Journey With a Baja Burroby Graham Mackintosh
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Baja California is a land apart. For more than 150 years from its “discovery” in 1533, it defied all attempts to establish a permanent European settlement. A dangerous, fog-shrouded Pacific shoreline, contrary ocean winds and currents, the capricious Gulf of California, and extensive tracts of virtually impassable desert in the north kept it apart from the rest of New Spain. When it was settled by Europeans, it was by Jesuit missionaries who, for seventy years, vigorously tried to exclude those with less godly intentions than their own. Later, the aridity and ruggedness of the land protected it well into the twentieth century.
Baja California was the original California. The mission system (which brought the native peoples under the control of Catholic Spain) and the name, “California,” spread north from there, and more specifically from the tiny pueblo of Loreto.
Today, a carved inscription above the entrance to Loreto’s mission church proudly proclaims: “Oct. 25, 1697. The Head and Mother of the Missions of Lower and Upper California.”
For six months through the winter of 1997-1998, Graham Mackintosh and his endearing pack burro Misión walked from the Mexican border town of Tecate 1000 miles south to Loreto to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Loreto mission.
Walking along trails, dirt roads, and sometimes on Baja's main highway, man and donkey endured frightful El Niño storms and traversed frigid pine-covered mountains and sometimes flooded deserts to visit most of the Dominican, Franciscan and Jesuit mission sites along the way.
In this entertaining and often inspiring account packed with fascinating historical information and spiritual speculation, Journey with a Baja Burro invites the reader to leave behind the comforts and cares of the modern world and venture into Baja's rugged, remote back country and into the mindset of an earlier age - to a place where even shadows and illusions can lead to truth.
- BN ID:
- Baja Detour Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 3 MB
Meet the Author
Graham Mackintosh was born in London and grew up in Slough twenty-five miles west of the capital. He graduated from Leeds University with an honors degree in Sociology in 1973.
In 1983 he was a lecturer at West Kent College in England, teaching social sciences, and work- and life-skills classes to unemployed teenagers. In the hope of showing his students that a shoestring expedition could be the adventure of a lifetime, Mackintosh, who described himself as the "least adventurous person in the world," set out to walk around the beautiful but dangerous coastline of Baja California, largely living off the sea and the desert.
The two-year, 3,000 mile trip changed his life. When Mackintosh emerged from the cactus-strewn wilderness, he returned to England to write Into a Desert Place and there received the prestigious "Adventurous Traveler of the Year" award.
Mackintosh was soon drawn back to Baja. After scores of trips below the border, he walked down the rugged, mountainous interior of the peninsula, visiting many of the old Catholic missions along the way. Journey with a Baja Burro, his second book, was the result.
In 2001, Graham spent four months in Baja’s Sierra San Pedro Mártir with two street dogs, which became the subject of his third book – Nearer My Dog to Thee: A summer in Baja’s Sky Island.
His fourth book, Marooned With Very Little Beer, appeared in April 2008, and tells of his two months kayaking and hiking the second largest island in the Sea of Cortez - Isla Angel de la Guarda.
Graham Mackintosh lives in San Diego, California. He continues to give lectures and slide shows on his trips, writes articles on Baja and has guided tourists south of the border on various trips. He is married to Bonni, a nurse, who shares his love for Baja and nature.
For more information visit his website - www.grahammackintosh.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is a great adventure story that has it all--an arduous physical challenge, plus a spiritual journey that really made me think...And the best thing is, it's all true. This brit has real grit and a great sense of humor, and I'm not even gonna get started on his charismatic burro! This book is a real find, I couldn't stop reading, but didn't want the journey to end!