The itinerary: Surf’s up in Madagascar

Posted Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Surf’s up in Madagascar

Itching to catch a wave? Try Madagascar. The island nation in the Indian Ocean has become the 86th member of the International Surfing Association as part of a drive to promote the sport in Africa, the California-based association said. Madagascar offers more than 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) of coastline that have been largely unexplored by the global surfing community, it said. Some of the best — and most remote — surfing in Madagascar can be found at atolls and outer islands that require a guide and charter boat, according to surfing companies.

— The Associated Press

For ketchup fanatics

To tourists like Bruce Pasarow of Buena Park, Calif., leaving Collinsville, Ill., before seeing what’s billed as the “World’s Largest Bottle of Catsup” was not an option. The Collinsville water tower is a depiction of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was once produced in the buildings beneath the tower. Now, the sign is for sale. Owner Larry Eckert is asking $500,000 for the 65-year-old, 170-foot-tall landmark and adjacent warehouse. Preservationists hope it will become a ketchup museum.

— The Associated Press

App hails taxis, limos

Las Vegas visitors can hail a ride from a taxi or limo company using their smartphone. Las Vegas-based Integrity Vehicle Solutions has launched the Ride Genie app. About 400 black cars, SUVs and limos from several transportation companies will be picking up assignments from the app, while taxis will be added soon. The app allows users to watch the vehicle’s progress on a map similar to ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft, although these drivers are professionals regulated through the taxi authority.

— The Associated Press

Fun fact

Drive with a song in your heart

Tourists traveling into Alabama on interstate highways will be greeted by signs strengthening the state’s official connection to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song Sweet Home Alabama. “Alabama the Beautiful” signs that have stood at the state line since 2003 will be replaced with green and white signs saying “Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama.” Smaller versions will be on the grounds of the eight state welcome centers for travelers’ photos, state tourism director Lee Sentell said.

— The Associated Press

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