Instead, it was a chubby little 325-page (yet still strangely pocketsize) book called Coast to Coast. Unlimited supplies of this free and funky guide can be found in hostels from Windhoek, Namibia to St. Lucia, South Africa. And while it may not boast the colorful photos or glossy pages of its more expensive guidebook cousins, Coast to Coast offers a near exhaustive listing of hostels, car rentals and tours from cape to cape. (We liked the kitschy drawings, too!)
There's a big and bold map with points of interest that are easy to reference, zany travel tips, an extensive index, discount travel information and listings that are thoughtfully organized by destination or desired activities.
But like any traveling companion or country guide, Coast to Coast has its shortcomings. For starters, its spastic design and scatterbrain layout clearly target travelers with ADD. But perhaps the most alarming thing is the fact that the people and places in this definitive guide paid to be included. This means the information provided isn't necessarily objective (or, as we found on several occasions, remotely accurate).
Still, the paper is recycled, the size is perfect for backpackers, the weight is negligible and for travelers--like us--who were on a serious budget, the price was definitely right!