Walking 3,000 miles is a crazy idea. Add that it’s in the desert, along a rugged coast and that backpacking isn’t your thing, well, other adjectives come to mind.

This is just what Graham Mackintosh did. He recounts the harrowing, humorous, enlightening experience in the book “Into a desert place: A 3,000-mile walk around the coast of Baja California” (Unwin Hyman Limited, 1988). This is one of four books he has written about the Mexican peninsula.

I first became acquainted with Mackintosh in January when he gave a talk in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur. Now 68, the Brit is colorful when reliving his tales from decades ago. His love of Baja was evident has he recounted his various exploits.

“When you are on your own, you tend to take more risks,” Mackintosh told the crowd. “You tend to get more spiritual.”

In the book, Mackintosh doesn’t sugarcoat his harrowing experiences with what nature threw at him – snakes, unforgiving terrain, scarcity of potable water, blistering sun, and so much more.

He also gives plenty of credit to the generosity of strangers – Mexicans and expats. Without them, he probably never would have completed his journey.

This is as much travelogue as it is introspection about one man’s journey. It is also in part a history lesson about this segment of the world.

“Into a Desert Place” is a book for anyone who likes outdoor adventure, Baja or solo travel stories.

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