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Chilean Adventure: Excerpts from a Travel Diary

Articles: Chilean Adventure: Excerpts from a Travel Diary

Sheets of annual patas de guanaco (Calandrinia litoralis and Cistanthe longiscapa), yellow and pink respectively, along the road south of Bahia Inglesa. Author’s photographs

I traveled to Chile in September 2010 on a scouting trip for the 2011 Pacific Horticulture tour and kept a daily journal of the trip to post while I was traveling and, hopefully, generate interest in the tour. Helping me there were our travel agent in situ Marcela Piddo and her husband Jaime Drougett of Extremo Norte Expediciones; Marcela’s brother-in-law Jean-Pierre Bettoni, who was my guide and driver north of Santiago; and Estela M Cardeza Davis and Antonia Echenique of Santiago’s new Chagual Botanic Garden.

Unlike most botanical tours to Chile, which journey south of Santiago to the temperate rainforest and the Lake District, I wanted to focus on Chile’s mediterranean-climate region (centered on Santiago) and on the semidesert area to its north known as “Norte Chico.” Our Pacific Horticulture tour will also venture south of Santiago, where the matorral (Chile’s mediterranean shrub vegetation) transitions to taller forest and eventu...

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