9.11.11.Santyago de Chile (Terra Chile). Unprecedented in the last 20 years, flowering plants can be seen in the driest desert in the world.
At 600 kilometers north of Santiago de Chile, along the road leading to the National Park Llanos de Chales (Llanos de Challes) in the Atacama Desert, spread endless carpet of flowers — is extremely rare for this region.
Climatic phenomenon El Nino coming to the Pacific coast of South America every six or seven years, brought this year in the driest desert in the world rains needed for germination of bulbs and rhizomes, which can be in "sleep" mode for years. "This is an exceptional year in 2011, we have received more than 50 mm of rain. Flowers begin to grow in the desert of 15 mm per year, so now we can see such a unique diversity of plant life, "says Charles Louit, director of the National Park. In addition to the intensity of rainfall, the plant life in the Atacama affect their regularity and strength of winter frosts. In the case of a favorable combination of all the factors in the desert bloom can last from September to December.
Local enthusiasts, environmentalists complain about unscrupulous tourists who want to take away the memory of the famous flower of the desert: "We have more than 200 endemic species of flowers, that is, those that do not grow anywhere else in the world. 14 of them are threatened with extinction. People often do not just rip them, but also take away, to plant them at home. Naturally, our flowers never could settle down, "said one of the volunteers.
Those tourists who are lucky enough to bloom in the desert to be in Chile, you can go to the Atacama yourself or obtain a tour of relevant travel agencies. 4-day trip to the Atacama Desert in the second case will cost from U.S. $ 500.
See full photo report here Terra Chile
Source: BuenoLatina , Terra Chile