From La Serena, the capital of the Elqui-region, the road to Cerro Tololo-Observatory leads through Elqui Valley. A road that, after you make a turn towards Cerro Tololo, winds up all the way to the Argentine border at ‚Paso Agua Negra’ at almost 4800 (!) meters. I drove down – no, I really should say ‚drove up’… – that road just little ways today, and as Chile is such a narrow country, the climb is pretty steep. From 0 to 4800 meters above sea level in just over 200 kilometers. The landscape is incredible (literally breathtaking…), unlike anything I have seen. A mountainous desert that averages 320 clear nights per year – together with the non-existent light pollution and the high altitude, this region is a superb location for astronomical research and stargazers from all over the world.