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For a fairly high value of R.

Randy Waterhouse had a fairly interesting interpretation of the Philippines' geography in Cryptonomicon, one we've adopted to describe the rest of the world alternatives to Europe's obsession with safety.

The higher the R factor, the more common sense you need when visiting a place. Most UK sites have a relatively low R factor, with plenty of railings and other safety equipment. Lanzarote's R factor is much higher, with some railings, but seemingly designed to pitch you over cliffs with their knee-high bars. The same is true of New Zealand, where the higher the value of R, the more fun Kiwis have. Much of the US has a low value of R, but the average is pushed up by places like Arizona's Horseshoe Bend and, well, most of Big Island.

There's nothing to really stop you walking into the maw of an erupting volcano - just a few signs, and your common sense. After all, lava is hot, and it can be quite damaging to one's footwear...

Somewhere under the lava flow behind this sign is the village of Kalapana.

Stick Figure in (Geological) Peril

Kalapana, Hawaii
June 2009


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
Japan has some interesting historical sites where safety for visitors is not their highest priority; indeed they seem to encourage risk-taking...

Onomichi, a favourite haunt of mine has a tourist attraction called the Path of Literature which winds down a hill to the town centre. At one point enthusiastic visitors can climb a rockface using chains embedded into the rock to help them up. At other points along the path there are steep dropoffs which are not guarded by rails of any kind. The Path of Literature is in a city park, not a remote wilderness area.
Jul. 1st, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
I was quite pleased by how easy it was to Plummet at Harlech Castle a week or so ago.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )