Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 14 : San Pedro de Atacama : Desert, Flamingoes and Oasis...

Deserts are dry places and Atacama Desert is the driest of them all. Not that it never rains here but just not very often. The water that is  around comes from the show and ice melting on the nearby mountains forming small rivers and turns sheltered gorges into oases that harbour quite rich wildlife and lush vegetation. 

As the water travels down these gorges it heats up forming lovely natural spring pools at 36C - very nice after a long trek up a steep canyon. 

Water that makes it onto the desert plateau proper soon evaporates leaving a layer salty deposits, salt that has been eroded from the mountains. Over the millennia this salt layer has got thick. Very thick. 1450m thick in places. 

And the salt is so intensely saturated that the water can't even evaporate and it forms super-saturated salt lakes. Ideal for minute sea monkeys, the principal food of the flamingo. And the sea monkeys love the flamingo poo. Circle of life and all that.

Beautiful sunsets too.

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