Revisiting some of the locations seen by John Steinbeck, Pino Cacucci travels along 2000 kilometres of Mexican California the world s longest peninsula all the way from the South to the North. Along the way, he hears stories of a man still suffering injuries sustained during his past life as a pirate, tales of buried treasure chests, legends of a gigantic pearl given to the Queen of England, and of the trials of Jesuit missionaries among the Indios. As he drives along a landscape of sand, desert, salt mountains and rows of cacti with thorns so sharp they can impale thirsty birds, Cacucci is met by the warmth and generosity of interesting and quirky local characters. The latter include not just humans but animals. Mexico was the first country, over sixty years ago, to create a safe haven for whales, and it is these whales, with their extraordinary intelligence, playfulness, sense of revenge but also touching generosity, that capture the author s heart. The whales, who have watched Man grow over millions of years, with an eye of indulgence for his errors, and a heart of forgiveness for his cruelty. For the whales know that we are not all alike. The whales know things we do not. Pino Cacucci's book is an extraordinary travel book. Written with humility, humour and heart, it is an insight into a land where appearances can be deceptive, and which has the ability to change the visitor s perspective and priorities. He writes about the landscape, the people and the animals with love, compassion, respect and awe, and expresses anger and frustration at the contemptible way in.
Born in Chiavari, Pino Cacucci moved to Bologna in 1975. In the early 1980s he lived for long periods in both Paris and Barcelona, and travelled extensively through Latin America and Mexico, where he settled for several years. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, often drawing attention to neglected historical * figures, submerged and hidden by official histories.