Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for May 19, 2001

Saturday 19 May 2001 – San Pedro de Atacama

Once again, full credit to Leo for his persistence and ability to motivate various Chileans to go far beyond the call of duty.  The clutch was fixed (again a long story) while John, Marlon and I did ‘the tourist thing’ and went shopping for souvenirs.

It was interesting to see how many cactus souvenirs were on offer – that’s to say, souvenirs made out of cactus wood. I can appreciate that people use local natural materials to build their houses etc, but felt uneasy about buying these souvenirs when the conservation of cacti & succulents is such a hot discussion topic in the hobby.

The cactus supplying the material is Echinopsis (Trichocereus) atacamensis, or perhaps Echinopsis pasacana, as the wood is usually imported from Bolivia these days as local supplies are running low.

The main event of the day was John Ede being embraced by a hairy hippy smelling of alcohol, right in the middle of a crowded street. John was wearing the red strip of his favourite football (soccer) team: Liverpool FC as today was FA (Football Association) Cup day and Liverpool were playing in the final. His new friend turned out to be a scouser (native of Liverpool) who had settled (or had got stuck in?) San Pedro and had been following the game on the radio. Liverpool had just won the cup, which at least explained why John joined in with the strange dance in the middle of the road and then treated Marlon and I to a drink.

So, no cactus habitat stops today, but what a lot to look forward too!