Valley of the Giants, a forest of huge cadon cactii about
nine miles south of San Felipe, Baja, Mexico attracts
sheer intimidation. There's
something almost Jurrasic about a 50 foot tall cactus.
It looms and throws a morning shadow the size of a football
field. Its cathedral height seems almost sacred as it
silently watches centuries of history unroll at its feet.
In 1992, Mexico chose
a 45 foot cardon cactus to make a transatlantic passage
to Europe. It was transplanted to Seville, Spain in celebration
of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas.
continues to be honored, unlike Leif Erikson, who
was reputedly the first European to set foot on North
America around 1000 AD.
Or Bjarne Herjufsson, who actually discovered
it a year earlier.
removal of the cardon from the Valley of the Giants
was initially plagued by problems. The first crane that
attempted to lift it broke a cable. A second crane was
sent to the site where it promptly got bogged in the sand.
When the cactus was finally loaded onto a flatbed truck,
its root system bagged and boxed, accordian arms immobilized
by a welded superstructure with padded collars, the truck
broke down on the side of the highway where it remained
for days while repairs were being made. But finally, the
cactus made the trip across Mexico, was loaded onto a
ship and eventually found a place of honor in Seville's
many displays. However, the 150 year old cactus somehow
inspired a typographical error and its information plaque
now announces to visitors an age of 1500 years.