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Saturday morning, but I was up at 6, out of habit I guess. Eunice arrived shortly after 8 so that we could copy each other’s images from this trip. While the laptops were whizzing away, back to Denny’s for breakfast. We discussed what cacti locations, if any, to look at. The original plan was the cactus garden at Balboa Park, where on 8 March I had given a presentation. But were there any wild habitat locations that might be of more interest? We briefly considered and then quickly dismissed the idea of shooting off to San Quintín, Mexico and back for the day. We would have had to take out more Mexican Insurance and on a Saturday evening, it would have taken at least 4 hours to get back into the USA.
Tempting though …..

We decided instead to take a look at the coast slightly to the north of Motel 6, obviously to see if there were any Dudleya there that we had not seen before.

The first stop was a public access spot inside a University campus. It looked all very colourful with lots of aster-like flowers covering the eroding mudstone cliffs leading to the Ocean. We spotted a few Dudleya, but none that would have won prizes anywhere. Next we pointed the car to the Cabrillo National Monument. To get there, take the road from the Motel to the Airport, but carry on along the harbour instead of turning right to the Airport buildings. Eventually you drive along a peninsula that separates San Diego Bay from the Ocean. Right at the tip of the peninsula is the National Monument, complete with visitors centre offering spectacular views across the bay. Many scenery photos were taken. Then we also spotted Dudleya and decided to follow one of the nature trails. Just as I was about to suggest that we’d turn round, I spotted a cactus, Ferocactus viridescens, in flower, on the hillside, then another and another. Eunice took pictures as I risked life and limb (not really) to climb to the Feros and finding Mammillaria dioica on the way. On the way back, we took a different route and added Bergerocactus emoryi to the list of cacti for the day.

The sun & sea air (how’s the weather in the UK, guys?) makes you tired and the thought of flying home and packing yet to be done meant we returned to Motel 6, had a coffee at Denny’s until at 5 p.m. the Chinese opened and Eunice and I each had a China Camp Special, just as we had
seen Ian demolish two nights earlier. I guess that this makes it a tradition for European cactophiles to have a Chinese meal here before their flight home the next day.

Back at the Motel, a quick check that all data had been copied as planned. Eunice announced that she had earlier formatted a 4Gig card with all her Anza Borrego pictures from a few days ago, before it had been downloaded on to her computer. Good to see that I’m not the only prat to make
this mistake 🙂 As in my earlier accident, images taken by the rest of us ensure that the experiences of that day were not lost.

Eunice left for a 90 minute drive home to Bellflower and on checking my emails I was pleased to see a message from Cliff to say that he had arrived home safely. Ian’s email system at home was thought to be defective, so I’m not expecting any mail from him until he gets to work on Monday.

And that just leaves me to return the car and fly home tomorrow morning. Plans for future trips are already being planned: Ian and family will visit the Canary Islands, Eunice will come to the annual ELK cactus festival in Belgium in September and I hope to be off to Chile as soon as the clocks in the UK change to Winter Time at the end of October, probably joined by Cliff who hopes to have his future life sorted out by then.

This IS the last Bajathon Diary, at least for this trip! Honest!!

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