Sunday, 17 November 2013 – Still in Vallenar
No, miracles do NOT happen on a Sunday, at least not on this Sunday.
We were woken up my voices outside in the street and saw a steady stream of people walking past the hotel towards the school. Today was election day and the school was a polling station.
There was no point in ringing anyone as they were all at home enjoying themselves, so I rang Angie and asked her to try and obtain some quotes for Europcar from England. No joy there either.
The hotel receptionist, who recognised me from previous visits, took pitty on us and when we asked her if she could get us a taxi who could take us to see cacti, she first thought this a bit strange but after a while came up with the goods! Praise goes to Jonathan for his persistence at a time when I was ready to curl up and sleep my way out of the crisis. I had given him little chance to pull off this cactus tour by taxi, but by 15:00 there we were, on our way to Freirina and the mixed population of Copiapoa coquimbana, C. echinoides and C. alticostata. Always nice when someone is already tending to confusion by seeing too many Copiapoa in habitat, to show them this lot. Work that one out!
Our first stop, S2948, was signposted to Freirina Airport! Honestly! The cacti here, as in other nearby C. alticostata on previous trips, were growing very densely together.
But the timing was just right, having seen all but one of the more straight forward taxa, Jonathan was ready to be confused by this challenge.No conclusions yet, but lots of questions. Things were no easier at nearby S2949, with the same mix of taxa:
At least we had seen cacti and exercised our shutter fingers! Great!!
At the pizzeria we discovered another feature of General Election day, no alcohol for sale! Alain take note – stock up before election day or be prepared to be dry!