TALCA,Chile-- Wine Country!
"Talca--the Maule District"
Talca, Chile is located in South Central Chile and is capital of the Maule region. It was founded in 1692 and damaged by several earthquakes through the years. I was told there were earthquakes in 1934, 1960 and 1985. The final earthquake affected the remaining original buildings in town.
I was given a historical sketch of Talca during my previous visit--Feb.2006. Talca had seen its glory days in the 1950's when it was important politically. Election officials came to town to rally votes and encouraged landowners to bring their workers to town dressed in traditional style to promote certain candidates. But once land reform was instituted in the l960's,Talca was never the same.
By the 1970's Talca fell into decline. Once important for leather curing, shoes, milling flour and rice, for edible oil products and home to the largest cookie/cracker producer in Chile, few of these company headquarters are here now. The town once boasted it was the largest importer of hats from around the world, selling the latest Paris creations. It was also the former home to the largest bank in Chile, which possessed the most extensive art collection in South America.
Currently Talca's emphasis is on vineyards, fruits, livestock and olive gardens. A new regional theatre was dedicated in 2005. The famed Spanish singer,Serrat, gave the first performance to an appreciative audience.
The University of Talca, said to be one of the best universities outside of Santiago, is located here.
This photo doesn't show it clearly, but in the distance there is a volcano-- approximately 49 miles away. While visiting friends, I was fascinated by the volcano, which can be glimpsed from their backyard. There are no volcanos in New Jersey--that's for sure!
There are two volcanos near Talca: Descabezada Grande (Big Headless) and Descabezado Chico (Small Headless).
"The Crystalline Waters Of Lake Colbun"
Lake Colbun is located 200 km. or four hours driving time from Santiago and 30 miles from Talca. It is the largest natural reservoir in Chile at 13,680 acres created for the purpose of utilizing the water coming from the Maule River for hydroelectric power and irrigation.
The waters are unpolluted and a lovely blue green color. During our week at Lake Colbun we saw people on skidoos, parasailing, waterskiing, swimming, fishing, kayaking and soaring high in lightweight planes while enjoying the beauty of this area.
A large portion of the road leading to the lake is paved, but the last few miles were not. A sturdy SUV or truck would manage best on these rock strewn roads! Lovely summer cottages are scattered along its banks and camping is available, also. See my TIPS and TRAVELOGUE for more of Lake Colblun.