18 April, 2014

Into the Atacama already....

Yesterday, Island Girl traveled almost due north up the coastal mountain range of Chile for a distance of 319 km (198 miles), so she is covering some ground.

She passed Los Vilos, Ovalle, Coquimbo and the beautiful city of La Serena. North of there, the terrain changes abruptly, as the Pan American Highway climbs up off the coastal terrace and hits the high desert. She is leaving the vegetation behind now.

She put in for the night on a flat area located on the shoulder of a dry, barren mountainside, and just feet from a dirt mining road. Her elevation was 5,584'.

The roost site was only 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the highway so she could both see and hear the cars and trucks all night. I know because I have camped along this extraordinary highway many times. The dry air, the absolute calm atmosphere and those incredibly amazing stars are unforgettable. Certainly one of my favorite places on earth.

The Pacific Ocean was 30 km (19 miles) to her west and the world famous observatory, La Silla was just 28 km (17 miles) to her NE.

If you can, go to Google earth and look for it. There are some photos you can click on that will give you an excellent idea of where she is right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

600 miles in three days! It looks like she is in a desert. What does she eat?