One advantage of spending the night in Cd. Constitucion rather than San Carlos was that we were 55 km closer to our next destination, Todos Santos. The disadvantage was that there was a place to have breakfast (add one extra hour) with a wifi connection to check out future accommodation options while planning the next few days, so that breakfast took much longer than planned, while the distance to Todos Santos (180 miles +) remained the same.
Planning included diplomatic haggling concerning a potential stop on the way back in San Ignacio to do the whaling that was postponed due to tyre problems on the way south.
Other haggling points concerned La Paz: going through it, in search of a Starbucks (NO!!!) or around it on the La Paz by-pass (YES!!!!) that Alain & I had failed to find on the previous two occasions that we had to negotiate this town.
We made one stop before negotiating the La Paz by-pass (S908) and found Mammillaria aff. dioica, Pychycereus pecten-arboriginum (at least the plants looked different to the P. pringlei that we had found in the north, but I’ll have to check the exact difference from literature when I get back to the UK), P. thurberi, Ferocactus peninsulae ssp townsendianus and the Asclepiad that Alain & I had come across a month earlier when it had been in flower. Now it was displaying the characteristic fruit horns and cottonwool-like seed. Lophocereus schottii was also around with one flower fully open. There were also several small trees of the bursera / acacia / ibervillea persuasion that need an ID later.
Next we had to negotiate the La Paz by-pass (YEAH!!!) This time, with Eunice behind the steering wheel and three eagle eyed navigators by her side, we found the turning to the by-pass. Unfortunately it ended up on a dirt track, so we must have made a mistake. Back to the last dual carriage way turning and try the other way. Eventually, this too ended up on dirt. The by-pass appeared to be another project started but not finished. Eunice did what men don’t do and asked the way. A delivery van driver obliged by taking us across the original dirt track to a turning that would lead us to tarmac that would get us back to MEX1. I must tell the authorities that sign posts are desperately needed.
Great, so some 2+ hours after leaving Cd. Constitucion, we had managed to get out of La Paz and could consider making some more plant stops. S909 had much the same plants as S908, but we had arrived in barbed-wire country, so acrobatics had to be performed to get to the plants. The only additions were Mammilaria (Cochemia) poselgeri and a Yucca that has to be respected as much as the cacti for its ability to inflict injury. Eunice discovered that Cylindropuntia can become attached to you and want to hitch a ride home, but Ian performed some field surgery to release her.
Some 5 miles farther along MEX1 we stopped again, this time to see an Agave that Ian had spotted from the car, but for most it was to take pictures of the Pachycereus in full flower, again, on private land.
The day was finished off with souvenir shopping in Todos Santos and a nice meal on the terrace of the fish restaurant that we had visited in February. Apart from the excellent food and Margaritas, the others were able to confirm the steep rise in prices as we were approaching tourist country. Today we are planning to cross the peninsula to MEX1 on the east, follow it to Los Cabos and return to Todos Santos for the night, with accommodation already booked to take the stress out of the day’s proceedings.
It seems that Ian & Eunice’s room, along the main road, opposite the original (?) Hotel California (dating back to 1928) can reach their wifi, so I’ll move there to send this message.
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