After an overnight (reasonably comfortable) coach journey from La Serena, we had a driver collect us from the bus station to squire us around for the day. First stop: brunch with a view of the Antofagasta fishing port:
Next stop ‘La Portada‘ – the natural ‘monument’ just outside Antofagasta – a sea-arch:
Then it was time to head off to the big event of the day, a visit to the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal.
The VLT uses interferometry to bring together the images from the various telescopes, giving them high resolution images of objects that are very far away.
The on-site staff quarters are rather cool, built into the mountainside with a dome roof that has to be blacked-out to avoid light pollution when the telescopes are in use: