We had expected to reach our ‘farthest away from Bellflower’ goal today, but Eunice had a locations for various Echeveria on another road, to the south east rather than south of the city of San Luis Potosi. After a few wrong turns, we drove past the village of Villa Zaragoza where soon the asphalt changed to ‘graded chalk’. The track was heavily used by trucks – one every couple of minutes – driving to and fro from a quarry belonging to MexChem. Most of the plants were covered by a thick layer of cement like dust, as were we after a while. S2300 was for a number of short stops taken along the track, with many of the plants growing in or on top of the dry stone wall alongside the road and others a few meters from the road. It seemed that one pick up’s driver was quite intimidated by me walking along the road with a Nikon D300 with 200 mm zoom lens at my hip. He seemed a lot more comfortable when I brought the camera up to my eye to take some pictures. It seems that brown trousers are quite fashionable. A Mexican who had watched the whole event came over and asked if we were interested in plants. Yes we are. He gave us lots of tips of where to look in the area – if only we coud have understood more of what he had said. His name was Oscar and if our Spanish is correct, he told us that he has posted pictures on Google Earth.
We probably saw: Agave sp., Cylindropuntia sp., Echeveria agavoides, E. lilacina, E. potosoni, Ferocactus echidne, Mammillaria formosa ssp chionocephala, M. lloydii and two more Mam. sp., Myrtillocactus geomatrizans, Opuntia sp., Pachycereus marginatus, Senecio (Pittocaulon) praecox, a paculiar plant with seemingly woody stems and a yellow inflorescence on top – no sign of leaves, Thelocactus macdowellii (?), Tillandsia recurvata and a tree like Yucca sp..
It was interesting to see how we seemed to be meeting the onset of Spring as it travels north. Yesterday’s Echinocereus in flower was probably the first sign, with the Opuntias seen flowering today and many more shrubs and trees in flower being the other signs. Of course, they may just have had more rain more recently.
San Luis La Paz is one of the larger towns that we have visited that has maintained typically Mexican. That means that the choice of Hotels is somewhat limited. We are staying in Hotel San Luis which at Mex$ 375 for a double room with separate beds was a few pesos cheaper than at Hotel Parras next door (M$ 425). Both have wifi. As you enter the town from Hwy 57, drive past the bus station and enter Calle Rayon in front of you. The hotels are side by side on your right, eventually.
For food, restaurant West was recommended but closed, but Restaurant Las Islas was fine with excellent rib-eye steak.
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