Chilean desert plants

Jane McGary
Sun, 24 Jul 2011 10:04:39 PDT
There seems to be a consensus forming that there will be peak 
flowering in northern Chile this coming Southern Hemisphere spring. I 
enjoyed the previous Desierto Florido in 2002 and would love to go 
back and replace my old slides with a digital album, along with the 
sheer pleasure of exploring unfamiliar plants in a marvelous 
landscape. I'm a little hesitant about posting this inquiry here, but 
here goes:

I'd like to find two or three traveling companions, at least one of 
whom is willing to do a lot of driving (I have an eye problem that 
makes me anxious about long highway driving). I'm willing to pay the 
whole cost of the rental vehicle. The timeframe is between 
mid-September and mid-October. I was there in mid to late October in 
2002 and saw nearly everything in flower, but some observers feel the 
earlier time might be better. The Alstroemeria species do tend to 
flower later. The travel arrangement is to fly to Santiago, take a 
day or two to recover (the time zone is just one hour earlier than US 
Eastern Time), pick up a vehicle, and head north on I-5 (yes, it's 
called that there, just as on our west coast). I have a library of 
reference books, including the wonderful booklet of botanical drives 
and hikes, and I've been to the area twice.

I'd like to make it clear that I'm NOT organizing a group tour with 
me as leader. I'd just like some friends along, with more eyes on the 
roadside and above the trail, and more voices to shout "Stop here!"

I haven't looked yet to see how much airfare is now, but I'd expect 
it to be around $1800 from the US west coast. Hotels are comparable 
to US prices or a little lower; gas is more expensive; food is less 
expensive. There are also campgrounds, but that means carrying a lot 
of extra gear.

If you're interested, please contact me soon, privately, at 

BEst regards,
Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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