Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Putre, Chile (NGS Waitt Grant 3)

While we feared the worst regarding the roads, the reality looks more like this:

Catherine certainly doesn't remember the 11 road looking like this - there has been much work since she was last here in 2000.  First we drove along the swollen Rio Lluta, which I neglected to take a picture of before climbing into the mountains:

Catherine took her time botanizing along the way - we noted the altitude of when the first examples of the various species appeared, including the fabulous Browningia candelaris.  No, it isn't related to Then we were in the "nebla" (fog).  And for a time we were above the nebla in fast-streaming clouds.  We happened to stop for lunch at a spectacular canyon:

But soon after, more nebla - we're staying in Putre (a town along the 11 road - my altimeter says 11, 620 ft.), which currently looks like this:

Yes it's a funny feeling jumping up 11k feet in a day - a little lightheaded, but energetic and (at least for me) hungry.  it reminds me of when I used to work at WMRS and we'd drive from 4k to over 12k and immediately start working.  All part of the indirect river of history, we suppose:

Off to see the sights (?) of Putre.

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