Nomadic Gatherings

Magun's Compass
Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others

Nomadic Gatherings was the result of 80 Months
of Travel Around the World

Follow the chapters as they are being added
or just dip in wherever takes your fancy.

Nomadic Gatherings - Travels in Asia and Australia

Nomadic Gatherings:
Travels in Asia and Australia

Find out what it's really like to travel on a budget in Asia and Australia.

Join Michel on a variety of trains and buses in Asia, then follow him as he jumps into cars with complete strangers in Australia; meeting the characters that bring Nomadic Gatherings to life.

See how the added chapters progress,
and dip in where you left off

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| Starting Out | Who To Go With | Easing into It | Winter Sun | Budget Travellers | One In a Billion |
| South of Miami Beach | Markets and Music | Soviet Shake Down | The Fan Scene | Travel Tips |

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If you're too impatient to read the full contents:

More to Come.

Starting Out:


Before you set out anywhere, you would want to do some research. As you are using this site, we take it that the Internet will be one of your resources.

The Network of Travellers was set up with that in mind; a group of travellers willing to share advice by e-mail, based on their experiences in countries that they have travelled to or lived in. Join the Travel Network.

Travel Notes™ is the ultimate guide to travel on the Web. Country background information and links to relevant websites, reviewed by editors dedicated to bringing you the best. More links and tourist information added daily.

The Literary Traveller - Some travellers return to write a book, and then there are the great writers who travel. Reading literary works can always help to prepare you for another land and culture.

Travel Guides & books about travel -- Travel guides are a Godsend and a tremendous amount of research has gone into them. Everyone has their favourites, and we point you to some of ours.

Back to Selections.

Who To Go With:


Not everyone can give up their jobs and take off around the world, and some people prefer not to travel alone.

If you are set on travelling somewhere and have no-one to go with, but would like some company along the way, then post your plans in the travel companions section.

People's names are a link to their e-mail, so that potential travel companions can get to know each other and make their plans with no more input from us.

We like to hear when things work out, and will even consider publishing or linking to the results of your travels at Magun's Compass when you return.

Hopefully you will join the Network of Travellers, on your return, to help others learn from your experiences too.

Back to Selections.

Easing Into It:


Two tender teenagers hitch-hike from Scandinavia to the sunny South of France.

An Introduction -- Around The World In 80 Months.

God bless all those who try to circle the globe in 80 days, because even after 80 months there is still so much to see and do. To take the chance and not expect too much, is the spirit of freedom.
To Travel is to Live

Setting Sail -- Leaving England.

The large white vessel waited patiently, as they dipped into their money-belts to produce passports and rights of passage.

On The Boat -- Born To Be Alive.

We may be travelling on the cheap, but there are times when we need to let go and enjoy.

Arrival in Esbjerg -- Hitching Goes Slow.

Perhaps the sight of two half-naked foreigners at the roadside, begging for lifts, was considered offensive, or even repulsive, in civilized Jutland.

From Kolding -- Hitching Picks Up.

With his elbow somehow controlling the steering-wheel, the driver opened bottles of beer on the ashtray and passed them to his guests.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

Winter Sun:

Australia & New Zealand.

After doing summers in Europe, the long flight down under is usually the next option -- the climate in Australia offers the chance to break away from frosty mornings, and long dark evenings, of the crueler months back home.

Around Australia -- An Introduction.

Many youngsters, under 26, can take a whole year out and apply to Australia House for a working visa. Fewer funds are needed if you can work your way around the continent, and it can be a good experience to muck in with other nationals.

Walkabout in Australia -- Travelling Futility.

On the walk-about, an arrival is not sought, just the sensation of the movement in travel; A Travelling Futility, as D.H.Lawrence termed it.

Hitching in Australia -- If You Dare.

Not everyone chooses to hitch for rides on the world's largest island. Because there is so much of nothing in between anything, the waits can be long and not without dangers.

Melbourne to Adelaide -- To Party Street.

Rock music plays all night, as Rick and Bennie share the driving. Approaching Adelaide, the DJ on the car radio predicts an afternoon high of 36 degrees Celsius. It is Grand Prix weekend.

North of Adelaide -- The Real Journey Starts.

There are some oil paintings in the back of the car that the couple hope to sell around the pubs. They are not artists; it's just another way to earn a buck.

From Port Augusta -- Towards The Track.

When you join the Stuart Highway, it is your last glimpse of the coast for 3,000 kilometres.

To Coober Pedy -- Almost Dark.

It is soon apparent that you are not picked up for the company. Once the formalities of introduction are over, the two men speak to each other in Danish.

The Aborigine -- In Coober Pedy at Least.

The former hunter/gatherers are now unkempt and disorientated, in a world that is not theirs to handle.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

Budget Travellers:

Travel in Asia.

Asia is a traveller's favourite, the overland route of what is now Lonely Planet; with a phrasebook in one hand and chopsticks in the other you can go far for less.

Singapore -- Stop Over For Many.

Adequately covered in the travel sections of the week-end qualities, and other leisure magazines, Singapore is a popular stop-over for flights from Europe to Australia.

Thailand -- Bangkok Oriental City.

The overall picture is not solely flesh, the girls for sale are mainly concentrated around a few side streets, but the traffic is everywhere.

Laos -- Across The Mekong.

From the streets of Nong Khai, Thailand, steep steps lead down to the river where small boats regularly took across passengers. You used to pay the ferryman, and look up at the narrower steps leading to Laos.

Vietnam -- The Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The modern Ho Chi Minh Trail starts in Hanoi, and takes in Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, Saigon, and all the little should sees in between.

