I am pleased to announce the winner of the travel contest is Mr. J. Green of California. A copy of my book On The Other Guy’s Dime will be sent to him in the mail. He correctly identified the mystery location as the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia. Congratulations.
A little while back I ran a travel contest in which readers were asked to identify an unknown location from a set of clues–much like Conde Nast’s monthly “Where Are You” feature. It was a lot of fun and over two hundred people submitted guesses; the only problem was that 190 had the right answer! I had forgotten that applications like Google and Wikipedia made it easy to identify any place on the planet by entering a few key words taken from each clue.
So, for this second contest I want to make things a bit more difficult. Instead of written clues, I will provide a sequence of three photographs–one every two days–with each picture giving a little more information about the secret location. The earlier you get the correct answer the greater your chances of winning: If you identify the place (not simply the country but also the location within that country) after only a single photograph you will have your name entered into the drawing three times; if you get it correct after two photos you will have your name entered twice; finally, if you name the right location after seeing all three photos you will get only one shot at the brass ring. When the contest is completed I will randomly draw a single winner from among all the names in the pool, and that individual will receive a free copy of my travel memoir entitled On The Other Guy’s Dime: A Professional’s Guide To Traveling Without Paying. Instead of submitting guesses as blog comments for everyone to see, I ask that you email them directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way, readers won’t see the wrong answers and know where not to guess.
So, good luck, and here is my first photograph from the mystery location–rather forlorn and not too informative. However, don’t give up hope as two more snaps are on the way!
OK, no one has been able to locate where in the world we are. (Not surprising) So, here is photograph number two–a picture of some people that I met while in this mystery location.
OK, we have four correct answers so far, but there is still lots of time to enter a guess and win the “grand prize.” Photograph 3 is of a musician entertaining guests at a hotel in our mystery location. He is wearing traditional national dress and is playing a musical instrument that is the symbol of his people. This instrument, which is said to sound like the unrestrained call of a wild horse, was recently declared a UNESCO cultural masterpiece artifact.