With the weather in the UK taking on a distinctly autumnal feel, the time approaches to leave to sunnier climes.
In two weeks time Angie & I fly off to Santiago. Angie has requested a quick trip to Taltal to take pictures of the new church to add to her talk ‘Chile now and then’ – this is the 10th Anniversary of her first trip to Chile.
After visiting some old (cactus) friends we head back south but then turn east to cross into Argentina at the Paso de La Cumbre, also known as the Cristo Redentor de los Andes pass. After a brief visit to Uspallata to show Angie the local cacti, we will, no doubt visit the usual restaurant for steak washed down with some excellent Malbec wine.
Then we head south into Patagonia in a repeat of the highlights of the 2010 trip with Cliff Thompson, John Carr and Juan Pablo Acosta. We plan to go as far as Villa Pehuenia where we made a wonderful day trip to the snow line with a local guide. We’ve booked into the same hotel and hired the same guide again so just need the weather to cooperate to take some more pictures of the wonderful Andean-Alpine flora as well as the famous Araucaria araucana, the monkey puzzle tree. After a short stay, we’ll take the nearest pass back to Chile for a visit to Laguna del Laja near Antuco, another first for Angie and an opportunity for me to show her what we saw here on 1 February 2009.
I hope that things warm up a bit in Antuco, a wintersport resort where the last snow report, dated on 12 August, reports 150 cm of snow on the slopes and 75 cm in town – brrrrr!
We have to get back to Santiago on 2 November, in time for Angie’s flight back to the UK and where Bart & Marijke Henschel from the Netherlands and Jonathan Clark from England join me for more Copiapoa spotting – this time with a focus on Copiaoa coquimbana – a Coquimbanathon!
Join me in a few weeks time for another Cactus Trip!