Today John and I decided to have a rest day, while ‘the youngsters’ Juan & Mark decided to climb to the hill adjacent to the entrance to Quebrada San Ramon to take a look at the scopulina form of Copiapoa krainziana and then climb a bit farther to see the totally unspectacular C. montana, growing in a location with some spectacular views over the Chilean coast around Taltal.
The old boys enjoyed a leisurely drive along Ruta 1 until around km 39 where the road connected to the old track that used to be Ruta 1 in 2001. Lots of Copiapoa here, of variable parentage, with the yellow / orange wool of C. haseltoniana on some plants that were growing next to very similar plants with white wool and fewer spines per areole (C. cinerea ssp cinerea) while others had white spines (C. albispina) – probably remnants of the hybrid swarm that can be found in the Quebrada San Ramon. rowing in the rocks, not far from the Ocean, John and I enjoyed a couple of hours just pottering around, taking amazing images for future photo competitions.
We returned to Taltal for a stroll around the square before taking lunch – a salad and a bowl of Asparagus soup at Club Taltal, where the staff showed us their latest treasures, some books that included a measuring instruments catalogue dating back to the late 1800s and probably related to the sea faring history of the town of Taltal.