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Having found the Creeping Devils at ‘our usual spot’ along Mex 22, the Ciudad Constitution – Puerto San Carlos road, I wanted to see if we could find more locations for this plant to the north in the Llanos Magdalena. In 2008 we had tried along a track to the south, stopping every few kilometers, without joy, so how about the north?
We took MEX1 back to Ciudad Insurgentes and as Angie was driving, I took some pictures of the topiary that lines the central reservation and the sides of the road for a few kilometers. I guess the local Towns & Parks departments are overstaffed, or just take a real pride in their work and put in lots of their own time. (S2997)
We carried on north on a road, still marked MEX1; must be ‘the other MEX1’ although SATNAV had given up and just showed our car floating in nothingness. Tarmac also ran out so that we were now on sand, heading to Maria Auxiliadora

We recorded the coordinates for the place where we turned round, a flat featureless area, and found a place to park the car near by only to surprisedourselves with the plants that posed for our cameras: Ferocactus townsendianus ? Mammillaria dioica or M. hutchisoniana, Grusonia invicta, Stenocereus (Machaerocereus) gummosus, Cylindropuntia cholla, one small Ferocactus, Ferocactus santa-maria, Stenocereus (Hertrichocereus) thurberi and Pachycereus pringlei – S2998

We arrived at the pretty village of Santa Domingo and left it almost as soon as Angie had finished taking half a dozen images of the main road. There was a baseball match in progress at the small stadium on the edge of town with some 50 cars parked around the single stand. We drove past.

I pulled over to take some images of the small cemetery, attractively decked out with an array of bright flowers. As I focussed, the plants in the foreground jumped into focus: Stenocereus (Machaerocereus) eruca! Lots of them, but most hiding in the tall grass. They mist have had moisture here in recent weeks. – S2999.

So historic S3000 happened on the beach at Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, another launching station for Grey Whale viewing. There is just a narrow stretch of water between the village and Isla Magdalena – so narrow that it was easy to see the Whales ‘breath’, even though they have perfected the art of doing so to avoid Scammel and his whalers a few hundred years ago. A ‘no cactus’ stop.

My instincts told me that there was a short cut back to the hotel and found a track to take us to MEX22 (San Carlos to Ciudad Constitution road) at the junction where yesterday and in March 2008 we had stood between the ceroids to photograph the sunset. I was right, but it was just a single track, causing problems of what to do when again we spotted Creeping Devils next to the track. We had not seen another car since entering the track and so it seemed safe to take the pics as soon as we could and then move on. Just as I had taken the first few images, dust clouds announced the imminent arrival of two cars. I managed to get back in time and succeeded in squeezing the car high on the side of the track. Just as I was about to congratulate myself with my efforts, as the cars passed without making contact, a large pick up came tearing down from the opposite direction. He squeezed by with about 1 cm to spare, but I guess 1 cm is as good as a mile as long as you miss. So this was Stop S3001 with many more eruca’s added to my portfolio.

We rounded off a great day with dinner at the same Chinese restaurant that we used in 2008.

Tomorrow we head back to Loreto.

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