El largo camino a Florida

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ScotsFire, Mar 12, 2021.

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  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Los Cerritos is a gorgeous beach a little south of Todos Santos. The only time I've tried surfing was there a few years back. FYI, surfing is hard work. Get an instructor as that will help a lot. I purchased a two hour lesson but was exhausted after the first hour and couldn't finish. That said, it was a lot of fun and something I'd like to give another shot at someday. If you're serious about trying it, stay a couple days and take multiple lessons. When I taught snowboarding the first riding session was tiring, but people didn't know how much they had actually learned as they were too tired to feel like they were doing well. I think surfing is similar.

    Have fun!!
    #81
  2. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    I am super glad I found your report it is excellent! As Sjoerd says I am jealous but very happy to see Mexico through your lens. I have ridden to Las Pozas twice, once in 2016, when there was not a soul in the gardens and that big main pool was very inviting so my friend Pedro and I went swimming sin el traje de bano. Sorry no photos. Right across from the entrance there are cabins for rent and large cement teepees( 100 pesos) Also a restaurant.
    #82
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  3. john.carlos

    john.carlos n00b

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    I am going to give myself a month. figure the first two weeks will be just getting in shape.
    #83
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  4. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Killer update..... These cenotes are on my to do list!
    #84
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  5. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    #85
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  6. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    March 30, 2021: Mouth of the Well of the Itzan Family

    80.5 miles
    Map 0330.jpg

    The Hotel Delores Chichen Itza is named that because, well, it's very near Chichen Itza. We had an ok breakfast at the hotel of what they were serving (huevos al jamon) which filled most of the void anyway. But it was fine as we wanted to be as much first in line as we could be.

    We got through the entry line even quicker as we hired Jesrael, or "Hess" as he told us we could call him, to guide us. I balked at the price, around $70 US, but it turned out to be entirely worth it. He was able to go straight to the counter and get our tickets for us and his knowledge made the experience incredibly more enjoyable and informative.

    An example was Hess talked about the Mayan culture, and how the Ceiba Tree (spanish name) was so important a symbol to his people.
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    It's literally a tree of life, as well as represents the passage from the lower realm, to the physical earth, to the afterlife or skies.

    Then you walk out of the trees and this slaps you in the face.
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    Hess led us to the ball court.
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    He demonstrated the amazing acoustics.
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    The point of the game is to get a rubber ball through one of the hoops. One cannot use hands, only a club/racket or the joints of the body. One score, game over.
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    This panel shows the end result of the game. It's hard to see, but the captain of one team (on the left) is holding the head of the captain of the other team (on the right). The right captain has his lifeblood spurting out his neck, symbolized as sacred serpents. What's different than what you may think is that the team the captain on the right actually won the game. It was a huge honor to die during this game that was much more a religious ritual than a sporting event.

    As of now, others are playing on the field.
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    The high priests seat at the ball park still shows a lot of the red pigment. The other colors haven't aged as well.
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    Of course the centerpiece is the pyramid.
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    Though some were using it as a backdrop.
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    The snakes run down the east stairs on both sides. On the equinoxes, the shelves create an undulating shadow evoking the serpent.
    (Picture from cancuntochichenitza.com)
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    Watch your step.
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    I really dig architectural artwork, so these carvings are really cool to me.
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    Nice company too.
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    After our tour was up with Hess, we checked out the "old" part of the complex, pre-Toltec influence.
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    The below shot shows some of the self-changes made to come closer to an ideal look. Easiest to see are the modified teeth so as to appear more serpent like.
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    Many of the structures haven't been fully restored.
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    This smaller pyramid also has snakes along a stairway.
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    Serpent undulation carved this time.
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    There were a few iguanas around.
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    Mayan chickens Hess called them.

    <Continued next post>
    #86
  7. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    March 30, 2021: Mouth of the Well of the Itzan Family (Parte dos)

    Yak Che (first tree in Mayan, the Ceiba otherwise)
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    BTW
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    Though there was other wildlife too.
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    Altamira Oriole most probably.

    We also checked out the cenotes nearby the complex.
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    Cenotes also had a spiritual importance, beyond being a source of water.

    I was more interested in this blitz of color.
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    I had to blow the picture up quite a bit to make out the details. All I could see was a spot of turquoise zooming about. I believe this is a Yucatan Jay. ***EDIT: NOPE! Turquoise crested mot mot. Thanks @Sjoerd Bakker ***** Making homes in the limestone walls of the cenote.
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    There might have been more iguanas too.
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    It had gotten a lot more crowded by the time we were leaving a bit before noon.
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    We were about cooked by the time we were done, and these folks were all just getting started. I suppose most of them will be leaving in an air conditioned bus too.

    The heat was pretty hard on us, especially Vicki. But that didn't keep us from stopping when we saw something cool. Riding through a small town, there was "Cenote" painted on a wall. Inside was this.
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    The town and highway were built right over this large cenote.
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    No swimming here.

