waiting for customers
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time for lunch!
checking out a Browningia candelaris cactus
this is what the fortress protected
the Iglesia San Jeronimo dates back to 1580 and was restored in 2005
these mysterious geoglyphs may well be from before 500 AD
and to check out what's on offer
we stop near Putre to check out the view
agriculture around Putre
40 kms out of Arica the road climbs above the clouds and there is plenty of sunshine
from Arica to Putre

Chile's Route 11 connects Arica with Paso Chungara-Tambo Quemado at the Bolivian border and is one of Bolivia's connections  to the Pacific Ocean.
The 200 km long road climbs from sea level to a breathtaking 4000+ meters.

Starting just north of Arica, Route 11 first follows the fertile Lluta River valley, once part of a trade route of the Tiwanaku Empire. Some of the hills here are decorated with mysterious geoglyphs that may well be more then 1500 years old.

After 40 km the road leaves the valley and climbs into mountainous territory where it cuts through the Quebrada de Cardones Natural Monument, featuring several of the endangered  Browningia Candelaris. These cacti can grow to a height of 6 meters!

Further up along the road are the remains of the 12th century Pukara de Copaquilla fortress, built to protect the farmlands at the banks of the Rio Seco way down in the canyon.

After 130 km the road passes by Putre, the area's main town, and then continues through Lauca National Park to the Bolivian border.

We travelled this very scenic road from Arica to Putre at the end of August 2011.

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the Lluta Valley is a major agricultural area
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geoglyphs dot the hills
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the grave yard behind the church
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the ruins of the 12th century Pucará de Copaquilla fortress
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in the evening the herd returns to Putre
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the settlement along the Rio Seco
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