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Monthly Archive July 2019

Visiting Barba Azul Nature Reserve

In my South-America trip I still had to fill in a gap of two weeks. The plan was to travel first for four weeks in Chile. I had arranged to visit a language school in Cusco, Peru, two weeks after that. So it would make a lot of sense for me to travel through Bolivia: new country, new experiences and new animals! Only I didn’t really have a clue of what I would be doing. Three weeks before I was heading off to Chile I stumbled upon the webpage of Asociación Armonía, the Bolivian version of BirdLife. The page about Barba Azul Nature Reserve looked very interesting and I noticed there was also a possibility to stay there working as a volunteer. I was supposed to get in touch with Tjalle Boorsma, which is a very Dutch name! So I just sent an email to Tjalle in Dutch and also received a reply in Dutch. Fortunately it was possible for me to stay there as a volunteer. So after Chile it was on to Bolivia!

Inca tern

The Inca Tern is a unique South-American bird species that I really wanted to see. A gray tern with a red bill and with two white plumes on either side of the head that makes it look like it has a moustache. In the end I was only successful in one place: the harbour of the town Arica all the way in the north of Chile at the coast. That was sufficient though! The harbour was a nice place to visit anyway with pelicans, night herons and sea lions battling for the available fish.

Starry skies of the high Andes

We have two weeks in the high Andes to search for some special cats that live at these high altitudes. Here it is possible to drive by car up to 4500 meters which is higher than I’ve ever been. Since it’s the dry season there is no rain. Together with the remote location and the high altitude this makes perfect conditions for watching stars.

Experiencing a solar eclipse

After a couple of great weeks in Patagonia we are back in Santiago. Not that there is much to be seen here: the real spectacle is still 500 kilometres away! I had already quite firmly set the schedule for my trip when I suddenly found out that on July the 2nd there would be a solar eclipse in Chile. Since experiencing a solar eclipse sounded like a really cool thing to do, I tried to fit it in. Since Chile is such an enormous country this required careful planning.