The Well at the World's End
When A.J. Mackinnon quits his job in Australia, he knows only that he longs to travel to the Well at the World's End, a mysterious pool on a remote Scottish island whose waters, legend has it, hold the secret to eternal youth.
Determined not to fly ('It would feel like cheating'), he sets out with a rucksack, some fireworks and a map of the world and trusts chance to take care of the rest. By land and by sea, by train, truck, horse and yacht, he makes his way across the globe - and through a series of hilarious adventures.
He survives a bus crash in Australia, marries a princess in Laos, is attacked by Komodo dragons and does time in a Chinese jail. The next lift - or the next near-miss - is always just a happy accident away.
This is the astonishing true story of a remarkable voyage, an old-fashioned quest by a modern-day adventurer.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I met Mackinnon through Jack de Crow and thought well enough of that to order this book in. I didn't expect it to match his first journey and wasn't disappointed in the expectation, although the book was satisfying enough. Mackinnon himself I think pinned it down in the article linked to his author page. There he talks about travelling as a packaged tourist (missing the adventure and the gritty details), or travelling on an adventure quest (missing the sights on the way to the object of the quest), and the disadvantages of both approaches. This journey (from New Zealand to Scotland) proceeds at such a pace that Mackinnon's very slow reflective insights and humour doesn't have time to fully develop, so this ends up as more of a story about a journey, rather than a story about Mackinnon's reflections on journeying. That's not to say that there aren't gems on every other page, or that there aren't long intervals where he is going nowhere (waiting for a ride), but that even these slow times seem to pass at a breakneck pace (and actually he was dashing around trying to meet deadlines). One day he might write another book about slow and random travelling, wandering in fact, after the style of Peter Pinney. But first he'll have to give up his day job. So a worthy successor to 'de Crow' and recommended. But hopefully it is also a precursor to even better books to come.