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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 11: Dichato, Chile


Tuesday, Sept. 24
Dichato, Chile


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.

-Kera Abraham

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

frogger is a wonderful game.
I'm lovin these posts.

Sharon M. Abraham said...

The Bay area is well known for their excellent BART transit system. When visiting, I can get to most of the small enclaves arount San Francisco on BART. For you to note that Chile's system is far superior must make it the BMW of systems. Here is Pittsburgh, Pa, we need a car to get anywhere except for the city proper.
Love, Mom

ray said...

Its amazing how awry things can get with irresponsible planning, greed, and massive profit motivated development. There are so many beautiful alternatives, like train systems, that better compliment the rhyme of ecological, ethical, sociological, and economical planning for infrastructure. My mind is just blown today...to think adults would allow our infrastructure to become so exploited...here and abroad. I love the idea of low impact, high speed trains that connect cities, towns, and states.