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Archive for October 15, 2010

Friday, 15 October, 2010 – Maimara to La Quiaca

First priority today was to get some Argentinean money, so we popped into Tilcara, drove past the Hosteria from previous visits and found the bank just off the town square. It took ages for the paper work to be completed so that I could change my last US$ into Argentine Pesos. Why? They could not find The Netherlands on their computer’s list of countries to record that a Dutchman had exchanged US$200. Everyone else had been milking the ATM machine outside the bank so we could at least fuel up for the days ahead.

S1920 was a scenic stop along the main road. We found Echinopsis (Trichocereus) atacamensis ssp pasacana with various Tillandsia sp. growing between the spines, Echinopsis (Lobivia) longispina, Gymnocalycium saglionis and Opuntia sulphurea.

Oreocereus trollii appearing along the road caused the next stop, S1921.

We made S1922 stopped at a location where in 2008 (S1053) we had found Maihueniopsis (Puna) subterranea, but conditions were much drier now, so although we saw Echinopsis ferox and Maihueniopsis glomerata, M. subterranea remained hidden from sight.

S1923 was for pictures of the Devil’s Backbone, that remains a glorious sight no matter how often you see it.

We arrived in La Quiaca without incident, but unfortunately the Hosteria was fully booked. This is the only hotel that accepts Credit Cards. We were directed to Hosteria Munay that had space but only accepted cash. Never mind, there were banks in town. Accept that the two banks we found did not accept my credit card! Fortunately other members in the group fared better so that we could eat and pay for the hotel.