Into a Desert Place: A 3000 Mile Walk Around the Coast of Baja California

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9780044401223: Into a Desert Place: A 3000 Mile Walk Around the Coast of Baja California

"I had never been particularly good at anything except catering to my own comfort and safety," begins Graham Mackintosh with cheerful frankness in this engaging, suspenseful, and finally stirring travel adventure.

An Englishman, Mackintosh fell in love with Baja California on a visit and, despite a glaring shortage of both experience and money, determined to walk its entire coast. Into a Desert Place is his account of how he equipped himself, what he saw and learned, and how he survived on this harsh and beautiful journey. The book was first published in England and then by Mackintosh himself in the United States; this is its first appearance in paperback.

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Review:

Englishman Graham Mackintosh seems an unlikely candidate to walk the 3,000-mile coast of Baja, California--after all, he calls himself "the most unadventurous person in the world." Yet Mackintosh spent 500 days in that loneliest of deserts, carrying his world on his back, dining on rattlesnake and cactus, drinking distilled seawater, and living with fear as a constant companion. So, just what was this "most unadventurous" man doing in a place like Baja? In Into A Desert Place, Mackintosh blames books for his transformation from armchair traveler to hardened adventurer. A taste for adventure travel literature soon developed into an addiction; when the library shelves had surrendered the last of their treasures, he went into a kind of withdrawal: "It got so bad that I even thought of doing something adventurous and crazy myself.... " Walking around Baja was not Mackintosh's first choice--he considered getting married--but a trip to visit friends in Los Angeles led him to the little Mexican village of Ensenada, which had been prominently featured in one of those adventure travel tales he'd read in England.

Like Tolkein's Bilbo Baggins, running down the road toward adventure without a hat or coat, Mackintosh set off to Baja without a tent or sleeping bag, hitchhiking his way around the peninsula until his money ran out. By that time, he'd fallen deeply in love with the harsh environment and was determined to come back and explore it more thoroughly. Into a Desert Place is his account of what he saw and learned on that second trip, and how he survived.

About the Author:

Graham Mackintosh gives numerous lectures and radio and television interviews in both Britain and the United States.

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MacKintosh, Graham
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