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We had built up a ‘spare day’ but now had to wait until tomorrow’s ‘fixed event’, the boat ride to Isla Santa Catalina. So we deceided to have a rest day!

A rest day!!! I hear you shout from behind busy office desks – How can you have a rest day when you do nothing all day long for a living!?!?

As I have explained earlier, a Cactus Trip, at least the ones that I participate in, tend to resemble a 9-5 office day: get up at 7, breakfast by 8, off to work at 9, bounce about on variable roads, then walk about in sweltering heat (OK not quite like an English Office Day at this time of year) off ‘home’ around 5, often with extra stress as you’re not sure if ‘home’ is where you hoped it would be and if there is room.

So today started at 6 a.m. with Angie telling me that the sun was rising. Nothing new there, it usually manages fine without my help! But here, with a room facing the Sea of Cortez, sunrises can be spectacular, especially with a few clouds in the sky and some ‘beach dressing’ in the foreground, such as a few islands, palm trees, beach umbrella’s and folks taking their dogs for an early morning walk. By 7 o’clock, the job was complete and I could climb back into bed. By 9, my stomach issued a ‘lack of breakfast’ alert that by 10 a.m was cancelled. We needed to vacate the room by noon, som some checking of emails and some checking world and olympic news on CNN. It seemed that it has stopped raining in England, or perhaps the continuous rains, winds and floods are just not news any more.

By noon we were on the road and on the look out for an ATM machine to top up my Pesos. My new SatNav is OK to a point but once I’m back to strong broadband I’ll have to run the update function as it is unaware of new roads and road works in progress.

We found the ATM and I recognised that we were almost in the centre of town – lots of tourist shopping and cosy café’s for a beer and pizza – well, it was almost lunch time according to my watch, if not my stomach. We enjoyed the attempts of over zealous salesmen to try to sell us – in their own words – anything that we never realised that we’d never need!  The salesmen at least understood why a massive bull’s skull, heavily decorated with beads and paint was not a practical gift to take back to the UK as I only had 12 kg spare checked in luggage allowance left. How about this smaller one? It still would have weighed in at over 12 kg – no thank you. We managed the usual range of key-rings fridge magnets and small ornamental bowls.

Next was a nice Pizza on the Plaza. Well, it was 3 p.m. by now!

We drove over to El Juncalito, to look in on Manuel Torres to check if all was OK for tomorrow’s boat ride. Yes, good to meet you – did you get your armbands? No! On past boat trips El Capitan obtained these permits for tourists to set foot on these islands that are all part of a protected biome. There had been no requests for us to obtain these in our email correspondence. No problem, they would drive to Loretto and obtain them. See you at 6 a.m.! So another early morning but without an opportunity to get back to bed an hour later.

Then on to our next hotel, Hotel Tripui, a mere 3.5 km from our boat, a new and very comfortable place, where they stressed that breakfast was included in the price! At 5:30? I asked. Ah, no, sorry. So instead we were offered snacks for the evening meal – all we could eat given the gigantic size of the lunch time pizza.

I should introduce our car this trip – we normally give them a name, whether they behave or not. Our Kia Sorento has been christened Baby. It was an obvious choice (they usually are), this one prompted by the car’s Texas registration plates that start ‘BBY”.

Today’s images are of sunrises, tourist shopping and of our hotels – not a cactus in sight. And that is how you have a rest day on a cactus trip.

Tomorrow is an all out ‘working day’ with the boat ride to Isla Santa Catalina, followed by a 3 hour drive to San Ignacio – in case you have not noticed, we’re on our way back to the US border!

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