Riding the quakes
Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
117Trip End Dec 05, 2010
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Where I stayed
The bus drivers seemed to know everyone and were beeping at people we passed including the llamas at the sides of the roads! After a checkpoint two policemen thumbed a lift and sat next to us. I was hoping they hadn't seen me take a picture of them 5 seconds earlier...
We arrived in Valdivia in the afternoon and on first impressions were not all that impressed, we are however starting to learn now that you rarely like a place until the second day you are there
We stayed at the Airesbuenos hostel, a really nice little hostel that is run by an Argentinian guy, hence the name. The hostel is very homely and as soon as we arrived we were invited straight in to watch a movie with all the others. The hostel has cool decor with black and white photos and colourful paintings all over the walls. They also have some very unique hostel pets that we thought were cool, Gardel the duck and Romana the rabbit who were constantly chasing each other round the place! At one stage they had a pig too which is random!
We also met Nimi, a guy we shared a dorm with in Bariloche, here which was cool so we spent the evening chilling with him and had a big homemade gnocci dinner with all the other guests. The hostel was fairly quiet when we were there as most people we spoke to had changed the plans to travel in Chile after the earthquake - sad really as it was absoloutely fine and we enjoyed it! We sat up talking with the owners about the earthquake and stuff - Valdivia holds the record for the biggest earthquake ever recorded to date that happened in 1960 and measured 9.5 on the scale!!
With only one day in Valdivia, we got up early and headed out
Afterwards we headed down to a local event where they had a jumble sale thing going on and some traditional dancers which were fun to watch.
The buildings in Valdivia are really interesting, some were very creepy looking and some just looked like they were from a movie set. After a walk around we headed off to get a "Doggis" which are a type of perro caliente (hot dog) which looked cool until I dropped the whole thing!
Walking round the town you could see damage caused by the Concepcion earthquake with big cracks left in the pavements. There were colourful, strange and slightly creepy houses and buildings lining the streets. Most looked like they were in the process of falling down.
In the evening we got a chinese (which had really weird wontons!) and then headed back to the hostel to chill and ride the tremors that were going on - the biggest measuring 5.6.we then caught the bus to Santiago at 10pm, which was a good job as the whole town suddenly had a black out so everyone in the hostel just went to bed! The bus was a proper local job, a change from the lush Argentinian ones.