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Yes, how vague can you get! Marlon’s itinerary suggested that we would spend tonight in Lençois, possibly in a hotel with wifi. Instead, we are saving some 50 km+ by staying in the Tropical Paradise Hotel somewhere along the BR-242, but without internet facilities, so delayed posting, as tomorrow we travel to Morro do Chapéu.

Marlon’s suggested itinerary saw us visiting Mucugê today, to see Arrojadoa (or Pierrebraunia) bahiensis. We had tried here in 1999, but it is pitiful to see how naive we were 10 years + ago, thinking that by turning up at the town, we would find it ‘in the rocks above the town’ This time we had a visible clue, a tombstone in the cemetery above the town (S1606). And sure enough, there they were. Not in great numbers, as this is a well-known locations and every hobbyist visiting thinks that he/she can’t be doing any harm by just taking one or two species. They can do damage, as evidenced by the small number of specimens found. The plant is available in Europe, usually grafted, from ex-habitat seed from selected growers. There is no need to collect your own specimen that in habitat has the potential of producing many generations from seed, if left in place. We were very happy to just take pictures.

The plants were not in great shape, growing in the shade with marks suggesting ‘cold’ temperatures, rather like the seed raised plant in my collection before it eventually died.

The cemetery is remarkable in that it is visible from a long distance away, with all tombs painted a brilliant white. At night, they seem to be lit up by strong sodium lights, which in turn attract a large number of hawk moths that were sitting around, waiting for night. In the mean time, a large number of lizards, including a large monitor lizard type, was pleased to visit the ‘hawk-moth-fast-food’ restaurant.

2009-12-21 13-47-33 (2)a

The other plant growing here is Micranthocereus purpureus that we’ll see over and over again as we travel to and around Morro do Chapéu in days to come.

As we travelled here from Seabra on good hard-top roads, averaging 100 km.p.h. we had plenty of opportunity to make a few stops on the way back to BR-242. However, we were disappointed to find that the diversity of cacti was limited to M. purpureus (at each of S1607, S1608 and S1609). At S1607 there were also a good number of Stephanocereus leutzelburgii but at the other stops just M. purpureus, plus some different bromeliad sp., a Begonia sp. and several members of the Orchidaceae, some in flower.

Another excellent day, particularly when on the TV News tonight, they featured pictures of the UK grinding to a halt through snow!

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