Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

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Benjy
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Re: Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

Post by Benjy » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:51 pm

:) you should see one of those trucks fully loaded high up with Kelp - LOL
swaying from side to side but unbelievably keeping upright on some impossible roads,
we followed one (not too closely) for quite a way near Esmeralda in 2001, the tension, and we weren't even in it,
several times saying to each other - 'Its gonna go' - 'Its gonna go over'! (:D

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Re: Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

Post by Mike P » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:55 pm

Eventually the track began to gain height and turned inland. As we did so the sun set over the sea and we were almost immediatly confronted with a series of unsigned forks in the road. Despite having three GPS handsets on board there was much animated debate before we settled on one and set off into the gloaming towards our rendevous with the main Taltal to Antofagasta road.
I nodded off for sections of this journey but it seemed that whenever I woke up there were lights from mining settlements in the distance.
Eventually the road turned from a dirt track to a metalled surface and our speed increased fivefold.
As we entered Antofagasta we passed several modern hotels along the seafront on our way to a far less salubrious establishment in what seemed to be the red light district........
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Re: Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

Post by David_L » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:09 pm

You were lucky Mike, actually I didn't nod off and the drive back to the main road was pretty frightening. You have to pass over the coastal hills and they are really high. Driving along a narrow dirt road clinging to the side of a hill in pitch dark with the headlights suddenly illuminating the void as we turned each bend was distinctly disconcerting. Thank goodness for the imperturbable Alex at the wheel. We actually made it to the rather seedy Hotel San Marcos at around 11pm. We ran the gauntlet of the local ladies of pleasure to a restaurant that was fortunately still open and enjoyed a well earned meal and drink. By the time we got to bed it was about 1.30am. Willy promised us a lie in till 7.30am! Fortunately the next day was mainly a scenic/traveling day with only one cactus stop, so it was possible to nod off in the van.
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Re: Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

Post by Spiniflores » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:15 pm

amazing photos! this is one of the most beautiful routes for cactus lovers.

at north of Taltal, Copiapoa cinerea ssp. haseltoniana normally have orange/yellow wool in the apex and it is brighter when there is new growth.

Copiapoa cinerea ssp. haseltoniana "gigantea" have less branches but bigger in size...
[img]http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/2678/gigantea.jpg[/img]


But the plants at north of Botija Valley, with green stem and golden spines (and wooly fruit) is Copiapoa solaris
[img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/53/16289 ... e907_o.jpg[/img]

and sometimes between that C. solaris you can find few Copiapoa atacamensis that probably (seeds) came from high altitudes during some rains.. (with waxy stem, darker spines...)
[img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3026/255 ... a9a1bf.jpg[/img]


many greetings from Chile

Juan Acosta
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Cacti, Landscapes and Adventures from Chile. Member N?48882
www.eriosyce.info
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cactushorridus/sets/
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Re: Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

Post by Julie » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:41 pm

Wow... it's taken me 20 minutes to goggle all the gorgeous pics... thanks so much for taking the time to share your adventure with us, Mike and David.
Happy carrier of Forby Disorder - an obsession with Euphorbia obesa.

NB. Anyone failing to provide a sensible name for me to address them will be called, or referred to, as Fred.
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Re: Argentina & Chile November 2008 Day 6-Taltal - Antofagasta 300km

Post by David_L » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:40 am

Thanks Juan & Julie.

Juan ---- As you know several of us including myself are raising plants from seed you collected in this area. Some very nice looking seedlings are coming along. Mike and I were fortunate enough to visit Chris Davies' wonderful collection recently and I saw the impressive seedlings he is raising from your seed as well. I would have loved to have more time to see the wider area and to search for more Eriosyces (in the wide sense) as they are some of my favourite plants. Some time perhaps ......
David

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