The Blogsherpa Era Comes To An End

Cast Member From Bepo And Co
Reflecting On Blogsherpa?

In 2010, in an article about Lonely Planet, we wrote:

Lonely Planet – the publishers of the world-famous series of travel guides for the independent traveler – has chosen to showcase our travel articles on its online travel site.

Because we had been using Lonely Planet travel guides ourselves for years, we were doubly glad to be chosen as one of a number of travel-writing sites whose travel articles featured on Lonely Planet under what was dubbed the Blogsherpa program.

The name Blogsherpa is, of course, derived from ‘Sherpas’ – an ethnic group from eastern Nepal who specialize in carrying loads for expeditions to the Himalayas.

Our role at Lonely Planet was to do some of the ‘heavy lifting’ – to write articles that would appeal to travelers. The arrangement helped Lonley Planet provide experiences from people like us who had ‘made the trip’ – and it helped us by increasing exposure for our websites.

A Certain Rawness

The Lonely Planet travel guides have a certain rawness that is unmatched by an other travel imprint.

For example, if you want to know where to catch a little plane out to the San Blas islands in order to get around the impassible Darien Gap in Panama – Lonely Planet has the information.

From Panama To Colombia

That’s how I navigated the Darien Gap en route to Colombia. I remember flying from a small airport outside Panama City, and landing on a grass strip on the San Blas islands.

As I walked into the village, I saw dozens of bright blue crabs scurrying into their holes – all save one that a young boy trapped in the open by throwing his spear so that it neatly blocked the hole to the crab’s burrow.

He picked up the crab, and I wondered whether it would feature in a meal somewhere later that day.

I made a friend on the island – a commercial traveler from Ecuador – and he and I hitched a lift by powered dug-out canoe from the San Blas Islands to a spot further down the coast of Panama beyond the Darien Gap.

We set off before dawn, out into the Atlantic with the tips of the waves high above in a vast shiny black circle around us.

Tamara’s Adventures With The Lonely Planet Guides

One memorable tip from the guides that Tamara recalls was when she was living and working in South Korea. The guide suggested that readers might join the Royal Asiatic Society.

She joined the society and visited many places, from Buddhist temples deep in the countryside to the site of one of the world’s first printing presses.

She met interesting and varied people and gained an education about things of which she would have been unaware otherwise.

The Story Of Lonely Planet And Tony And Maureen Wheeler

As I explained in our 2010 article, Lonely Planet was started by Tony and Mauren Wheeler in the early 1970s when they published the story of their overland trip by car from London to Australia.

They continued to travel and write, and their guides grew to be the foremost guides for anyone who wanted to leave the beaten path with reliable information about transport and how to get to out-of-the-way sights.

Then in 2007, Tony and Maureen sold a 75% stake in Lonely Planet to BBC Worldwide, saying they wanted to have more time to travel.

In 2011, BBC Worldwide bought the other 25%. From that point on, Lonely Planet became a quite different enterprise than it had been under Tony and Maureen’s direction.

Blogsherpa And Lonely Planet

We and our fellow Blogsherpas didn’t hear anything from BBC Worldwide about the change of ownership until early this month when we all received an email from Lonely Planet stating that:

As a member of Lonely Planet’s BlogSherpa initiative, we wanted to get in touch to let you know that as part of larger changes to we will be decommissioning the BlogSherpa programme during the month of December 2012.

Visitors From Lonely Planet To The Quillcards Blog

During the time that Blogsherpa has been ‘live’ we have received a steady stream of visitors here at the Quillcards Blog from our articles on Lonely Planet.

So the experience has been good for us and we are sorry to see it end for us and for all of us ‘Sherpies’.

The good news is that we Sherpies have banded together to form a community and are looking for new relationships with publishers.

For the moment though, we will be taking the little blue badge from the sidebar here on the Quillcards blog, with a fond ‘Farewell, and it was nice knowing you.’

Although the Blogsherpa program is ending, Lonely Planet also tell us that

The end of BlogSherpa is not the end for the relationship between Lonely Planet and bloggers by any means. We are currently building out new ways of featuring bloggers’ content and incorporating more guest writers, photographers and videographers into the Lonely Planet website more directly. We will communicate these plans very soon, so keep your eyes peeled…

Whatever the future holds, it remains the case that the Lonely Planet travel guides have helped us and educated us, and education make a flat landscape three dimensional.

So thank you, Lonely Planet – perhaps you will feature some of our future articles – and meanwhile we’ll keep on using your guides.

