Adventures in Mexico part VIII
8th/9th November 2016
On the road for 7:30am. Plan was to head north along HWY190 towards Tehuacán, without necessarily getting there, then drive back down again. I’ve been along that road before and know there are all sorts of interesting plants to be seen. It wasn’t far out of town before we stopped to look at some lovely Yucca mixtecana, growing with some Brahea dulcis, Agave marmorata and assorted cacti.
I wonder if the below is Agave scaposa? It didn’t look exactly like the A. scaposa I had seen before but was similar.
A beautiful broad but fairly thin leafed form of Agave salmiana.
And a nice gnarly old Dasylirion lucidum. We drove opn for a bit further, stopping briefly to look at a group of the humungous Furcraea macdougallii in the distance.
A few km further on and we stopped again for a wander. Saw these amazingly crinkly Agave potatorum.
I think this is the largest Dasylirion lucidum I have seen – many heads.
A little further along the road – we are firmly across the state line into Puebla by this time – and there was a field of giant Beaucarnea gracilis. The biggest I have seen, and quite a crowed of them together.
We got as far as Zapotitlán Salinas, where we stopped at a comedor and had a lovely brunch of chilaquiles rojo and frijoles. Next door was a shop selling locally produced marble items – great craftsmanship. A few hundred metres down the road was the botanical gardens, so we stopped and had a look around. I’d been before but never really explored the outer bits. The gardens themselves are stuck right in the middle of a vast forest of Neobuxbauhmia tetetzo cactus that stretches as far as the eye can see in every direction. Mind numbingly awesome.
The bark on this shrub caught my eye – Fouqueria formosa according to the label.
Some giants there, too. This Beaucarnea gracilis was said to be 800 years old.
We then turned around and headed back to Huajuapan for our second night’s stay. Ate at a restaurant called ‘La Antigua’, I had grilled beef, nopale, tortilla enmolada, onion, frijoles, chile. Very tasty!
With no definite plans we discussed what we should do for the rest of the trip. Some research indicated that we might strike it lucky at an ecotourist centre way back near Ixtlán. A phone call to someone who spoke English confirmed that she would be waiting for us at the office and be able to arrange a guide to take us into the forest the following day. Modern, fully equipped log cabins in the woods with an on-site restaurant. Sounded lovely. It meant a long drive for Phil tomorrow but as all our other plans had fallen by the wayside it seemed as good as anything.
Hit the road early, stopping for brunch at a very rustic comedor on the roadside - huevos a la mexicana, hand-made tortillas, freshly squeezed orange (we watched her make it!) hot chocolate and some lovely sweet pan all round. Made it to Ixtlán for 2:30pm but no sign of our English speaking chum. Managed to convey the idea that we had a cabin booked and followed a guy to a site a few km out of town. And what a major disappointment it turned out to be. It was pretty much a children’s play area. The cabin was cramped, the on-site restaurant was only open between 10am and 5pm. We decided enough was enough, give up any further ideas of looking for plants and just headed back to Oaxaca. Again, Hotel Trebol did us proud and, amazingly, I managed to get the same room I had been in before – 310, a huge luxurious room. We ate in town at a restaurant called Zindunga – I had tamal de pollo con mole negro. Nice.