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Today the thought of being on the way back really hit home – we completed the loop of the southern cape and started recognising places we had stopped before. The feeling was not helped by the fact that we got roaring drunk last night, including a ‘call to God on the big white telephone’. While doing our emails at the bar in Buena Vista (the Good Life) – honest, it was the only wifii spot in the complex – we were joined by James from Oregon, or was it Alaska? Anyway, he was already half way down a bottle of Tequila and insisted on pouring his heart out as his girlfriend seemed to have dumped him. She had millions of dollars (a bit like Chilean pesos in value, we joked) from a previous divorce and he had US$285 dollars to his name and called himself a poet in search of the truth, on the strength of a poem called ‘When’ (a copy of Rudyard Kippling’s ‘If’).

Things could have been worse, she had left money for him to stay another week and cover food & drink, so he was trying to spend the drink budget that night! And we, his new found buddies had to help him, ’cause you could not let a man drown his sorrows on his own. So
Margaritas were poured over and over again, and then we had to do the shots of Tequila thing. Result – we surfaced for breakfast at about 9:30 and I drank a couple of litres of water before noon. My camera refused to focus, and then I realised it was my eyes and not the camera that was to blame.

Ayway, we managed 5 short stops, but did not see anything new. On the way down I had taken pictures of every cactus taxon at each stop, so I have some 60 pictures of the butt ugly Stenocereus gummosus, just so that I know its distribution. Today, it’s just a case of taking pictures of things that are new or different, such as today seeing Pachycereus pecten-arboriginum in fruit and flower.

Another reason for the short stops was the weather: 93 F (whatever that is in decimal money) is no joke when all the plants have spines and the boots have been exchanged for sandals.

Anyway, today we covered 347 km of the journey back and are ahead of schedule – but as the way back had not been planned, that wasn’t too difficult. We have decided to take a look in the north east of Baja on the way back and cross back into the USA at Mexicali / Calmexi and then drive on a US highway back along the border to San Diego.

Opinion of car for March: A 4×4 would give us more options. The Nissan Altima gets grounded on 20% of the sleeping policemen in the villages. Off road is no fun either which means that the sandy coves and beaches are out of our reach. That means no camping, as the official campsites are stuffed with huge RVs (Camping busses to Europeans).

The other concern is that most rooms have been 2 beds only. I have noted those with 3 beds to a room, but we may struggle and we have been warned that things get crazy over Easter, which is a week long holiday here.

Well, despite only drinking water and lemonade today, that’s it – eyes refuse to stay open. Good night!

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