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Chile shares many things with California State

By Greg Goodsell
April 9th, 2010
Catholic Online (

The South American nation of Chile has many things in common with the state of California. According to National Geographic correspondent Kenneth Brower, both have ideal weather for growing grapes.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) "Chile, like California, has good grape weather. In winter, North American supermarkets fill with those "red flame" grapes of Chilean summer. But climate, in truth, is just the beginning," Brower says. 

"California is long, and so is Chile. The heart of California is a great central valley between a coast range to the west and a cordillera to the east. So it is in Chile. California is desert at one end and humid forest at the other.

Chile is the same. California boasts the redwood, tallest of all trees and among the longest lived. Chile boasts the alerce, a conifer remarkably similar in look and age and grandeur," Brower adds.

"Above the mountains of California, on a nine-foot wingspan, soars the endangered California condor. Above the mountains of Chile soars the Andean condor. Into California's coastal waters, folding up to become a spear, the brown pelican dives beaklong. Into the coastal waters of Chile dives the Peruvian pelican, a nearly indistinguishable subspecies."

A native Californian, Brower felt at one point he had stepped into an alternative universe. "But a parallel universe is not an identical universe. Scarcely five minutes down the road from the airport, I encountered the first big anomaly in parallel structure, and I had to brake for it: a horse and wagon trotting down the middle of the pavement. This wagon, stacked with firewood, might have been a California scene from a century ago. If not an anomaly in parallel structure, it was a warp in time."

Brower found much to enjoy in his trip to Chile, and the opportunity to compare and contrast. "The fun in any parallel universe is in the ceaseless, reverberant interplay of similarities and differences."

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