RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Baja RV Adventure, by John Holod

Baja RV Adventure
Those who already know that Baja California is a fantastic place for a road trip will probably be irritated by John Holod's Baja RV Adventure video. They'd rather preserve the common view that the long skinny peninsula south of San Diego is a barren wasteland. They'd like to keep secret that Baja is actually a place of astonishingly diverse beauty, culture, and history, not to mention some of the most exotic wildlife this side of the Galapagos Islands. There are world-class RV resorts, too, along with hip tourist towns, colorful cantinas, and great restaurants. Baja RV Adventure reveals all these well-kept secrets and more. Watching it is like tagging along with an easy-going friend who likes to mosey, chat with locals, explore unusual buildings, and schmooze with gray whales.

The road from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas is a long 1,060 miles. In Baja RV Adventure, John Holod has managed to condense them into 75 well-edited minutes. His skill with a video camera is evident throughout, especially in his excellent footage of birds, lizards, and those remarkably friendly gray whales.

While animals are a definite high point of the video, Holod has also done a masterful job of covering history, industry, culture, and tourist destinations. He includes a visit to the historic Melling Ranch, for example, and a fascinating tour of the salt production facility at Guerrero Negro. His footage of the idyllic Bahia Concepcion, where you can park your RV a few feet from the sea, is enough to make all those with wanderlust start planning a Baja adventure of their own. With stops at cantinas, archaeological sites, historic missions, and even an interview with Mama Espinosa at her famous eponymous eatery in El Rosario, Baja RV Adventure offers a vivid, comprehensive picture of a genuine, reproducible road trip.

While picturesque vistas dominate, Holod doesn't shrink from including shots of things that would never make it into tourist brochures. Dumps, graffiti, and the ugly fence that separates California from Mexico are hardly photogenic, but the video is a far more accurate picture because of them. Coupled with his easy-going narration, these less-than-lovely scenes bring out the contrasts of Baja, and they give the video a depth not often found in travel pieces.

One viewing of Baja RV Adventure is enough to ignite serious wanderlust. For those who are actually planning a journey there, this video is an excellent resource, worth multiple viewings with pen and notebook in hand.

November, 2003

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