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Traveler’s Century Club

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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 Gwin

South America:

Argentina - 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.

Bolivia - 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.

Brazil - 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 reckless abandon.

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prop aircraft 600 miles over the Pacific for a landing atop a mountain ridge on Robinson Crusoe Island, which was only superceded by a heart-pounding take-off on a downhill dirt runway.

Colombia - Felt threatened by the hostile environment of Bogota, snorkeled over a Spanish galleon sunk near the old Spanish city of Cartagena.

Ecuador - Traveled past the peaks of the Andes to the colorful Indian market at Otavalo, then bargained for soft Alpaca sweaters;

French Guyana - Wandered through the old French prison cells where Papillon was held prisoner, then crossed a raging river by dugout canoe.

Guyana - 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.

Suriname - passed by huge bauxite mines on the way through the jungle to a bush Negro village.

Uruguay - 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.

Venezuela - 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.

Central America:

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).

Guatemala - 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.

Honduras - During a revolution in Tegucigalpa, while visiting the main cathedral square, was chased and shot at by Sandinista Rebels.

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.

San Salvador - 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.