Having purchased tickets for 9 am bus yesterday we headed downhill from Hospedaje Petrohue after our typical brkfst of tea/bread/jam/juice 15 min before bus left. Right on the button, Tur Bus Classico pulled out for our 14 hr ride to Santiago. We have travelled this route before so countryside is familiar, at first mostly dairy farms,then more eucalyptus/pine tree plantations/farms, and when we reach 200 km S. of Santiago (about 7:30 pm) we get orchards and lots of vinyards (miles upon miles!).
We arr 11 pm + at terminal, the Metro no longer running so taxi to Terra Extremus Hostel where we have reserved dorm rooms. Edwardo is on duty and remembers us, wishing us a Happy New Year and gives us the discount we had from¨Get South¨, a promo booklet we had picked up long ago...really nice folks here.
To bed after Bon & Jake confirm flight seats on internet with LAN.... It is surprising how tiring bus travel can be just sitting, ha!
It is clear to me that tourism in a country (locale of any kind) fundaventally changes the identity of the local people - for indigenous poor it ends their way of life (they become almost museum actors in a diarama), and if the draw is nature or trekking, the trails and services usually evolve into upper end, kind of 5 star backpacking. Not really much different than a Disney-type adventure except maybe longer duration with the added unkown of weather thrown in. I'm not sure I really understand eco-tourism anymore, it has gone the way of 'organic' w.r.t. food - meaning is lost in the advertizing and hype. It seems to be what scientists have discovered when they measure any system/event/behavior, whatever - the very act of measuring changes the data, character/nature of what you are attempting to measure. In this case tourism blossoming removes the original reality and what once was the object/destination to be seen/participated in no longer exists! UNESCO, World Heritage & Biosphere designations are the final end, the signal of the demise of any resemblance to/of what once was!