We had heard that this time of year was an active one for earthquakes in Chile and a flashlight had been provided at the airbnb, kept beside the bed. We were woken one night by the bed shaking like crazy-it was our first earthquake-the epicentre being off the coast of Valparaiso some 100km away. However a couple of days later-we experienced a much bigger one. At around 7.30pm-the whole house and floor began to shake for about a minute! Teresita called us outside after it had finished. It is safer to stay indoors whilst the ground shakes and then evacuate outside once it has stopped. It measured a 7.1 on the Richter scale and was reported across the world. Thank goodness there were no deaths-as Chile is very well prepared to deal with earthquakes. Teresita showed us her emergency box outside-containing clothing, food, water and other emergency supplies in case of a big devastating earthquake. She told us how she and her family had to camp in the garden of the house for a month in 1985 after a huge devastating earthquake. There were a few tremors over the following days but nothing as big as before.
We collected Ruby from the mechanics, where they had replaced the clutch and they did a great job cleaning her too. All of the dirt and dust from the last year was washed and polished away, as we prepared her for her second shipping experience! We had a great shipping agent in Chile, called Ronald and he came with us and our shipping partners to the port of San Antonio, where we did all the paperwork and left Ruby to be put into a container! We were lucky to find 2 Canadians who were shipping home to Canada, to share a 40 foot container with. We had also booked a high cube, so Ruby could be driven straight in without having to remove the rooftent.
After saying farewell to Rubes, Gav and I caught the bus from San Antonio to Valparaiso, a huge city on the coast. We were staying on the 13th floor of an apartment just outside the City. As we were in the taxi heading to the apartment, the taxi began to shake! " Terremoto" (earthquake) said the taxi driver! Wonderful and we were heading to a 13th floor apartment!! There were a few shakes that night but nothing major!
Valparaiso was a great city to spend a few days. It is quite a dirty chaotic city-however its numerous hills with the colourful buildings and street art gives it such a charm. We took 2 walking tours here and then wandered around ourselves for another day or so.
Finally we returned to Santiago to spend our final days in South America. We did some sightseeing and got our bags ready for our flights. Whilst Ruby heads for Vancouver, we are going via the UK for a couple of weeks to see family, friends and stock up on the things we have missed such as Yorkshire teabags! We will then fly to Vancouver and be reunited with Ruby-before heading North to Alaska.
South America has been a brilliant experience and has been so very kind to us. We have had no problems whatsoever, in fact have been overwhelmed by the wonderful, warm hearted people. Next phase-North and Central America!