After we fled the wet Andes, we headed for the coast. Lots of pine plantations, grape vineyards, seaside resorts, avocados, walnuts, tomatoes, salt ponds and seaports. Loved every mile of it, and my reaction is this must be what California was like a hundred years ago. Funky, inexpensive, no crowds, working people and winding roads. Today the coastal area is supported by tourism, timber and agriculture.
If you wonder where your sea salt comes from, we saw it. Amazing this brackish water produces such white salt.
The big fear of the forestry guys is arson. Signs everywhere telling us to not toss a match and to watch for arson. Even an arsonist's car. Big fire breaks and several significant burned areas.
Why do the farmers in Chile harvest so much more per acre than the farmers in California? Simple, they pick more fruit from each tree. Why? ELECTRICITY!!!! If you climb through this farmer's barbed wire fence you come to his 400 volt grass-cutter. If this doesn't stop you going in, try crawling under or through it with a sack of avocados.