Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 84

Chile's flowering desert

7
by : 
CleaG

As I write this I’m sat on a bumpy bus back to Santiago in Chile where I am currently working as a language assistant for the year. I’ve just spent the weekend in a city 5 hours north of Santiago called La Serena. During my visit I was lucky enough to go and see the Flowering Desert, a natural phenomenon that occurs around every 5 years here in the Atacama Desert.

Following a particularly large amount of rainfall earlier in the year, a variety of flowers come into blossom between the months of September and November. In general these flowers are bright purple and create an incredible spectacle at the base of the surrounding mountains. There are in fact more than 200 species of flowers that can be found.  As well as the plants, there is an explosion of species of insects, birds and lizards in the area. 

The Atacama Desert is usually one of the driest places on Earth. In fact, it’s officially the driest desert and has soil similar to samples taken from Mars! However, the bloom is particularly impressive this year and this is due to the strong presence of El Niño. This is a band of warm water that occurs in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast of South America, changing the temperatures and increasing the rainfall in certain areas.

In order to catch a glimpse of this magnificent gem of nature, I took a bus with some friends 2 hours north from La Serena to a town called Vallenar. According to the limited information available online and in the guidebooks, this was the Flowering Desert’s most southern spot. However, with no further information, we walked into the town centre to try and find a tour or a bus heading in that direction. Failing this, we asked in the city hall what to do and very generously one of the women there offered to drive us to the area 10kms away. What we saw did not disappoint, and as expected it was even more overwhelming and astonishing than the pictures we had seen online. The vast rug of colour spreading into the distance towards the contrasting green hills was simply glorious, and warranted a large amount of photos! A real reminder of the beauty our planet can provide.
 

Discussion

Tell us about a beautiful place you know. 

Comments

gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 8 May, 2016 - 11:35

Hi Ken
I hope you can visit many beautiful places in Japan that I recommended. If you have a chance to come to Vietnam, which place do you want to visit ? I am sure that my country has a lot of things captivating people.

btw. It's almost mother's day. I have a small gift for all moms in this world ( especially for our moms because this song has both Japanese and Vietnamese version and English subtitle:))). That is very great, isn't it ?.

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Ken 25 March, 2016 - 05:14

I know a beautiful place.....

“When I see you, the World stops. It stops and all that exists for me is you and my eyes staring at you. There's nothing else. No noise, no other people, no thoughts or worries, no yesterday, no tomorrow. The World just stops, and it is a beautiful place, and there is only you.” (James Frey)

*・゚゚・*:.。..。.:*゚:*:✼✿(ღ✪v✪)。゚:*:✼.。✿.。

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gianggiang 13 November, 2015 - 03:22

I know I know a hill in Japan. It plants a lot of sun flowers. Annually, many visitors often come there to admire the beauty of flowers and take photos.
However..........Do you know why villagers plant sun flowers ? After being planted some months, all of them are destroyed and used to make fertilizers for repeaters to grow faster. What a pity !

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Ken 25 March, 2016 - 06:02

Where is it, gianggiagn? I'd love to visit!

I didn't know that what is happening behind the scenes...!
By the way, are the plants destroyed 1) after the florescence? 2) or before the florescence?
Anyway, I learned the word, 'material circle' in a science class.
Wow... how dedicated the sunflowers are!!

(੭ ˃̣̣̥ ω˂̣̣̥)੭ु⁾⁾

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 6 May, 2016 - 11:19

Hi,
These hills are located in a pretty town in Hokkaido, Japan. They are immense, but only planting three or four big trees and each tree has a name :v " tree of philosophy", tree of a parent and a child. ". If you are on a helicopter, you'll see the whole beauty of hills, they look like a colourful blanket that a fairy left ( or dropped ) when coming that region.

Btw, I presume you have a great passion about Japanese culture :))) If you have a chance, I recommend to go sight seeing in Ofunato Bay, where there are many flowers planted in green houses. I don;t know much about Japan :vvvvv

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Ken 7 May, 2016 - 13:00

Hi, giang ୧꒰*´꒳`*꒱૭✧
Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, I've never been to Hokkaido, but I know the bay which locates on the beautiful coastline whose views are really really great! I think the name of the city is now famous because of the earthquake and Tsunami...Hard to believe.
ヾ(●´Д`●)ノ゙

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