Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 3 - March 13, Valdivia, Chile

This is the view from the bridge looking over the section of the river that we have been exploring for the last couple of days. The sea lions (those brown lumps on the dock) can be seen basking in the sun. People stroll along on a sunny Sunday taking in the view and enjoying life. The pace is considerably slower than LA. I like it.  

This is the view from the bridge when I look down into river Calle Calle. The ubiquitous plastic bag.

I'm not sure if you will see the sea gull between the boats at first glance. If you look again, you'll find the white bird. 

And then I saw another plastic bag, drifting under the surface in a ghostly water world. 

If you look closer, you will find two fish navigating the river next to some clear plastic.

I wonder if the cormorant that dove under the surface right as I snapped this picture ever went diving for fish and came up with a peak of plastic instead?

We finally crossed over to the University side of the river on Isla Teja where we could look back at the riverfront of Valdivia.

There was a pathway leading along the river, past three museums that we left for another day and up into the campus.

We like Valdivia. It has a young, energetic vibe. There are not many tourists here that are from outside of   South America even though it is late summer. We don't exactly blend. The people that we've met have been helpful, and laid back. One man followed us out of the bank the other day with our ATM card that we had left behind. That's what you get for having five hours of sleep, and two cat naps on the plane in 50 hours. We were very impressed that he didn't pocket our card. Phew....

As we made our way up the stairs into the park above the river, we decided to start a 20 minute cleanup.
This red bottle cap was one of our first finds.

Oh joy! A biodegradable plastic bag. Warms my heart that this nifty idea has penetrated into the southern hemisphere.

One of the great bonuses of being on the other side of the world is that it is summertime here. Summertime means berries. 

Garen roams around the park. He didn't have to look too hard to find plenty to pick up. I have to say though, that we have seen a pretty tidy town so far. Perhaps it is because along the stretch of the river that we have been staying off of, we have noticed that they employ city workers to cleanup after the pedestrians. Maybe this part of the park is where college students hang out drinking beer and smoking butts and that's why we found so much trash?  There were plenty of left overs from these two activities. 

Our twenty minutes produced two full bags of trash. We found the plastic bags during our cleanup to fill. It was fortunate that we found one bag when we started, and one as we needed a second one. Fortunate, or unnerving that we found 2 plastic bags in about 10 minutes. 

This is a mural that covered the side of a wall along the main street through the University. You can guess that I was really drawn to it. We've noticed at least a dozen people sitting in the city along the river, or in the main square sketching. There are lots of murals in Valdivia as well. Evidence of art is everywhere.

Garen and I walked through the campus some more before we decided to go get some pizza at one of the  few restaurants that have been open this Sunday. The whole city slowed down today, letting us ease further into our trip. We're in the conserving-our-energy mode because we know that once we join 
5 Gyres and the boat, it's on!