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I have a reputation as The Martini Sleeper, as I can sleep anytime, any place, any where. I have slept my way through thunderstorms, earthquakes and even the snoring of my fellow travellers. As I woke up at my usual 5 minutes before the 7 a.m. alarm clock call, Angie told me that there had been ‘a bit of a party’. At breakfast, the others were in uproar. Apparently a hen party started up right above our heads as soon as I started my snoring and did not let up until 4:30. Never mind, we got a 10% discount for our two night’s stay and I did not even lose a wink of sleep. A result!

David wanted to see some ‘true’ Copiapoa cinerea, so we headed towards Ruta 5 and turned left past the base of Cerro Perales. (S1954) The light was not brilliant but the plants were, so the end result will be in the hands of PhotoShop once we get back to Lonquen. Other field flowers played again an important part.

S1955 was a stop for Eriosyce rodentiophila appearing alongside the track. We were on our way to Las Maderas to look for the northernmost location that we knew for Copiapoa laui.

We failed to find the exact location – probably did not get close enough to the Ocean before we had turned north. Never mind, we found ourselves in a side quebrada surrounded by Eulychnia iquiquensis in full bud and up to our knees in Copiapoa columna-alba, so this became S1956.

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