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I left my dear reader (s?) hanging on to see if the weather would change and we would make our trip to Isla Cerralvo. While we were enjoying a light drizzle at the hotel a message came in from our booking agent to say that there was a window of bright weather on its way and to come to his office to meet the team. Although less than a km from the hotel it takes a while for an email to sail across the broadband and arrive, so we were already an hour ‘late’ when we rolled up. By now it was dry so that we could join the team waiting for us only a few hundred meters from our hotel.

We performed the usual acrobatics to get into the boat – and that was with the boat on dry land! and off we went. It soon became clear that the sea was suffering the after affects of the earlier storm so that the waves had ‘kopjes’ (in Dutch) or white horses (English?). Whatever the name, the effect was the same: every few seconds the boat would almost lift out of the water and return back down with a firm thump.

As regular readers will know, my old back has suffered the effect of many such trips so that it frequently goes into spasm. One really big bang and that theory was proven right again! ‘Everything all right?’ gestured El Capitain. I grimaced in pain, which he mistook for ‘yes, great!’ and on we speeded towards the island. More acrobatics and wet feet and we were on the beach. I struggled to put one foot in front of the other, but the huge Ferocactus diguetti were beckoning and in flower, so the last one up to the large giant was a sissy. That would be me then, but at least I made it!

And soon we also spotted two Mams. Back at the hotel I Googled images for Mammillaria cerralboa and M. evermannia to find a huge range of plants masquerading under these names. The yellow spined plant had to be the one named after the island. From a distance it looked to have yellow flowers but a closer look revealed these to be leaves from a neighbouring tree (Buresera?). The other Mam. was similar to the one we saw growing along the road on the way to the airport yesterday, so may be it is not a true island endemic. I’ll assume that it is M. evermannia for now until I can get to my library in England.

We walked inland along an arroyo that was nicely washed clean by yesterday’s rain. The excitement of being in this special place spurred me on despite the stabbing pain in my back and I came back with 230 images to add to the ever growing portfolio. Enrico saw us approaching the beach and directed his panga to meet us. More acrobatics to get on board, at least one of Angie’s pain killers was beginning to kick in. Do you want another stop? asked Enrico. Yes please! came my answer although the brain meant to say ‘Get me home to a comfortable chair and a bucket full of margaritas.’

The second stop had more of the same, but the highlight was probably provided by Jonathan as his face mirrored the concentration of an Olympic high jumper as he did his short run up and launched himself into the boat, made a neat roll to stop himself and knocking his head in the process. Angie has images.

Back in the hotel we downloaded our images and changed into dry clothes, making use of the spare time to add a collection of underpants and T shirts to the washing process, so that our balcony looks very festive.

What a relief and despite the aches and pains I’m very glad that we made the end goal for this trip and have a nice set of pics to remind us.

Ferocactus diguetii in flower on Isla Cerralboa

Ferocactus diguetii in flower on Isla Cerralboa


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