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Archive for February 19, 2011

Saturday, 19 February, 2011 – Ensenada to Bellflower

It had poured down during the night and it was still raining heavily as we ventured out to breakfast.

We had half planned visiting the type locality of Dudleya brittonii, off MEX1, farther to the north, but that would mean coming back to Ensenada as we wanted to take the MEX3 to cross into the US at Tecate – a much quieter crossing, especially during the weekends. There was another option, to take secondary roads from the MEX1, cross country to MEX3.

The rain continued at a steady pace and as we left Ensenada there was plenty of evidence of small landslides depositing large boulders on to the roads. What would the back roads be like? Was the poor light in the rain really worth the extra detour? In the end we settled at heading straight for MEX3, the Baja Wine Route, and just get home.

We made a stop (S2247) at yet another road cutting and again, found Dudleya – D. brittonii, with cameras popping in and out of rain coats. It felt cold and miserable, reminding me of a February day in the UK.

Another road cutting and more Dudleya spotted from the road and again we briefly braved the rain (S2248) – again D. brittonii.

Tecate was a typical Mexican border town, with a road alongthe fence that seperates it from the US. Did we not celebrate the coming down of the Berlin Wall not too long ago? This fence feels just as wrong – hope we can celebrate it coming down too during my life time. Neighbours should settle their quarrals rather than build walls and fences.

After the usual slow crawl for 30-45 minutes we reached the border and after the passport check were directed to a random control check for drugs, weapons etc. Dogs crawled in and over the car and looked utterly bored by the time they came back out. We had not taken the opportunity to give the inside of the car a good clean out to the Ministry of Food & Ag. confiscated a half dried orange that must have rolled under the seat over a week ago.

It had stopped raining as we drove along CA Route 94 to San Diego and could not resist one more stop, S2249, as we passed another road cutting covered in Dudleya. We were still close to the border and our stopped car soon drew the attention of a Border Patrol helicopter thatbuzzed the car once or twice. We gotback on the road and around the next bend found another Dudleya road cutting. Not wishing to cause unnecessary exitement for helicopter pilots in the area we took pictures on several drive bys. About half of them had to be deleted – out of focus.

And so another cactus trip came to an end. We have two rest days in Bellflower before starting on the next one – through Big Bend in Texas to mainland Mexico.