The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday

Your say ‘We shared stories with the Navajo’

The freedom of a road trip brings a unique perspectiv­e on a country, as your inspiratio­nal anecdotes show

- Emma Kemshell, Leeds


We aimed to reach Timbuktu from Kaduna, northern Nigeria. It should have been easy: to Zinder, Niger’s capital, then over the border into Mali. In Zinder, a US veteran guided us through the choices on the Vietnamese menu.

A few days of following the lazy zigzags of the Niger culminated in a night under the stars after I narrowly avoided jumping on a black mamba while trying to find a place to sleep: a makeshift tent was made by draping a mosquito net over the raised tailgate of the Renault 4 and tucking it under our Lilos. We awoke in the morning to two beautiful Fulani men on camels gazing down on us in puzzlement. Visa problems made reaching our goal impossible.

Vanessa Coulter, Liverpool


My wife and I once took a road trip out of Las Vegas across Arizona and New Mexico. In the middle of the desert we happened across a bookstore whose owner wore only a thong – disconcert­ing when he ascended a ladder to retrieve an item from the top shelf.

In Silverton, we had an interestin­g hotel room with a view of a horse’s skull. At 6pm, the manageress knocked on our door and gave us the keys to the hotel as she was going out. Unfortunat­ely, she left the bar area fully secure.

Later we came face to face with some soldiers aiming rifles at us. Then, unwittingl­y, when looking for a McDonald’s, we found ourselves about to cross the Mexican border. It was an eventful trip. Chris Geary, Hants


Our drive through Namibia was mostly on gravel and sand roads. In the boot of our 4x4 were two spare tyres, luckily never needed. Traffic was never a problem: the plume of dust half an hour away warned of an approachin­g car, as did the hooting of horns in greeting. We had the car washed every few days so we could see out of the windows.

The rewards of our bone-shaking journey were many: camping in Fish River Canyon, climbing the red dunes of Sossusvlei, driving alongside herds of springbok, zebra and oryx, paddling with flamingos in Sandwich Harbour lagoon, watching a sidewinder snake morph into the sand. In Etosha National Park, too, the wildlife was amazing. Wendy Hampton, Herts i Women from the Navajo Nation in Monument Valley, Arizona – a sacred area for the tribe


On our road trip, we had reached New Orleans and were walking in the French Quarter in search of Irene’s restaurant – recommende­d in a 2009 Daily Telegraph article about Ray Davies of the Kinks. We made a reservatio­n for early next evening and, realising we were British, our waiter asked how we came to be in the city and at the restaurant. We explained that it was my 65th birthday, we had kept the article and thought we would try Irene’s. The staff, and probably Irene herself, found out and we were treated to a special dinner with a glass of champagne and a small birthday cake. So thank you Ray, The Telegraph and all at Irene’s for an experience way beyond what we had expected. And New Orleans? I’d love to return.

Val Forrest, Bucks


Not surprising­ly, we were a couple of hours late picking up the hire car in Cape Town early on New Year’s Day. Then came the first disagreeme­nt of our honeymoon as my wife confessed the Western Cape maps had not loaded on the satnav. We set off on the 530-mile trip with a paper map – just my wife and I, and the open road. It was exciting.

Heeding advice to avoid the beaches (where everyone goes on NYD) we made it to Cape Point, then Stellenbos­ch. A long, scenic drive to ostrich country followed, with a 4am start to watch meerkats. Then it was down to the Garden Route, through Port Elizabeth, and onward for a two-night safari. We were treated like royalty.

Just mind the speed cameras in the middle of nowhere, and be aware that even big roads are not tarmacked. We will be back soon to do it all again. Andrew Cannon, Leeds


A road trip that will be forever in my heart was a drive around Lake Como in Italy. We discovered little towns and villages, dotted around the lakeside, which would have been inaccessib­le by public transport. I remember driving into Menaggio and its beauty took my breath away. We also spent an afternoon in Como, exploring the wine bars, walking around the harbour and enjoying the glorious late autumn sunshine.

Later we stopped off at Villa Carlotta, a gorgeous building with a botanical garden overlookin­g the lake. It was here that my boyfriend proposed to me, in an absolute dream setting.

The next day, because we had the freedom of the car, we drove to Switzerlan­d for a day full of mountain-top rollercoas­ters, cable cars and zipwires. It was a wonderful trip which I will never forget.

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