I was lucky enough to spend my 35th birthday in the Peruvian Andes. It was a trip to visit my sister-in-law in the remote town of Huraz for the last leg of her stint at a US based nonprofit. Before I left for this trip I inquired on algae forums about regulations for sampling and bringing back algae. Nothing helpful came from the listservs and I was about to give up. As luck would have it the recent Diatom Research had a paper describing some new species from wet walls and bryophyte communities from....Peru. ive always been lucky. After contacting the lead author (USA) and a co-author ( Peru) I determined that it was safe and mostly legal to sample in Peru and bring those samples back to the US. Several inernational borders a few snow storms later I'm back in the ol US of A with lots of samples and a few alpaca blankets. My 16 inch plankton net didn't set off a single alarm (surprisingly). Sampling diatoms was my main objective. I've always had an interest in cataloguing biodiversity and what better place to do it than the remote and unsampled Andes. The best sampling occured in the Llangenuco valley just below Huascuran one of South Americas highest peaks. I sampled; bryophytes, bromeliads, streams, wet walls, stagnate pools and glacial lakes and runnoff. I'm just starting today to process these samples. Unfortunately this biodiversity work is not part of my dissertation so has gone to the backest of burners. But today I just could not wait any longer. As I get images I will share. Diatomite!