Departures

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The Independent Travel
Bristol for rovers

'THE ONLY travel show specifically for the independent and adventurous traveller' is how the organisers describe the Independent Traveller's World exhibition, which takes place at the Bristol Watershed next weekend, 14-16 January.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by the Independent, features more than 40 travel companies. Among them are tour operators and travel agencies such as Explore Worldwide, Regent Holidays, STA Travel and Trailfinders, and other travel-related companies including the Lonely Planet publishing firm, the BA Travel Clinic and YHA Adventure Shops.

The organiser, Helen Caldwell, says that the show's enthusiasm for travel makes it unique. 'We want to get people excited about travelling: as well as the stands, visitors can enjoy a programme of world music, and the Watershed restaurant will be serving food from around the world.'

The exhibition is open from 10am to 6pm on all three days, admission pounds 1.50 on Friday, pounds 2.50 on Saturday and Sunday. The entrance charge also covers a programme of talks by 'travel writers, enthusiasts and eccentrics', including the Independent's travel correspondent, Frank Barrett, and a regular contributor to these pages, Simon Calder.

Other features of the show are a Traveller's Question Time, a Traveller's Corner where visitors can swap stories and advice, and a Traveller's Tip competition (with a round-the-world air ticket for the winner).

Two further Independent Traveller's World exhibitions are planned for Manchester Town Hall (28-30 January) and the Edgbaston County Ground in Birmingham (18-20 February).

Rumours of war

WITH Eurotunnel due to announce its Channel tunnel fares on Tuesday, Stena Sealink's launch of its 1994 tariff last Wednesday inevitably suggested that a price war is imminent: the new system

switches to a one-price-per- day tariff system - and a peak season rate of pounds 220 return - and bears a distinct resemblance to the fare structure which Eurotunnel is said to be considering.

P & O European Ferries is planning its own relaunch - including a two-for-one offer for early bookers. No price war yet - but these are very early days.

Next Saturday, Independent Traveller will provide a complete guide to Channel tunnel services and fares.

For Kipling fans

THE Landmark Trust (0628 825925) is offering holidaymakers the chance to stay in 'Naulakha', the house that Rudyard Kipling built for himself and his wife in Vermont. The house, where the Kiplings lived from 1893 to 1896, has been restored by the Trust.

Guests can sit at the desk where Kipling completed The Jungle Book. In winter, the house, which sleeps up to eight, costs pounds 150 per night for a minimum booking of three nights. For the rest of the year the rental ranges from pounds 650 to pounds 995 a week. The Landmark Trust says that it has 'odd weeks' of availability in April, May and November this year.

Riga weekends

REGENT Holidays (0272 211711) is offering three-night packages to Riga in Latvia for pounds 299. The package includes bed-and-breakfast accommodation at the Hotel Latvia and transfers, and is based on direct flights every Friday from London City Airport. 'The new flights and the abolition of the visa requirement allow Riga to compete on price, access and architectural splendour with any other capital in Eastern Europe,' said Regent's director, Neil Taylor.

Ostend change

SALLY LINE has taken over the Ramsgate-Ostend ferry service formerly operated by P & O European Ferries. Operated in conjunction with Oostende Lines, it offers a daily choice of six return ferry crossings and from two to six jetfoil services. Five-day returns for a car and up to five adults cost from pounds 65.

Philippine alert

THE TRAVEL Advice Unit (071-270 4129) of the Foreign Office is reminding travellers that the Philippines is 'one of the world's most disaster-prone countries'. It says: 'Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur at any time and typhoons strike between July and November. Criminal and political violence is a serious problem in parts of north Luzon and the Visayas.'

The Unit says travellers should take particular care when visiting Mindanao, where there have been bomb attacks on public places. Travellers are warned to avoid going 'off the beaten track' is discouraged and visitors should be prepared for power blackouts of up to eight hours 'which happen daily'.

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