Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu,
Peru – Photo by Gig Gwin
A Life of Travel and Adventures
“Drawing on four decades of adventure and
over three million miles of travel, I hope you will
enjoy this anthology of my world explorations.”- Gig
In Buenos Aires, with more courage than skill, danced the
Tango; rode horses with the gauchos on the Pampas; drove
through endless avenues that were blossoming with purple
flowered Jacaranda Trees; stood in awe at the edge of
mighty Iguazu Falls, then with a local Indian guide
paddled a dugout canoe to the upper edge of the falls for
a heart pounding view of Devil’s Throat.
From the world’s highest capitol, LaPaz, drove dirt roads
all day to Lake Titicaca and convinced a local fisherman
to let me kayak his tortora reedboat.
Invited my group of 100 to live like the local Cariocas of
Rio and sunbathe on Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches;
cheered with 150,000 enthusiastic soccer fans at world
famous Maracana Stadium; at a safe distance, observed a
spell-casting ritual of Macumba...black magic; watched
vibrant men and provocative women celebrate Carnival with
Chile - Was
invited to an international aviation show in Santiago, to
view the latest aircraft from commercial to military; flew
in a prop aircraft 600 miles over the Pacific for a
landing atop a mountain ridge on Robinson Crusoe Island,
which was only superceded by a heart-pounding take-off on
a downhill dirt runway.
Felt threatened by the hostile environment of Bogota,
snorkeled over a Spanish galleon sunk near the old Spanish
city of Cartagena.
Traveled past the peaks of the Andes to the colorful
Indian market at Otavalo, then bargained for soft Alpaca
- Wandered through the old French prison cells where
Papillon was held prisoner, then crossed a raging river by
Observed the cruel draconian rule of a Communist
government where gas and food lines stretched for blocks.
Peru - Left
Cuzco, ancient Inca capitol at 11,000 feet and trained
through the sacred valley to view the lost city of the
Incas, Machu Picchu...and feel the hand of God.
passed by huge bauxite mines on the way through the jungle
to a bush Negro village.
Missed my flight, so took the local bus with the workers
and chickens to the swank resort town of Punta del Este
and swam with the playful dolphins.
Flew deep into the jungle circling Angel Falls, the
world’s tallest waterfall, and landed in a jungle camp
where the ground was green with jade stone and the river
full of gold nuggets.
Belize - At
the airport, watched the British Royal Air Force fly
Harrier Fighters straight up into the air like
helicopters, to patrol the hostile coastline. Snorkeled
off the San Pedro Islands near the underwater Blue Hole,
made famous by Jacques Cousteau; later in life, did a
radio show with his son.
Costa Rica -
Rode an antique narrow-gauge train through the lush
mountains to visit an immense banana plantation. Fished
the Barra del Colorado for Tarpon, then slipped into
off-limits Nicaraguan waters to search for bigger fish (in
retrospect, not a great idea).
After a challenging ascent to the great Jaguar Temple in
Tikal, scanned the jungle horizon and heard the eerie
calls of the Howler Monkeys below; wrote a Tikal Mayan
article for TWA’s Ambassador Magazine.
During a revolution in Tegucigalpa, while visiting the
main cathedral square, was chased and shot at by
Mexico - Ran
to catch a sunset cruise in Manzanillo and fractured my
ankle; climbed the great pyramids near Mexico City and
Chichen Itza in the Yucatan; watched the cliff divers
perform magnificent swan dives in Acapulco Bay, took a
large group to the baby bull ring, and got knocked on my
posterior, escorted a group of 185 businessmen across the
border to Tijuana for a night out and brought almost all
of them back, visited Mayan ruins to write an article for
American Express Magazine and swam on the back of a sea
turtle in the crystal blue waters of Cancun.
Panama - Took
a sightseeing flight over Teddy’s Canal, then landed and
watched a pudgy cruise ship barely slip into Gatun Locks
on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
San Blas Islands
- Slept in a hammock in a sparse bungalow on a tiny island
inhabited by Cuna Indians.
- In yet another revolution, at the Sheraton Hotel was
stranded when insurgents blew up the power station and
invaded our section of the city, but escaped to the
airport in the cover of night.