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We were all really feeling the affects of yesterday’s climbs, with our muscles and my back reminding us that this is a young person’s game. You’d better get used to it again, body, as there is another month to come!

Juergen had sent us details of the ‘TRUE’ Sclerocactus albispinus location, near Victorville, on our way back to Long Beach, so off we went, taking Scenic Historic Route 66, although apart from a few signs, there was little to justify the ‘scenic’ or ‘historic’. The instructions were to drive to Victorville, then to drive past the cement plant and before the power lines crossing the road, park the car and walk across the railway line and there were the plants.

The complications began when we found several cement works and an electricity substation from which power cables spread in all directions, crossing the road in various places.

There was a view point over the characteristic landscape (S1289), but it seemed to us that to get into it, we’d have to cross a river and a railway line to be faced with a sizeable hillside with large boulders. As per usual, we were on a time budget, and still aching, so the prospect of clambering over these boulders was about as welcome as the thought of an ice cold shower.

Eunice provided us with the perfect excuse to abort this mission after taking many pictures of the area so that Juergen can point us in the right direction for a future occasion: her D300 seemed to have picked up some dirt on the sensor during a lens change a few days earlier, so had to be back at Nikon Servicing in El Segunda before 3 p.m.

We made it in time, and while Eunice was checking in the camera, for pick up 24 hours later, I took a picture of 4 large pots of Strelitzia in flower, then noticed a hummingbird feeding on the flowers. More pictures, but just filed under today’s date rather than as a special Stop number.

To finish off the day, we made two stops along the Pacific Shore line at Palo Verdes. Posh houses along one side of the road or a main road coming down the hill, but in both cases a steep shore side cliff with Dudleya overlooking the Ocean. Nice and relaxing in the afternoon sun, waves crashing on rocks etc. (S1291 and S1292). S1292 was in fact the same spot (San Vincente Fishing Beach) where Eunice took me in February 2008, to show me my first Dudleya in habitat. It seemed as though this time the plants had had much more rain and were larger. I’ll have to wait until I get home in April to compare sizes.

The last stop of the day, and of our California Adventure, S1292, has in fact no cacti or other succulent plants but is dedicated to pictures taken from the car as Eunice gave us the tourist tour of Long Beach driving over a couple of huge bridges. Although I was aware of San Francisco’s Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, I had no idea that LA also boasted a couple of big ones. I should have taken pictures of their names, but focussed on their architecture and structure instead. A quick look on Google revealed more than you’d ever want to know, but I’ll let you decide:

The first bridge that we crossed was the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Tomorrow and Saturday are rest days – a chance to catch up on Diary writing, doing our washing, start looking at the next Cactus Adventure: Mexico! that starts on Sunday night when Alain Buffel arrives at LAX from Brussels.

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