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Into a Desert Place
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The W.W. Norton paperback edition of Into a Desert Place is now "out-of-print."
 
I have a limited stock still available for sale:
For your personally signed copies send:
 

$25.00 (includes shipping and handling and sales tax) to:
 
Graham Mackintosh
P.O. Box 1982
Lemon Grove, CA 91946
 
Make checks payable to Graham Mackintosh 
 
 
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Also available on Amazon Kindle
 
 
And Barnes and Noble Nook
 
 
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Into a Desert Place
Walking Around the coast of Baja California 1983-85
 
 
 
 
I had never been particularly good at anything except catering to my own comfort and safety.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
I needed a pair of walking boots, a backpack, and a few other items of camping equipment. As I couldn't afford to buy them, I plucked up courage and walked into a camping store, asking to speak to the manager.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
 
 The early days 1983
 
 
As the day drew to a close a wave of satisfaction washed through me. "Almost finished," I told myself. My consciousness had accepted its one day at a time command. Why worry about tomorrow? Soon I will be making camp, content to rest, eat and imbibe the sights of the Sea of Cortez.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
 
 Pacific fishermen bring me a little seafood—1983
 
  
Emboldened by his retreat, and realizing that all I had to eat were limes and cornflakes, I found myself reaching down for a rock. The snake spotted me and struck out so quickly, I dropped the rock and got away as fast as I could. Suddenly, marinated cornflakes sounded very appetising.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
 Sharing the work. Calamajue fish camp 1983
 
 

There was nothing thirst quenching about the cardón; its flesh was firm and gritty and left an unpleasant aftertaste. I had to drink more water than I could spare just to wash the taste from my mouth.

Into a Desert Place

 

 
 
  The delicious fruit of the pitahaya cactus
 
 
Around the corner, it all proved too much for Bon. Rearing, kicking and dragging me round in circles, he terrified a family of Mexicans who took refuge over the nearest wall. I would have done the same had I been able to get by the whirling vortex of white.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
 
 Wading in the sea carrying backback
 
 
 Lonely Sea of Cortez
 
 
 
Along the Pacific coast—1983
 
 
One day, I breezed into a fishcamp and introduced myself to the fishermen in the middle of their lobster lunch. They were a delightful bunch, quick to offer me a chair and a plate, and all the usual gloom and doom about the coast ahead.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
Mountain Mike - LA Bay 1983
 
 
Kind rancher carries my backpack—1984
 
  
Advice from kayak tour leader Trudi Angell 1984
 
 
 Approaching Cabo San Lucas 1984
 
 
 Walk early before it gets too hot
 
 
Suddenly, everything jumped wildly as we left the road then... Crash! Bang! We were over on one side and then the vehicle went into a spin. I found myself sliding along in the roof of the camper, watching the rest of the pickup rolling and disintegrating around me.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 
 
 
 Fish for lunch again—1984
 
 
Mulege 1984—Reading my article in the San Diego Union-Tribune
 
 
 
 1894 model Winchester takes out rabid burro
 
  
We reached the edge of the mangroves just as the heavens opened and threw down an almighty deluge. I managed to unpack Bon in record time and get the tent up before the worst of the wind came blasting off the bay.
Into a Desert Place
 
 
 Graham Mackintosh and Bonny the Burro—Pacific coast 1985
 
Journey's End—Cabo San Lucas 1985  
 
 
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Reviews of Into a Desert Place


Mackintosh... makes a great traveling companion.
— New York Times Book Review

Always vastly entertaining, this is one of the finest pieces of travel writing to appear in years and certainly one of the best books on Baja ever published. Don't miss this title; it's that good.
— Coast Book Review Service

Mackintosh...is an intrepid writer who not only details his very exciting journey but also puts Baja California into historical perspective...An impressive collection of lore, adventure. Mackintosh has a very exceptional ability to involve the reader in his plights and his joys.
— Book Reader

Mackintosh is the…fair skinned, flame-headed Brit who, with no money to speak of, walked—read my lips—walked 3,000 miles solo down one Baja coast and up the other, carrying a 60-pound pack and surviving on cactus, rattlesnakes and the fish caught from shore on a small, telescoping Daiwa rod. In searing, killing heat, he painstakingly distilled minuscule quantities of life-sustaining water as he went, and he frazzled seven pairs of boots during the Odyssey...the book is, quite simply, the best Baja book ever published—a sprint-paced, harrowing adventure yarn that has all the elements of a classic film.
— Western Outdoor News

A truly uplifting account of what one person alone against the world can accomplish. It is also one of the finest pieces of travel writing of recent times.
— Irish Independent

Before the trip, Mackintosh didn't consider himself a writer or an outdoorsman, for that matter. Most of his exercise consisted of knocking back a few beers in a pub or in front of a television set. With Into a Desert Place, Mackintosh proves he is both. In an uncluttered and sincere writing style, he takes the reader along on all legs of the journey, from the slow days of trudging up and down dusty hillsides to lively marine expeditions with Mexican fishermen...As he treks the miles with sore feet, Mackintosh changes from a clumsy, chubby city boy into a competent wilderness explorer, gaining endurance and a self confidence that comes only from pushing internal limits.
— Albuquerque Journal


Exciting, colorful, imaginative, amusing, instructive, this is a quirky, highly individualistic account of derring-do...Beyond recounting his travails, victories, hopes and set backs, Mackintosh introduces dozens of cameos of earlier visitors to Baja—John Steinbeck to name one—and a plethora of historical vignettes. Many colorful photographs help put you right in the experience—you'll feel you've participated in every one of the 3000 tortuous and fatiguing miles...reading about it is a glorious experience, a demonstration of the sheer will requisite to conquer an unforgiving area of our planet.
— Times (New Jersey)