Sunday 28th February

Taking something of a departure from my previous trips, when enormous cooked breakfasts featured prominently, we were up and away early heading east along hwy182 away from the arid forests and headed for the cool of the mountains.  I wanted to check out some nolinas I had driven past on the last trip and, sure enough, they were waiting for me.

Probably Nolina longifolia but, well, maybe not.  Quite a way north from where you'd expect to find N. longifolia, they were not particularly big and seemed keen to hang on to their petticoats.


I took about a million pictures but not many came out very well - this was a very steep bank with little in the way of footholds.

Below - Lots of Agave potatorum in the understory.

Below - a particularly striking fern - quite likely a Pellaea of some sort?  It really was as blue as it looks.

Below - another Mammillaria, flowering in the shady forest bottom.

Below - near the mouth of the small canyon these plants were in - I think this is a Leandra species?

Below - the first of several different echeverias seen during the trip, this growing partially on the rock faces and in loose leaf litter caught here and there.  Maybe Echeveria montana or E. rosea?

Below - looking back you get a good idea of the altitude and environment.

Back on the road, we continued along the high mountain roads enjoying the scenery, getting lost up in the impossibly convoluted road system of a town called Huautla de Jimenez - horrible place - then losing altitude, lunching at Jalapa, passing huge stands of the giant palm, Attalea dubia, on the way. 

A stark contrast to the cool mountain scenery, we were in lowland tropics with hectare after hectare of sugar cane plantations.  Reaching Tuxtepec (Toosh-tepec), we turned south on to hwy 175 and headed towards the small town of Valle Nacional where we planned to stop for the night.  A quiet but colourful place clustered around the roadsides, the appearance of Neil and I seemed to be the event of the evening with a succession of locals waiting to practice their English.   Some decent tacos for dinner and an early night at the slightly scruffy Hotel Valle for 250 pesos.  Breakfast booked at a local cafe for 7am sharp!


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