    We made pretty good time to Merida, where we stayed for the night. The old centro in Merida was pretty cool with a lot of the colonial architecture, but we didn't stay out late. WiFi wasn't great either so not much ability to get caught up on the report. Still, Vicki was really enjoying her second day in Mexico.
    #87
  8. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Great report.
    We loved Merida and the entire area. Just not in August.
    #88
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  9. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Awesome RR and pics.

    Interesting about the victors vs. the defeated in the match. I would go a lifetime without winning one match.:jack

    Keep up on the adventures.

    Imu
    #89
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  10. sandsman

    sandsman Shut up and ride!!!!

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    I showed my bride the cenotes, now I have a need to take her to one when we are down there.
    #90
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  11. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Amazing carving detail in the stone work. Always amazed at what they could do back then with just basic tools. How long was your tour and how did you find your guide? Did he speak English or just Spanish?
    #91
  12. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    For the record, late March and early April are plenty warm. Can’t imagine mid-summer. Especially on bikes.

    Yeah. About that...

    Those were very weirdly satisfying, even without the cooling off factor. There are all over the place too, with many having less visitors that the two at Dzitlip.

    Hess was with us just short of two hours. Cheap? No. But we’ll worth the money. The guides will generally approach you when you’re in line. Ours had a lot of historical pictures and other media available on a huge tablet. We saw others with binders of pictures. Hess used his equipment very effectively. His presentation was invaluable when we saw Uxmal (coming up!)
    #92
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  13. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    [“””For the record, late March and early April are plenty warm. Can’t imagine mid-summer. Especially on bikes. ””]

    Actually in summer months it is on average not as hot because it is the wet season and cloud cover
    limits insolation heating the ground .The “ dry” is the hottest season . This is much the pattern in a Central America also beyond the rainforest mountains , the dry season is sun baked and called “ verano” ( summer) in Costa Rica while the wet , cooler season ( May through September or longer) is locally called “ invierno ”” ( winter) .
    On one warm day in May southward from Tulum I rode into a rain shower expecting it to be over quickly and refreshing me . Turns out it was a long lasting blanket of cloud that soaked and chilled me before I conceded it was too late to put on a rain suit . I Wound up stopping early in Felipe Carrillo Puerto to dry out and warm up a night in a nice hotel.

    That brilliantly blue bird is the turquoise crested mot mot . They have two long tail feathers that have a bare section above a “ spoon “
    150124C5-E7D4-4F40-8739-17F78F0252AD.jpeg Googled photo since I only managed a closeup ( below ) of a specimen killed in a collision with a car . A good reason to keep speeds down.
    DSCN1019.JPG
    #93
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  14. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Once again, I stand corrected. I had not zoomed in far enough to see the distinctly shaped tail feathers, nor the green and/or yellowish coloration. I simply saw the black and turquoise in the wide angle. Here's a zoom in of one of my photos showing it much clearer.
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    I think I need to quit trying to identify birds and just send the pics to Sjoerd and Aunt Jan.

    Note: previous post has been corrected.
    #94
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  15. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Enjoying this, thanks.

    "The turquoise-browed motmot is the national bird of El Salvador."

    I saw a few in El Salvador last year.
    #95
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  16. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    March 31, 2021: Hot Uxmal and the countryside

    Miles: 205-ish (didn't capture from my GPS this day). Another route on roads Google doesn't know exist. Paved roads. Yeah.
    Map 0331.jpg

    We left Merida pretty early as we had decided to hit another Maya archeological site: Uxmal. Pretty straight forward getting down there, even with the city traffic at first.

    There were far fewer people than at Chichen Itza, maybe a total of a hundred there while we were. They were very strict about one way travel paths, mask usage, and hand sanitizing due to COVID. They also had a defined a limited route to see the site.
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    As you can see, the one way route only got through maybe a quarter of the area. @NotaYinzer and I both felt it was still worth the visit, almost more so due to the lack of other people around.

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    The main pyramid.
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    A big difference between Uxmal and Chichen Itza was the amount of structures in less than complete restoration.
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    There were lots of piles of stone around. Much of it obviously having been carved and fitted before.
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    Non-stone there too.
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    Lots of picture takin', smack talkin', pale touristy riff raff about too.
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    Lots of small birds were flying in and out of some of these small rooms. Others made it their home too.
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    The bats were pretty squeaky when people entered, but didn't fly out. I'd probably be grumpy too if I was trying to sleep.

    The detail in the carving is incredible.
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    Just when I said to myself "I haven't seen much in the way of serpents," whereas it was extremely common at Chichen Itza...
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    I get corrected. This must be the Roseate Spoonbill of Mayan archeology. Vicki did inform me that the carvings of the monkeys did not count towards her wish list item of seeing monkeys in the wild.

    This serpent wound it's way through a handful of panels.
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    There was some renovation of the restoration going on too.
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    This seemed like an odd place for some sort of throne. It was almost at ground level.

    The sight lines were interesting, and though they didn't seem quite as planned out as at Chichen Itza.
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    Ahem.
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    Pardon me.

