Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, Sept. 24
The natural landscape here is dramatic but compromised. Entire hillsides have been excavated to make room for high-rise condo buildings. Clearcuts are bald patches in the vast young forests of pine and eucalyptus, neither of them native. My host tells me they were chosen because they grow fast and straight: living lumber factories on the slopes of the central Chilean coast.
On transportation: Chilean drivers actually respect lines on the road and stop for pedestrians. That's normal for Monterey, but it's a stark contrast to Peru, where crossing the street is a game of Frogger. ('80s children, you get me.)
Chile's transit system, however, is vastly superior to the U.S.'s. Buses and trains connect the entire country. Today we take a bus from Concepcion to Chillan, then a train to Santiago, and back on a bus to Vinas del Mar. Despite the two stops it's a relatively quick, easy and reasonably priced trip.
Posted at 8:48 PM