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Whereas yesterday had been a cactus washout, today made up for it. We eventually found our way out of Hermosillo – confusion caused by the SatNav sending us down a road that was still being constructed caused some delay and confusion before we found Mex 16, the road to Bahia Kino and the Sea of Cortez. Not the most amazing cactus scenery in the world as much of the land had at some stage been in cultivation and nothing really to entice us into making a stop. We turned off onto a side road heading south on the Habana – Ignacio Ramirez road, heading for the southernmost rock pile, a string of ‘insel bergs’ probably of volcanic origin, that stood out in the otherwise flat and cultivated terrain. We stopped at the foot of this hill (S1295) to find vegetations that we had already seen last year in Baja California, with a few strangers creeping in. We saw Bursera sp., Carnegiea gigantea (not seen in Baja), Fouquieria splendens, Jatropha spMammillaria sheldonii – the local form of the M. dioica complex, Stenocereus (Lophocereus) schottii and Stenocereus thurberi.

From here, the tracks just petered out, one by one so that in the end we  had to retrace our tracks to Mex 16, where a few miles on we made another stop (S1296) to find a mass of  Cylindropuntia sp., Fouquieria splendens, Mammillaria sheldonii, Pachycereus pringlei, Stenocereus (Lophocereus) schottii, S. thurberi. Cliff reported seeing a solitary Ferocactus. So why P. pringlei here and C. gigantea at the last stop? Answers on a post card please.

We drove on to Bahia Kino and eventually found rooms in Hotel Dolphin and a fisherman to take us to Isla Tiburon tomorrow! Bahia Kino is little more than a few miles of attractive luxurious beach houses overlooking the Sea of Cortez, 4-5 hotels and a few more apartments, with RV parks making up the balance. Tourist Information was an empty shell of building – I guess there were just too few tourists around to warrant them being open. Perhaps they re-open next month. Enquiries to local folks revealed that Restaurant El Pargo Rojo was the best place to find a fisherman willing to take us to Isla Tiburon.

While we snacked on some seafood dishes washed down with a cold Tecate, phone calls were made and a gentleman appeared who was prepared to take us to the island tomorrow. The significance of this island is that it is the home of Ferocactus tiburonensis. Last year we had managed to visit a couple of the islands off the Baja coast, and this seemed to be the only opportunity to do the same off Sonora.

Arrangements made, we booked into Hotel Dolphin, overlooking the Sea of Cortez and then went off to the north of the town where we had seen track disappearing into the hills.

S1297 was a hill next to the landing station used by our new fisherman friend. Cliff drove the car almost to the top of the hills that offered some nice views of Bahia Kino, the Sea of Cortez and the islands – there are some tiny islands, not named on our maps, as well. 

We drove a bit farther inland where at S1298 we found Bursera sp. Cylindropuntia bigelovii, Ferocactus wislizeni, Fouquieria splendens, Jatropha sp., Mammillaria sheldonii, Pachycereus pringlei and Stenocereus thurberi.

S1299 follows the by now familiar pattern of ‘Not Another Bloody Sunset’, except that it was not the best by a long chalk, resulting in only 9 pictures as the sun setting behind Isla Tiburon just did not produce the expected colour festival by lighting up the clouds – perhaps the clouds were just too thick and in the wrong place.

We’re up early tomorrow for a 7 o’clock sailing to Isla Tiburon!

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