Observatory Tours: Cerro Pachon, Cerro Tololo by way of Elqui Valley

Cerro Tololo Travel Blog

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Welcome to the Observatory compound!
I feel bad because I had very few questions during the tours.  It was great to get out and see the countryside though.  I sincerely hope I will visit the Andes again.  I was disappointed that I could not stop the vehicle and take pictures, as the giant blooming cacti were awesome!  They had red flowers.  There were also small, cushion-like cacti that I wanted a picture of, and wild goats and donkeys.  I did get some wonderful mountain shots, though I miss my SLR dearly.  The digital is more convenient though.

I'm learning more Spanish every day (day 2) so I hope that next time I do this it will be easier.  If I am only speaking to one person, I think I'm supposed to say Buen dias instead of Buenos dias [Later i realize this is a dialect issue rather than syntax].
View from Cerro Tololo Observatory around dusk.
 

My sinuses sure are being troublesome and were popping all the way up the mountain.  Now I have a headache.  I would take a nap, but don't want to deal with the groggy feeling upon waking.  Dinner last night lasted for over three hours with much merriment, and the Principle Investigator for the grant for this project (PASI), Julio, was not feeling well today.  Kind of amusing, the head honcho hung over.  I felt bad for him though; he is a very gentle and sweet person. 

I wish I had more time to explore La Serena, but we are leaving tomorrow.  I know I will have more time in Mendoza, and hopefully I can explore the culture there.  I know there is a scheduled siesta, so I can cruise around during that time if I don't sleep.
View of Cerro Tololo from Cerro Pachon.


It feels nice to relax for a few, drinking my agua mineral.  Usually I have been drinking agua mineral sin gas (non-carbonated mineral water) but this time it is con gas (carbonated).  For dessert after lunch today I had dulce de leche in between thin crepes like baklava.  It was very good!  I spent most of lunch visiting with the V.P. of Florida International University.  He is also the head of communications/techonology on that campus.  Rubbing elbows with the big boys!  Nice people, so far.  Very interested in my education, views on what worked well for me, and generally interested in students.  I'll meet lots more folks at the PASI, but so far, Jim Kennedy (the director of Gemini Observatory) and I are the only astronomy folks, with Sean and Marcelo into physics and some astrophysics, but mostly particle physics and relativity stuff.  Everyone else are networking/computer types.
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Welcome to the Observatory compoun…
Welcome to the Observatory compou…
View from Cerro Tololo Observatory…
View from Cerro Tololo Observator…
View of Cerro Tololo from Cerro Pa…
View of Cerro Tololo from Cerro P…
Posing with one of the telescopes …
Posing with one of the telescopes…
Cerro Tololo
photo by: aerynn