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After a sound, solid night’s sleep, I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm went off at 7.  Amazingly, we all woke up and got ourselves organised to wave goodbye to Flo at 9.

Nothing too exciting to report. We made two cactus stops

S1895 was our traditional first plant stop at Pichidangui and S1896 again was the car park above Los Hornos, north of La Serena. Flo had booked us in at Hotel Skitniza, familiar from previous trips.

Along the road we noticed that everything looked comparatively lush and green, but no evidence of the spectacular Desert in flower yet.

Wiebe asked if there were still new things to see? Certainly! At Pichidangui I managed to get the photos I wanted for the Eulychnia book that Paul Hoxey and I are writing (the draft failed to arrive on time for our departure), and there were many Nolana and Calandrinia in flower. The weather was quite overcast and we even had a light drizzle on a couple of occasions.

The excitement for me came at Los Hornos, where I had recorded Eulychnia acida before, but this time also spotted a few plants of E. breviflora in flower. Flower sections were taken and photographed. I don’t recall this as a place where we have seen the two growing together before. No sign of intermediates etc.

By 8 p.m. we were sitting down to dinner – excellent sea food – and by 10 were snoring our heads off.

So lets hope that on Monday we see signs of the flowering desert!!!!

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