for The Year 2001!

A special expedition to South America under direction of ICSTARS Astronomy
SSSP 2K is scheduled for May 19 - 26th, 2001

Email for availability

Special features this year include:
• Use of the newly dedicated Ken Willcox Memorial Telescope ~ With the donations and help from hundreds who knew and loved Ken and his efforts in astronomy, suscessfully dedicated a 22" Dobsonian Starmaster Telescope at the site.
• Public Observing night and Star Party ~ With not much more than word of mouth, the invitation is spread to all the local peoples of the area. We were surprised in 1998 when the call brought an estimated 200 visitors out to observe. Aymara Indian or modern local Bolivian, we saw folks young and old. With not much need for more than a sprinkling of words, communication was simple. "Point and say Eta Corina!"

Let us discuss seeing conditions for a moment:
It's the Southern Hemmisphere. OK , so Sagitarius is upside-down.
It's at 12,300 feet in altitude. OK nice. That's half-way to Hubble.
Our visit is during the dry season. OK, so the chance of clouds is minimal
The humidity is so low people freeze dry their food on the ground at night. OK, so there's no dew.
We observe on the shore of a 200 square-mile lake. OK, so the thermal mass stabilizes seeing.
The mountain plain is not a sudden jagged mountain range - This means that the air stability entering and surrounding the region support the most stable, clear, crisp seeing you can arrange on earth.
We feel that the combination of all geographical elements and weather patterns, that this location supports hands-down some of the most amazing observing conditions on earth.

You wanna talk about bang for your buck! It's only $1649!

Standard features not to miss with the Southern Skies Star Party are as always:

• 4- Star Hotel accommodations at the Resort Hotel Complex of Inca Utama. Inca Utama is one of many Lake Resort Hotels owned by Crillion Tours. A major agency in South America and abroad and known for lake hydrofoil boating, Crillion Tours has been in the tour and travel business since the early 50's.

• Full lighting control sunset to sunrise. We enjoy full preferential treatment and staff support as this is the hotel's off-season and we are regarded as important American Scientists.

• The observing pad is located directly between the hotel and the bulkheads of the lakefront. The flat concrete pad fills all intermediate area between the compound's buildings. Warming rooms, hot refreshments (and live local entertainment) are only ten or twenty steps away from your observing spot. We are provided with live 110v. AC or 12v DC current for your convenience.

• The resort also has an on-site conference room for demonstrations, lectures and group meetings. Separate facilities are available for audiovisual presentations and special programs.

• Crillion Tours, in preparation for the 1994 Total Solar Eclipse built a special roll-off roof observatory. Stocked currently with 2 Tasco and 1 Starmaster telescope, the facility is used regularly in demonstrations of the ancient Indian astronomical science called the Alapacha. Noted Archeo-Astronomer, Manuel De La Torre is director of the facility and is on-hand at various times at the SSSP.

• Several English speaking tour-guides compliment the staff of rather English-litterate workers. Regular guides returning each year include Ernesto Quino, Ivan Blanco and his brother Stanley Blanco, MD Trained and certified in Medicine here in the United States, Stanley is also paid by the tour company as acting physician for hotel guests. Stanley is on-call at all times to asses and treat minor and major medical problems of the guests. (In the event of illness, Dr. Blanco has the choice to treat guests at the hotel, or transport patients to the hospital in nearby LaPaz).

• As guests of the Inca Utama, both breakfast and dinner's meals are included. With a high standing with local and worldwide public officials, the dining accommodations and food service is second to none. Plus, Inca Utama is the only place on the earth to treat you to the specially bred fish crossed between a salmon and trout. All food is prepared and sterilized to international standards and water is purified for your safety at the hotel.

• Again, the resort grounds are cause for comment with their Aymara Indian Cultural Complex. Points of interest include the Model Aymara Fishing Village with occupants who actually live on the site and display the ancient lifestyle everyday for those who visit; the Aymara Indian museum, and the Museum of the ancient Kallawaya witch-doctor. (Come and have your fortune told by the Kallawaya and his ritual of coca leaves)

• If you (or your partner) are still interested in other sites, don't miss some of the available day-trip excursions to such places as the mystical Tiuanacu Sun Temple Ruins, the Kalahuta Islands with Incan burial ruins called 'the isle of the dead' or an ordinary shopping trip to the exotic markets of downtown LaPaz.

Machu Picchu
Trip Extension
Altitude Safety