BBC Weather announced this morning that today is (yet another) Start of Autumn (= Fall). As I live very close to Stonehenge these quarter dates take on greater significance. Daylight hours = no daylight hours and can trigger various events in nature.
As I dislike the dark days of winter, it’s time to escape to the sun, inspired by songs written by George Harrison: ‘Beware of Darkness’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’.
The clocks in the UK change to Winter Time on the last weekend in October, so Angie and I are flying south on 23 October, once again heading to Chile, to spend some time with old friends, both people and cacti, and to make some new friends and to experience some new adventures. As usual, I aim to report here each day, as internet access permits.
As usual, once we land in Santiago, we’ll head north towards the Atacama Desert to photograph cacti in habitat and anything else that might be of interest to audiences in the UK and anywhere else in the world where I’m invited to present my ‘What I Saw Last Winter’ program, mainly to audiences at Cactus & Succulent Society meetings.
This time Angie and I will meet up with Pablo Weisser, a Chilean who moved to South Africa before retiring to Australia. He is known in the cactus world for discovering Thelocephala weisseri. When we arrive in Taltal, we’ll be joined by Brian Bates, formerly of Smethwick in the west Midlands in the UK who will have traveled by bus from Sucre, Bolivia, where he has lived since 1998. After three weeks we return to Santiago to enable Angie to catch her flight home, as work calls. We’ll ‘swap’ her for Jonathan Clark, a member of the BCSS Reading & Basingstoke Branch, who also traveled with us in 2013. We hope to meet up with Florencia Señoret, probably around Santiago and with Juan Pablo Acosta, hopefully among the cacti in the Atacama and should meet up with another party of Brits headed by Roger Ferryman.
After five weeks, it will be time again for me to say ‘Cheerio Chile’ and fly back to England with my solar batteries fully charged until the next trip to Cactus Country in California and Baja California, Mexico.
I hope that you’ll join us here and follow this year’s adventures!