Indian Subcontinent -- The Indian Experiece.

The senses are truly aroused in India. The colour of the women's clothes, and the abundance of jewellery is a photographer's paradise. You will need plenty of film; not just for the Taj Mahal.

Photo Gallery -- From The Land of Karma.

A small slide show bringing you various quality images from the land of the karma -- six stunning shots from The Sacred Cow to the Taj Mahal.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

One in a Billion:

China Travel.

The long-nosed, hairy foreigner is all alone and being stared at.

Hong Kong -- The Gateway to China.

The British have gone, and with them the noon-day gun tradition, but Hong Kong has always been very Chinese, and the best place to get visa's for the People's Republic.

China -- First Impressions Of Beijing.

Bicycles flow silently, like shoals of fish; an intense volume shifting effortlessly, through an even greater mass.

China in '88 -- Chairman Mao Suits.

Mahjong in the park and gold teeth smiles. Sadly the Chairman Mao suits are disappearing fast, and gold teeth cost more today.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

South of Miami Beach:

Latin America.

A minefield of opportunists competing for the belongings of the unwary traveller.

Central America -- Adventure for Travellers.

Many travellers enjoy Central America, it's culture, the climate and the chance to learn Spanish in a wonderful environment.
This is a six page photo feature on one of Guatemala's colourful festivals, first published in Traveller Magazine -- all photographs copyright Michel Guntern.

South America -- Photo Gallery.

From the markets of Ecuador to a Bolivian tin miner this small collection of images are put together for your viewing pleasure.

Peru -- Land of the Incas.

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.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

Markets and Music:


Life in Africa is on the streets, everything is bought and sold in the markets. The clothes on the women are light and colourful, and music from the heart of Africa beats deep in all souls.

Africa -- The World's Second largest Continent.

Africa comprises 54 nations. I don't claim to have visited them all, or even half of them, but I have travelled through West Africa, and the Southern part of the continent.

Landing in Lagos -- On The West Africa Trail.

Lagos may not be an ideal starting point for a trip to West Africa, but at least the Nigerians speak English, and to travel West from here gives you the beaches of The Gambia to relax on at the end of it all.

Being in Benin -- From Niger + Lake Ganvie.

For many Europeans on the Trans-Sahara Peugeot run, the road ends in Niger; although return flights to Europe are generally cheaper from the northern Nigerian town of Kano. Six page photo feature on Benin; including a visit to Lake Ganvie.

Egyptian Gallery -- Nothing More, Nothing Less.

A small slide show bringing you the golden colours from the land of the Nile -- five views from Ramses II to Karnak.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

Soviet Shake Down:

C.I.S. and Cuba.

The Soviet Union opens up, and then it falls apart.

From Russia With Love -- Moscow.

There are romantic moments in Red Square, not only flag waving commie protestors, and tourists queuing up to see the preserved face of Lenin.

Samarkand -- Central Asia.

Independence in the distant republics has meant a return to religious practices and nationalistic fervor.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

The Fan Scene:

US 94.

A fan travels Greyhound to see a continent, with the excuse of following a major sporting event.

Venue -- The United States.

A sporting event can often provide the spark that lights up paper plans to travel; especially if it is played out across the map, in a selection of venues, over something like 30 days.

The Planning -- When To Go Where.

The opening game is in Chicago, and the next day you have to be in Detroit..... It means an eight-hour night bus, to get there for a morning kick-off.

Greyhound -- Getting The Most Out Of It.

A Greyhound Pass also allows free passage between Toronto and Detroit, and Seattle and Vancouver, so a taste of Canada is included in the grand tour of US 94.

Montreal -- French Canada.

The cosmopolitan town of French-speaking Quebec is a mix of voice, split by a thin line. It is in the town, but comes across as wider than the Channel itself.

The Kick-Off -- US 94 Gets Underway.

You are in an air-conditioned bar, in Downtown Detroit when Germany opens up against Bolivia. There is a jug of ice cold beer in front of you, as you prepare to see how the American media will treat the biggest sporting event on Earth.

Pontiac Silverdrome -- Indoor Football.

The game is played early to avoid the afternoon heat; Michigan is in a heatwave, and the humidity is unbearable. The first World Cup soccer match to be played indoors is between the hosts, and Switzerland.

Washington -- D.C.

Washington has something of a reputation as a murder capital, but that should not affect those who are not part of a street gang, or dealing in crack cocaine.

Daytona Beach -- Car Culture Gone Crazy.

For $10 you can drive right on to the sand, and many do; preferring to cruise along the beach rather than expose out of condition bodies that might appreciate the exercise.

Orlando -- Party Street.

The two largest contingents of travelling fans party side by side until the early hours, under the moustaches of some bewildered police officers. There are some women officers with guns too, although they have less hair on their upper lip.

Second Round -- Team USA Qualify.

Once the qualifying teams have been confirmed, who plays who, and where, can be taken into account, together with who might play who in the quarter-finals.

More to Come.

Back to Selections.

Travel Tips:

Useful Endnotes.

After travelling there's always something that you gained from the experiences; good or bad.

Travellers' Network -- Advice From Travellers.
Help us make this the biggest and best Network of Travellers by offering your tips and advice to others. Share your experiences and make the world a better place. Join the Network.

Mike Guadagno quit his job, sold his car, put his stuff in storage and took off for the world.

Mike went to Europe, southern Africa, southeast Asia, Australia & New Zealand. He met great people and had lots of great experiences. Anyone who wants information on preparing for, or taking a trip like this, specific places, or sharing your own experiences, send Mike an e-mail.

Send In Your Tips!

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.
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