It was another overcast start to the day. We did not have too far to go, another pass along the new coast road from Bahia Inglesa to Vallenar. Mark had requested another look at Copiapoa dealbata and that promise lay at the end of the road, between Carrizal Bajo and Huasco.
We made an incredible eleven stops, mainly in the pursuit of small Eriosyce, this trip had turned into a Thelocephalathon as Mark and John had really taken to the competitive challenge of finding the first or best of these semi geophytic cacti, or the one in flower, bud or fruit. We’re still looking for a truly cristate specimen but Juan assures us that they exist and that he has images to prove the point.
We did see a huge stand of crested Copiapoa dealbata, north of Carrizal Bajo, the plants that Ritter called C. carrizalensis, not as blue and waxy as the plants at the south of the Rio Carrizal. And at the location that we have now christened ‘Angie’s toilet stop’ where in October she had found T. glabrescens in flower, a real achievement as the Desert was covered in Spring flowering annuals and some perennials. We stopped here again to take pictures of the ‘after’ scenery, without the flowers. What we had missed in October was a crested Eulychnia breviflora, but this time it posed for a few images.
A detailed stop by stop, species by species update of what we saw today will follow at the end of the month
When we got to Vallenar, the capsule that had rescued the miners and had been on display here during our visit at the beginning of the month, had gone. It was on tour and now on display in La Serena. We were very fortunate to have caught it when we did.
People have asked me to include images of our daily adventures, but as writing these missives takes up all spare time, I leave this honour to Juan. I tried to include a formal link to his Flickr site on this Blog, but have not yet found a way to do so. Point your browser www.flickr.com/photos/cactushorridus/sets and select the folder you want to see. Enjoy! and thank you, Juan!