Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unintended Talca - Unexpected Talca

John likes to think of himself as a train fan. There are not many passenger trains left in South America. However, south from Santiago there is a three-hour train to Talca, so Talca became a stop we would not have bothered with otherwise. During research we learned that the real train attraction in Talca, the narrow gauge to ConstituciĆ³n on the coast, is no longer running due to the earthquake last year.

Yet when we arrived in Talca, we were surprised by the earthquake damage from 11 months ago: whole city blocks still closed for business, empty lots free or filled with rubble, visible damage inside and outside buildings. We came across hotels one after another that are now a pile of rubble, closed for business, in the process of fixing up rooms, in a state of managed disrepair. Yet all the newer buildings stood tall and strong. It makes one wonder about all the collapsed buildings in the Sichuan earthquake....

The other surprise in Talca was the hot weather. We had ambitions of going hiking in the mountains to the east. We quickly killed that idea once we realized that we probably could not carry enough water to stay alive. Bicycling among the vineyard in the blazing sun was also out of the question even though Talca is in the middle of vine country where the local Walmart(Hyper Lider) sells vine by the liter or gallon. To escape the hot weather, we pulled out of Talca only after one night.

The train we rode from Santiago to Talca just before departure in Central Station, Santiago.
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School Clock Tower - Talca, Chile. Stopped at 3:34 AM.
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The entire block around the Central Market building is closed due to earthquake damage. Many of the vendors appeared to have moved to a temporary location by the Bus Terminal.
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This church shows damage where the steeple meets the roof.
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1 comment:

Crash Eddy said...

OK, John, from this POV, the photo is not private and even offers full size. Am able to view the steeple damage, looks bad. Could get killed by falling brickwork entering the church.