Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vina Del Mar + A Little Bit on Chile

condos by the Pacific
A plane ride from Southern Chile, followed by a 2 hour bus ride straight from the Santiago Airport lands me in Vina Del Mar, a beachy central Chilean town on the Pacific. Immediately I head for the ocean and a walk along the boardwalk and high rise condos which line the area.
I'm there in mid fall, and the beaches are both empty and unspectacular. This echoes my sentiments of the town at large as I walk around.
an outdoor church- see the pews
the Pacfic Ocean rolling in
the Pacfic Ocean rolling in
I've been in Chile for a few days at this point and have learned a few things worth sharing:
The average wage in Chile is about $800 a month, (based on current exchange rate) with $500 being the subsistence level for an individual. Wages here might not be high, but prices are. Food is almost on par with America, and the price gas is of course, global.
One the great laments in Chile is the fact that education cost$.
True, education for primary schools is "free," but most loving parents would much rather pay, as government run schools are "atrocious." Only the poorest attend gratis; mainly because they have no choice. In fact, Chileans make a direct correlation between rival Argentina's vastly superior public education system and their more affluent financial position.

park near the ocean
Chile, while being possibly the least corrupt country in South America (akin to being the driest fish in the ocean) the people still face major challenges. For example, the tale that pharmacies throughout the country have colluded on price for years comes into clear focus when I'm buying a small bottle of Listerine, what would be $1.50 in America costs in excess of $4 here. When a bar of chocolate rings up at double USA prices, I throw back the sweet.
plenty of street dogs n Chile
plenty of street dogs in Chile- he's just a lazy mutt
I'm told that the neighboring fishing Concon might hold some interest for me. I take the 50 cent collective bus early in the morning, winding it's way through the street. It's not unpleasant, just crowded, a bit old, but well worth the savings compared to a taxi.
Not much here save a few restaurants, fishing boats, and pelicans all waiting for the fish to show.
pelicans of Concon, Chile
pelicans of Concon, Chile
It's a grey day sitting by the beach. Time to move on to greener pastures. And I mean that proverbially, because the next stop will be the driest place on earth, the desert of Atacama.

fishing boats- Concon
castle by the sea, Vina Del Mar
castle by the sea
the Pacific- Concon, Chile
the Pacific- Concon, Chile

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