Humberstone

We’re up in Iquique now, the site of the 8.2 magnitude earthquake a few weeks ago.  Mostly, everything looks pretty good.  Our taxi driver (who definitely overcharged us… damn we need to start avoiding that!) pointed out where the tsunami reached.  I’m sure there was more damage on the outskirts of town, places we haven’t really seen much of.

Today we took a day trip to Humberstone, a former saltpeter works and company town located an hour outside of Iquique.  It was the site of the largest saltpeter deposit in the world, which was used to produce sodium nitrate fertilizer for export to the USA and Europe (oof, I remember reading about the nitrate fertilizer in The Worst Hard Time, playing a big hand in the Dust Bowl).  Today it is a ghost town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Humberstone ghost town

Humberstone power plant

A swimming pool made from an old ship.

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