Day 26 Humberstone

0V7C1150

I booked us a rental car so we could go to Humberstone for the morning. The Thrifty was a few blocks away and we picked up our little car.

IMG_6345

It’s manual (neither of us has driven a manual for almost 3 years) and they drive on the wrong side of the road here and almost every street is a one way street.

We make our way out of town and up the dunes. It boggles my mind slightly they manage to put major roads on a sand dune.

0V7C1144

We arrive at Humbrstone and get to wander around. It’s a deserted mining town that used to refine saltpeter (sodium nitrate) that is now an UNESCO site. The place is quite massive.

0V7C1147

It’s an interesting illustration how a town built by one industry completely collapses. Chile used to supply 62% of the worlds supply until 1929 when the Germans development of the synthesis of ammonia which led to the industrial production of fertilizers. 30 years later works were abandoned and by 1970, even after much modernisation it was a complete ghost town.

0V7C1145

It gives you an idea how they related job to living conditions. General workers were assigned tiny living quarters.

0V7C1146

That had to fit a whole family.

IMG_6351

Supervisors were assigned much larger quarters with 140 m2 of living and outdoor space.

IMG_6347

Many of the building have deteriorated over time with the iron roof full of holes

0V7C1155

or hardly any iron left at all.

0V7C1164

Everything has this rusted, dilapidated look to it it would be a good set for a post apocalyptic movie.

0V7C1187

0V7C1176

The place hasn’t got many other people during the weekday (advantage of not taking a tour) so you feel like you’re the only one there.

0V7C1186

Lots of bits of old machinery are still there.

0V7C1191

The administration building looks like a grand plantation home.

0V7C1193

Lots of trains around to transport.

IMG_6371

Key bits of infrastructure still in place (and held up by many wires and concrete)

IMG_6372

After awhile you start to feel like you’re going to need a tetnus shot when you get home.

IMG_6375

There’s nails, wire, rusty old ladders and big holes everywhere.

IMG_6386

Cart and fake horse remenants.

IMG_6389

A grand theatre. This thing was massive!

Take back the car and after some google translating we confirm we’re done with the car. The Thrifty lady seems most amused at either we’re done in half a day or the fun of dealing with non-Spanish speakers.

Last real day of holidays. Tomorrow we head home on flight number 9,10 and 11. It’ll take us about 30hrs to get home so I’m sure we’ll be exhausted by then.