Saturday 4 February – Nueva Italia to Coalcoman
There are just two Ferocacti reported from the State of Michoacan. We saw F. lindsayi yesterday and we were now heading with no more than names of towns to an area in the hope to find F. reppenhagenii, aka as F. alammosanus subsp. reppenhagenii.
SatNav systems are wonderful if you know how to use them. Three SatNav systems in the same – every mobile phone these days has the capability – can be confusing. There are many roads that lead to Rome and the same can be said for Coalcoman. I had planned a route first to Dos Aguas, then to Coalcoman. It was meant to be a tortuous slow road taking some 8 hours to cover just 199 km. SatNav had us arriving at our final destination a few hours earlier than anticipated. We seemed to be heading north, rather than west, which was a worry. After a while I had ruled out the confusion caused by windy roads. At this time I was more interested in looking where we were going than spotting plants of interest and so was very glad that the others in the car had their eyes peeled as the unanimous shout of ‘Militaris’ went up. A quick U turn and we were able to park the car almost next to the plant (behind a fence) but also found a second plant across the road close to an area where construction work was in progress.
We persuaded Chris to impersonate Derek Bowdery and pose next to the plant for scale.
To get to this plant we had to clamber over ground that had been partially cleared for more building work. Many cacti had been bulldozed over. Chris managed to find a small clump of three Mammillaria sp, with another single headed specimen not far away. There were stems showing a white woolly pseudocephalium: Pilosocereus sp – I believe P. chrysacanthus comes from here, also a possible Hylocereus sp. (S3549) Excellent stop!
We eventually made it to Dos Aguas, all on good asphalt but instead of finding the poor quality track to Coalcoman, SatNav sent us back the 70 km we had just come to take us on a faster track to Coalcoman. We made another stop (S3550) at Puerto de las Cruces and found a big old tree with about a thousand epiphytes growing all over it. Bromeliads and Orchids and who knows what else.
We reached the town of Coalcoman and the hotel that I had spotted on the internet, the excellent Hotel Plaza San Jorge. We are staying two nights.