25 April, 2013

Approaching Peru...

On Monday, Island Girl continued heading north, covering 367 km (228 miles), and finishing up her journey across the Chilean Atacama Desert.

In the afternoon, she went through Arica, the northernmost city in Chile. I would speculate that she stopped off to hunt there and eat after her long flight. Lots of pigeons and doves in town.

Coastal valley just south of Arica

We drove through Arica last April during the chase. Dry, arid, no vegetation but a wonderful place, like all Chilean desert towns.

She continued flying NE and chose to sleep out in the desert, apparently right on the ground (I hate that!). She was only 500 meters (565 yards) south of the international border and maybe 15 km (10 miles) inland.

Official Peru/Chile Border Crossing near Arica

This is what the desert looks like 5 miles west of where Island Girl roosted that night.

Tomorrow, she will make a decision about whether to follow the coastline to the left or fly straight up into the Peruvian altiplano for this part of her journey. She has done both in past years.

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