He once described himself as the least adventurous person in the world. Some 30 years later, Graham Mackintosh can look back on adventures that most people would never dream of.
Mackintosh was a college lecturer in Britain in 1983 when he decided to show his students that “the adventure of a lifetime” could be enjoyed on a shoestring budget.
Two years later, he completed his 4,800-kilometer circumnavigation on foot around the coastline of Baja California. He wrote a book about his experience called Into a Desert Place and subsequently won an award for Adventurous Traveler of the Year.
It turned out that one adventure wasn’t enough for the unadventurous Brit, who embarked upon another Baja expedition in 1997, walking 1,600 kilometers down the mountainous interior of Baja from the border to Loreto. Journey with a Baja Burro, Mackintosh’s second book, tells the tale of the hike.
Two more books have followed: Nearer My Dog to Thee, the 2001 story of his four months with two street dogs in the Baja mountain range, Sierra San Pedro Mártir, and Marooned with Very Little Beer, which followed a two-month kayaking trip in the Sea of Cortéz, where he also hiked the island, Isla Angel de la Guarda.
Another adventure in 2013 hasn’t produced a book, but it is written up on Mackintosh’s website, and he spoke about it in an interview beforehand with Baja Bound. It was to be one of his biggest challenges — climbing 3,000-meter-high Picacho del Diablo, Baja’s tallest mountain.
He admitted he wasn’t a climber, but allowed that he didn’t undertake such challenges without considering every possibility for things going wrong. Plus, a bit of tension and anxiety, he said, is a good thing.
“You really need a little fear, a little pressure to keep you focused and alert. But not too much that you feel overwhelmed.”
Mackintosh, who now lives in San Diego, California, says all his Baja adventure have begun with that uncomfortable tension, which turns into confidence as he settles into the trip.
He admitted that climbing Picacho del Diablo, or Devil’s Peak, might be beyond him. “But I will at least try and see what happens and be prepared to leave it for another day if necessary.”
As it turned out, he did have to leave it for another day after one of his climbing companions, aged 72, decided en route that he’d best not continue. Mackintosh notes that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination.
He should know, he’s done a few.
Mexico News Daily
Mackintosh will be signing his books on Saturday at the San José Organic Market, San José del Cabo, from 11:00 am to 12:30pm.