Today we did the traditional Vallenar – Huasco – Carrizal Bajo – Vallenar circuit. Today just a few notes on stops:
- C471 road to Ojo del Agua to km 15
- Mirador Maitencillo
- Hacienda Nicolasa
- The Thelocephala napina stop south of Huasco
Its worth mentioning here that the napinas this time were huge. The had finished flowering but the seeds were not yet ready. C. fiedleriana looking superb, Eulychnia breviflora also in flower. Great increase in plastic waste 😦
As we got back to the car, waiting for Angie, Pablo recalled how they used to collect seed here in 1960. ‘There is a Copiapoa humilis that grows on top of Cerro Colorado’ he said, ‘but Frau Winter told us not to collect those plants – they grow like weeds and there is no demand for them. So it was left some 40 years for Alfred Lau to point Paul Hoxey to the top of the mountain, leading to the description of C. humilis ‘australis’
- Huacso Bajo – Llanos de Challe There is now a huge settlement of beach houses here, causing quite a problem for CONAF. Some are multi story affairs and look very comfortable if you don’t mind the constant sand storm here.
- Copiapoa echinata north of Huasco Bajo
- Copiapoa dealbata – the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 etc group photostop. In flower and looking superb!
The owner of Hotel Atacama recommended the Club Social on Av Arturo Pratt for dinner. Excellent food but the fluorescent lights were a bit too harsh. Instead of the usual Crystal beer there is now a huge range of Cerveza Artesanas, local ales. The Huasco Valley offers an excellent stout and a very nice brown ale.
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