anywhere you go you can find the one place that seems detached from Earth, the one place where there’s no noise at all, filled with green, hills, and simply peace to me that place is Chañaral Alto.
Chañaral Alto is located in the Limarí province in the IV Region of Chile, Coquimbo.
The whole area of Limarí is predominantly agricultural, its lands are watered by the Huatulame and Limarí Rivers and in there you can find an amazing production of table grapes, like these ones. My brother’s hand is here to show you the size of this gorgeus fruit
It is always a pleasure to look at my Chile on the map so diverse and interestingly asymmetric: from the Metropolitan Region (where Santiago is located) to the south you’ll find surplus of water and green valleys and mountains. But it’s from Santiago to the north where you can see how the landscape changes dramatically, from green woods to dry of the south you’ll switch to arid hills and valleys, not only because you’re approaching the desert but also because water is a delicate issue. The scarcity of water has affected the development of agriculture because this resource is being shared with the mining and energy (hydroelectric) sectors, which are growing at a considerable fast pace demanding more and more water. And if that wasn’t enough, most mining companies are located in the dry areas.
Because Chile is constantly requiring new energy systems and water, is only natural to assume that at some point a solution will be needed to address this incompatibility. Mining and forestry companies use plenty of water for mineral extraction and energy production. Even bottling companies find their profit from water here in Coquimbo. The thing is that villages that traditionally had plenty of water, are currently supplied by cistern trucks and reservoir, like the one you see below. And if that wasn’t enough, legislation allows you to own land but not the water passing through your land, encouraging the appropriation and misuse of water by mining and energy sectors that unfortunately increase environmental impacts and local people’s sustainable living quality.
In spite of these difficulties and enormous challenges the north is facing, Chañaral is still there, making its way through the best possible way
First of all this little guy, Matías, who spent the entire afternoons running his little tractor. My brother calls him Terremoto, earthquake, and given the energy he has, no reason to question…
Cute and simple old houses on the little roads on the outskirts of the valley
An amazing and friendly working team
And their closing of business day with a much delicious pot of wonderful flavors and chilli, ají
Empty beautiful little roads
And wooden bridges you find everywhere. This one was crossable, the others not so much
Breathtaking views of the valley
View from Roca del Aguila
And these two guys, Burka and Panzer, faithful guardians of our uncle’s property
Some fun time for Burka and Panzer
Until I called back
And a final sunset view
This is Chañaral Alto