What a difference a day makes. Last night we were living it up in the Best Western in Creel and today we are in Hotel Michel in Yecora, that is still being built. There is one electricity outlet per room and so far we have not been able to get hot (or warm) water from any tap. We had dinner at the grandiose named Meson de Lucy, next to the police station. The total bill for the meal for three people tonight was less then our tip for dinner last night. Needless to say , there is no wifi in the Hotel, although Eunice’s mobile phone did pick up a wifi signal in the restaurant, but that turned out to be the Police Station’s router, and they did not want to give us the key.
This year, we commented how relaxed security had been in Mexico, with only two check points where they waved us through with big smiles and ‘Have a nice day!’ Today we passed from Chihuahua into Sonora and had four inspections with every one out of the car and armed men checking random bags. This was the reason why last year we stayed along the main road along the coast and missed the hilly area where all the interesting cacti grow.
Once again, I race ahead of myself. S1878 was a roadside stop prompted by magnificent views one side of the road and Agaves, A. wocomahi I believe. Closer inspection of the rock wall behind the Agaves revealed a number of Echeveria chihuahuensis, this time in full flower. I also discovered that what I had been calling Echinocereus scheerii on a number of stops on previous days, since we entered the Copper Canyon area, is more likely to have been E. polyancistrus. Here it was again. The German Echinocereenfreund have added another taxa, E. rischerii to this group, and I need to check up how this differs from E. polyancistrus and which one it was that we actually saw. More homework to be reflected in the stop list once it is finalised (will it ever?). John also found a nice red flowered herbaceous plant that he believes might be Lobelia sp.
Farther up the road, S1879 brought more scenery on one side of the roads, with plants on the other. E. polyancistrus, was the only succulent plant that I photographed and remembered seeing.
S1880: more scenery, E. polyancistrus, A. wocomahi, the tiny Sedum sp. that we had first spotted yesterday, another, different Crassulaceae sp., an Opuntia sp. and Echeveria chihuahuensis.
The road from Creel had been of variable quality with lots of evidence of work in progress to make the stretch to Basaseachi hard top. Shortly before arriving at the waterfall turn, we joined the road that we had taken last year. S1881 (= S1368 in 2009) was for the stretch from the car park in front of the souvenir shops to the viewpoint at the top of the waterfall. Here we each did our own thing, me just sitting on a rock, soaking up the view and trying to remember that by Thursday this would be another holiday memory back in England. The scenery remained magnificent, with the light kinder to the rock faces than it had been last year. We did not make the walk to the bottom of the waterfall (See report for 20 March 2009)
S1882 was another scenery and rock wall plant stop and, as the light was turning reddish in the late afternoon sun, gave us Agave parviflora (or was it A. schidigera?), Echeveria craigiana
S1883 is where I realised my mix up between Echinocereus scheerii and E. polyancistrus as the two were growing here side by side, both in bud, and eventually we found a few plants with the magenta flowers closing at the end of the day. They grew either exposed, on the top of large boulders or in the the shade at the base of the rocks, in faltering light. We also found a ‘new’ (for me) Mammillaria sp., densely spined with strong pink coloured flowers. John remarked how it looked like a Parodia with straight spines.
Yecora, our home for the night, has a long way to go before it becomes a magnet for tourists, the way that towns in neighbouring Chihuahua are striving.