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S3817 was at Quebrada Barracota, along the Huasco to Carrizal Bajo road. The Copiapoa could be seen from the car but we needed a stop for an ID – Copiapoa echinoides.

S3818 at Quebrada Mala was an old favourite, first our group photo in 2001 very close to the Pacific Ocean, but since then along new improved tracks farther inland. Ian just did not know which clump to photograph first!

As always, we asked ourselves and speculated how old these plants were!

Al taking a close up – Copiapoa dealbata

S3819 was time for a little culture: The Carrizal Bajo Library – it looks as though they replaced the old bus with a new(er) model!

We turned east and headed towards Vallenar. If we just made a short stop in the Llanos de Challe National Park, we should be in time for a treat at the Cake Shop at the Vallenar Crossroads, opposite the Copec station along R5.

In the Park, I was sure that we needed to climb the first low hill after entering the Park, driving past the ranger’s station at the northern entrance. Wrong! Back in the hotel it transpired that we should have climbed the second hill. Never mind, we would pass here again. Extremely dry!

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