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We left San Ignacio soon after 8 a.m. with a long day’s drive (347 miles or 551 km) ahead of us. There were really only two stops that I wanted to make: The turn off MEX1 to the west to Santa Rosalillita and a repeat of the stop we made on the way south, to see if we could find more plants of Echinocereus lindsayi. As it turned out, we succeeded in finding several more E. lindsayi’s (thanks to Ian, assisted by Eunice, while Cliff and I explored for 90 minutes in the opposite direction and found none) and managed five additional stops on top.

Overall impressions of the day: it had got much drier since we drove past here earlier, particularly the rape seed plants that had escaped into the wild, were over and had left brown remains, creating a parched look, rather than the fresh green look to things in February, rising to the peak of flowering on our way down south in early March (is it really only 2 weeks ago?! Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!).

I uhmed and ahhed about trying to see if there was room at The Desert Inn at Cataviña (we had been told by the receptionist in San Ignacio, who had phoned on our behalf that they were fully booked) and suggested that as we had reached Cataviña with at least 2 more hours day light to go, we could and should push on to San Quintín. I also resisted the temptation to get some fuel off the back of a lorry as I had read warnings that this stuff could be of uncertain quality and cause more problems than it solved. I had done some mental arithmetic and worked out that we could just about make it to El Rosario where the next fuel would be available. Some 45k m before El Rosario the fuel light came on and an anxious half hour was had with frequent re checking of calculations and estimates. We made it, but judging by the amount of fuel we took on board, we must have been close to driving on vapours.

And on to San Quintín, in the dark, as the queue for the petrol station and the next queue, for the army check point, had thrown my calculations out. We made straight for Hotel Marie Celeste, but were told that they were full – although there was only one other car in the car park. Never mind, let’s try next door and Hey Bingo!  We were in. All we have to do now is work out how to get access to the internet, to send out today’s Diary page. If you receive this, we succeeded.

[PS: We did succeed, thanks to a modem cable that Eunice carried in her luggage and her know-how in getting me to my server via this cable.]

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