We got to Vina around 8pm and Matilde was waiting for us at the bus station. We picked up Jen and their friend Natty on the way and we had a lovely first evening talking and laughing together. That’s when we also got to meet Greco, their huge who entertained us for the next 5 days.
We were lucky enough that Natty, who is from Valparaiso, was free the next day, so she offered to show us around her beautiful city. Natty is an artist so she was the best person we could have wished for to take us to the famos artists neighborhood. We were delighted at the amazing wall paintings we came across and thought about a world in which neighborhoods like this would be the norm rather than the exception.
We had some churos (traditional Chilean sweet), went back to kinderland, had another nap after reading under a palm tree, and generally had a very good time around this city we would actually not mind living in for a while:). In the evening we had our first tsunami, the traditional Chilean drink Natty had recommended us. It’s essentially white wine mixed with pineapple icecream, and it’s really delish (and this is coming from a complete red winer by the way)! The best part about it is you can even make it at home (wink wink).
On Wednesday Matilde took us to San Antonio, the place of her childhood. We went to the beach where she used to run every day during her athlete days, and then to her uncle’s house for lunch. We were so impressed by this man who, in spite of two severe illnesses, spent the whole time joking, laughing and acting as the healthiest person we’ve seen. Such a lesson!
We also found out about the devastating earthquakes that are every day reality here. Generally not a day goes by without such a phenomenon shaking one place or another. Most are not big, yet it makes you wonder how life would be like when you’re always waiting for the next one. We experienced one as well, intensity of 4. I was alone in the living room and of course did not feel it at all, but Boca and Silviu, who were just in the next room, did. I’m sure it must have avoided the living room area ;).
This frequency of earthquakes is also why Chilean architects are among the best in the world at building earthquake resistant structures. People from around the world come to study in this field in Chile in order to learn from the best.