Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Flying to Valdivia
We are spending the long weekend of the 21st of May (the celebration of the Glorias Navales of 1879) in the southern city of Valdivia.
Santiago is a large, smoggy city that sits in a caldera of mountains and stews in its own pollution. Valdivia is a small coastal city in the heart of the alpine region. In Valdivia, smoke from wood fires mingles with sea-mist and blows away by mid-morning, and daily rains melt away the scraps of fog caught under the eaves of houses and tangled in the fir trees. In Santiago we hadn't had rain for weeks, and we were living in a flat brown bowl of chemical soup.
Flying out of the city was both welcome and deeply disheartening. Above the smog layer, the flat airplane air tasted fresher than it had down on the runway - and we wondered how we'd lived down there, like that.