We had crossed the Andes from Argentina into Chile and journeyed through its flat, fertile central valley, full of oranges, lemons and rich vineyards.
Then up again into the coastal cordillera from the top of which we could see the whole width of this absurdly thin country.
In front of us now lay the Pacific Ocean. The air that filled our lungs was different, gone was the dust, now a salty scent enticed us towards the blue vastness.
The narrow winding road led us into the village of Horcon and suddenly were surprised to find ourselves at a tiny harbour full of wooden fishing boats.
We had crossed the continent of South America and there, as if to greet us, was a Pelican !
In this part of the world wherever there are fish and fishermen there will likely be Pelicans and Gulls and this village was no exception.
Over the next few weeks we gradually moved south along the coast and found that three species of gull were the most common.
Firstly the Kelp Gull –
Then the Brown-hooded Gull –
And finally the Franklins Gull, although this is a migrant species from North America.
There were few wading birds, except small numbers of Blackish Oystercatcher which are resident all year round.