Our Blogsherpa Articles

We thought you might like to read some of the fifty articles that Tamara and I have had published on the Lonely Planet website.

Here are links to the articles, together with some of the photographs we have taken on our travels.

Seeing Puffins On The Isle Of May

Puffins On The Isle Of May
Puffins On The Isle Of May

Historic Scottish Kilchurn Castle

Sheep Among The Trees By Kilchurn Castle
Sheep Among The Trees By Kilchurn Castle

Good Golly Miss Molly, It’s Sunny Here In Edinburgh!

Summer Beneath The Trees In The Meadows In Edinburgh
Summer Beneath The Trees In Edinburgh

Georgian Edinburgh

Doune Terrace Edinburgh
Doune Terrace Edinburgh

Crocuses On Brunstfield Links

Crocuses On Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh
Crocuses On Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh

The Scottish Parliament Building

Scottish Parliament Building - The Debating Chamber
Scottish Parliament Building – The Debating Chamber

The Forth Rail Bridge

photo of forth rail bridge viewed from north queensferry
Forth Rail Bridge From North Queensferry

Jane Austen At Home & In Print: Part 1 – Bath

photo of Bath Abbey from across the square
Bath Abbey

Jane Austen At Home & In Print: Part 2 – Chawton

jane austen in chawton - a room with a view
A Room With A View

The Edinburgh Festival

Cast member from Nikolai Gogol's The Portrait
Nikolai Gogol: The Portrait

Bath Abbey

photo of the interior of Bath Abbey showing fan vaulting
Interior Of Bath Abbey Showing Fan Vaulting In The Ceiling

Six Angles To Shoot London


Changing Times In The Largest Indoor Market In Europe

The Roof Of Kirkgate Market In Leeds
The Roof Of Kirkgate Market In Leeds

Advance Planning For Spring Lambs In The Yorkshire Dales

new-born lambs
New-Born Lambs

The Best Of Leeds: Poverty And Grandeur

Leeds Arcade
Leeds Arcade

Up Close With Ponies On Dartmoor

The Power Of Dartmoor - A Quillcards Ecard
The Power Of Dartmoor – A Quillcards Ecard

Sarnath, The Deer Park In India Where Buddha First Taught

Pilgrims At Sarnath
Pilgrims At Sarnath

Both Ways Around The Roundabout: Traffic In India

Traffic In Varanasi
Traffic In Varanasi

Watching The Sadhus

Sadhus In Haridwar
Sadhus In Haridwar

A Package From India: From Cloth To Sealing Wax

Cycle Rickshaw In Varanasi - Ecard
Rickshaw Driver Waiting For A Passenger Outside Varanasi Post Office

A Guide To Gorkhaland

Gorkhaland Demonstration In Kurseong - Ecard
Gorkhaland Demonstration In Kurseong

In Search Of Darjeeling Tea

Tea Pickers From Darjeeling - Ecard
Tea Pickers From Darjeeling

Selling Flowers At Four: Child Poverty In Varanasi

Flower Girl From Varanas - Ecard
The Flower Girl From Varanasi

Varanasi – Manikarnika Ghat

Sitting By The Ganges At Varanasi - Ecard

A Surprising Sadhu In Haridwar In India

Sadhu In Haridwar
Sadhu In Haridwar

Looking Back At Bundi In Rajasthan


A Memorable Hotel In Udaipur

Relaxing In Udaipur
Relaxing In Udaipur

Dangerous Drains and A Magical Cultural Evening In India

Dancer - Udaipur
Dancer – Udaipur

Impressions Of Bundi

In Conversation In Bundi
In Conversation In Bundi

Clothes Washing And Wedding Celebrations At A Ghat In Udaipur

Washing At The Dhobi Ghat - Udaipur
Washing At The Dhobi Ghat – Udaipur

The Jagdith Temple in Udaipur

A Quillcards Art Print: Bell
A Quillcards Art Print: Bell

Turbans In Rajasthan

Rajasthan Turbans
Rajasthan Turbans

The Itimad Ud Daulah in Agra

Itimad-Ud-Daulah, Agra, India
Itimad-Ud-Daulah, Agra, India

Cacophony And Calm In Delhi

A View Of The Cab In An Auto-Rickshaw
A View Of The Cab In An Auto-Rickshaw

Delhi Dogs And Agra Dogs

Sleeping Dogs In Darjeeling
Sleeping Dogs In Darjeeling

Delhi: Getting Into Town From Majnu Katila

Pilgrim In Delhi
Pilgrim In Delhi

Quillcards Ecards – There’s never been a better time to join.