Spoiler alert: The following may contain details from a show that ended three years ago. Seriously, if you haven’t watched it by now, you’ve only got yourself to blame.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When we decided to visit the Grand Canyon on the way to Los Angeles, we discovered the shortest route from Beaumont was through Albuquerque, the setting for “Breaking Bad.” And a little digging revealed a “Breaking Bad RV Tour.” So guess where we made our first stop on our trip out West.
Walking to the rendezvous point in Old Town, we were passed by our ride — a replica of the “Krystal Ship,” a 1986 Fleetwood Bounder RV, complete with bullet holes in the door. Just seeing it pass by was enough to get us laughing with excitement.
The tour lasts three hours and includes complimentary breakfast burritos and a drink at Los Pollos Hermanos — O.K., it’s really a Twisters, but crucial scenes were shot there as it doubled for Gus Fring’s fried chicken franchise. There is even a 1998 Volvo V70 parked in Gus’s spot.
The tour guide, Frank Sandoval, kept the show moving with anecdotes from the set (he was in several episodes) as well as impressions and trivia. Bags of candy “Blue Sky” meth were among the prizes.
The tour visited locations used in “Breaking Bad” and its spinoff “Better Call Saul.” We saw where Combo was shot by the kid on the bike, and the Crossroads Motel where Wendy, the meth-head hooker plied her trade. We visited the industrial laundry which covered the meth lab, and the car wash where the staff say, “Have an A1 day,” to the tourists.
The TV in the RV played clips from the show prior to visiting each location.
The tour is not cheap, at $75 and limited to 20 participants, but it is a must for any fan. Tour guide Frank also sprinkles in various other tidbits on movies and shows filmed in the city. New Mexico offers a 25 percent rebate on money spent on film and television production in the state providing the production uses a percentage of local people. It’s clear from the amount of Heisenberg T-shirts, LAWYRUP license plates and other “Breaking Bad” paraphernalia for sale that the city has used the show to bring in additional revenue.
Most of all, the whole experience is fun. Just remember, when the RV stops at Walt and Skyler’s house, don’t be a “bitch” and throw pizza on the roof. It’s happened plenty of times and the owner of the house is just a little tired of it, yo!
For information, visit www.breakingbadrvtours.com. A portion of the money from the tour goes to Healthcare for the Homeless, a substance abuse program.