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Happy Birthday Ian!!

We have surprised ourselves by having a great day, with 7 brief but excellent cactus stops and yet have come much further north than planned. The stops included one along the Sea of Cortez where a group (pod?) of dolphins noisily swam by. Angie knows how tricky it is to click the camera just right to get a good picture of a wave breaking over rocks – well imagine trying to get the rhythm of the beasts swimming so that you get at least a head or a tail as they come up or go down. I took some 20 pictures and managed to get one snout but lots of fins.

We recognised and avoided many places we had stopped before so that we would add new ones to the list. I’ll probably do the same in March as it is much more fun to explore than just to be shown spots. If we have a disappointing run down to the cape in terms of cactus spots, we can always do the best ones already visited on the way home.

Today’s stop included ‘The Dead Horse Stop’ where we saw 3 species of Mams (yet to be IDed), a grey spined form of Echinocereus brandegeei, 3 species of Opuntia, one of which should be in full flower next time we pass, lots of Feros etc.

We also ventured down a dirt track just south of Mulege, to one of the many idyllic coves and sandy beaches and believe I have found the ideal camping spot. They also have bungalows for USD 30, so if there is space, that may be the more comfortable option. Just along the road are the much more impressive yellow spined E. brandegeei in large numbers – great plants!

So we’re back in Guerrero Negro and the temperature dropped dramatically to 70 F – I know, a heat wave compared to where you are.

The planed program from here is now

bullet Thursday 14 Feb- back to Bahia de Los Angeles so that we can book a boat for the next day and for March
bullet Friday 15 Feb  to get to one of the islands with endemic Feros, Mams and Echinocereus and another night at Bahia de Los Angeles
bullet Saturday 16 Feb drive back to Catavina
bullet Sunday 17 to San Quintin
bullet Monday 18 to Ensenada
bullet Tuesday 19 to San Felipe a bit south but again on the Sea of Cortez
bullet Wednesday 20 to Mexicali and the border to Calimexi in the USA
bullet Thursday 21 Drive along Interstate Highway 8 back to San Diego
bullet Friday 22 San Diego – a spare day in case we need it
bullet Saturday 23 Alain leaves at 7:45 a.m. and I start to make my way to Long Beach, Los Angeles in time for
bullet Sunday 24 do my talk to Long Beach Cactus Society
bullet Monday 25 take a look around – perhaps visit the Huntingdon Botanic Gardens or allow myself to be persuaded by members to see a collection or two.

After that we’ll see. I might just hang out along the Ocean front at San Diego until 8 March when at noon I do my presentation to the San Diego Cactus Society and then go to the airport to pick up Cliff & Ian. Anybody else fancy coming along?

Better get back to the Motel before Alain has dropped off (I’m in the internet cafe around the corner)

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