Before I scooted off out of England this afternoon, I managed to duck into one of London's big bookstores, and to stock up on some literary resources that I'll need for Italy et al. For my planned trip to Sicily, I grabbed a copy of the Nat Geo Sicily guide, as well as a detailed (as in 1:200,000) map of Sicily, and another map of Southern Italy (from Naples to the tip). Additionally, I threw in the LP Italian phrasebook; and for my journeying in Central Europe, the LP German phrasebook. Hopefully, all that will get me through the next few months in Europe.
Good news for all of you that like to check the map of the places I've visited: our friends at Google announced on Friday that they have just added coverage of 54 new countries to Google Maps! Of these new countries, quite a lot are in the Latin American region — this means that almost all the countries I've been to (and plotted on my map) now have proper coverage. So if you look at the "locations" page on this site now, you should get a pleasant surprise: all those red dots on the map are no longer in a sea of empty white; you can actually view them in their proper context. I discovered this cool improvement today, and I'm very impressed with how it looks. Thanks, Google Maps team, and keep up the good work!