FURTHER suggestions on the subject of finding a travel companion, from Simon Neal, of Bournemouth: 'The autumn edition of Triangle, the magazine of the Youth Hostels Association, has a 'Companions Wanted' section with more

than 30 adverts from various individuals, with a variety of plans. Similarly, the bi-monthly magazine of the Cyclists Touring Club has a similar service, free, I think, to members.'

When Mr Neal wanted to go on a cycle and camping expedition from Bergen to the North Cape of Norway during summer, 1988, he placed an ad for a companion in the weekend section of the Independent. 'Within days I had a compatible companion who had wanted to make a similar trip, but did not know of anyone or could not persuade anyone 'mad enough' to go. Perhaps the Independent should start a weekly 'companions wanted' section?'

Mr Neal is a youth hostelling enthusiast: 'Youth hostels provide the most convenient and interesting locations in which to stay and the chance to meet like-minded people - contrary to popular opinion, hostelling is not just for youth . . .'

Mr Neal and his brother have produced what they claim is the definitive listing of all youth hostels that have existed since the formation of YHA England and Wales in 1931. The 24-page booklet lists more than 900 hostels: there are presently only 260 hostels in the network. Profits from the sale of the guide, which costs pounds 3 including p&p, go to the Small Youth Hostel Fund. Make cheques payable to S A and T C Neal, 14 Springfield Avenue, Southbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH6 4EB.