How to Walk a Puma

And Other Things I Learned While Stumbling through South America


Book Description

On his nineteenth birthday, Peter Allison flipped a coin. One side would take him to Africa and the other to South America, the two places he wanted to explore before he died. He recounted his time spent as a safari guide in Africa to much acclaim in Whatever You Do, Don’t Run and Don’t Look Behind You. Sixteen years later, he makes his way to Santiago, Chile, ready to seek out the continent’s best, weirdest, and wildest adventures, and to chase the elusive jaguar.


In just the first six months, Allison is bitten by a puma (several times), knocked on his head by a bad empanada, and surrounded by piranhas while rafting down a Bolivian river—all because of his unusual fear of refrigerators and of staying in any one place for too long. Ever the gifted storyteller and cultural observer, Allison makes many observations about life in humid climes, the nature of nomadism, and exactly what it is like to be nearly blasted off a mountain by the famous Patagonia wind. Allison’s self-deprecating humor is as delightful as his crazy stunts, and his love for animals—even when they bite—is infectious.

About Allison, Peter

Peter Allison is the author of Don’t Look Behind You! and Whatever You Do, Don’t Run (both Lyons Press). His safaris have been featured in Vogue and Condé Nast Traveller, and he has appeared on television shows such as Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. He does not live in any one place, but was last seen boarding a plane to Africa.