Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chile - Atacama Desert


Hernan from Santiago, Chile sent me this very lovely card of the Atacama Desert.  Look at all those awesome flowers that cover the desert like a carpet. Hernan says it is a natural phenomenon that doesn't happen every year. He mentions that the Atacama Desert is the driest in the world. 

From Wiki: The Atacama Desert is a virtually rainless plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the Andes mountains. The Atacama desert is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world.[1][2][3] The rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range, as well as a coastal inversion layer created by the cold offshore Humboldt Current, keep this over 20 million-year-old desert[4] 50 times drier than California's Death Valley.[citation needed] The Atacama occupies 40,600 square miles (105,000 km2)[5] in northern Chile, composed mostly of salt basins (salares), sand, and lava flows.

I love the stamps too :)  The bottom stamp is from 2001, and of the Antártica Chilena Province. The top two: Lustrabotas means shoe clears and Palomita means "little doves"  Read Hernan's comment. He explains what they are. :) Thanks again!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Dana for uploading the postcard image and writing about it. I really appreciate it and I think it is a good asset to everybody, to learn about our world.
    I'll be glad to explain what a "palomita" is. In Chile, we have some sweet pastries called "dulces chilenos". They are made of sweet dough, filled with dulce de leche and usually covered in meringue. They're delicious! On the side of some roads to the seaside, there are women dressed in white smocks and a headscarf selling those sweets, with their baskets and waving their white handkerchieves to drivers, for them to stop and buy their dulces. (They always care about hygiene.) As we have white doves in Chile, people call them "PALOMITAS" (=little doves). There are different kinds and names for these dulces: "chilenitos", "empolvados", etc. There used to be palomitas at important railroad stations some decades ago. They approched the passenger's window, offering their dulces while the train was there. How nostalgic!