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CHILE | Wednesday, 28 January 2009 | Views [926] | Comments [6]

Secret missions will not allow us to betray our current location.

There is a lot to be said for changing your mind.

We made it through a leg of the desert, but that information in itself is misleading.

Prior to current deceptions, which cannot be resolved until further resolution, we saw penguins.

Chilean Humboldt Penguins a midsized variety that lives on an island off the coast of Pan de Azucar National Park. If the man guiding the boat, who took us there, with a long stick attached to the motor that broke off shortly before we returned to the shore, in the small wooden motor boat was correct, and our spanish does not betray us:

The 5,000 Penguinos de Humboldt are indigenous to the island, an original species there,

have no natural predators,

and give birth to two babies twice a year.

We also saw red footed cormorants drying their wings, spread like crucifixes along the rocks, chilean pelicans with rainbow beaks and blue feet, sea otter pairs swimmming, sea lions basking (sea wolves here in Chile), and HUGE JELLYFISH. Called medusas, they are striped pink and the size of small children (five year olds).

Countless shore birds lined our horizons, countless crabs and urchins line the tide pools.

CAT´S UNOFFICIAL BIRD LIST UPDATE (as gleaned from her shoddy field notes and the occasional too-expensive-to-buy and too-heavy-to-carry bird guide):

Humboldt Penguin

American Oyestercatcher

Blackish Oyestercatcher

Chilean Pelican


Surf Bird (what the Spanish language book calls it - aphriza virgata)

White-rumped Sandpiper

White-backed stilt

Grey Gull (larus modestus)

Simeon Gull (Also called Peruvian Gull here, I believe)

Franklin´s Gull

Black Skimmer

Olivaceous Cormorant

Red-footed Cormorant (holy crap)

Black-crowned Night Heron

Stripe-backed Bittern

Black Vulture (and many, many turkey vultures near the ocean - strange)

California Quail

Blue and white swallow

Giant Hummingbird (again, holy crap)

Not to be overshadowed by the nature, prior to the roll that in your bird life list and smoke it experience, we camped the night before with a seaweed diver who could hold his breath for sixty feet, the night after we stayed with a third generation bicycle family in Copiapo´, whose members included everyone from shop owners to adventure guides. Diego greated us on a bicycle as we road in, Meg´s ill fated sickness slightly faded after Vallenar, where we had camped inside of a haunted building with Mormons who were rebuilding the interior. In Copiapo´we swam and road the Chileans around double on the back of our bicycles preparing for the desert, which again will not yet be mentioned...



I can't wait to see the pix of the animals! Kate! Today I'm wearing the scarf you made for me many lunas ago! I look fabuloso! Gracias! Y Te amo mucho mucho... Hasta en Marzo! Con mucho carino (sans squiggly thing...) YWSM

  Shari Jan 28, 2009 10:20 AM


Girls your message is obtuse. You changed your minds and did not ride thru the desert!! Way to Go..smart move.

  Ev Coulter Jan 29, 2009 10:05 AM


WOW! That's a whole lot of birds. Are you getting some good pictures of them? I applaud your decision to ride through some of the desert with a van full of musicians...a good decision. Meg, I hope you truly have fully recovered, not fun to being doing this while you're ill. Looks like you're all getting pretty tan and pretty buff! Have fun, thanks for this blog...it's great. Love, Pat/Mom

  Pat Coulter Jan 29, 2009 1:47 PM


Hola Cata,
Te quiero mucho. Ojalá que se encuentren pronto en el Perú. Cuídate bien. Mamá

  Laurie Watson Feb 1, 2009 3:42 AM


Humboldt Penguin = Spheniscus Humboldti

  Shelley Feb 12, 2009 9:29 AM


Just missin you girls, Yes we haven't been mentioned yet haha....but its Ok we know you keep us on your memories alive.
Well everthing still in the same place, im flying to the states on sept 25th, i won tickets and depeche mode concert ticket in Las Vegas, and then I'll be in my Aunt place in LA.
Im keep going on...studin n studin
wishin the winter ends to swim again in the sea. hehehe

Bless and Love

And Peace in the middle east dawgs

With love from Little town in the middle of nowhere..

Nunez Binfa Family

  Tomas From Copiapo...Chiliiiiii Sep 16, 2009 3:54 AM

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