Today was just one stop, S1468, with some 300 km of driving, mostly on tarmac. When we arrived at the base of Morro Agudo, our car, with its Kojak tires, only agreed to cross a small ford at the second time of asking. It then performed wheel spins along the narrow track on the lose gravel so that common sense suggested that the car would best be left here. The 3:30 hours at the stop were disappointing for Cliff, Angie and myself as it was clear that the peak of a hill, rising some 350 m out of the flat plain was too much of a challenge on this stifling hot and humid day. Cactus trips are supposed to be fun and past experience suggested that this would not be. So the three of us sat it out. Hats off to Woody, John and Wiebe who made it to the top to see Parodia (Notocactus) horstii although they were the first to agree that the plants were not the best examples that they had ever seen.
To fill the time, we drove into town of Agudo, which looked as though it had been lifted in its entirety from somewhere in Germany, with German names on the shop windows and even a Beef Haus on the corner. When we walked into another restaurant, the owner, Herr Kiefer greeted Angie (originally from Cologne, Germany) in her mother tongue. We had been worried that we’d struggle without Marlon to make ourselves understood, but need not fear in this part of the world! We enjoyed another meat feast for next to nothing and rolled out in good time to hear over our Walkie Talkie that the others had just arrived at the top of the hill and were on their way down.
When they arrived back down the hill, their main excitement was for a large spider (tarantula?) that they had photographed, not for any cacti.
For Angie this was a particularly bad day – tomorrow evening she would be flying back to England.