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After yesterday’s hard walk, today promised to be a sort of rest day with four stops scheduled along the road, easily reached by car.  Of course, those that were keen could always explore the hills sides and between us, the group covered a huge area between the car and where ever it was that Leo managed to get to. The first stop (S057), was north of Taltal and had a population of mainly C. cinerea fa. albispina growing some 26 m above sea-level along the coast.  Again a wide degree of variation could be observed.

On the way back to the cars, close to the road, we came across some 50 clumps of up-rooted Copiapoa that appear to be awaiting a visit by a commercial collector.  Disgusted by the sight, Rudolf threatened to stand guard to save the plants, but was eventually coaxed back to the cabanas (food, wine, a shower). Later we met a lady, armed with clip-board who seemed to be studying plants too.  It transpired that she was marking plants to be dug up so that they could escape the bulldozers that were busy improving the still unpaved sections of the coast road.  Once the work was completed, these clumps will be replanted.

Our next stop (S058) was south of Taltal, at a population of typical C. cinerea, with predominantly single spined plants, and again a bit further along (S059) where there was a selection of cristate plants to tempt our shutter finger. After all, how many pictures of straight forward C. cinerea do you need?☺

We finished the day by taking a look at the state of the track up the Cerro Perales, inland from Taltal (S060) as we planned to drive to the top on 29 May.

S057_14

S057: Introducing …..
Rudolf Schulz behind the camera,
C. albispina n.n. in front of the camera.

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