Understanding adventure travel
The following long article is intended to help separate those who
will not be happy on an adventure vacation with Baja Jones from
those who will enjoy what we have to offer. Like every business
we want you to buy our product. But unlike many businesses we
absolutely do not want to have anyone along who will be dissatisfied
with the type of vacation tours and expeditions that we organize.
For us the better situation is to have someone who would not be
satisfied with our trips, ask us to cancel after they have read
this article.That way both parties are left with no residual
issues. Thank you for taking time to read this article and to
think about the coming adventure trip. I promise me and my staff
do our best to put together an excellent tour.
A key ingredient in successful adventure travel
is for the participant to be prepared both mentally and physically
for the unexpected.
Brinigng with you an attitude that is calm, laid back, relaxed and
open to what ever comes next can enhance any adventure trip. Our
itineraries are meticulously detailed, but frequently have changes
because of weather, animal behavior or other situations we deem
sufficient to make a change. Changes to the itinerary are at
our sole discretion.
Due diligence is a phrase you expect to hear mentioned by a lawyer
in relationship to buying some property or business, not about vacation
performing your due diligence research before you go on any vacation
can give you the information you need to be fully prepared for the
For some people this research might cause them to change their plans
because they don’t like something they discovered about their
coming trip. For others it just means they will bring a pair of rain
pants along that they might have left home, or a pair of gloves they
never would have thought to bring along if they hadn’t done
their own due diligence.
As adventure specialists with more than 20 years of real world adventure
travel experience we have learned that the more informed our group
members are before they arrive, the more
likely they are to have a great vacation adventure.
and anticipation of things to come are part of human nature. Most
are excited and filled with anticipation for
the new experiences they will take part in on their coming trip.
Many vacationers have high expectations. Some of these high expectations
come from viewing photos and reading stories about where they will
A story would not be so interesting if the writer just related the
mundane daily happenings she went through every day while on her
5 or 10 day adventure. On most trips excitement and thrills don’t
come non-stop minute upon minute, hour upon hour and day after day.
With luck, hours or days of normalcy are followed by moments, minutes
or brief hours of intense excitement. This is the time from her vacation
that the travel writer will tell you about when writing on her travel
blog or for some magazine.
We travel writers and photographers throw away hundreds of photos
of empty water or empty blue sky. We don’t want to
post a photo of the town garbage dump when trying to entice someone
along on our adventure trip. We want to put up the photo of the baby
gorilla playing with our hair while we crouch motionless in a clump
of bamboo. We want to put up the photo of ourselves kissing the baby
gray whale next to the boat.
As obsessed professionals we photographers might sit
for hours and days on end waiting to get that one perfect shot of
we can imagine. With luck, your adventure will have some or all of
those same experiences that you have seen and read about. But then
again it might not.
So many factors can influence or change the environment at any specific
locale from day to day and from year to year. Animal behavior, feeding
patterns, migration schedules and mating rituals can all be affected
by global warming, development, tourism, bad weather conditions,
drought, flood, or even by political unrest.
In Baja California Sur, Mexico where we do winter whale watching
tours a condition known as El niño occurs every few years.
This warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water causes severe climate
Where we do our Baja whale watching the most noticeable difference
during an El nino condition is that rainfall will increase by perhaps
two to ten times the normal number of rain days. Where we typically
might get two
or three days of rain, El niño might bring 10 to 20 days of
Wind and waves are always factors that affect the quality of whale
watching at any location anywhere in the world. The windier the weather,
the more difficult it is to see things in the water. Wind can cause
boat trip delays or cancellations. Sudden and unexpected wind storms
can cause boats to run for shelter, abruptly ending a planned whale
watching event. Thankfully wind seldom causes cancellation of gray
whale boat trips, while on the Sea of Cortez cancellations are more
common for the blue whale watching boat trips.
These are all factors that can affect your trip, but cannot be controlled.
Other factors generally considered controllable, can also affect
your adventure vacation. Since most adventure tours take place in
remote or less developed areas, the condition of the equipment used
is not always up to the
standards of your homeland. In fact the conditions might be less
than you would find in a more developed town in the same country
Sometimes government officials or police or others in a position
of authority may arbitrarily or without advanced notice change regulations
or change the established protocols of some activity. Roads are closed
for construction or for political reasons, opening or closing times
are changed, limits on daily numbers of people might suddenly be
set without notice or without regard to the resulting chaos for travelers.
An example is the recent change in policy by the Chinese
government that now does not allow hotels to use air conditioning
in the month of October. This creates some uncomfortable days and
nights for tourists.
Adventure travel usually takes place in less developed, remote locations.
It is uncommon, perhaps impossible, to have the type of adventures
that Baja Jones seeks out in a 4 or 5 star resort setting.
Baja Jones Adventure Travel was started by an adventurer who has
hiked, boated, kayaked, canoed, and traveled in remote and sometimes
dangerous locales around the world since his teen years. Solo adventures
have taken him high into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to the parched
deserts of Arizona and Nevada and into the rainforest capped volcanic
mountains of Hawaii. Keith presently lives part of each year on a
small and remote Philippine island in a bamboo hut located in a small
native village just steps from the sea.
This is the person who was key to developing the vacation adventure
tour that you will soon be traveling on. His personality and beliefs
about what adventure travel is all about are reflected in the itinerary
of the tour.
Adventure travel is not for everyone. We believe these tours are
within the physical capabilities of anyone who can walk unassisted
short distances. These adventure tours are not hiking challenges
tests of endurance. Being in a physically fit condition will make
it easier for you, but being out of shape will not stop you from
enjoying the trip.
These adventure trips do take place in remote locations where tourist
infrastructure is not well developed. This means that you will not
have a Disney-like experience. The success of your adventure is to
a certain extent dependent on you, your attitude and your preparations
both physical and mental. Be prepared for things like bad roads and
bad weather. Come along understanding that the accommodations may
have been built in a far
off and distant place where even getting the construction materials
to the building site might have been an adventure and a challenge
for the builder. Don’t expect our guide to carry your bags
to your room (unless you have a physical handicap or physical limitation
that requires our help, then we will give you any all help necessary
willingly and without any drama).
The laws of the country will surely be different than
in your homeland. The customs and cultural background probably will
be quite different
too. Things you take for granted at home such as safe tap water,
roads without potholes, sidewalks that don’t have rebar sticking
up out of them, electricity that always works and high speed wifi
connections everywhere, are probably not so common where you will
be traveling to.
Keep your mind open to the experiences as they unfold minute by minute
and you will surely have a memorable adventure trip wherever you
are traveling with us.
Thank you for taking time to read this too wordy article. We hope you
are more excited than before about joining us.