holy to Shi'ite Muslims.
GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE
Walk the 40kms to Al Ma'aniyah and hitch a ride in a four-wheel drive or pick-up truck to the provincial capital of Najaf to the north east. From here, there are major road links to Baghdad and the rest of the country. Because of the air embargo, you'll have to exit the country by road; the nearest airport is Kermanshah in Iran.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The 10 Best hiking boots
Australia Day 2015: Best alternative places to visit
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...