Wednesday, 13 November 2013 – Caldera to Vallenar
There was no breakfast included with our stay at Mirador, so we managed to get breakfast at Puerto del Sol – not a bad set up – the rooms in Mirador were better!
Having only seen a few plants of C. marginata on the Bahia Inglesa side of the Morro, today we went to take a look at the other side – one stop at a track a bit too far down – where we stopped in 2003 while the others were fossil hunting (S2936)
and finally our traditional stop. (S2938). This is also the TL for Eriosyce (Thelocephala) odieri, but where were they hiding? At long last I found one plant, level with the soil and covered with remains of an annual that had disappeared a long time ago. I found one more nearby, this time a five headed clump. I could relax with my pride intact – but I’m glad that it’s not this year that I am planning a Chilean Thelothon!
As C. marginata still keyed out as C. echinoides on JYC’s app. it was time to look for the real thing at Totoral, but not before I spotted a large number of what I believe these days passes under the name C. megarhiza spp borealis, formerly Ritter’s C. echinata (S2941).
We were not disappointed, closer to Totoral and found the C. echinoides (S2942 and S2943).
With the Copiapoa for today out of the way, we could head for Vallenar where we are booked into the Hosteria for the next two nights. We ended up at the Pizzaria on the Plaza out of habit I guess and were not the only ones: Brendan & Lucy wondered in half way through our meal – this is a Copiapoathoner’s rendez-vous after all, just read the 2003 story when taxi drivers took us all over Copiapo!
At least we have a good wifi signal for two days, so that I can keep up with the Diaries!