    There is a ball court here too.
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    Not even close to the size or grandeur.

    Some areas not restored to speak of.
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    Likely some of the residences mentioned in some of the signs (whereas there were no residences allowed inside the Chichen Itza wall).

    Other places would have been extremely interesting, but were off limits.
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    I think because of COVID, but I'm not sure.

    It was very warm for both of us in the sun.
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    Another temple on the south end.
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    Just like Chichen Itza, there was no climbing up any of the structures.

    There were several of these holes in the ground.
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    There were no signs, and they didn't look like the cisterns that were around.

    <to be continued>
    #96
  17. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Frickin' amazing @ScotsFire! I hope to one day go visit these sites in person; seriously appreciate all the pictures you took and posted - they're incredible man. It's nuts to think of folks building those back in the day, what an accomplishment.

    Great to see you guys enjoying your time down there, keep the knobby side down and pics coming.
    #97
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  18. sandsman

    sandsman Shut up and ride!!!!

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    Excellent pictures, we plan a Yucatan trip soon from our casa in Nocupetaro.
    #98
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  19. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    March 31, 2021: Hot Uxmal and the countryside (Parte Dos)

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    Even the "limited" area we saw was hugely impressive.

    Again, interesting sight lines.
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    And some nice sights.
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    A shot of pretty much the loop we saw, from the south temple area.
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    More of the amazing detail.
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    A puma altar all off by itself.
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    More Maya chickens. They really were all over the place.
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    More tracks off limits. I would come back here when everything is open again.
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    But still glad to see it when there aren't that many people around.

    This tree had grown through the metal grate.
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    Lots of Ceiba trees.
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    Some of the trees were blooming.
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    Making for a great last pic of the pyramid.
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    Back in the parking lot, Vicki noted some interesting foliage.
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    Probably some sort of parasitic plant, but it was pretty.

    We wanted to see some of the countryside away from the main highways, so we went away from the coast. A bit of it was called the Ruta Puuc, after the era and style of the local Mayan sites, of which there are many locally.
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    We stopped at one we saw, Kabah.
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    It was closed, so our shots were taken from the road side entry.
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    With as little of parking they had here, it would seem to not be highly visited even in "normal" times.

    We continued, taking some side roads into agricultural areas.
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    We stopped in the small village of Nohalal. It seemed that there weren't many visitors there. We got the most amazed stares from some Mennonite kids. It was like they had never seen any white people outside of their community. It was kind of funny to us, but the parents all waved back to us. At least the fathers.
    You can tell if your traveling through a Mennonite community by the horse crap on the roads. I really kept our speed down as on top of the poor quality pavement, blind corners, there were many horse buggies on the roads. It was interesting that they wouldn't use vehicles, but apparently owned several at their homes. We saw Mennonite men in the backs of other folks pickups and motorcycles, so they can still bum rides apparently. It seemed rude to take photos, but we got one of a home.
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    Very plain, and this one a little smaller than most with less outbuildings. But the horse out front was common.

    The roads were narrow but winding with tall vegetation on the sides if it wasn't being cultivated.
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    You can tell we're out of the Mennonite areas. There's no more horse crap on the roads.

    Small church in I don't even know what town.
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    Still tended to. Lit candles inside.

    We got into Campeche a little before dark. We started the hotel game, but stopped to make a quick dash to the shore to catch the sunset.
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    Made it with literally seconds to spare.
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    We had supper at the restaurant I had hit up the week prior.
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    I really dig these drinks, even though I still don't know what's in them besides the mezcal.

    Really enjoyable, if still very warm day. We both seemed to be acclimatizing to the heat so if anything it's becoming more bearable.
    #99
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  20. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Now that’s the attitude , appreciate the warmth !

    Re: flowering tree., I think you were seeing red bougainvilleas of a young stage sending up new flower shoots . You will see” bugambillas “ all over Mexico and warm parts of USA and other continents and in a variety of colours .It is native in South America but adopted as an ornamental garden plant and highway divider ornamental around the world in warm climates.
    There are now indoor grown varieties also , houseplants.
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    They can be free standing or a spiny clinging almost vine- like structure that likes living on walls and climbing among trees. You will encounter entire tree tops in their colour as they spread out among the host tree branches but remain rooted in the ground . The apparent flower is actually only a small thing surrounded by colourful special leaves
    This picture is googled from a garden supplier for demonstration of all the colour types.
    The other purple coloured plant is most probably a variety of Tradescantia, another garden ornamental foliage plant .. somebody planted it there to pretty up the parking lot tree. Not a parasite, it roots in the small amounts of dirt on the tree bark.
    Along the roads in forest areas stop and have a look up into the trees and spot all sorts of plants like cactus, orchids, ferns , various pineapple relatives ... The majority are epiphytes, live in harmony with their host , not parasites like mistletoe . Epihytes live off the dirt blown in on the wind onto the bark and moisture from rain and fog . Stuff you will not notice riding by.

    Attached Files:

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