28 February 2010


Valdivia is a small, German, coastal town surrounded by beautiful rivers. I came in mid-afternoon, stayed a night, and left the next day. For the night, I enjoyed a picnic by Rio Pichoy, or perhaps Rio Callecalle; there are a few rivers cutting through the city. I then enjoyed a quiet night in to prepare for a bike ride the next day.

For the bike ride, I skirted along the main river in order to make it to the coast. The town there was Niebla, with little more than a couple of restaurants and a small dock for ferries. I hopped on one of the ferries that was heading just across the mouth of the river, the first boat I´ve been on since the Melville. Another short bike ride, and lunch on a secluded beach, before I got back on the ferry to jump back across. The ride home was broken by Ceveceria Kunstmann, a delicious German brewery. I then barely made my next bus to Puerto Varas, a lakeside town where I have now been for several days.

That night in Puerto Varas saw little, but the next day would see a TERREMOTO. I started the day with a three egg omelett and a nice bikeride to a town just up the lake. I enjoyed some real nice views of the volcano across the way, and got lucky with a microbrewery open along the way. There was no bar or giftshop as in Ceveceria Kunstmann, instead I bought a bottle of beer from the same gentlemen who were turning the knobs and switching the pipes on the giant kettles.

That night, an earthquake happened. First though, I went to a concert in the backyard of a hostal. I mentioned that I played rugby with some of the bigger guys there, who also happened to play rugby. They adopted me as their Cali Friend, and we listened to this real small local band until late into the night. I went back to my hostel, barely making the 2am curfew (Ellenhaus Hostal policy), and proceeded to sleep through the 5th strongest earthquake in recorded history. Really though, I have been sleeping on the Melville for over a month, so the magnitude 5.3 earthquake (measured locally) was nothing.

The next day, besides a lot of stuff being closed, there was no real sign that an earthquake had happened. There has been no damage in my area, I am not near the coast and in no danger of tsunamis, power got turned on the next morning, essentially everything returned to normal. More out of respect than anything else, the town was closed the next night. I was then forced to instead enjoy a BBQ with a couchsurfing friend as we overlooked the full moon rise over the lake. That was last night, and I am still safe and sound in Puerto Varas.

Somethings Interesting:

--I took a picture of a sign I found funny warning of tsunamis. This was the day before the earthquake hit and a tsunami ravaged the area.

--Ferries in Chile can often break down, take on water, or otherwise be unsafe. I miss the Melville.

--Chilean BBQs are awesome. You throw all the meat on at once, and with the different cooking times, you take them off one at a time, cut them up, and share them with everyone there. We enjoyed beaf ribs, steak, pork ribs, chicken, and some other types of meat.

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