Adventures in Mexico part VIII
3rd November 2016
So, here was the plan. Straight after breakfast (of course) we were going to head south out of Oaxaca aiming to stay at San Jose Del Pacifico the first night then over the course of a few days follow the red route to Putla, with a lazy stretch along the coast before heading back north on a, frankly, rather optimistic ‘off piste’ section from Jamiltepec to Santiago Yosundua. Looked do-able on Google Earth, anyway.
We stopped very briefly to take a picture of this Agave rhodacantha, not one seen very often and about the only place here where it lives.
Here was our flash Mercededes, btw.
We stopped again just a few km after Miahuatlán as the altitude started to climb to have another look at this population of ‘my’ Nolina azureogladiata – a plant I had previously been instrumental in getting described for the first time. It is rather beautiful and present in great numbers throughout the woods here. First pic shows what I had taken on previous trips to be Agave potatorum but is in fact Agave nussaviorum, recently split from A. potatorum.
Then onwards to our stop for the night at Hotel Puesta Del Sol, cabins set on a hillside at the top of the mountain in a place called San José Del Pacifico. Phil and I had stayed there 9 years earlier and found it to be ok. Charming, even. The complex had been developed a bit since but was still beautifully situated in the woods. There was a massive Agave atrovirens just to the side of our cabin - which had one double bed and bunk beds. Been a long time since I slept in a bunk bed!
And one more Agave atrovirens beautifully presented on its own little circular raised bed.
We had made good time so after checking in took a small road off to the east to see what we could see. Which was more Agave atrovirens growing in the woods, lots of ferns…
… more Psacalium, some Eryngium with very long bracts… all sorts, really.
However, the road we were driving along (I say ‘we’ but actually Phil drove the entire trip) deteriorated and we made slow progress from then on. In all we managed around 30km in 3 hours! When we got back to the hotel Phil decided to check the state of play of the spare tyre in case we found ourselves in a similar position again. And that is where it went slightly wrong because there wasn’t a spare wheel. Nor was there a flat kit. Note to self – when swapping hire cars in future, insist on checking spare wheel no matter how much of a traffic jam you are causing.
So, what next? After some discussion we decided not to risk carrying on as planned but to drive back to Oaxaca the next day and sort the car out. Better waste a day than end up in a remote spot with a puncture, no spare and no phone signal. Then, with a new car or wheel we could drive from Oaxaca ‘anti-clockwise’ directly to Putla and regroup from there. Dinner in the on-site restaurant, nothing memorable.