The Well at the World’s End

The Well at the World’s End

A. J. Mackinnon


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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.

‘This is a wonderful book … warm, humorous and entertaining.’ —Bookseller+Publisher

‘One of the most enjoyable books I have ever read … a marvellous read by a travel writer with a unique style.’ —Canberra Times

‘A charming and beautifully written chronicle of life on the road.’ —Advertiser

‘The perfect book for the would-be wayfarer in all of us.’ —Travelbeat

‘Bill Bryson meets Tolkien.’ —M/C Reviews

‘A fascinating story.’ —Good Reading

‘A delight.’ —Herald Sun


A. J. Mackinnon:
A. J. (Sandy) Mackinnon was born in Australia in 1963 and spent his childhood between England and Australia, travelling with his family on the last P&O liners to sail between the two countries. His interests include painting, philosophy, writing, conjuring and home-made fireworks. He is currently a teacher of English, Drama, Mathematics and Philosophy in the Victorian High Country. He is the author of The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow and The Well at the World's End.