Bargain of the week

At these prices, you can afford to take a gamble. A flight from Gatwick to Las Vegas on 9 June will cost you the small stake of pounds 169, including all taxes.

Unijet (0990 336336) is changing gear on its summer flights programme and is selling spare capacity at this fare, which works out at only 1.7 pence a mile - the rate for the Gatwick Express from London is 20 times that. Accommodation for the week can be provided for an additional pounds 130. A second departure, on 16 June, is selling for pounds 199, flight only.

True or false?

True or false: `The point of travelling is to know where you're going'?

False. What could be more humdrum than a two-week holiday in a place of your choosing? Far more exhilarating to decide your destination with a shake of the dice.

Here's the plan. When Going Places takes a break from Radio 4 for the summer, I am producing the programme that replaces it - about a man going places determined solely by dice. The travel writer David Lodge has volunteered to be the Diceman, and will be taking a voyage of chance around Europe for the next six weeks.

It may be fraught with pitfalls, such as what to pack?, what if I hate the idea of Helsinki? or, how many pairs of pants? but it could make a gripping travel programme.

So today, David sets off from Tromso in the very North of Norway to start his first journey into the unknown. We've divided Europe into a grid of 36 squares - six down and six across. Each week David will move down a row, but to which square will be decided by the dice. Within seven days he has to get to the right square using a combination of trains, ferries and buses, or when desperate just cadging a lift. Some of the journeys are potentially enormous - Lisbon to Istanbul could be quite a challenge - but David's attempts to cover the distance will add a fizz of tension to the programme.

His rucksack will be bulging with enough digital technology to put your local Dixon's to shame. The gadgetry keeps David in touch with me, and with listeners following his progress on the Radio 4 website.

Listener feedback is essential, as David's success depends on people getting in touch to offer both travel advice (where to stay cheaply in Prague) and personal contacts (the best barman in Warsaw).

Using this information David travels, records, and sends his material back to us, to turn it around in time for Friday at 6.30pm, when A Man With Latitude will be transmitted from 6 June.

He's thrown the dice for week one, and is already en route for northern Sweden. The point of travel isn't to know where you're going, but to hope that someone has been there before.

David Lodge can be contacted on; by e-mail at; or by phone to 0171-765 1904.