We arrived in Santiago this morning after a long 13 hour overnight bus ride from Puerto Montt. That town is not a fun place to spend a lot of time. There is a collapsing salmon farming community there and not much else. So on the outskirts of town there are huge warehouses with names like "Ocean Harvest Fish Food" or "Bountiful Sea". Of course Coca Cola has a big factory of some kind there too. They are probably all manufacturing the same things.
Talking to a former employee of the fish farms, I learned the truth about how the fish are raised. We could see the cages with the fish overflowing in them. They sit in cubes in the ocean that are too full for the fish to live in. Antibiotics and growth hormones are regularly thrown into the cages hoping that the fish eat them. Of course the excess just floats away in the currents. Sea lions are interested in the salmon, so nets are put up to keep the sea lions away. Some die in the nets. Some get to the fish cages. They can't get into the cages so they just take bites of the fish. This annoys the owners that wildlife is taking bites of their profits so they illegally shoot the sea lions. Of course they are protected, so to get rid of the evidence, the shooter takes the body to shore and ties it to a tree where the carcass rots.
There is a disease that is wiping out the salmon stocks. Because the cages are all kept close together and in a shallow area (unlike the natural habitat) the disease is spreading too fast to control. So more varieties of drugs are being used to try and kill it.
Another chapter in my story. Tomorrow, Danielle goes to Peru. I go back to Quintay. Quintay is the small seaside town where my friend Leo lives. Together, we are going to try and open a hostel. He has the perfect location and almost everything that he needs to have a successful hostel. However, he needs to have water trucked in because he is in such a remote area. So now we are going to try and desalinate the sea water that is very abundant. We all need to do our part to help lower the sea level. An off the grid hostel sounds like a place that I would like to stay. I finally get to put some of my ideas into action.
With all this extra water, I would like to get a compost, garden, and outdoor shower going. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, I don't even know if we will have the water, but I have big plans. Eventually we will need some wind and/or solar power. Anyone have any ideas about how to generate power cheaply?
So for the next 3 weeks, I will remain on the beach, probably without internet. That is a lie, it would be difficult for me to survive like a caveman (without internet, I won't shower or use utensils the whole time) so don't miss me too much.