Travel: Beam me down

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The Independent Travel
This week's random co-ordinates chosen by the computer are:

36 15' N 91 09' W

FIRST REACTION

I never realised fishing could be this much fun.

COUNTRY AND REGION

You have landed in Lawrence County in the north-east of Arkansas, one of the southern states of the USA.

NATURE OF THE TERRAIN

You are in the valley of Spring River which winds its way down from the Omark Plateau to your north and west. Eastwards, the land settles into the lowlands expanse of the Great Plains. The state takes great pride in its abundance of rivers and woods.

ALTITUDE

Just above sea level.

NEAREST SETTLEMENT

To the west lies a small town called Imboden, easily accessible by road. Continue south and the silk trees and fields of flowers give way to limes in Black Rock, just south of the Old Davidsonville State Park. A former stagecoach stop on the old national road, lying just 10 miles east along Highway 60, is called Pocahontas, after the Native American heroine.

USEFUL LANGUAGES

English with very lengthy vowels. Allow extra time for appointments for fear of offending local acquaintances by rushing off before he finishes his sentence.

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

Bill Clinton is a local: maybe you'll catch him visiting old friends and relatives in the south of the state.

LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS

You have arrived at the most pleasant time of the year. Temperatures are dropping and rainfall is at its lowest.

POSSIBLE HAZARDS

Pay attention when saying the word "Arkansas". This is the only state in the USA where pronunciation is governed by statute. Also, as the hunting season is now in full swing, if you bear any resemblance to a white-tailed deer, a turkey or a duck, beware.

REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND

Take a trip into the forest-clad Ozark mountains to meet some of America's true characters. If you are lucky you could stumble upon the locals jamming with their banjos, fiddles and mandolins - visit the Ozark Folk Centre at Mountain View for insights into their culture and lifestyle. And why not take part in the state's prime activities of hunting and fishing yourself? All you need is a licence (around pounds 37.50). Then venture to the south of the state, to Hot Springs, and treat yourself to a soak in the recently restored Fordyce Bathhouse, built in 1915, before tracing the President's footsteps around this, his childhood home town.

GETTING THE HELL OUT

Just 40 miles north, along Highway 60, is neighbouring state Missouri. Or travel down to the smallest state capital in the US, Little Rock, and fly from Adam's Field, where a single ticket to Dallas costs pounds 100, and from there you can get to international destinations.

Nichola Burrell

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