Magun's Compass
Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others


The South American Handbook
seems loaded with warnings about pick pockets, muggers, drugged sweets being offered to travellers, break-ins to hotel rooms, and lawlessness on the roads; a minefield of opportunists competing for the belongings of the unwary traveller.

No wonder the American Foreign Office warns its citizens against back-packing around Colombia and Peru.

Machu Pichu, first published in APA Insight Guides: Copyright Michel Guntern
Machu Pichu
Michel Guntern

Ever since Pizarro tricked the Inca, Atahualpa, into capture, slaughtered him, and looted the City of Cuzco, this Andean country has become synonymous with robbery.

Unlike Brazil, a gun is rarely used; the Peruvians are too professional. Their art is well crafted, and the sneak thieves are very nimble. If you give them the slightest opportunity, they will relieve you of your possessions quicker than an armed mugger could even produce a weapon.

The tourist police, noticeable by their white armbands, or braiding, are friendly enough, and often warn you when known thieves have had their eye on you. They will tell you where the tourist police-station is located, should you need them, but they are too overworked to be your guardian angel.

You can usually tell the watch snatcher as he homes in on your glittering wrist.

This person runs at you from a distance greater than the visibility of the watch could possibly be, slips two fingers under the back of the watch face, and jerks the timepiece from its strap.

Fluidly, the stranger then speeds up faster than Carl Lewis receiving the baton in a 4x100 relay.

Cuzco; first published in APA Insight guides. Copyright Michel Guntern
Michel Guntern


[Central America]

[South American Gallery]


Nomadic Gatherings - Travels in Asia and Australia

Travel on trains and buses in Asia, then jump into cars with complete strangers in Australia and New Zealand as Michel introduces you to a collection of characters that bring Nomadic Gatherings to life.

If you can't afford to buy a copy of Nomadic Gatherings, the chapters are slowly being made available online - for free.

You may even decide that it really is worth having a hard copy in your hands; a useful read for those long bus journeys being written about, and for endless waits at ferry ports.

Nomadic Gatherings - Online Chapters.

Find out more about Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and The Americas.
Magun's Compass

Originally Hosted on Geocities - in 1996

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