Coquimbo…. March 11/19

La Serena … Gorgeous 7 mile beach up the ways a bit

Colonial style buildings…. that we never saw

Mummification developed 1000 years before Egypt.

Arid valley…. north point for growing grapes.

20C on coast but warmer in Elqui Valley.

There has been civilization in existence here up to 16,000 years ago.

Complex society 4-5000 yrs ago here. Before arrival of Europeans. Textiles ….Incas developed cotton. Ate fishes.

Largest domesticated animals…. llamas and alpacas.

This place I had never even heard of before but it’s quite huge and gorgeous …..except the area around the harbour where you see streets running almost straight up. There is a giant cross on the top of the hill.

Check out the slope of those streets and stairs up the hill!

Boats in the harbour of Coquimbo

OMG… the bird shit on the pier was the worst mile I’ve ever had to step amongst land mines

270 days a year are cloudy.

Most arid region in Atacama desert.. driest atmosphere in world even if it has a permanent fog bank.

Limari valley…. one of 3 alleys in the area. ….. great for growing white wine grapes.

600,000 inhabitants

Las Tacas…major resort … most expensive.. beautiful. $270,000 to buy… 5-600/ monthly fee though.

Tacas resort

Major product caught….Scallops, sole & sea bass.

Chilean Pisco can be made from only (incl. pink) muscat from this area.

1000 mm of fog moisture/year…. not rain so the fog produces the cold at night that is necessary for growth of good white wine grapes.

So many cacti… so dry! Juice of the ? cactus is the “red bull of Chile” …. like Aloe Vera juice… pirates looked for it because the fruit prevented scurvy.

The hills are covered in cactus and huge rocks

Up close and personal with the cacti and it’s fruit

The fruit

Inside the fruit looks like kiwi but mushy. It much more sour. It was greatly valued for preventing scurvy.

Coquimba means place of riches.

Limari valley was last bastion of the Incas.

Amazingly beautiful highway…. toll …. no one using it.

Sweet cucumbers and olive trees.

Incas called the Milky Way, the “river of souls”. I like that!

Loica…. beautiful red breasted bird at the toll.


Border…5100 metres Andes at Elqhi Valley but not here where it is not as high. Incidentally the border between bordering countries is decided by which way the rivers flow away from the high points of the Andes. That is why it is not a straight line.

The narrowest part of Chile to the south of is only 86 kilometres.

70% loss of agriculture in drought 2008-2014….. devastation. That was very apparent at the winery we went to.

Pink pepper growing wild… at the winery

The devastating result of the drought 2008-14

In the cellar at the winery

At the petroglyphs… first there was a snake, then a scorpion, a cluster of stars, the condor nest, shaman, astronaut all of which were just holes in the huge rocks. Then there were numerous specific figures some looking quite human or like aliens. Those made it worth seeing.

Apparently this was supposed to be a scorpion

3 thoughts on “Coquimbo…. March 11/19

  1. Rae

    Holly cow Gail, those are spectacular pics. The houses and walls were amazing paintings . I was a little upset that others would still tag on someone else’s paint. Wow the steep of the hills and roads, crazy. The ice they put on the bar, do you know how long it took to melt, is it like regular ice or hardier.i just can’t Imagine going to those places, so thanks for taking me along. Hugs



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