Nichol and Matt go to Chile!

Archive for March 24, 2012

Stop Plate Tectonics!

Send coffee!

We ran out of our supply of Saltspring Island beans, so we’re now in need of some decent new ones as well as a new grinder. The beans (in theory, but this is Santiago after all) should be easy enough to find; there are plenty of independent cafes around, but the grinder still eludes us. It shouldn’t be this hard, but we’ve checked both major department stores as well as several smaller shops, but no luck yet.

This morning we set out to rectify this problem by trying to find a supposedly huge mall, ‘Parque Arauco’, in Las Condes. The mall is said to have an ice-skating rink (real ice, not that weird fake ice stuff) and is about as close as you can get to West Edmonton Mall in Santiago. The only problem is that it is well off the metro line (we think it’s to keep the riff-raff out), so we had about 1.5 km to walk from the station. This story ends pretty abruptly (for you anyway…) since, upon leaving the metro station, we turned left when we should have turned right; the rest is an ugly story that nobody wants to hear. Oh well, on the bright side, we did get a good 10km (ish) constitutional in, and have since learned that, in a city full of them, parks should not be used as landmarks.

In a more interesting development, last night we experienced our first earthquake! Not only was this our first Santiago quake, it was the only significant one that either one of us have ever experienced. Matt was woken up mere moments before it hit by a street-sweeper outside, and before long there was a gentle vibration shaking the bed and walls. It took about 5 seconds before it was clear that it was an earthquake, and another 5 seconds or so before Nichol woke up.

N – ‘Is this an earthquake?’

M – ‘I think so.’

N – ‘Huh. Why did you wake me up for this, and what’s your problem?!’

M – ‘I didn’t wake you up, and I dunno…it’s a freakin’ earthquake?!’

That’s about when it stopped, with Matt falling back asleep fairly quickly as Nichol stayed up googling for any reports. We found out this morning that it was a magnitude 5.1, with an epicentre 45-50 km away. It was a strange experience, but probably won’t be the last while we’re here. Luckily, the shaking remained in the ‘fun, exciting’ stage and didn’t cross into the ‘let’s get under something heavy’ stage. The whole thing lasted less than 30 seconds, and hopefully any future events won’t be much more serious.


Anyway, tonight is hockey night in Santiago (complete with Mango Pisco Sours and home-made pizza…Chileans aren’t great at pizza, but that’s another post). First up is watching the Canucks vs. the Avalanche online, followed by listening to game #2 of the WHL playoff series between Kamloops and our Victoria Royals. Go teams!