We arrived at the plantation and were greeted by an elderly gentleman who had evidently been in some kind of altercation or accident earlier in his life. The left side of his face was badly scarred. It looked like he had been slit open by a knife or maybe a piece of glass from his eye all the way down past his chin. It had healed leaving a deep, angry red furrow running its’ length. It was also quite clear to see that he had lost quite a few teeth. Whether from the mishap or just plain life was unclear. Because he spoke with a toothless lisp, slobbered as he spoke and spoke very rapidly, I did not understand a single thing he said while we were there. We depended totally upon Juan for translation. But he was nice and very well informed about the different types of cactus being cultivated. The guy from Cancun was not there so we never did get to meet him or speak to him.
We saw many different types of cactus. Some native, some imported from Africa and Australia. I was not clear as to why he had foreign species. Perhaps just to make things interesting, perhaps because he truly loved cactus. At any rate, they were not for sale. We did end up buying a few smaller cacti to bring home but not many. The price on them was astronomically high.
There was a chair there that looked like a Mayan God of some kind. We all took turns sitting in it and pretending we were some sort of Mayan royalty. I tried to issue some orders but nobody paid any attention. They must have thought I was one of the lesser Gods. There was also a statue out front of a Mayan deity. The girls wanted their picture taken in front of it. After much careful posing and arranging and exchanging of shoes so that the best pair got in the picture, the mission was accomplished. What they did not notice was that I was standing in the background recording all of their efforts to strike just the right pose. They hate it when I do that. They firmly do not believe in candid pictures. Having your picture taken, to this family and their relatives, is a very solemn event and one must always, always, strike just the right pose. When a picture of Lizzie, the six year old, is to be taken, the whole family confers and positions her just so. Usually with her hands on her hips, pelvis thrust forward and head tilted ever so slightly. (Can you say Jon Bonet Ramsey?!)
Pictures taken, we headed back to Muno. I asked Juan to stop at the pharmacy in town because I wanted to get an anti-inflammatory for my back. He dutifully stopped, after I honked my horn and pulled over, since he had driven right past it. He went in with me and helped me get the right thing. The entrance was covered at night by one of those roll up metal doors. During business hours, they raise it. Only I forgot that they only raise it to Mexican height, not American height. Bang! I forgot to duck on my way out and got a nasty scrape across the top of my head. Exactly in the part where I am not bald. (or at least the part where I cannot see that I am bald!) It almost knocked me to the floor. I, of course, pretended that it did not phase me in the least and that I was quite used to banging my head into things. With great composure, I returned to the Jeep. It was only then that I let out a stream of cuss words and rubbed the heck out of the spot on my head that felt like it was on fire! B told me how stupid I was and should have been more careful. Always nice to get words of comfort from those who care about you the most! I took my anti-inflammatory and continued to rub my sore head as we made our way back down the twisting roads to Ticul.