We all wake late but even the extra rest hadn't helped Sarah. Jude eats a monster breakfast and we boys head off to the car hire shop to check out our wheels. Jude sees the vehicle and grins enormously. It's a double cab Chevrolet pick up with full roll bars in a sunburst orange. Later, at the Vicuna Unimart, the parking attendant says he likes my wheels. Subtle it ain't!
We return to the hostel to collect Sarah and our bags and head into La Serena to collect our tickets for the Cerro Tololo observatory tour on Saturday morning.
I am nervous driving this tank and especially so when the road between me and our destination is closed for rebuilding. We park up and Alfie and I go for a walk into the Gemini project building complex, ending with meeting Dixon Montego, the gent I'd been emailing to arrange this tour. It's late morning, hot and he's sitting in an un-air-conditioned office in shirt, tie and jumper looking dapper and exuding a scientific calm.
Back to the stealth tank and off to Vicuna and check in at the Alfa Aldea, where we meet multiple Marcuses and within 5 minutes Marcus A has opened up his science room, booted up his PC and is playing us the radio wave soundtrack to Jupiter and the Sun!
The sun has a deep timbre radio soundtrack while Jupiter's is less bassy with the odd 'squiggle'.
We unpack, shower and break out our books, sitting in the shade and all of a sudden, 2 solar telescopes have been produced out of thin air and a group of other residents and experts have assembled to view the sun.
The images are amazing - we can observe plumes of matter being expelled from the sun's surface and see sun spots. Even better we can take photos with smartphones though the eyepiece of the telescope with great results.
We were then shown a 3D film about the public, launch and use of the Stereo satellites that monitor the sun and provide data that can be turned into a 3D view of the sun. Tomorrow night is observing the night sky starting at 18.30 with an orientation film and then onto the telescopes!
The general feeling of inertia carries on to the dinner arrangements, which are to hit the Unimart and see what we can rustle up before having a slow night in front of the telly with the Olympics!
Anyone would think we were on holiday!