Sunday, July 14, 2013
The Valle de Elqui (The Elqui Valley).
The drive through La Serena was easy with not as much traffic that we have found in some large cities and soon we were in a verdant green valley with the arid mountains above us. The Elqui Valley is considered to be one of the most unique regions on earth for a number of reasons. Reason #1. This valley, which benefits from a unique microclimate, is famous for its production of fruits and grapes including the Pisco grape needed for the Chilean national alcoholic drink. Irrigated by two rivers which feed the numerous vineyards and fruit fields of the surrounding area they create a thin strip of fertile land where vegetables, papayas, and vines grow on hillsides covered with cacti. Reason #2. The Elqui Valley is famous for sunny, clear days, it is said that the sun shines here for 300 days of the year and cloudless nights. The region has what is considered to be the clearest atmosphere in the world. The valley is located far enough away from the city lights of La Serena, and has a climate that is so calm and stable, there is very little wind and precipitation to disturb the air. Scientists and astronomers come here to study the stars in many professional observatories, because of this natural atmospheric phenomenom. Except on nights with a full moon, and even then the difference too amateurs is barely noticible, the starry sky is absolutely magnificent. The Milky Way is very “milky” in the deep blackness of the sky and the stars and planets are simply spectacular. Reason #3. For a smaller number of people, the Elqui Valley is known for its cosmic location and its magnetic energy. They believe that with the new millennium and the cosmic era change from Pisces to Aquarius, that the magnetic and spiritual energies of the earth have been shifted from 30 degrees north to 30 degrees south. Before this change, the Earth’s magnetic center was located in Tibet in the Himalayas, now it is in this area of the Andes. Since 1960 many esoteric groups linked to astrology, yoga, shamanic teachings and meditation, have settled their communities in the Elqui Valley due to this source of magnetic energy. To give some credence to this belief, in 1982, the magnetic forces on the ground were measured professionally by satellite for the first time. The map of Magstat showed a large positive energy point between 27 º and 33 º south right where the Valle de Elqui is located. So the sciences of Agriculture, Astronomy and Astrology exist side by side in this beautiful valley, now is that cosmic harmony or what! We plan on staying in the area for about a week and have a great camping place at Las Pataguas which is located a short distance from the town of Vicuna. With a great place to stay and a perfect place for Winston to run since Las Pataguas has a few dogs of their own for him to play with, we are looking forward to exploring this unique valley.