Vicuna, hiking the hills

Home  One of the great joys of hanging out in Vicuņa has been tramping the

hills near my hostel.  Put on some comfortable shoes and walk with me a bit.




First a preview

Several photos taken from near my hostel




Here you begin to see the incredible network of trails that are available




The hill on the right is the Hill of the Virgin

There is indeed a statue of her there, surrounded by high-tech towers




Once you crest the ridge, look West and see the trails...




...look East at the trails...





...look back down toward Vicuņa...


Trails everywhere





Across the ridge from Vicuņa, another valley




The town of Vicuņa, which is in the Elqui River Valley





And across the valley, the Andes cordillera




Another view of the Elqui Valley



A panorama of the valley, with Vicuņa



A panorama of the valley on the other side of the ridge



A panorama of the Elqui Valley to the West of Vicuņa



One day as I was hiking I saw a lovely sight

Manuel was approaching with his herd of goats




They crested the ridge where I was standing...




...then descended the other side, heading home




They're almost there

Their home is at the base of the hill, just up from Vicuņa  




And this is Manuel


Weathered face, tranquil demeanor




Back up in the hills, here's the route that Manuel brought his sheep before I met him

This was my favorite hike

A side trip to see more of this trail





Here's a sampling of the vegetation 







In all my hill hiking here, I encountered few trees



But cactus, that's another matter.

Here's a shot of the Gilchrist National Forest

(Although as of this writing, the Chilean parliament has taken no action to make it official)

A side trip to see more of the flora

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